Cavendish in Green after Stage Victory

Stage 11: Britain’s Mark Cavendish blasted to the eighteenth Tour de France stage win of his career on Wednesday, the third of the 2011 race and a victory which also earned him the lead in the points competition.

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The HTC-Highroad sprinter was the fastest in stage eleven from Blaye-les-Mines to Lavaur, out-sprinting André Greipel and Tyler Farrar to take his seventh victory of the 2011 season. With twenty-eight Grand Tour stage wins in his palmares, Cavendish said he was delighted to have the green jersey of points leader again.

“It’s incredible to have the green jersey, it’s the most beautiful jersey in the world. I have to thank my team-mates for the work they did today, even the guys who are in the top ten overall gave it one hundred percent and that shows what a great team we are. There are two more bunch sprints in this year’s race, one in Montpellier and the other in Paris and I want to try to win both of them.”

“It’s not easy fighting for the green jersey but I’m going to keep going and try to keep hold of it right through to the end.”

Team Sky had their Norwegian rider in the sprint, Edvald Boasson Hagen, who finished a crediable 5th saying afterwards “It’s been nice to have these opportunities in the sprints but my job will change now and I’ll be working to help Rigoberto (Urán) in the mountains if I am unable to get in a break. We will still have the freedom to do that early in the day because there is a chance it could stay away, but if the move goes and I am not in it, that is the plan. I hope I can do a good job for him and he is able to climb well.”

In terms of Thursday’s stage he added: “Last year we rode the Tourmalet on both sides so I know what to expect, and I hope the weather isn’t as bad as what is forecast. I’m actually starting to get used to the bad weather now at the Tour though. The day after tomorrow could be a good one for a breakaway as well and I would like to get in that, but from then on it will be about taking things day by day and just riding as well as possible.”

“The end of the race seems a long way away but this second half is shorter in kilometres, which is a nice thought, although it’s also harder in terms of the climbing!”

Sean Yates, Team Sky Sports Director: “I didn’t see today’s finish properly but it was clearly fairly hectic and Eddy said he got bumped off the wheel and it didn’t quite work out in the end. He didn’t really get a clean sprint because of the way he got a bit baulked but they were in there and trying to do the business. And Cav was in the sort of shape today that he can win no matter what.”

“Hats off to him, not just for the win but also the fact that his team had been riding on the front all day and he was also bouncing back after not quite coming up with the goods yesterday. Now it’s a big change of scenery – everyone has already had a hard 11 days and we haven’t even hit the mountains yet. There are a lot of tired legs and also a certain amount of anticipation as to exactly what’s going to happen – will Contador attack and so on?”

“Everyone is a bit nervous as there’s no one team that’s having to do all the work. Usually it’s everyone trailing Alberto and his team doing all the work but not this time; they are not going to take up the work and the other teams seem a little bit uneasy in terms of who they should be co-operating with. I certainly think there’s going to be a big shake-up tomorrow among the first 20 or so. We’ll be hoping that Rigoberto will be in there and moving himself up the classement”


Stage 11
1 Mark Cavendish, HTC-Highroad 3:46:07
2 André Greipel, Omega Pharma-Lotto
3 Tyler Farrar, Team Garmin-Cervelo
4 Denis Galimzyanov, Katusha Team
5 Edvald Boasson Hagen, Sky Procycling
6 Romain Feillu, Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
7 Jose Joaquin Rojas, Movistar Team
8 Sébastien Turgot, Team Europcar
9 Francisco José Ventoso, Movistar Team
10 William Bonnet, FDJ

24 Geraint Thomas, Sky Procycling
113 Ben Swift, Sky Procycling
126 David Millar, Team Garmin-Cervelo

1. Thomas Voeckler, Team Europcar 45:52:39
2. Luis Leon Sanchez, Rabobank Cycling Team 0:01:49
3. Cadel Evans, BMC Racing Team 0:02:26
4. Fränk Schleck, Leopard Trek 0:02:29
5. Andy Schleck, Leopard Trek 0:02:37
6. Tony Martin, HTC-Highroad 0:02:38
7. Peter Velits, HTC-Highroad
8. Andreas Klöden, Team RadioShack 0:02:43
9. Philippe Gilbert, Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:02:55
10. Jakob Fuglsang, Leopard Trek 0:03:08

28. David Millar, Team Garmin-Cervelo
31. Geraint Thomas, Sky Procycling 0:05:51
110. Mark Cavendish, HTC-Highroad 0:45:42
116. Ben Swift, Sky Procycling

1. Mark Cavendish, HTC-Highroad 251  pts
2. Jose Joaquin Rojas, Movistar Team 235
3. Philippe Gilbert, Omega Pharma-Lotto 231
4. André Greipel, Omega Pharma-Lotto 164
5. Thor Hushovd, Team Garmin-Cervelo 163
1. Johnny Hoogerland. Vacansoleil

1. Robert Gesink Rabobank Cycling Team 45:56:40

5. Geraint Thomas Sky Procycling 1:50