Mark Cavendish’s chance of winning Milan-San Remo on Saturday for a second time ended with crashes and vomiting. The Brit was thrilled, though, that his HTC-Highroad team-mate Matt Goss picked up the pieces.

“Oh, it’s really, really incredible,” Cavendish said of Goss’s win.

“He was alone as well. He’s f**king really good. We said yesterday he was going to be there, and f**k, he was also alone for the final.”

Goss made the lead group of 44 riders after crashes with Thor Hushovd and Oscar Freire caused a split on Le Mànie. He won the sprint ahead of Fabian Cancellara and Philippe Gilbert.

“There was a crash on the descent of Le Mànie. Freire went down, Hushovd had gone down before. It went full gas over the top, I was a little off the back, but we got on before the descent started. The Oscar’s crash on the descent just split the peloton and there was a group away after that.”

Cavendish, though, revealed he wasn’t feeling well and said he couldn’t have won this year.

“No,” he said when asked if he could have won. “I was not that good, I had been throwing up all day and it kind of took the pressure off. Plus, Goss was going a lot better.”

He said that he realised he felt bad after the race hit the Italian coast, already midway into the 298-kilometre day.

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Goss seizes his opportunity, wins Milan-San Remo