Mark Cavendish likes nothing better than to win, and has been known to be unhappy when he doesn't. But he was gracious in defeat after the second stage of the Ster ZLM Toer, where the Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider finished third behind winner Theo Bos (Blanco) and Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol). Cavendish conceded that Bos “was just simply faster” at the finish in Breda.
The stage was marked, not unexpectedly, by heavy winds and echelons, which split the peloton, although the top sprinters remained in the lead group. “We had a strong team and we helped split it in the crosswinds” Cavendish said on the team's website.
“The guys rode strong all day and with the guys riding like that I really wanted to win today. I was motivated. I got good position in the final, 1 kilometer with the wind slightly behind on Greipel's wheel I thought 'oh this is good, I got good position.'
“Slight downhill finish, Theo Bos jumped early and it was absolutely spot on. He didn't fight for Greipel's wheel. He stayed right behind me and I think he planned to jump early. It was incredible, he rode an intelligent sprint, he did it alone and he was just simply faster. So, there's no win today.”
Cavendish said he was sorry for not rewarding his team, but was pleased with the team's strong performance as the Tour de France approaches.
“It shows we're in good condition and we can be in the final with the majority of our teammates," he said.