Thursday, 10 July 2008

Off the Mark

Yippee! Mister Stephen was jumping on thge sofa last night for the first time in 6 years a Brit won a stage at the Tour de France.
In recent times it has either been as a time trialist like David Millar or Chris Broadman, or as a part of a breakaway as happened with Sean Yates. But when you are the world madison champion the bunch finish of a long flat stage in le Tour is nothing to get too worked up about. So Mark Cavendish (on the right) saw off experienced tour sprinters Oscar Freire, Erik Zabel and Thor Hushovd to see his first stage win in this race to go with his two in the Giro d'Italia earlier this year.
It will go some way to make up for this disappointment he faced last year when he crashed on the aproach to Cantebury when he wanted to start his Tour career with a win on home soil.
The 23 year-old is set to team up with Bradley Wiggens for the maddison in
Beijing next month but he is likely to see out the tour first, maybe hoping to win on the Champs Elysées. That hold no worried for Rod Ellingworth Team GB's cycling coach who earlier this week told the Times:
"I want him to finish the Tour and he does, too. He’ll gain a lot from that in terms of experience and also form ahead of the Olympics. Am I worried about the effect that three weeks on the road will have on his track form ahead of the Olympics? No. He’s so good anyway — his speed, his cadence, his ability to ride the track — that it all comes automatically to him."

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