Oakley's Mark Cavendish Sprints To Stage One Win At The Tour of California
Oakley’s Mark Cavendish, who surged to the front in the waning meters of the 104.3-mile trip from Nevada City to Sacramento, with the help of his teammates, won the opening stage of the Tour of California on Sunday. Oakley’s Juan Jose Haedo of Argentina finished second, while Oakley’s Alexander Kristoff finished third.
Cavendish, a predicted favorite and 10-time Tour de France stage winner, is known as the best sprinter in the world right now. Sunday’s stage one race was one of three stages in the eight-day race guaranteed to end in a bunch sprint, so his win, to most, was inevitable.
As Cavendish crossed the line in the state Capitol in front of a cheering crowd, he celebrated by simply raising his hands to the sky.
“I’m lucky that I can trust those guys in front of me, and they deliver me perfect,” Cavendish said of the HTC-Columbia team that helped catapult him to and over the finish line. “I know that if I’m delivered to the right place, then I will cross the line first.”
Cavendish said he had to go full throttle into a slight headwind to beat out Oakley’s Haedo, whose reaction was later relayed to reporters by a race official. “It’s not as easy to beat Mark Cavendish as it looks on TV,” Haedo was said to have said.
Brain Holm, the assistant team director for HTC-Columbia commented, “He [Cavendish] makes everyone grow a few percent. I don’t know how he does it, but he handles the pressure better than anyone I’ve ever met.”