Cavendish survives the first Tour mountain stage with ease
Mark Cavendish, Tour de France 2009, stage 4 TTT
Mark Cavendish (Columbia) finished safely in the main gruppetto on stage 10 and kept the green jersey for another day. He finished 137th at 28-29 behind Brice Feillu (Agritubel).
His main rival for the green jersey, Thor Hushovd (Cervelo), finished in the same time but at the back of the gruppetto, in 171st place. He still leads Hushovd by one point in the green jersey competition. Cavendish has 106 points, to Hushovd's 105.
Cavendish had to change his back wheel at the foot of the climb after a rider smashed into him but he quickly got back to the main bunch and rode to the finish with the likes of Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank), Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and team mate Mark Renshaw.
“I wasn't in the crash, it was on the right. I stopped for a few seconds but then a rider ploughed into my back wheel and ripped out the spokes. I'm lucky I don't have to buy my own wheels,” he said.
“It was a bit of nightmare and I had to wait but Bernie gave me his wheel and so I was able to chase and get back on. I would have preferred to take it easy in the gruppetto rather than rider hard to get there but its okay. I survived.”
Cavendish confirmed that he is climbing much better this year.
“I just try and ride through the climbs. I'm suffering but not more than anyone else. It's just a case of getting through it now, rather than struggling to get through it.” he said.
Stage seven: Feillu wins at Arcalis, Nocentini takes yellow, Contador leap-frogs Lance
Stage six: Millar's brave bid denied on Barcelona hill as Hushovd triumphs
Stage five: Voeckler survives chase to win his first Tour stage
Stage four: Astana on top but Armstrong misses yellow by hundredths of a second
Live Tour de France stage four TTT coverage
Stage three: Cavendish wins second stage as Armstrong distances Contador
Stage two: Cavendish takes first sprint
Stage one: Cancellara wins opening time trial
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