Fifth Stage Win for Cavendish-Stage 20 TdF
Mark Cavendish of HTC-Columbia adds Stage 20 of Tour de France to his name as he bested Alessandro Petacchi of Lampre-Farnese and Julian Dean of Garmin-Transitions at the 102.5km ride from Longjumeau to Paris. Alberto Contador remains at the top overall, winning his third Tour de France in four years.
The stage began about half an hour later due to a media circus when leading team classification Radioshack has its riders Lance Armstrong and the rest, wearing black jerseys with the number 28. This was a tribute to the 28 million cancer patients worldwide, however UCI forbade them to ride in it and ordered them to get back into team jerseys or get disqualified. After some media exposure, team RadioShack team complied.
The stage began with a breakaway of 12 riders at 35km, including Lance Armstrong. They maintained a 20 second lead but sprinters began to dominate and relay. At 12km, Christian Knees of Team Milram attacked, leaving seven men in the front. Armstrong dropped and Karsten Kroon (BMC Racing) and Nicki Sorensen (Saxo Bank) joined Knees on the last lap up front of the pelotn by 14 seconds.
However, a group of 20 men came up on the final stretch, swallowing the trio. Other contenders for the stage win were Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky), Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) and Thor Hushovd (Cervelo Test Team). Still, Cavendish closed the gap between himself and the finish line with a powerful effort, leaving Petacchi, Dean and the rest behind.