Mark Cavendish Catapults to Win in Final Stage of the 2009 Tour de France
Team Columbia-HTC's Mark Cavendish and teammate Mark Renshaw blasted to first and second place in the final stage of the Tour de France 2009 ending in Paris on Sunday. Cavendish and Renshaw broke away from the head of the pack in the final corner, with Cavendish celebrating his sixth stage victory and first ever finish in the Tour de France.
The Columbia-HTC rider's victory came on the Champs Elysées in the heart of the French capital, on a finishing circuit for the Tour's final stage which is often classified as the sprinters' unofficial World Championship. "Winning here in Paris is one of the most spectacular moments any sprinter can have," Cavendish said afterwards.
"But it's one thing to do that sprint and another thing to execute it, and I'm always put in the best position possible by my team. I've got the most talented group of individuals I could ask for helping me to do that. It takes a lot of special people to make sure everything is done perfectly and that's what the guys do. I always said with that pressure on me, there's no excuse for not winning so I have to do it."
Cavendish has now netted stages two, three, ten, 11, 19 and 21 of the Tour de France this year. Sunday's first place is the 19th victory of his season and the tenth Tour de France stage win of his career.
"I said before I came the Tour de France that I wanted the stage win and a finish and anything else would be a bonus. Having taken six wins and finished in Paris as well, I can't go away from this Tour disappointed with what I've achieved."
Alberto Contador is the overall winner of the Tour de France 2009. Andy Schleck (Team Saxo Bank) finished 2nd and Lance Armstrong (Team Astana) 3rd overall.
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