July 17, 2011
Cavendish wins fourth Tour stage
By SPORTS NETWORK
Montpellier, France - Mark Cavendish of Britain has won Stage 15 of the Tour de France, while Frenchman Thomas Voeckler held on to the coveted yellow jersey as the overall leader of cycling’s most prestigious event.
Cavendish sprinted to his fourth stage win of this year’s event and 19th of his career, completing the 192.5-kilometer trek from Limoux to Montpellier in four hours, 20 minutes and 24 seconds. He fended off a late challenge from American Tyler Farrar in the dash to the finish line. Italians Alessandro Petacchi and Daniel Oss were also in pursuit of a stage victory.
“I didn’t feel that good today to be honest but I don’t think anybody else did either,” Cavendish said. “It was a really nervous day, you saw everyone fighting for the front the whole day. I’m lucky that I’ve got a group of guys like I have to keep me out of trouble at the front and that kind of took the pressure off a bit, but it’s still hard. It was up and down, there were crosswinds the whole day it was a difficult stage but it was a sprint and the guys controlled it. They delivered me perfectly to the last 200 meters.”
Sunday’s stage was a mostly flat route that favored sprinters like Cavendish and followed three days of climbs in the Pyrenees.
There was no change in the overall standings heading into Monday’s rest day. Luxembourg’s Frank Schleck is still one minute, 49 seconds behind Voeckler, who has led since the crash-filled ninth stage.
Australian Cadel Evans’ gap continues to be 2:06. He is followed by Andy Schleck, who remains another nine seconds back. Two-time defending champion Alberto Contador (4:00) is seventh.