Cavendish wins “his” race

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

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.

Cavendish wins in Schoten

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.

Broerie April 6, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Boonen managed to fall 2 times before the Cancellara and Hushovd let go.
I guess that’s just really really bad luck!

Vandalay April 6, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Isn’t Farrar very good friends with Wylandt? Thought I remembered reading that somewhere. Maybe just an accident.

bikecellar April 6, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Yes! Yes! Yes! The smile is back. Now if Tommeke can come out on top on Sunday all will be well.

Starr April 6, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Flipping Wouter!
Farrar was Cav’s only true opposition and perfectly placed, until…

Danger April 6, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Did anyone else notice that Cancellara tried to shake Hushovds hand, when they were cruising to the finish well behind the peloton, but Hushovd ignored him? Any guesses as to what was going on here?

Dave April 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Danger, it may be something to do with Cancellara getting the Ardennes stage in the Tour neutralised last year which cost Thor a great opportunity to pick up green jersey points with some of his rivals missing.

Good win for Cavendish, guess it was too early to write him off. He looks a lot fitter than he did in January and I think this slower start to the season may be the best thing considering his biggest targets are The Tour and The Worlds.

The Inner Ring April 6, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Dave: Good point re Hushovd and Cancellara.

As ever, anyone who writes off Cavendish usually eats their words soon.

Martin W April 6, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Re: The Cancellara/Hushovd “handshake”, VeloNews saw it differently:

“Hushovd wasn’t the only one going backwards. The world champ found himself on the wheel of a certain Fabian Cancellara, who offered a handsling to Hushovd as gaps opened in front of him. Hushovd smiled and waved it off — the two Paris-Roubaix favorites were clearly intent on surviving to fight another day.”

Roger April 7, 2011 at 2:50 am

It’s too bad we didn’t get to see a Farrar vs. Cav finish. Farrar was in decent position until the crash

Paul April 7, 2011 at 10:13 am

I’d say that Cav’s two fingered salute last year WAS very sponsor friendly. Unless it’s the Tour de France, cycling never features on the main news programs here in the UK. But with Cav’s two fingers came an albeit brief report 0n BBC news. HTC’s logo projected on the screens of however many million households. Great free exposure.

gilbert April 7, 2011 at 7:08 pm

we saw him really in pain at tirreno losing the mates’ wheels but yesterday he was really wise in the lead out’s organiazation expecially when the skys had gained few metres in the last 2 kms. well done cav! and also bernie…

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