Mark Cavendish silenced his critics today taking a decisive win in Thursday’s fifth stage. Cavendish timed his move perfectly as Garmin had set up what looked like the perfect lead out for their man Tyler Farrar. Gerald Ciolek also jumped at the same time but Cavendish was not going to be denied beating the German to the line by a convincing two bike lengths. Cav’s former lead out man Edvald Boasson Hagen claimed third, and overall points leader Thor Hushovd finished fifth.
An emotional Cavendish had tears in his eyes as he stood on the podium today. Following today’s win he said “it means everything to win. All the pressure and emotion built up but it’s finally over.” Cavendish now has 11 Tour de France stage victories, the most by a Brit ever.
The overall remains unchanged with Cancellara in yellow for another day. Hushovd still has a commanding lead in the points competition, extending his lead over Petachhi to 14 points, and Cavendish by 52.
Tomorrow’s stage 6 should be another day for the sprinters but with 4 category 4 climbs, a well-timed attack out of the breakaway group could be enough to take the win. It all depends on how much the sprinter’s teams want to control the pace tomorrow because the GC teams will want to rest their riders for the impending battle in the Alps this weekend.
For more great Tour analysis, visit my good friend Tim Liew @ The Armchair Sportsfan.