2008 Tour de France Results - Stage 8
Cavendish takes 2nd stage win; Kirchen maintains overall lead before first mountains.
A torrential downpour could not stop Briton Mark Cavendish from clinching a powerful bunch sprint win in the Tour de France on Saturday, with Team Columbia team-mate Gerald Ciolek in second.
For the 23-year-old Cavendish, his Toulouse stage win was his second victory in five days racing on the Tour, his ninth of the season and the 20th on the road in just 18 months as a professional.
“Just like a few days ago, I came from a long way back again at the finish, but I had the strength to take it all the way to the line which is what mattered.” Cavendish said afterwards.
“I was three places behind Gerald at one point but then I was able to get past the three of me before Gerald made his final acceleration which got me ahead. And then I gave it 100 percent.”
“The finish was perfect for us, taking first and second. It was all really beautiful.”
Adding to Columbia’s satisfaction, Cavendish and Ciolek’s team-mates Kim Kirchen and Thomas Lovkvist are still leading overall and in the Best Young Rider’s competition.
“The way we worked so hard together in the last few kilometres shows exactly why we are so successful as a team.” Kirchen said.
Talking about his experience of what it feels like to wear the yellow jersey, he added “it’s something every rider dreams of. I’ve had to wait ten years to do this, but I can assure you it’s been worth the wait!”
Asked if he plans to go for the green jersey, Cavendish says that he still lacks the consistency to do so.
“My objective here is winning stages in the first week, but for the green jersey you need a lot of endurance and I’m still young.”
As for going all the way to Paris, Cavendish was adamant that he is “going to try. I have no intention of stopping. It wouldn’t be fair on my team-mates, my sponsor or the organisers. I’ll give it 100 percent.”
Stage 8: July 12, 2008: Tour de France: Figeac - Toulouse (173 km):
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Columbia 04:02:54
2 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Columbia
3 Jimmy Casper (Fra) Agritubel
4 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank
5 Robert Förster (Ger) Gerolsteiner
6 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram
7 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quick Step
8 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Française des Jeux
9 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole
10 Robert Hunter (RSA) Barloworld
11 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel
12 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Crédit Agricole
13 Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
14 Iñaki Isasi Flores (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
15 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas
16 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner
17 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Silence - Lotto
18 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone
19 Julian Dean (NZl) Team Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30
20 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
21 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank
22 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Rabobank
23 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner
24 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone
25 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Team Milram
26 Martijn Maaskant (Ned)