Cavendish king of the road

2011-09-25 16:37
Mark Cavendish (AP)

Copenhagen - Mark Cavendish became Britain's first world road race champion since the late Tom Simpson in 1965 when he dominated a bunch sprint to win the men's elite race at the road world championships here on Sunday.

Australian Matthew Goss finished second to take the silver with German Andre Greipel winning the bronze after 260km of racing.

"There couldn't be any other result after the way the guys rode today," Cavendish told Eurosport television as he paid tribute to his team-mates.

"I'm so proud."

Britain had taken a grip on the race early and, after a finale which saw no incisive attacks, Cavendish was left on his own to power up the inside of the barriers on the 500m uphill finish where he beat Goss by half a wheel.

Greipel was given the nod by judges for the bronze medal after a photo finish decision with Swiss Fabian Cancellara.

Reigning world champion Thor Hushovd of Norway was one of several top names who got stuck in a second chasing peloton following a crash on the sixth of the race's 17 14 km-long laps, which began after a 22 km ride from the city centre.

Among the other pre-race contenders Spaniard Oscar Freire - who had been aiming for a record fourth world crown - finished ninth, two places ahead of Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen.

Philippe Gilbert, the world No 1, had sent Belgian team-mates up to mark attacks and to toughen the pace for the chasing peloton.

But in the end the main bunch came back together on the final lap, depriving the Belgian of the chance to attack. He eventually finished in 17th place.

The first salvos in the race came early, an eight-man breakaway forming and going on to build a maximum lead of nearly 10 minutes on the main bunch.

Due to his lack of sheer sprinting power, Gilbert had counted on resting as much as possible by sending his team-mates up to the front.

And while Olivier Kaisen covered his bases by joining the early eight-man escape group, fellow Belgian Johan Van Summeren joined a counter-attack with seven laps to go.

A lap further on, Hushovd's and many others' hopes were dashed when a crash caused a split in the peloton. With the pace unrelenting up ahead, his group never recovered their deficit.

Welshman Geraint Thomas was also stuck behind, but his absence was soaked up by a British team which seemed intent on delivering Cavendish to the finish in optimal position.

Although a number of attacks came in the closing laps, including an attempt by French Tour de France star Thomas Voeckler, the pace being set by Britain's David Millar and Bradley Wiggins at the front of the peloton made sure they never got far.

While Millar dropped off with around 10kms to race, Wiggins led the team round the final bend.

Despite the Australians taking over on the 300m stretch leading to the uphill home straight, Cavendish crucially stayed near the front and drove hard for the line with 200m to go.

Results from the seventh and final day of the road world championships on Sunday:

Elite men

Road race (260 km)

1. Mark Cavendish (GBR) 5hr 40min 27sec, 2. Matthew Goss (AUS) same time, 3. Andre Greipel (GER) s.t., 4. Fabian Cancellara (SUI) s.t., 5. Jurgen Roelandts (BEL) s.t., 6. Romain Feillu (FRA) s.t., 7. Borut Bozic (SLO) s.t., 8. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) s.t., 9. Oscar Freire (ESP) s.t., 10. Tyler Farrar (USA) s.t., 11. Denis Galimzyanov (RUS) s.t., 12. Peter Sagan (SVK) s.t., 13. Anthony Ravard (FRA) s.t., 14. Daniele Bennati (ITA) s.t., 15. Rui Costa (POR) s.t., 16. Manuel Cardoso (POR) s.t., 17. Philippe Gilbert (BEL) s.t., 18. Michael Morkov (DEN) s.t., 19. David Veilleux (CAN) s.t., 20. Grega Bole (SLO) s.t.

Read more on:    mark cavendish


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Quiz: Test your Rio Olympics memory!

Think you know what went on at the Rio Olympics? Prove it by tackling Sport24's ridiculously impossible yet highly addictive post-Games quiz!


Rio Olympics

GALLERY: SA's Rio Olympic medallists
As it happened: Rio Olympics - Day 17
Selecting 6 numbers turned Britain into Olympic superpower
Caster cranks up the heat in Rio semi
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


Follow all the action from the 2016 Rio Olympics. The highs, the lows, the tears, the smiles as the world's greatest athletes compete for gold, silver and bronze.

Latest blogs

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.