Sunday, 25 September 2011

End of the High Road but top of the World

Team HTC-High Road may be extinct at the end of this season. But the podium in their final year at the World Road Race Championships ending with three sprinters who have worn their colours on the podium.

André Griepel of course had to go elsewhere, to Omega Phrama Lotto, to get out of the shadow of Mark Cavendish. Matt Goss was happy to stay and help or take the honours when he could. So the three of them were a mark of just how strong the High Road set up has been down the years.

But the other mark of today was how the GB pulled together. Chris Froome, 2nd in the Vuelta a España, Bradley Wiggins who was second in the Time Trail earlier in the week, David Millar who had to return his world Time Trial silver after a doping positive. Geraint Thomas an Olympic Pursuit Champion, plus Ian Stannard, Steve Cummings and Jeremy Hunt. All of these guys sacrificed themselves for most of the afternoon to bring their one man to the line. But also all the British cyclists through the seasons gaining points to get the strongest national team possible here in Copenhagen.

Cavendish may have been upset when Bradley Wiggins was unable to help him win Olympic Gold in the Maddison in Beijing, after he had left his Tour de France early to go an take part. But Brad was on the front of the peleton for about 7 minutes not looking for support this afternoon, to bring the last breaks together and leaving it up to the rest of the team. He sacrificed himself 100% for his colleague, who may well be his team mate next season.

Cavendish in the first British winner of the World Professional Road Race Title since 1965. He's won it in the same year he's won his greatest desire the final Green Jersey in the Tour de France. He truly is the top of the world right now. What can next year and the 5 man Olympic team bring about.

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