Mark Cavendish wins London-Surrey Cycle Classic (video)

Manxman lays down marker in test event for London 2012 Olympics

Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) won the Olympic Games test event with a trademark sprint along the Mall in London on Sunday. The Manxman was led to the line perfectly by his teammates, avoided a crash within the final 3 kilometres and beat Sacha Modolo (Italy) and Samuel Dumoulin (France) in his first serious race since the Tour de France.

With the Olympics less than a year away Cavendish will take many positives from today's win but the Tour's green jersey was keen to stress that the hard work starts here and that today's course, comprising of just two laps of Box Hill - the Olympic route has 9 - will throw up a completely different and much tougher challenge.

"I can tell you that this is best group of British riders we've ever had. Together, this is the first real time we've ridden together as a unit and it was liking riding with my trade team or a team that had been together for two or three years. Everyone was spectacular and committed, giving 100 per cent and they just gelled. They knew what they had to do and they did it with passion," he said.

"I said even before the race today that you won’t even get a feel of how the race will go next year from what happens today. It's not just the hill, it's double the distance for the race. For the race it wasn't about getting a feel for next year's race. I'll have to be on my best form to win it.”

At least today Cavendish will have learnt how to race in the capital as the marked favourite. After an initial break of four riders escaped in the opening stages, it was Team England who began to chase once the lead went over the six-minute mark.

The break, consisting of Kristian House (Rapha Condor - Sharp), Liam Holohan (Team Raleigh), Tom Murray (Sigma Sport - Specialized) and Cleberson Weber (Brazil) had a 3-minute advantage as the race left Richmond Park but the lead stretched out to 6:32 after the 50km mark.

It stirred the bunch into life and despite brave resistance from the quartet up the road, their lead quickly began to drop. House claimed maximum points on the first and second ascents of Box Hill but on the second time Weber cracked and Murray followed him shortly afterwards.

With 30 kilometres to go, England - who admitted they were working in conjunction with Cavendish’s Great Britain team - increased the pace, despite Heinrich Haussler and Luca Paolini making a joint bid for glory. That pairing failed, however, and with House the final form of resistance, it was left to the sprinters to decide the race.

Or so it appeared. Having confirmed to Cyclingnews prior to the start that he would hang up his wheels at the end of the season, Kurt-Asle Arvesen made a daring bid for solo glory inside the final 5 kilometres. For the briefest of moments it looked possible as he drew out a 10 second lead, but with so many GB riders still present the likelihood of a sprint increased.

A crash in the finale ruled out Tyler Farrar (USA) who had already had to battle back from a puncture. The crash itself involved Cavendish and a contingent from the Japanese team. After the race Cavendish was quick to play down the incident.

"I was complaining about two Japanese riders at the finish. Most of them are professional riders so it's not like they've not ridden in the professional ranks. I think if you ask many people it takes a brave person to try and push me off my lead-out man and twice in the last 5km I had Japanese riders trying to do it. If I stay solid, they're not big guys, and they're going to bounce off me and come down."

Farrar was not the only rider held up, however, as the Australian lead-out also splintered, with only Stuart O'Grady and Matthew Goss making it through.

In the finishing straight, Cavendish, just as he does with HTC, made perfect use of his lead-out. Downing and then Hunt delivered him to the final few hundred meters in the perfect position, and he unleashed a powerful sprint to distance Sacha Modolo and Samuel Dumoulin.

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This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.

Results

1 Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) 3:18:11
2 Sacha Modolo (Italy)
3 Samuel Dumoulin (France)
4 Stuart O'grady (Australia)
5 Michal Golas (Poland)
6 Borut Bozic (Slovenia)
7 Alexander Kristoff (Norway)
8 Matthew Goss (Australia)
9 Ian Bibby (Great Britain)
10 Andrew Tennant (Great Britain)
11 Bartlomiej Matysiak (Poland)
12 Dan Craven (Namibia)
13 Jeremy Hunt (Great Britain)
14 Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland)
15 Jure Kocjan (Slovenia) 0:00:07
16 Roger Hammond (Great Britain) 0:00:10
17 Ian Stannard (Great Britain) 0:00:15
18 Russell Downing (Great Britain) 0:00:25
19 David Clarke (Great Britain) 0:00:42
20 Marcin Bialoblocki (Poland)
21 Marcel Kalz (Germany)
22 Tom Thill (Luxembourg)
23 Sergey Pomoshnikov (Russian Federation)
24 Gorazd Stangelj (Slovenia)
25 Evgeniy Bakhin (Russian Federation)
26 Jason White (Great Britain)
27 Samuel Bennett (Ireland)
28 Yoann Offredo (France)
29 Tom Last (Great Britain)
30 David Mccann (Ireland)
31 Yukiya Arashiro (Japan)
32 Pit Schlechter (Luxembourg)
33 Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia)
34 Tony Gallopin (France)
35 Kurt Asle Arvesen (Norway)
36 Daniel Fleeman (Great Britain)
37 Vladimir Miholjevic (Croatia)
38 Deni Banicek (Croatia)
39 Diego Ulissi (Italy)
40 Simon Richardson (Great Britain)
41 Liam Holohan (Great Britain)
42 Jonathan Hivert (France)
43 Evan Oliphant (Great Britain)
44 Patrick Bercz (Germany)
45 James Moss (Great Britain)
46 Blel Kadri (France)
47 Rafael Rodriguez Segarra (Spain)
48 Joseph Perrett (Great Britain)
49 Jonathan Mcevoy (Great Britain)
50 Gael Le Bellec (France)
51 Maciej Paterski (Poland)
52 Christian Meier (Canada)
53 Russell Hampton (Great Britain)
54 Kristjan Koren (Slovenia)
55 Richard Handley (Great Britain)
56 Julian Dean (New Zealand)
57 Edward Clancy (Great Britain)
58 Oscar Gatto (Italy)
59 Maciej Bodnar (Poland)
60 Clinton Avery (New Zealand)
61 Stephen Cummings (Great Britain)
62 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Norway)
63 Eros Capecchi (Italy)
64 Bob Jungels (Luxembourg)
65 Luca Paolini (Italy)
66 Michael Cuming (Great Britain)
67 Ty Magner (United States Of America)
68 Ian Boswell (United States Of America)
69 Tom David (New Zealand)
70 Leigh Howard (Australia) 0:00:50
71 Heinrich Haussler (Australia)
72 Daniel Lloyd (Great Britain)
73 Tom Boonen (Belgium) 0:01:33
74 Kevin De Weert (Belgium)
75 Jan Bakelants (Belgium)
76 Jurgen Van De Walle (Belgium)
77 Alexandre Blain (France)
78 Michael Matthews (Australia) 0:01:43
79 Peter Kennaugh (Great Britain)
80 Alex Dowsett (Great Britain)
81 Tom Murray (Great Britain) 0:02:02
82 Kristian House (Great Britain)
83 Andrew Fenn (Great Britain) 0:02:36
84 David Veilleux (Canada) 0:03:10
85 Dominique Rollin (Canada)
86 Yukihiro Doi (Japan)
87 Tyler Farrar (United States Of America) 0:03:23
88 Gavin Mannion (United States Of America) 0:05:24
89 Luka Grubic (Croatia) 0:06:05
90 Stuart Wight (Canada)
91 James Sampson (Great Britain)
92 Marcel Six (Great Britain)
93 Tom Kohn (Luxembourg)
94 Roman Koltsov (Russian Federation)
95 Ian Knight (Great Britain)
96 Adil Jelloul (Morocco)
97 Peter Hawkins (Ireland)
98 Andrew Griffiths (Great Britain)
99 Gregorlry Panizo (Brazil)
100 Viktor Sudeikin (Russian Federation)
101 Jason Christie (New Zealand)
102 Fabian Schnaidt (Germany)
103 Mouhssine Lahsaini (Morocco)
104 Niko Eeckhout (Belgium)
105 Stijn Joseph (Belgium)
106 Jose-Eriberto Medeiros (Brazil)
107 Matthew Jones (Great Britain)
108 Jake Hales (Great Britain)
109 Gideoni Monteiro (Brazil)
110 Marcel Meisen (Germany)
111 Ian Wilkinson (Great Britain)
112 Richard Hepworth (Great Britain)
113 Gediminas Bagdonas (Lithuania)
114 Simon Gaywood (Great Britain)
115 Peter Williams (Great Britain)
116 Richard Cartland (Great Britain)
117 Tanner Putt (United States Of America)
118 Christopher Froome (Great Britain)
119 Philip Lavery (Ireland)
120 Takashi Miyazawa (Japan) 0:07:21
121 Shinichi Fukushima (Japan) 0:10:46
122 Jamie Riggs (Canada)
123 Ross Creber (Great Britain)
124 Tom Schanen (Luxembourg)
125 Graham Briggs (Great Britain)
126 Cleberson Weber (Brazil) 0:12:12
127 Christopher Mcnamara (Great Britain) 0:14:30
128 Martyn Irvine (Ireland) 0:16:14
129 Felix English (Ireland)
130 Theo Rheinhardt (Germany)
DNF Dale Appleby (Great Britain)
DNF Stephen Gallagher (Ireland)
DNF Yusuke Hatanaka (Japan)
DNF Abdeiati Saadoune (Morocco)
DNF Alexey Velikanov (Russian Federation)
DNF Steven Lampier (Great Britain)
DNF Tarik Chaoufi (Morocco)
DNF Mohamed Said El Ammoury (Morocco)
DNS Ole Martin Olmheim (Norway)

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