Sunday, 25 September 2011

Cav the Champion of the World!

Mark Cavendish takes gold in the UCI World Championships!
"That ride by Great Britain was the best team performance I have ever seen. Well done to every single one of them." (Ant McCrossan)
(image courtesy of UCI)
Team GB rode an excellent race, ignoring all attacks and instead driving the peloton to a breakneck pace; keeping it there all the way to gradually wear down the opposition. Bradley Wiggins, aided by Ian Stannard, took control in the final kilometres after a beautiful devil-may-care attack by the Netherlands' Johnny Hoogerland; leading the pack until he fell away, exhausted, to the barriers.

As the peloton sprinted en masse to the finish line, it looked for a moment as though the Missile was boxed in. However, he somehow found a way through and flicked on the afterburners - and when that happens, the result is all but inevitable.
"There could not be another result after the way the guys rode today." (Mark Cavendish)
He becomes the first British World Champion since Tommy Simpson in 1965 and brings the second of two gold medals to Britain - the first having been won by Lucy Garner in the Junior Women's race, which leaves the team with a total of six (2x gold, 2x silver, 2x bronze) and at the top of the medals table. In addition, he becomes the first man to win both the Worlds and Tour's green points jersey since Freddy Maertens of Belgium did so three decades ago. With Mark almost certainly due to ride with Team Sky - members of which made up a sizable chunk of the British team - next year, it looks increasingly like there'll be a British rider on the top step of the Tour podium for the first time in the near future.

Australian Matt Goss took silver while German André Greipel took a well-deserved third with race judges requiring photographic evidence to decide between him and Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara who had remained invisible throughout the race until the final section. As an interesting aside, note that while the Worlds is competed by national teams, all top three places were taken by riders from the HTC-Highroad trade team - further evidence of how tragic it is that 2011 is set to the the squad's final season after team boss Bob Stapleton's extensive but ultimately unsuccessful quest to secure a new sponsor, despite the team evidently being stronger than ever.
"I couldn't let the guys down after riding all day. They gave a 110%." (Mark Cavendish)
(image courtesy of UCI)
1. 41 CAVENDISH Mark GBR 5:40:27 +0
2. 35 GOSS Matthew Harley AUS st 
3. 60 GREIPEL André GER st 
4. 91 CANCELLARA Fabian SUI st 
5. 20 ROELANDTS Jurgen BEL st 
6. 83 FEILLU Romain FRA st  
7. 114 BOZIC Borut SLO st 
8. 3 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald NOR st 
9. 8 FREIRE GOMEZ Oscar ESP st
10. 70 FARRAR Tyler USA st (for full results, click here)

Photos from Steephill: click here 

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