Mark Cavendish Powers to Victory in 2011 Road Cycling World Championships in Denmark

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09/25/2011| 0 comments
by Reuters and Roadcycling.com
Mark Cavendish powers to world championship victory in Denmark ahead of Matt Goss and André Greipel. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Mark Cavendish powers to world championship victory in Denmark ahead of Matt Goss and André Greipel. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Mark Cavendish Powers to Victory in 2011 Road Cycling World Championships in Denmark

Mark Cavendish became the first British male rider to win the road race world title in 46 years when he edged the field in a mass sprint earlier this afternoon.

Mark Cavendish became the first British male rider to win the road race world title in 46 years when he edged the field in a mass sprint earlier this afternoon.

At the end of the 266 kilometer ride from Copenhagen, Manxman Cavendish beat Australian Matthew Goss, with German André Greipel coming home third.

"There couldn't be another result after the way the guys rode today. I'm so so proud," Cavendish, the first Briton to win the title since the late Tom Simpson in 1965, told Eurosport.

"Hopefully we can make the double with this title and the Olympics next year."

Cavendish, who already has twenty Tour de France stages to his name, benefited all day from tremendous work by his Team GB team mates who controlled the field, working tirelessly in front of the peloton.

The 26-year-old 'Manx missile' was sheltered and nurtured by Bradley Wiggins, David Millar, Geraint Thomas, Jeremy Hunt, Ian Stannard, Steve Cummings and Chris Froome.

Tour de France green jersey winner Cavendish, widely rumoured to join Team Sky next season, sneaked through in the slightly uphill final straight and then left no room for doubt.

He succeeds Norway's Thor Hushovd who lost all chance when he was held up by a massive crash with 85 kilometers left.

"It's incredible. It's been a three-year project. When the course was announced, we saw it as the best opportunity ... to bring the rainbow jersey back to Great Britain. Ever since the course was announced we have been preparing for this," Cavendish told a news conference.

To achieve this, Britain needed more than the three riders they had managed to qualify last year and the country's recent results gave Team GB the right to field an eight-man team in Denmark.

"It's not just the eight guys here today who all rode so well, but all 13, 14 professional riders of Great Britain who worked all year to secure points. A World Champion title is something special and I'm going to wear the rainbow jersey with pride over the next year," Cavendish told Roadcycling.com and Roadcycling.mobi.

The race got off to a nervous start, with France and Spain putting a rider each in the breakaway as some 300,000 cycling fans turned out along the course, according to organisers.

Anthony Roux and Pablo Lastras, along with four others, built an eight-minute gap that Britain and Germany, hoping for a massive sprint, controlled from the front of the peloton.

With 108 kilometers to go, five riders, including France's Yoann Offredo, Paris-Roubaix winner Johan Van Summeren of Belgium and Luca Paolini of Italy, launched a counter-attack, forcing the sprinters' teams to work hard in front of the pack.

The crash 85 kilometers from the race finish cost Hushovd and around 90 other riders about a minute.

With 70 kilometers left the early escapees were caught but still had a one-minute lead over the peloton and at this point Team Great Britain stepped up the pace.

Roux tried his luck solo with 34 kms left but the main pack caught the remains of the breakaway with

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