Mark Cavendish finished 17th in the sprint in Barcelona at the end of today's sixth stage of the 2009 Tour de France.
The Manxman scrapped and fought for position on the climb to the finish and tried to hold onto Thor Hushovd but could not find a way back to the front after losing ground early on the climb.
However, 17th place gave the Columbia-HTC sprint ace 10 precious points that was enough to keep the green points jersey by a single point.
“We said weren’t going to go all out for this stage. I didn’t think I was going to win here and was just going to do the best I could,” Cavendish explained.
“I didn’t think I was going to match Thor and Oscar and so from two kilometres out I wasn’t sprinting for the win but to get as many points as I could. It’s an honour to keep it for another day but as I’ve always said, I’m not going to sacrifice my chances of getting to Paris to try and win the green jersey. I want to win on the Champs Elysees. If the green comes, it comes.
“Every other sprint day should suit me and hopefully we can get it right.”
Cavendish was not worried about the crashes caused or suffering the Pyrenees for the next three days.
“It’s the same for everyone. It’s part of being a professional bike rider. You have to deal with it.
I tend not to think about because it’s takes energy away from doing my job,” said Cavendish.
“I feel good after six stages. Now I’m going to try and save as much energy as possible. It’s the same for 185 other guys, it’s just that were all going at different speeds…”
TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 LINKS
Tour de France 2009 - the hub: Index to reports, photos, previews and more.
Stage six: Millar's brave bid denied on Barcelona hill as Hushovd triumphs
Stage five: Voeckler survives chase to win his first Tour stage
Stage four: Astana on top but Armstrong misses yellow by hundredths of a second
Live Tour de France stage four TTT coverage
Stage three: Cavendish wins second stage as Armstrong distances Contador
Stage two: Cavendish takes first sprint
Stage one: Cancellara wins opening time trial
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Tour de France 2009 News Index>>
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David Zabriskie's time trial bike
Mark Cavendish on the Tour's team time trial
David Brailsford interview
Mark Cavendish on the Tour
Jonathan Vaughters on Bradley Wiggins' chances
TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 PHOTOS
Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage four TTT photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage one photo gallery by Andy Jones
Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson
Team presentation by Andy Jones
Team presentation by Graham Watson
Tour de France 2009 - the hub
Tour de France 2009: Who's riding
Tour de France 2009: Team guide
About the Tour de France
Tour de France 2009 on TV: Eurosport and ITV4 schedules
Big names missing from 2009 Tour de France
Tour de France anti-doping measures explained
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish
Cycling Weekly's rider profiles
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