It’s not been the easiest start of the season for Mark Cavendish. Normally sprinters look to rack up wins in the early season, profiting from a time of year when the high mountains are closed to traffic, yet alone bike races. But he’s only had one win in Oman and other times have seen plenty go wrong, from crashes to confused lead outs. He not just been out of luck though, he’s appeared out of condition too.
But if there was one race he was going to start winning, it’s the Scheldeprijs, also know as the GP de l’Escaut. It’s almost Cavendish’s race as it is where he took his first pro win in 2007, following it up with 2008.
This time luck finally went his way, with rival Tyler Farrar getting taken out by Leopard’s Wouter Weylandt. Yet Cavendish stayed upright to sprint clear of Yauheni Hutarovich by several lengths. He even had time to stick his fingers up in the air, this time a sponsor-friendly reminder of how many wins he’s got in this race. After the race Cavendish confirmed it was a “special race” for him.
Note this race is always a dangerous one with tight corners and narrow roads. It’s common to see big name riders take part for the mileage but to ease of in the closing moments of the race and indeed today both Thor Hushovd and Fabian Cancellara sat up in order to avoid trouble.