15th: Cavendish leaves his mark
Mark Cavendish delivered a textbook sprint in the finale of the 193-kms 15th stage of the Tour de France on Sunday to clinch his fourth victory in this year's event.india Updated: Jul 17, 2011 22:45 IST
Mark Cavendish delivered a textbook sprint in the finale of the 193-kms 15th stage of the Tour de France on Sunday to clinch his fourth victory in this year's event.
Perfectly set up by his lead-out man Mark Renshaw, the Briton surged with 200 metres to go before the finish line in Montpellier to easily beat American Tyler Farrar and Italian Alessandro Petacchi.
The win, his 19th overall in the Tour de France, strengthened the Manxman's top spot in the race for the green jersey.
In the points classification, Cavendish now leads Spaniard Jose Joaquin Rojas by 37 points and Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert by 71 points before the second rest day in this Tour.
The overall leader's yellow jersey remained on the back of Frenchman Thomas Voeckler, who finished within the main pack. Voeckler leads Luxembourg's Frank Schleck by one minute and 49 seconds with Australian Cadel Evans third 2:06 behind.
The long ride along windy roads from Limoux included a long breakaway involving Dutchman Niki Terpstra, Russian Mikhail Ignatyev and Frenchmen SamuelDumoulin, Mickael Delage and Anthony Delaplace.
The last of the escapees, Terpstra, was caught two kilometres from the line.
Vinokourov ends professional career
Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov, forced out of the Tour de France by a crash in the ninth stage, confirmed on Sunday he was ending his professional career.
"I'm still hoping to make it back on a bike, but as an amateur, for my health. As a professional, I'm stopping here, they will find another role for me in the (Astana) team," the 37-year-old rider told France Televisions. The Kazakh rider, winner of the Spanish Vuelta in 2006 and third in the 2003 Tour de France, broke his thigh and suffered hip injuries after being involved in a massive pile-up on the road to St Flour last Sunday. He is expected to become manager of Kazakh team Astana next season.