He has done it again! Mark Cavendish (Columbia) won his fourth stage at the Tour de France in Nimes on Friday, beating all his sprint rivals in the dash to the line.
Cavendish was a little bit far back in the final five hundred metres but used his instinct, found his way through and then accelerated clear of the pack in the final two hundred metres.
Robbie McEwen (Silence) started his sprint early to try and anticipate Cavendish but the 23 year-old from the Isle of Man opened up his powerful late surge and hit out for the finish with everybody else struggling behind him.
Cavendish was still more than a hundred metres from the finish but kept going and kicked-in a kind of an extra turbo sprint to take him well clear at the line. McEwen managed to finish second and Romain Feillu (Agritubel) was third but Cavendish again proved beyond doubt that he is the fastest sprinter in the Tour de France.
?Yet again the team did a perfect, perfect job and dropped me off at the finish. It seemed a long way to that finish line but I made it,? Cavendish said with a smile.
“I thought there was no wind at the finish and I thought I could go early but at 250 meters, it was a block headwind and it seemed a long long way to that finish line but I crossed it first so it was okay.”
“I started to seize up and I had to go full full gas. I knew I was going to seize up and that is why I had to kick again at 150 to go just to get those extra few seconds in case I died before the line.”
The overall standings remain unchanged with Cadel Evans (Silence) still one second ahead of Frank Schleck (CSC).
The Tour de France heads ever closer to the decisive stages in the Alps on Saturday with the 194.5km 14th stage from Nimes to Digne-les-Bagnes. The stage climbs gradually into the Haute Provence region with a final fourth-category climb just ten kilometres from the finish.
TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: STAGE 13 RESULTS
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Columbia 182km in 4hr 25mins 42secs
2 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Silence
3 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel
4 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner
5 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank
6 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole
7 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis
8 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram
9 Julian Dean (NZl) Team Garmin
10 Sebastien Chavanel (Fra) Française des Jeux
22 David Millar (GBr) Team Garmin.
GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE 13
1. Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto
2. Frank Schleck (Lux) CSC-Saxo Bank at 1sec
3. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Chipotle at 38secs
4. Bernhard Kohl (Aut) Gerolsteiner at 46secs
5. Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank at 57secs
6. Carlos Sastre (Spa) CSC-Saxo Bank at 1m 28secs
7. Kim Kirchen (Lux) Columbia at 1m 56secs
8. Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Ag2r at 2m 32secs
9. Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 3m 51secs
10. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas at 4m 18secs
47. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Chipotle at 35m 22secs
95. Chris Froome (GB) Barloworld at 1h 16m 21secs
147. Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia at 1h 52m 4secs.
KING OF THE MOUNTAINS
1. Sebastian Lang (Ger) Gerolsteiner
YOUNG RIDER CLASSIFICATION
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas
1. Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
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|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: STAGE REPORTS|
Stage 13: Cavendish takes fourth win
Stage 12: Cavendish makes it three
Stage 11: Arvesen wins
Stage 10: Evans takes yellow jersey by one second
Stage nine: Ricco wins in the Pyrenees
Stage eight: Cavendish wins again in Toulouse
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|
Ricco speaks on Italian television
Cavendish joins the all-time greats
Saunier Duval sack Ricco and Piepoli
Tour bosses say fight against doping continues
Ricco denies doping at the Tour
Saunier Duval pull out of Tour
Tour’s top ten changes
Ricco positive for EPO at Tour
Analysis: Tour de France rest day summary
Cavendish battles through Pyrenees
Evans suffers but takes yellow jersey [stage 10]
Analysis: Hautacam shakes up 2008 Tour
Ricco silences critics with solo attack in Pyrenees [stage nine]
Cavendish talks about his second stage win [stage eight]
Beltran heads home but doubts remain about other Tour riders
David Millar: the dope controls are working
Manuel Beltran tests positive for EPO at the Tour
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: BLOGS|
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: GUIDE|