Mark Cavendish Wins Stage Two of 2010 Vuelta a Catalunya
Team HTC-Columbia's Mark Cavendish has netted his first victory of the 2010 road cycling season in stage two of the Vuelta a Catalunya in Northern Spain. Team Milram's Paul Voss keeps overall race lead.
Team HTC-Columbia's Mark Cavendish has netted his first victory of the 2010 road cycling season in stage two of the Vuelta a Catalunya in Northern Spain.
Cavendish has had a tough early season because of illness, including tooth problems, but he raised his arms in victory at the end of the 182 kilometer stage from Salt to Banyoles. Second in the bunch sprint was Argentina's Juan Jose Haedo of Team Saxo Bank, with Aitor Galdos of Spain in third.
Team Milram's Paul Voss managed to keep the overall race lead that he secured by winning yesterday's individual prologue.
"Our team rode super today and supported me wonderfully," Paul Voß said in the Team Milram bus near the finish line. "We were forward the entire day, except the last 25 kilometer. That was difficult but it was worth it. In the finale Dominik Nerz and Robert Förster brought me into position for the sprint. It was a slightly climbing finish, so it was important to be at the front, especially in case the field fell apart and one could lost important seconds. Tomorrow will be more challenging but we will try to defend the jersey again," Voss added.
Team HTC-Columbia first worked hard to pull back a two-man breakaway, and then kept the race under control on a nine kilometer circuit in the last part of the stage for Cavendish.
"There were a lot of teams scraping for position at the end and it was quite dangerous." Cavendish commented after his win. "But even though we've got a young squad here and they're still learning the ropes, they stayed together and gave it 100 percent. Without them I wouldn't have been able to do my sprint. I wouldn't have been there."
The most prolific winner of the pro road cycling peloton in 2009, Cavendish said it had been hard not to take any victories before he finally netted his sprint win in Spain.
"By this point in the season last year I had six victories. This time the year began badly and not to have won anything so far has been frustrating. But my form's been getting better and better and the team never lost faith in me."
Cavendish's win is the 52nd of his professional career.