Mark Cavendish sprints to victory at Milano-Torino after perfect leadout

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider becomes first ever British winner of Italian classic

Mark Cavendish
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mark Cavendish powered to victory at Milano-Torino, becoming the first British winner of the Italian classic in the process.

The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider benefited from a perfect leadout from his teammate Michael Mørkøv, piloting him to the correct position in the final 300m.

Cavendish managed to hold off Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa Samsic) and Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) to cross the line in first, his third win this year, but his first on European soil.

How it happened

The peloton set off from Magenta in the western suburbs of Milan on Wednesday morning, set for a rolling course of 197km to Rivoli, again a western suburb of Turin.

The race has traditionally been a hilly affair, with recent winners including Primož Roglič, Michael Woods and Thibaut Pinot, but this year's even looked set for a bunch sprint from the start, despite some teams sending climbers.

With 161km to go, the days break established itself, formed of Juan Diego Alba (Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli), Martin Marcellusi (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) and Daniel Viegas (EOLO-Kometa). 

While the gap got up towards five minutes at times, it rarely looked like the break were going to stay away, and the trio were comfortably caught with 20km to go.

Shortly after, Ben Healy and Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost) appeared to gently roll off the front, but Healy stayed away from the bunch for almost 12km, forcing sprint teams to use up men earlier than they would have liked to.

The Irishman was caught with 3.9km to go, and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl looked like they were in control, with Rémi Cavagna setting the pace in his first race this season.

However, into the final kilometre and it looked like TotalEnergies were in pole position, with Edvald Boasson Hagen pulling for his teammate Peter Sagan.

Michael Mørkøv (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) pulled his sprinter Mark Cavendish back to the front, though, and the Manxman was able to comfortably keep ahead of Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa Samsic) and Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) to cross the line in first place.

It was Cavendish's first win in Italy since 2014, and his third win of the season overall.

Results

Milano-Torino 2022 (197km)

1. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, in 4-31-22
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Team Arkéa Samsic
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert
4. Max Kanter (Deu) Movistar
5. Peter Sagan (Slo) TotalEnergies
6. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citröen
7. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
8. Ben Swift (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
9. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
10. Biniam Girmay (Rwa) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, all at same time

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Hello, I'm Cycling Weekly's digital staff writer. I like pretending to be part of the great history of cycling writing, and acting like a pseudo-intellectual in general. 


Before joining the team here I wrote for Procycling for almost two years, interviewing riders and writing about racing. My favourite event is Strade Bianche, but I haven't quite made it to the Piazza del Campo just yet.


Prior to covering the sport of cycling, I wrote about ecclesiastical matters for the Church Times and politics for Business Insider. I have degrees in history and journalism.