Cavendish hails 'special' victory as he becomes first British winner of Milano-Torino

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider pays tribute to his team after third victory of the year

Mark Cavendish
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After becoming the first British rider to win Milano-Torino, and one of the first sprinters in the race's illustrious history, Mark Cavendish said that it was "going to be quite special" to see his name on the roll of honour.

The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider sprinted to victory on the outskirts of Turin to take his third win of the season, and took the opportunity to pay tribute to his teammates afterward.

"I'm really happy, back with [Michael] Mørkøv again," he said. "Dialled, in you know, that team. For a one day race you have to be dialled in, you have one opportunity. They've sent most of the sprint teams with Fabio all year, so they've sent the solid base of the sprint team to me here. 

"Like you've seen, it's incredible. I'm super, super happy, first time I've raced Milano-Torino, and I'm happy."

Mørkøv guided Cavendish to the perfect position heading around the final corner of the race, which allowed the Manxman to hold off Nacer Bouhanni and Alexander Kristoff.

In the process, he also became the race's oldest winner, in its 146-year history, which makes it one of the world's oldest races.

Asked if the race was more suited to sprinters than Milan-San Remo, Cavendish said: "I just like winning races, it doesn't matter."

"I've already won Milan-San Remo and now I can say I've won Milan-Torino," he continued. "Not many sprinters, usually it's quite a hilly race. So to see my name next to the riders that won this race in history, that's going to be quite special."

The Italian classic has traditionally been suited to climbers, with recent winners including Primož Roglič, Michael Woods and Thibaut Pinot, but this year the course was changed to suit the fast men more.

Cavendish is not part of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's squad for Milan-San Remo on Saturday, with Fabio Jakobsen being preferred to him for the race, despite the former winning in 2009 and the latter never racing it before.

Wednesday's victory was his first in Europe this season, after stage wins at both the Tour of Oman and the UAE Tour. Jakobsen, meanwhile, has won six sprints this season, his latest coming at Paris-Nice last week.

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Adam Becket
Senior news and features writer

Adam is Cycling Weekly’s senior news and feature writer – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing, speaking to people as varied as Demi Vollering to Philippe Gilbert. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.