Mark Cavendish had said Saturday?s stage of the Tour of Catalonia was his second opportunity for a bunch sprint win in the Spanish ProTour race and true to his word, the T-Mobile rider seized that chance with both hands.
At a tricky finish on the Lloret de Mar seafront, the Isle of Man fastman charged round the opposition with 150 metres to go to secure his fifth win of the season – and second in just five days.
?That was the most dangerous sprint I?ve ever done in my life.? Cavendish told CW?s website, referring both to an enormous crash five kilometres from the line and the fact the crash permitted a large number of ?non-sprinters? to come through to the front and try to win.
?In the crash I got blocked totally and had to put my foot down. Then there was some Relax rider who had been turned around 180 degrees in the crash and was just standing there in the way. I yelled ?move, move? to him, got past him and through all the people lying on the ground and back on my bike.?
Cavendish then got back into a third group, which then fused with a second. ?Fortunately Caisse D?Epargne were chasing, and we could get back onto the main bunch. Then Stuart O?Grady (CSC) attacked, he got brought back and we were into the sprint.?
Asked if the fact this was his first ProTour race and that he?d won two stages in it made it special, Cavendish – now the points jersey leader again – answered simply ?as long as there?s a finish line, I want to be the first across it.?
The T-Mobile pro also responded to questions about the recent confession by former Telekom rider Bjarne Riis that he took EPO during his career.
?I don?t ever condone doping. Personally I can?t stand it.? Cavendish said. ?If I am in T-Mobile, it?s mainly because of their strict anti-doping policies. They?re a different team now. And I?m totally in favour of people like [former T-Mobile rider, now manager] Rolf Aldag and Dave Millar who?ve made mistakes in the past, admitted them, and are now part of the fight against doping.?
TOUR OF CATALONIA: STAGE SIX RESULTS
(Llivia – Lloret de Mar)
1 Mark Cavendish (GBR) T-Mobile 177.1 kms in 3-59-55
2 Leonardo Duque (Col ) Cofidis
3 Paolo Bossoni (Ita) Lampre
4 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Unibet.com
5 David De La Fuente (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir
6 Jorge Ferrio (Spa) Andalucia-Caja Sur
7 Maxim Iglinsky (Kaz) Astana
8 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Milram
9 Allan Davis (Aus) Discovery
10 Pieter Mertens (Bel) Predictor-Lotto
83 David Millar (GBR) Saunier Duval-Prodir
84 Bradley Wiggins (GBR) Cofidis all st.
OVERALL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE SIX
1 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse D?Epargne 19-34-50
2 Michael Rogers (Aus) T-Mobile at 40sec
3 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank at 44sec
4 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Ag2R at 1-34
5 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Relax-Gam at st
6 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Relax-Gam at 1-49
7 John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R at 2-19
8 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Discovery Channel at 2-28
9 Marcos Serrano (Spa) Karpin-Galicia at 2-29
10 Laurens Ten Dam (Hol) Unibet.com at 2-32
109 David Millar (GBR) Saunier Duval-Prodir at 22-39
113 Bradley Wiggins (GBR) Cofidis at 24-16
170 Mark Cavendish (GBR) T-Mobile at 45-03