Mark Cavendish has won the second stage of the Three Days of De Panne.
The Columbia rider is back on the road after the World Track Championships, where he rode the scratch race and the Madison, and has got straight back into winning ways.
Cavendish won the 219-kilometre stage from Zottegem to Oostduinkerke, beating Robbie McEwen of Katusha and Francesco Chicchi of Liquigas in the sprint.
This stage win will set him up perfectly. The Kemmelberg, the main hill that features in Ghent-Wevelgem, was on the route today, together with the Kanarieberg, the Tiegemberg and the Monteberg.
Last year Cavendish won two stages of the Three Days of De Panne, the longest one of the race, which was the equivalent of today’s, and the shorter final road stage before the afternoon time trial.
Tomorrow morning he’ll hope for another opportunity to win. Then he has time to gather himself and prepare for Ghent-Wevelgem next Wednesday.
Today’s De Panne stage was his seventh win of the season, and the 35th of his short career so far. Already he’s in second place in Cycling Weekly’s All-Time List of British Pro Winners, and is rapidly closing in on Chris Boardman.
Mark Cavendish wins stage two of the 2009 Three Days of De Panne