Mark Cavendish has blasted to his first victory of the 2009 Tour de France on Sunday’s 187-kilometre stage from Monaco to Brignoles, a victory that also places him in the green jersey as the leader of the race’s points classification.
The Columbia-HTC rider took his fourteenth win of the 2009 season with a powerful charge for the finish line that left him clearly ahead of runners-up Tyler Farrar of the United States and Roman Feillu of France. Cavendish now heads the Tour’s points classification and for the first time in his career. On Monday’s stage three, he will wear the green jersey as leader of that competition in the Tour de France.
Afterwards Cavendish hugged and thanked his Columbia-HTC teammates for having given him such strong support during the stage. "The team were superb, they’re all great riders and I’m just glad I can win at the end of everything they do for me," he said. "There were a lot of squads trying to get past us. They were all very keen to get a result, but we kept going and kept going and when we do that there’s only ever going to be one result. I was able to go all out and get the win. It was perfect for us, and it’s perfect to be able to do that after such hard work by my teammates. It’s a very special result and now I’ve got the green jersey, I couldn’t be more satisfied."
"I have two goals here. My personal goal is to finish the Tour, and my job, my second goal, is to win stages. I don’t think it’s wise to go for the green jersey right from the start, so now I’ve won one stage I want to go all the way to Paris and see if I can win some more and maybe take a last win on the Champs Elys?es."
Cavendish’s fifth Tour de France stage win of his career takes the total of wins for Columbia-HTC men’s team to 51, and comes a few hours after his teammate Andre Greipel won the opening stage of the Tour of Austria.
Photo Credit: TDWSport.com