Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) underlined his complete dominance of bunch sprints by winning the second stage of the Tour of Missouri with a blistering turn of pace.
Thor Hushovd’s Cervelo team took control of the bunch on the run-in to the line in Cape Girardeau, and launched the Norwegian Tour de France green jersey winner to the front.
After being delivered to the perfect spot by team-mate George Hincapie, Cavendish stuck to Hushovd’s back wheel and then came around him with his trademark, perfectly-timed turn of speed in the final 200 metres.
By the time Cavendish hit the finish line, the rest of the bunch were well back, giving the 24-year-old Manxman his second stage win out of two, and his 23rd win of 2009. Hushovd came in second, with Juan Jose Haedo (Saxo Bank) third.
Cavendish maintains his lead of the overall classification.
Earlier in the race, Timothy Duggan (Garmin-Slipstream) and Francois Parisien (Planet Energy) attempted to escape to the finish. The daring duo held off the bunch until the dying kilometres, when the sprinters’ teams wound up the pace and swallowed them up.
Last year’s winner Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) withdrew from the race after fracturing a bone in his hand as a result of a crash during yesterday’s opening stage.
Tomorrow’s third stage runs from Farmington to Rolla and covers 183.9km. It’s a lumpy stage that may see the overall contenders attempting to make their mark… or perhaps a daring breakaway.
Tour of Missouri 2009: Stage two, Ste. Genevieve to Cape Girardeau, 180.9km
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia-HTC in 4-16-53
2. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo
3. Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank
4. Brett Lancaster (Aus) Cervelo
5. Martin Gilbert (Can) Planet Energy
6. Alex Candelario (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies
7. Davide Malacarne (Ita) Quick Step
8. Antonio Cruz (USA) BMC Racing Team
9. Guillaume Boivin (Can) Planet Energy
10. Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas all same time.
Overall classification after stage two
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia-HTC 7-00-29
2. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo at 10sec
3. Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank at 10sec
4. Moises Aldape Chavez (Mex) Team Type 1 at 12sec
5. Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Astana at 14sec
6. Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Saxo Bank at 16sec
7. Timothy Duggan (USA) Garmin-Slipstream at 17sec
8. Michael Rogers (Aus) Columbia-HTC at 17sec
9. Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Saxo Bank at 18sec
10. Kiel Reijnen (USA) Jelly Belly at 19sec
Mark Cavendish wins his second stage of Tour of Missouri by several bike lengths