Cavendish's odd stage 10 finish line celebration explained

Mark Cavendish, Tour de France 2009, stage 5

Mark Cavendish beat Thor Hushovd so comfortably in the sprint in Issoudun that he time for another of his special victory poses as he crossed the line.

In La Grande Motte, he held his hand to his head, pretending to call new second sponsor HTC. This time it he took his sunglasses off and held them out for everyone to see.

Not everyone loves Cavendish's celebratory antics but he told Cycling Weekly he did it to show off the Oakley frames that have been made for especially him.

"They've made a special color for me that is unique, I'm the only one who's got it. It's called antifreeze green and the frames are semi-transparent. I just hope to get the green jersey back soon to match them," he told Cycling Weekly after his sprint.

Cavendish third stage win gave him a total of 141 points. He is now just six behind Thor Hushovd and could take back the green jersey on Wednesday if he wins the stage and the big Norwegian finishes lower than second.

Cavendish used the first rest day to recharge his batteries after getting through the Pyrenees but now he is ready for an intense week of sprints.

"I've targeted seven days for bunch sprints this year, and a possible eight, that's quite a lot really. When I was at the unveiling of the Tour last year in Paris I was quite excited because it's really tough overall, but it's not like 2008 when there were a lot of rolling days or intermediate days. Here's it's like it's either a sprint or really hard mountains, but in terms of getting successful it's a good route for me," he said.

"I reckon I've got another three chances this week and then there's the Champs Elysees in Paris."

Cavendish and his team mates got precious information from Erik Zabel yet again. He made sure they understood the importance of the slight incline in the final 500 metres and told them which corners they could take at full speed without touching the brakes.

In the winner's press conference, it was suggested that Cavendish wins because of Zabel's information. He pointed out that "Erik's not the reason we win, he's the reason we don't lose."

"He provides the information, he's got the experience, but you have to execute it. We got the information from the team car, not over the radio today, so that wasn't a problem. It's not the information in itself, it just gives us the confidence to me and the riders to execute the win."

"The key decisions were to be at the front all the way, and that right-hand corner came up

pretty quickly, but my team were there to support me all the way. That shows guts, character and determination."

Tuesday's 192km stage from Vatan to Saint Fargeau includes more hills that will inspire breaks but the final kilometre is virtually straight. Perfect for win number four.


Tour de France 2009 - the hub: Index to reports, photos, previews and more.


Stage 10: Cavendish spoils Bastille Day party to take third stage win

Stage nine: Third French win as contenders content with ceasefire

stage eight: Sanchez wins from break as Tour favourites cancel each other out

Stage seven: Feillu wins at Arcalis, Nocentini takes yellow, Contador leap-frogs Lance

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


Tour de France 2009 News Index>>

No radios today, but experiment could be a one-off

Tour audio: Mark Cavendish after stage 10

Contador brushes aside talk of Armstrong conflict

Cavendish odds-on favourite for Bastille Day victory

The Tour de France Comment: Monday, July 13

How the favourites are doing (first rest day)

Wiggins stays with leaders at Tour

Armstrong: 'If Contador wins, I'll be second'

Wiggins 'on cloud nine' at Tour de France

Armstrong says Contador attack wasn't in the plan

Cavendish survives the first Tour mountain stage with ease

Wiggins, the Tour de France overall contender, has arrived


Garmin-Slipstream's HQ before the Tour

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


Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson

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: Who will win?

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


Follow the Tour on Cycling Weekly's Twitter feed


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