Mark Cavendish won his first ever stage at the Tour de France in the blazing sun at Chateauroux last Wednesday. His second win came in the rain in Toulouse on Saturday but he made it clear he just likes winning, whatever the conditions.
?It doesn?t matter if the sun is shining, if it?s raining or I?m going up mountains, I l just love riding my bike. As far as I?m concerned I?m the luckiest man in the world,? he said in Toulouse.
?When I?m there and fired up I can usually win. I didn?t feel too good yesterday but today is the last real sprint stage so I really wanted to win. Stage 12 could be end in a sprint but I think there will be a big breakaway. I also think the GC will get sorted out in the next couple of days and so today was the last day we could control things and go for the sprint.?
PERFECT TEAM WORK
Cavendish suffered a little bit during the hilly first part of the 172.5km stage when the racing was fierce but was perfectly protected by his Columbia team mates and then got a great lead out in the dangerous finish in the centre of Toulouse.
?It was hard, there were a few short climbs and a category three climb. I was going out of the back and I needed my team to take me back to the front but then they started to control things. The climbs weren?t too difficult later on. I was fine because I had my team around me and had the best possible protection.?
?It was a technical run-in to the finish with lots of road furniture and then a tight right hander with one kilometre to go, but that suited us down to the ground. You saw the lead out from Gerald and he managed to hang on for second, so it worked out amazing. Holding onto to the yellow jersey and getting first and second, you can?t get any better than that.?
ALL THE WAY TO PARIS
Cavendish made it clear he hopes to make it all the way to Paris despite already finishing the Giro d?Italia and targeting the Madison in the Beijing Olympics.
?I got through the Giro and I?ll get through here. I?m going to keep going as long as I can. I?m not tired yet,? he said.
?People are talking about me not making it to Paris but it would be unfair to the team, the sponsors and the race to even talk about pulling out, so as far as I?m concerned, I want to go all the way if I can.?
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: STAGE REPORTS|
Stage seven: Sanchez takes action-packed stage
Stage six: Ricco storms to win
Stage five: Cavendish takes first Tour win
Stage four: Schumacher wins TT and takes race lead
Stage three: Dumoulin wins stage from break
Stage two: Hushovd wins chaotic sprint
Stage one: Valverde wins
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: NEWS|
Comment: How the Tour rediscovered its spirit
Doping back in Tour de France headlines
Millar: close but no cigar in Super-Besse [stage six]
Super-Besse shows form of main contenders [stage six]
Millar to go for yellow [stage six]
Team Columbia’s reaction to Cavendish’s win [stage five]
Cavendish talks about his Tour stage win
Tour comment: Why Evans should be happy [stage four]
Millar: Still aiming for Tour yellow jersey [stage 4]
Who is Romain Feillu?
Cavendish disappointed with stage two result
Millar too close to Tour yellow jersey
Stage 2 preview: A sprint finish for Cavendish?
Millar happy after gains precious seconds in Plumelec
Valverde delighted with opening Tour stage win
Comment: Is Valverde’s win a good thing for the Tour?
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: PHOTOS|
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: GUIDE|