Mark Cavendish (Columbia) finished safely in the main gruppetto on stage 10 and kept the green jersey for another day. He finished 137th at 28-29 behind Brice Feillu (Agritubel).
His main rival for the green jersey, Thor Hushovd (Cervelo), finished in the same time but at the back of the gruppetto, in 171st place. He still leads Hushovd by one point in the green jersey competition. Cavendish has 106 points, to Hushovd’s 105.
Cavendish had to change his back wheel at the foot of the climb after a rider smashed into him but he quickly got back to the main bunch and rode to the finish with the likes of Stuart O’Grady (Saxo Bank), Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and team mate Mark Renshaw.
“I wasn’t in the crash, it was on the right. I stopped for a few seconds but then a rider ploughed into my back wheel and ripped out the spokes. I’m lucky I don’t have to buy my own wheels,” he said.
“It was a bit of nightmare and I had to wait but Bernie gave me his wheel and so I was able to chase and get back on. I would have preferred to take it easy in the gruppetto rather than rider hard to get there but its okay. I survived.”
Cavendish confirmed that he is climbing much better this year.
“I just try and ride through the climbs. I’m suffering but not more than anyone else. It’s just a case of getting through it now, rather than struggling to get through it.” he said.
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