Cavendish's crafty Tour win in Bordeaux linked to Sky

Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins, Tour de France 2010, stage 18

Brit Mark Cavendish succeeded today in winning a Tour de France in sprinters' paradise, Bordeaux. The city has seen some of cycling's biggest names win along its Garonne river and it felt almost natural that Cavendish got his turn given his run of success with 14 wins in three years at the race.

His difficulty, though, came with not having his final lead-out man, Australian Mark Renshaw. The Tour de France tagged Renshaw a 'bad boy' and sent him home last week for head butting a rival team member during his lead out.

"People forget, that is how he started his career and won a lot of races," HTC-Columbia team manager, Bob Stapleton explained. "He has the native ability to follow wheels and pick them. He jumped on Hushovd's wheel, then Petacchi's..."

Great Britain's Sky came through and indirectly gave Cavendish his final push. They worked to place Edvald Boasson Hagen, which was also convenient for Cavendish.

"It was good, the last Ks when Sky came up. I spoke a little with [Juan Antonio] Flecha when he was coming up in the last three kilometres. I was quite easy on his wheel and got Mark to 500 metres to go, on Eddy's wheel," said Bernhard Eisel, Cavendish's final lead out man today.

"We were sure that missing two riders like Adam Hansen [abandoned after crash in stage 1] and Mark Renshaw, we would have to rely on someone else."

Sky's Boasson Hagen finished sixth. Julian Dean (Garmin-Transitions) pushed Cavendish closest to the line, finishing second, and Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) took third and re-claimed the green sprinters jersey.

"Sky had a good lead out going today and gave it their best shot," said Cavendish.

Cavendish had been rumoured to join Sky for this year and for next year, but he has a contract option that takes him through 2011 with HTC. In fact, he has a strong train dedicated to him at the American team and dedicated today's win to one of the missing engines.

"I have missed him [Renshaw] in the Pyrenees, someone suffering more than me! I missed having a laugh with him in the room at night," he said.

"That one today was for him."

Tour de France 2010: Latest news

Could a fifth stage win in Paris be enough to give Cavendish green?

Contador makes small steps towards third Tour de France win

Sastre: "Cycling is turning into a sport for spoilt brats

Schleck behind after Tourmalet duel but refuses to give up

Hesjedal leaps up classification with Tour's Tourmalet ride

Sky pushes ahead regardless of Wiggins placing

Armstrong has his last go in the Tour

Tour's points leader Petacchi investigated for doping

Contador issues video apology to Schleck

Millar searches horizon for Eiffel Tower

Schleck-Contador friendship turns sour after chain problem

Wiggins at 2010 Tour: "I haven't got it"

Basso wins Tour's acceptance; podium spot next goal

Contador versus Schleck: A game of seconds

Can Cav win without Renshaw?

Hesjedal pushing his way to the Tour's top

Renshaw disqualification overshadows Cavendish's win

Charly Wegelius pulls out of Tour

Did Armstrong own a stake in Tailwind Sports, or not?

Cavendish in a 'must win' situation for Tour's green jersey

Millar rides through pain barrier to make time cut

Roche alongside Tour's top men ahead of Pyrenees

Wiggins to aim for Tour de France stage win?

Dan Lloyd battles on in Tour despite groin strain

Tour de France 2010: Stage reports

Stage 17: Schleck wins on the Tourmalet but cannot shake off Contador

Rest day review (July 21)

Stage 16: Fedrigo takes tough Pyrenean stage

Stage 15: Victorious Voeckler continues fine Franch Tour as Contador takes yellow jersey

Stage 14: Riblon hangs on in Pyrenees to give France fourth stage win

Stage 13: Vino returns to top of Tour after doping ban

Stage 12: Rodriguez wins as Contador attacks

Stage 11: Cavendish bags third stage win but lead out man kicked out of Tour

Stage 10: Cavendish bags third stage win but his lead-out man is kicked out of race

Stage 10: Paulinho claims narrow stage victory on Bastille day

Stage nine: Casar wins stage as Schleck and Contador go head-to-head

Stage seven: Chavanel wins stage and takes overall as Thomas drops out of Tour's white

Stage six: Cavendish makes it two as Tour hots up

Stage five: Cavendish wins his first stage of Tour

Stage four: Petacchi wins into Reims

Stage three: Hushovd takes dramatic win; Thomas second on stage and GC

Stage three live coverage: As it happened

Stage two: Comeback man Chavanel takes victory in Spa

Stage one: Petacchi wins in Brussels as bunch left in tatters

Prologue: Cancellara pips Martin to win

Tour de France 2010: Photos

Stage 17 photo gallery

Stage 16 photo gallery

Stage 15 photo gallery

Stage 14 photo gallery

Stage 13 photo gallery

Stage 12 photo gallery

Stage 11 photo gallery

Stage 10 photo gallery

Stage nine photo gallery

Stage eight photo gallery

Tour 2010 wallpaper

Stage seven photo gallery

Stage six photo gallery

Stage five photo gallery

Stage four photo gallery

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one gallery

Prologue photo gallery

Tour de France 2010: Videos

Stage 17 video highlights

Stage 16 video highlights

Stage 15 video highlights

Stage 14 video highlights

Stage 13 video highlights

Stage 12 video highlights

Stage 11 video highlights

Stage 10 video highlights

Stage nine video highlights

Stage eight video highlights

Stage seven video highlights

Stage six video highlights

Stage five video highlights

Stage four video highlights

Stage three video highlights

Stage two video highlights

Stage one video highlights

Prologue video highlights

Tour de France 2010: Race guide

Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly's coverage index

Official start list, with race numbers

Brits at the Tour 2010

Tout team guide

Tour jerseys: What they are and what they mean

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins

Tour de France 2010: Pictures

Tour team presentation, Rotterdam

Tour teams take to the cobbles: Photo special


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