Britain: Cavendish wins prologue

First Brit to lead since race's 2004 revival

Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile) won the 2007 Tour of Britain 2.5km prologue at Crystal Palace Sunday, becoming the first Brit in the history of the race's 2004 revival to wear the leader's yellow jersey. Cavendish also won the E.ON King of the Mountains jersey by being the fastest rider to the high point of the 2.5km circuit.

Russian teammates Nikolai Tusov and Alexander Serov (Tinkoff Credit Systems) recorded times of 02'28.82" and 02'31.24" respectively, holding poll position on the leader board for some time. In a great day for home grown talent, there were four British riders within the top 10, namely Geraint Thomas (Barloworld), Ed Clancy (Team GB) and Chris Newton (Recycling.co.uk).

"It was fantastic to win the prologue today and it means a great deal to be wearing the yellow jersey tomorrow," the 22-year-old Cavendish said on T-Mobile's website. "The crowds were superb and gave me a real incentive as I came off the prologue ramp. It is also the first time that I have led a King of the Mountains competition.

"I'm so proud to win here in front of the British fans who cheered and encouraged me all the way," Cavendish added. "I have come close to a Tour of Britain stage win many times, but it's great that it all finally clicked for me today. I thought my time had fallen short, so I actually shook my head in frustration when I crossed the line. Then I heard I had the fastest time, so it was a great surprise. I have a track background, so it's not unusual for someone like me to fast on a short course, but I'm still surprised."

Cavendish shaved four seconds off the previous best time (2'28.82") set by Serov, and found himself in the hot seat with just five more riders to come in. There was late drama when Trusov, last rider to start, recorded a 2'28.82", but Cavendish held on for a popular British win in front of his home crowd.

The win was all the more remarkable as Cavendish had a wisdom tooth removed just over a week ago.

"The operation knocked-me back a bit and I wasn't able to train properly for a few days," he said. "But maybe in hindsight, that has left me fresher coming into this race."

Though now in yellow the Manx sprinter's focus remains on stage wins: "It's great to be in yellow, but I have to be realistic and keep my focus on winning stages. I'm now just two wins of my season target of eleven. But there are a lot of good sprinters here so it will be hard."

The seven-day tour continues Monday with a relatively flat 140km road race from Reading to Southampton.

"The goal will be to defend yellow and maybe also get into the mix for a sprint win," Cavendish said. "But it will be a difficult stage to control, that's for sure. It will be very aggressive and if I lose yellow tomorrow, then I have team mates who can win it back on another day."

Monday's stage, supported by the South-East England Development Agency (SEEDA), starts at the Palmer Park velodrome at 10.30 a.m. The route travels via Pamber Heath (the first Sprint stage) to Whitehill, which is the first E.ON King of the Mountains hill climb, to the scenic area that provided the inspiration for Richard Adam's novel Watership Down. The route then goes to Stockbridge for the second Sprint stage, following the River Test valley to Kimbridge where the second E.ON Kind of the Mountains starts. The route then travels through the scenic New Forest before entering Southampton and finishing at Hoglands Park. The riders are anticipated to arrive in Southampton at approximately 2 p.m.

Results

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr|T- Mobile)0:02:27 
2 Nikolai Trusov (Rus|Tinkoff Credit Systems)0:00:01 
3 Alexander Serov (Rus|Tinkoff Credit Systems)0:00:04 
4 Zakkari Dempster (Aus|South Australia.com-AIS)  
5 Luke Roberts (Aus|Team CSC)  
6 Frantisek Rabon (Cze|T- Mobile)0:00:05 
7 Geraint Thomas (GBr|Barloworld)  
8 Ed Clancy (GBr|Great Britain)0:00:06 
9 Cristopher Newton (GBr|Recycling.co.uk)  
10 Emilien Berges (Fra|Agritubel)  
11 Robbie Hunter (RSA|Barloworld)0:00:07 
12 Tom Veelers (Ned|Rabobank)  
13 Daniele Contrini (Ita|Tinkoff Credit Systems)  
14 David Blanco (Spa|Duja Tavira)  
15 Romain Feillu (Fra|Agritubel)0:00:08 
16 Andrew Tennant (GBr|Great Britain)  
17 Coen Vermelfoort (Ned|Rabobank)  
18 Salvatore Commesso (Ita|Tinkoff Credit Systems)  
19 Piet Rooijakkers (Ned|Skil-Shimano)  
20 Matthew Goss (Aus|Team CSC)  
21 Martin Garrido (Arg|Duja Tavira)  
22 Gene Bates (Aus|South Australia.com-AIS)  
23 Paul Manning (GBr|Great Britain)  
24 Simon Clarke (Aus|South Australia.com-AIS)0:00:09 
25 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned|Skil-Shimano)  
26 Daniel Lloyd (GBr|DFL-Cycling News-Litespeed)  
27 Alex Dowsett (GBr|Great Britain)  
28 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra|Agritubel)  
29 Manuel Lloret Zaragozi (Spa|Fuerteventura-Canarias)0:00:10 
30 Aart Vierhouten (Ned|Skil-Shimano)  
31 John Bellis (GBr|Great Britain)  
32 Servais Knaven (Ned|T- Mobile)  
33 Bernardo Riccio (Ita|Tinkoff Credit Systems)  
34 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus|South Australia.com-AIS)  
35 Samuel Caldeira (Por|Duja Tavira)  
36 Tony Gibb (GBr|Plowman Craven-Evans Cycles)0:00:11 
37 David Munoz Banon (Spa|Fuerteventura-Canarias)  
38 Thomas Berkhout (Ned|Rabobank)  
39 Johnnie Walker (Aus|South Australia.com-AIS)  
40 Nico Mattan (Bel|DFL-Cycling News-Litespeed)0:00:12 
41 Martijn Keizer (Ned|Rabobank)  
42 James Millard (GBr|Plowman Craven-Evans Cycles)  
43 Linus Gerdemann (Ger|T- Mobile)  
44 Paul Sneeboer (Ned|Duja Tavira)  
45 Vicente David Bernabeu Armengol (Spa|Fuerteventura-Canarias)  
46 Juan Jose Haedo (Arg|Team CSC)  
47 Russell Hampton (GBr|Great Britain)0:00:13 
48 Evan Oliphant (GBr|DFL-Cycling News-Litespeed)  
49 Roger Hammond (GBr|T- Mobile)  
50 Martijn Maaskant (Ned|Rabobank)  
51 Ben Swift (GBr|Barloworld)  
52 Ian Stannard (GBr|T- Mobile)  
53 Jose Adrian Bonilla Bonilla (CRc|Fuerteventura-Canarias)  
54 Boy Van Poppel (Ned|Rabobank)  
55 Serge Pauwels (Bel|Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen)  
56 Hans Dekkers (Ned|Agritubel)0:00:14 
57 Lars Bak (Den|Team CSC)  
57 Enrico Degano (Ita|Barloworld)  
59 Christoff Van Heerden (RSA|Team Konica Minolta)  
60 David Deroo (Fra|Skil-Shimano)  
61 Adrian Palomares Vilaplana (Spa|Fuerteventura-Canarias)  
62 Elia Aggiano (Ita|Tinkoff Credit Systems)  
62 Kenny De Ketele (Bel|Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen)  
64 Martin Pedersen (Den|Team CSC)0:00:15 
65 Gordon McCauley (NZl|Plowman Craven-Evans Cycles)  
66 Evert Verbist (Bel|Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen)  
67 Steven Caethoven (Bel|Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen)  
68 Diego Caccia (Ita|Barloworld)0:00:16 
68 Christopher Froome (Ken|Team Konica Minolta)  
70 Freddy Bichot (Fra|Agritubel)  
71 Simon Gaywood (GBr|Plowman Craven-Evans Cycles)  
72 Kristian House (GBr|Navigators Insurance)  
73 Floris Goesinnen (Ned|Skil-Shimano)  
74 Giosue' Bonomi (Ita|Barloworld)  
75 Cedrid Coutouly (Fra|Agritubel)  
76 Hamish Haynes (GBr|DFL-Cycling News-Litespeed)0:00:17 
77 Tom Stubbe (Bel|Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen)0:00:18 
78 Anders Lund (Den|Team CSC)  
79 Nelson Vitorino (Por|Duja Tavira)0:00:19 
80 Ricardo Mestre (Por|Duja Tavira)  
81 Michael Wolf (USA|Navigators Insurance)0:00:20 
82 Rob Partridge (GBr|Recycling.co.uk)  
83 Simon Richardson (GBr|Plowman Craven-Evans Cycles)  
84 Roel Vanmuysen (Bel|Navigators Insurance)0:00:21 
85 Tom Diggle (GBr|Recycling.co.uk)  
86 Bernie Sulzberger (Aus|DFL-Cycling News-Litespeed)  
87 Travis Allen (RSA|Team Konica Minolta)  
87 Mikel Artetxte Gezeuraga (Spa|Fuerteventura-Canarias)  
89 Daniel Fleeman (GBr|DFL-Cycling News-Litespeed)0:00:22 
90 Rodney Green (RSA|Team Konica Minolta)  
91 Kurt Hovelijnck (Bel|Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen)0:00:23 
92 Bert De Backer (Bel|Navigators Insurance)0:00:24 
93 David Rodriguez (USA|Navigators Insurance)  
94 Matt Cooke (USA|Navigators Insurance)  
95 Simon Holt (GBr|Recycling.co.uk)0:00:25 
96 Adam Bonser (GBr|Recycling.co.uk)0:00:27 
97 Dennis Van Niekerk (RSA|Team Konica Minolta)0:00:28 
98 Jay Thompson (RSA|Team Konica Minolta)  
99 Ryan Bonser (GBr|Recycling.co.uk)0:00:29 
100 Kenny Van Hummel (Ned|Skil-Shimano)0:00:47 
101 James McCallum (GBr|Plowman Craven-Evans Cycles)0:00:56 

© BikeRadar 2007

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