Cavendish wins the Clasica de Almeria

Manxman beats Lobato and teammate Renshaw in the sprint

Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) continued his run of early season success by winning the Clasica de Almeria one-day race in Spain.

The Manxman yet again got excellent support from his teammates, who chased down the break of the day and controlled the attacks in the hilly first half of the race and the wind-affected flatter finale.

After a late crash took out some of their rivals, Mark Renshaw gave Cavendish a perfect lead out, allowing him to beat Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar), with Renshaw finishing third. Cavendish crossed the line with his arms open in celebration. It was the 124th victory of his professional career.

Only 58 riders finished in the front group, with many of the other sprinters unable to make the selection, yet further proof of Cavendish's excellent early-season form.

"Yesterday I didn't really feel good during the race at Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia, but today the team was really motivated," Cavendish said. "We started riding from kilometer zero. We were always in front, in the first 10 positions of the group the entire race. We also rode strong in the wind, and made the decision to break up the bunch in the crosswind after the last climb.

"With 30 kilometers to go Katusha and Movistar moved up to help us out, so the front group went full gas until the finish line," Cavendish added. "In the sprint Zdenek Stybar began the leadout into the final 450 meters. Then Mark Renshaw led me out, and I was in his slipstream until 150 meters to go. By the time I went it was just a matter of finishing off the race for the win. It was perfect. I am super happy and proud about the way the team controlled the race the entire day."

A day in the hills before the fast chase

The 183km Clasica de Almeria is known as a race for the sprinters but the hilly profile in the first part of the race means the fast men and their teams always have to work hard for success.

This year Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Romain Sicard (Europcar), Migel Angel Benito (Caja Rural-RGA), Arthur Van Overberghe (Topsport Vlaanderen) and Unai Intziarte (Murias) formed the breakaway of the day for the peloton to chase.

They went away after just seven kilometres and quickly opened a gap, that touched a maximum of 5:30. Sicard topped the El Chive climb first after 77km of racing as Van Overberghe and Intziarte suffered. The remaining trio then reached the Lucainena climb with a lead of 3:15, with 60km left to race but lack real unity.

The final 60km was largely downhill or flat and the cat and mouse chase began in earnest. However not every rider made it through the hills and survived the echelons that formed in the finale -a testament to Cavendish's form and the determination of his teammates to set him up.

Etixx-QuickStep lead the chase with Katusha and Movistar also helping with the work as the riders powered back to Almeria.
The late crash, just two kilometres from the finish, wrecked the hopes of several teams, including MTN-Qhubeka, who was hoping Tyler Farrar could contest the sprint, and Trek Factory Racing, who had Fábio Silvestre for the finish.

Etixx-QuickStep was well placed near the front and avoided the crash, with Renshaw again using his experience and expertise to lead out Cavendish in Almeria.


#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx - Quick Step4:36:19 
2Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Esp) Movistar Team  
3Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx - Quick Step  
4Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
5Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
6Alexander Porsev (Rus) Team Katusha  
7Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
8Grega Bole (Slo) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
9Oscar Gatto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
10Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Team Katusha  
11Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
12Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling  
13Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ  
14Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar  
15Jérôme Pineau (Fra) IAM Cycling  
16Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
17Patrick Schelling (Sui) IAM Cycling  
18Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Crédits  
19Fabio Taborre (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
20Clement Chevrier (Fra) IAM Cycling  
21Beñat Txoperena Matxikote (Esp) Murias Taldea  
22David Arroyo Duran (Esp) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA  
23Matthew Brammeier (Irl) MTN - Qhubeka  
24Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek Factory Racing  
25Johan Vansummeren (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
26Antoine Duchesne (Can) Team Europcar  
27Adrian Honkisz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
28Oliver Naesen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:00:05 
29Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick Step0:00:07 
30Fränk Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing0:00:08 
31Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
32Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Esp) Astana Pro Team  
33Marc Soler Gimenez (Esp) Movistar Team0:00:20 
34Davide Malacarne (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:00:27 
35Ken Hanson (USA) UnitedHealthcare0:00:35 
36Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha0:00:36 
37Fabio Silvestre (Pol) Trek Factory Racing  
38Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Esp) Movistar Team0:00:55 
39Miguel Angel Benito Diez (Esp) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA0:00:58 
40Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:08 
41Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
42Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar  
43Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha0:01:12 
44Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team Katusha  
45Alberto Losada Alguacil (Esp) Team Katusha  
46Tony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar0:01:14 
47Tyler Farrar (USA) MTN - Qhubeka0:01:34 
48Daniele Ratto (Ita) UnitedHealthcare0:01:40 
49Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
50Daniel Navarro Garcia (Esp) Cofidis, Solutions Crédits  
51Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Esp) Etixx - Quick Step  
52Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Crédits  
53Jean-Christophe Péraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
54Davide Appollonio (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:01:43 
55Marco Bandiera (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
56Hayden Roulston (NZl) Trek Factory Racing0:01:58 
57Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing  
58Romain Sicard (Fra) Team Europcar0:02:00 
59Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar  
60Rubén Fernandez Andujar (Esp) Movistar Team  
61Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Crédits0:02:57 
62José Joao Pimenta Costa Mendes (Por) Bora-Argon 180:05:15 
63Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18  
64Francesco Lasca (Ita) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA  
65David Belda Garcia (Esp) Burgos-BH  
66Ricardo Vilela (Por) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA  
67Daniil Fominykh (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
68Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
69Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ  
70Jonathan Fumeaux (Sui) IAM Cycling  
71Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bora-Argon 18  
72Andrey Solomennikov (Rus) RusVelo  
73Alessio Taliani (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
74Amaury Capiot (Ger) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
75Ibai Salas (Esp) Burgos-BH  
76Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
77Imanol Estevez Salas (Esp) Murias Taldea  
78Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar  
79Egoitz Garcia Etxegibel (Esp) Murias Taldea  
80Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Argon 18  
81David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Esp) Etixx - Quick Step  
82Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Esp) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA  
83Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare  
84Marco Canola (Ita) UnitedHealthcare  
85Roman Kustadinchev (Rus) RusVelo  
86Serghei Tvetcov (Rou) Androni Giocattoli  
87Nick Dougall (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
88Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ  
89Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) IAM Cycling  
90Jan Barta (Cze) Bora-Argon 18  
91Igor Anton Hernandez (Esp) Movistar Team  
92Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Esp) Cofidis, Solutions Crédits  
93Dario Hernandez Illana (Esp) Burgos-BH  
94Calvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing  
95Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Crédits  
96Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ  
97Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
98Branislau Samoilau (Blr) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
99Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha  
100Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ  
101Yohan Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Crédits  
102Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Trek Factory Racing  
103Robert Förster (Ger) UnitedHealthcare  
104Davide Frattini (Ita) UnitedHealthcare  
105Federico Zurlo (Ita) UnitedHealthcare  
106Stephen Cummings (GBr) MTN - Qhubeka  
107Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Argon 180:09:35 
108Eneko Lizarralde (Esp) Murias Taldea  
109Ander Barrenetxea (Esp) Murias Taldea  
110Jon Ander Insausti Irastorza (Esp) Murias Taldea  
111Aleksandr Komin (Rus) RusVelo  
112Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
113Songezo Jim (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
114Unai Intziarte (Esp) Murias Taldea  
115Alexander Foliforov (Rus) RusVelo  
116Josef Cerny (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
117Artem Ovechkin (Rus) RusVelo  
118Alexander Rybakov (Rus) RusVelo  
119Serguei Firsanov (Rus) RusVelo  
120Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (Fra) FDJ  
121Arthur Vanoverberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
122Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ  
123Simon Pellaud (Sui) IAM Cycling  
DNFBjorn Thurau (Ger) Bora-Argon 18  
DNFFloris De Tier (Esp) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
DNFJuan Carlos Riutort Martinez (Esp) Burgos-BH  
DNFSebastian Mascaro Rigo (Esp) Burgos-BH  
DNFÁlvaro Robredo Crespo (Esp) Burgos-BH  
DNFUnai Arranz Alonso (Esp) Burgos-BH  
DNFRein Taaramäe (Esp) Astana Pro Team  
DNFGianluca Brambilla (Est) Etixx - Quick Step  
DNFJulian Alaphilippe (Esp) Etixx - Quick Step  
DNFJosé Gonçalves (Por) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA  
DNFEduard Prades (Esp) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA  
DNFJavier Moreno (Esp) Movistar Team  
DNFBeñat Intxausti (Esp) Movistar Team  
DNSSander Helven (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  


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