CW's British performances of 2011: No. 6
Mark Cavendish wins, Tour de France 2011, stage five
Number 6: Cavendish wins at Cap Frehel
Tour de France, July
The Cycling Weekly journalist who drove the final 10 kilometres of the Tour de France stage to Cap Fréhel on the Normandy coast and proclaimed it as 'not a day for Cav' shall remain nameless.
You'd have thought he'd have learned that you don't write off Mark Cavendish. Remember Aubenas 2009 when he got over a second-category climb that did for the rest of the sprinters?
Cap Fréhel was a difficult finish. Rolling roads and uphill all the way to the line.
The HTC train was not there for him with its usual number of carriages. So Cavendish had to do it by himself.
Thor Hushovd, who was in the yellow jersey, went for a very long one and ran out of steam.
Then Philippe Gilbert took over and looked like he had it in the bag. This was, after all a Gilbert-esque run-in.
But Cavendish made a long run at it, his head bowed lower over the front end of the bike than we usually see. That was indicative of how deep he was digging to get level with and then pass the Belgian.