Mark Cavendish Wins Stage 9 of Giro d'Italia 2009
Cavendish completes Team Columbia-Highroad hat trick in 2009 Giro d'Italia.
Mark Cavendish powered to Team Columbia-Highroad’s third straight stage win in the Giro d’Italia 2009 on Sunday. The young Columbia-Highroad rider’s victory in the heart of Milan immediately follows Columbia-Highroad’s victories on Friday with Edvald Boasson Hagen and on Saturday with Konstantin Sivtsov.
In a textbook final lead-out, Cavendish’s teammate Boasson Hagen upped the pace in the last kilometer, and then Mark Renshaw increased the speed even further. Finally with 250 meters to go, Cavendish powered away to take his ninth win of the season and 37th of his career. It is also his third Giro d’Italia stage win in just two participations.
“This is the stage I was really targeting,” Cavendish said afterwards. “I messed up the first sprint [on stage two of the race] but I’ve made up for it today. There’s a limited number of sprints in this year’s Giro, so I wanted this one really badly. I got a perfect lead-out from my teammates, we added an extra rider in the final kilometers and that gave us a bit more speed for the last 1000 meters.” Cavendish added, “Edvald Boasson Hagen did a great turn to five hundred meters and then Mark [Renshaw] took me to about 250 to go. Then I just went for it to make sure nobody came past me.”
“Mark really wanted to win in Milan and at the Giro. He always wants to win and this time we got it right,” added team manager Bob Stapleton. “We learned from our mistakes in the first sprint and perfected the lead out train by adding another rider. Winning three stages one after the other is what you can only really dream about, so it’s amazing to see it actually happen. It proves a lot about the team and how we work well together and how we have a team packed with great young riders.”
The ninth stage was ridden under protest by the riders and did not count towards the overall classification. The riders protested against what they found to be a very difficult race course in Milano. This was preceded by Pedro Horrillo's (Team Rabobank) serious crash on Saturday, where he crashed on a descent and fell about 60 meters down the moutain side and is still in the hospital in a critical condition. The whole team here at Roadcycling.com wishes Horillo a speedy recovery.
On the decision to neutralize most of the stage Lance Armstrong (Team Astana .. or Team Faded) commented that "Unfortunately not the best day for the fans or the riders. We (the peloton) collectively took the decision to neutralize most of the race due to circuit. Tram tacks running same direction as the course, parked cars on the roads, etc. Anyhow, it lit up at the end."
Armstrong added that "Cavendish got another stage win. Good for him, great kid. Rest day tomorrow then the "real" Giro starts." Stay tuned to Roadcycling.com to follow the action.