Stage 13 of the Tour de France 2010 is a course for sprinters, and HTC Columbia’s Mark Cavendish fell shortly behind Alexandre Vinokourov, who won the stage. Although Cavendish placed 2nd, his strong performance was without his leadout man Mark Renshaw, who was ejected for head butting.
Taking 2nd place is hard to swallow, but Cavendish was content on his achievement.
“That was pretty incredible when he went on the climb; we were riding full gas,” Cavendish said. “I had to use my whole team the whole day so I didn’t have anyone. Maybe if some of the other sprinters’ teams decided to ride we could have brought him back, but that was a very impressive ride to get that win. I’m satisfied.”
Cavendish is now in third place overall, and is in the run for the green jersey, right behind Thor Hushovd of Cervelo. Hushovd finished eighth place on Stage 13, and green jersey leader Alessandro Petacchi riding for Lampre finished third. Cavendish is focusing on stage wins, and not worried about the smaller points.
“It’s not worth using the team up for just a couple of points,” Cavendish said. The intermediate sprints award 6, 4 and 2 points for first through third. Stage finishes award points 25 deep, beginning with 35 points for first.
“I’m not the same type of rider as Thor,” Cavendish said. “It’s not possible for me to go in the mountains and get points solo like that. I’ve got to rely on the sprints.”
Cavendish also responded to his teammate Mark Renshaw about being ejected from the Tour: “We’ve got a great group of guys here. But it’s really, really difficult without Mark. With him I’m almost guaranteed. I miss him,” Cavendish said. “I miss him as a roommate, also.”