Published: 11:43 03/07/2012
Mark Cavendish produced a masterful display of sprinting to land his 21st Tour stage win on Monday causing Betfred to go even money for the world champion to register four wins or more on this year’s Tour.
Cavendish had to go it alone for the final 5km of the 207.5km second stage from Vise to Tournai, dropping his scant two-man support team to utilise the bigger trains of his rivals. The Brit cleverly moved between teams before outsprinting Andre Greipel and Matt Goss to the line.
The victory put Cavendish sixth in the all-time list of Stage winners, one behind Lance Armstrong and into second place in the points classification led by odds on favourite for the Green Jersey, Peter Sangan. Betfred offer 5/1 for Cavendish to win the classification for a second successive year, but his task has been made more difficult by Team Sky’s decision to focus on Bradley Wiggins' attempt to win the coveted Yellow Jersey.
Cavendish was always a lone wolf but was given the full resources of the HTC-Highroad team who supported him through five Stage wins in last year’s Tour. The cycling star from the Isle of Man has his eyes on clocking up more stage wins in the race and can see a benefit to supporting his team mate’s bid for the main prize.
"It was always going to be difficult to win stages and if anything it made me more relaxed”, said Cavendish. "In the past I always had a dedicated team to a sprinter. With a team I should win most of the time so there was always that pressure to win.”
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