A broken spoke in the last four kilometres of the 2010 Vuelta a Espana almost put paid to Mark Cavendish’s points jersey victory on Sunday.

“I heard a ‘ping’, looked down and realised I wasn’t going to be able to win the stage, but I still had to finish in the top four if I wanted to take the points jersey,” Cavendish told Cycling Weekly.

“It was really tough, but I couldn’t sit up.”

Cavendish finally came through for second place in Madrid behind Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transtion), clinching the first green points jersey of his career in a major Tour by seven points. He is only the second UK rider ever to take this award in a a major stage race.

“It’s a very special feeling to have got the points competition,” Cavendish said afterwards.

“I was here looking for stage wins in Spain and to get some form for the World’s , and little by little I got into the battle for the points.”

“The Vuelta is different from other races because there are equal points on offer in the mountains and in the flat stages, but at the end of the day it’s all about being consistent.”

“I’m very happy for HTC-Columbia all round. We took five stages, led overall and we got on the podium as well. It has gone perfectly.”

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