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Cavendish lays down London 2012 marker

Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) won the Olympic Games test event with a trademark sprint along the Mall in London on Sunday. The Manxman was led to the line perfectly by his teammates, avoided a crash within the final 3 kilometres and beat Sacha Modolo (Italy) and Samuel Dumoulin (France) in his first serious race since the Tour de France.

With the Olympics less than a year away Cavendish will take many positives from today's win but the Tour's green jersey was keen to stress that the hard work starts here and that today's course, comprising of just two laps of Box Hill - the Olympic route has 9 - will throw up a completely different and much tougher challenge.

"I can tell you that this is best group of British riders we've ever had. Together, this is the first real time we've ridden together as a unit and it was liking riding with my trade team or a team that had been together for two or three years. Everyone was spectacular and committed, giving 100 per cent and they just gelled. They knew what they had to do and they did it with passion," he said.

"I said even before the race today that you won’t even get a feel of how the race will go next year from what happens today. It's not just the hill, it's double the distance for the race. For the race it wasn't about getting a feel for next year's race. I'll have to be on my best form to win it.”

At least today Cavendish will have learnt how to race in the capital as the marked favourite. After an initial break of four riders escaped in the opening stages, it was Team England who began to chase once the lead went over the six-minute mark.

The break, consisting of Kristian House (Rapha Condor - Sharp), Liam Holohan (Team Raleigh), Tom Murray (Sigma Sport - Specialized) and Cleberson Weber (Brazil) had a 3-minute advantage as the race left Richmond Park but the lead stretched out to 6:32 after the 50km mark.

It stirred the bunch into life and despite brave resistance from the quartet up the road, their lead quickly began to drop. House claimed maximum points on the first and second ascents of Box Hill but on the second time Weber cracked and Murray followed him shortly afterwards.

With 30 kilometres to go, England - who admitted they were working in conjunction with Cavendish’s Great Britain team - increased the pace, despite Heinrich Haussler and Luca Paolini making a joint bid for glory. That pairing failed, however, and with House the final form of resistance, it was left to the sprinters to decide the race.

Or so it appeared. Having confirmed to Cyclingnews prior to the start that he would hang up his wheels at the end of the season, Kurt-Asle Arvesen made a daring bid for solo glory inside the final 5 kilometres. For the briefest of moments it looked possible as he drew out a 10 second lead, but with so many GB riders still present the likelihood of a sprint increased.

A crash in the finale ruled out Tyler Farrar (USA) who had already had to battle back from a puncture. The crash itself involved Cavendish and a contingent from the Japanese team. After the race Cavendish was quick to play down the incident.

"I was complaining about two Japanese riders at the finish. Most of them are professional riders so it's not like they've not ridden in the professional ranks. I think if you ask many people it takes a brave person to try and push me off my lead-out man and twice in the last 5km I had Japanese riders trying to do it. If I stay solid, they're not big guys, and they're going to bounce off me and come down."

Farrar was not the only rider held up, however, as the Australian lead-out also splintered, with only Stuart O'Grady and Matthew Goss making it through.

In the finishing straight, Cavendish, just as he does with HTC, made perfect use of his lead-out. Downing and then Hunt delivered him to the final few hundred meters in the perfect position, and he unleashed a powerful sprint to distance Sacha Modolo and Samuel Dumoulin.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Cavendish (Great Britain)3:18:11
2Sacha Modolo (Italy)
3Samuel Dumoulin (France)
4Stuart O'grady (Australia)
5Michal Golas (Poland)
6Borut Bozic (Slovenia)
7Alexander Kristoff (Norway)
8Matthew Goss (Australia)
9Ian Bibby (Great Britain)
10Andrew Tennant (Great Britain)
11Bartlomiej Matysiak (Poland)
12Dan Craven (Namibia)
13Jeremy Hunt (Great Britain)
14Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland)
15Jure Kocjan (Slovenia)0:00:07
16Roger Hammond (Great Britain)0:00:10
17Ian Stannard (Great Britain)0:00:15
18Russell Downing (Great Britain)0:00:25
19David Clarke (Great Britain)0:00:42
20Marcin Bialoblocki (Poland)
21Marcel Kalz (Germany)
22Tom Thill (Luxembourg)
23Sergey Pomoshnikov (Russian Federation)
24Gorazd Stangelj (Slovenia)
25Evgeniy Bakhin (Russian Federation)
26Jason White (Great Britain)
27Samuel Bennett (Ireland)
28Yoann Offredo (France)
29Tom Last (Great Britain)
30David Mccann (Ireland)
31Yukiya Arashiro (Japan)
32Pit Schlechter (Luxembourg)
33Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia)
34Tony Gallopin (France)
35Kurt Asle Arvesen (Norway)
36Daniel Fleeman (Great Britain)
37Vladimir Miholjevic (Croatia)
38Deni Banicek (Croatia)
39Diego Ulissi (Italy)
40Simon Richardson (Great Britain)
41Liam Holohan (Great Britain)
42Jonathan Hivert (France)
43Evan Oliphant (Great Britain)
44Patrick Bercz (Germany)
45James Moss (Great Britain)
46Blel Kadri (France)
47Rafael Rodriguez Segarra (Spain)
48Joseph Perrett (Great Britain)
49Jonathan Mcevoy (Great Britain)
50Gael Le Bellec (France)
51Maciej Paterski (Poland)
52Christian Meier (Canada)
53Russell Hampton (Great Britain)
54Kristjan Koren (Slovenia)
55Richard Handley (Great Britain)
56Julian Dean (New Zealand)
57Edward Clancy (Great Britain)
58Oscar Gatto (Italy)
59Maciej Bodnar (Poland)
60Clinton Avery (New Zealand)
61Stephen Cummings (Great Britain)
62Lars Petter Nordhaug (Norway)
63Eros Capecchi (Italy)
64Bob Jungels (Luxembourg)
65Luca Paolini (Italy)
66Michael Cuming (Great Britain)
67Ty Magner (United States Of America)
68Ian Boswell (United States Of America)
69Tom David (New Zealand)
70Leigh Howard (Australia)0:00:50
71Heinrich Haussler (Australia)
72Daniel Lloyd (Great Britain)
73Tom Boonen (Belgium)0:01:33
74Kevin De Weert (Belgium)
75Jan Bakelants (Belgium)
76Jurgen Van De Walle (Belgium)
77Alexandre Blain (France)
78Michael Matthews (Australia)0:01:43
79Peter Kennaugh (Great Britain)
80Alex Dowsett (Great Britain)
81Tom Murray (Great Britain)0:02:02
82Kristian House (Great Britain)
83Andrew Fenn (Great Britain)0:02:36
84David Veilleux (Canada)0:03:10
85Dominique Rollin (Canada)
86Yukihiro Doi (Japan)
87Tyler Farrar (United States Of America)0:03:23
88Gavin Mannion (United States Of America)0:05:24
89Luka Grubic (Croatia)0:06:05
90Stuart Wight (Canada)
91James Sampson (Great Britain)
92Marcel Six (Great Britain)
93Tom Kohn (Luxembourg)
94Roman Koltsov (Russian Federation)
95Ian Knight (Great Britain)
96Adil Jelloul (Morocco)
97Peter Hawkins (Ireland)
98Andrew Griffiths (Great Britain)
99Gregorlry Panizo (Brazil)
100Viktor Sudeikin (Russian Federation)
101Jason Christie (New Zealand)
102Fabian Schnaidt (Germany)
103Mouhssine Lahsaini (Morocco)
104Niko Eeckhout (Belgium)
105Stijn Joseph (Belgium)
106Jose-Eriberto Medeiros (Brazil)
107Matthew Jones (Great Britain)
108Jake Hales (Great Britain)
109Gideoni Monteiro (Brazil)
110Marcel Meisen (Germany)
111Ian Wilkinson (Great Britain)
112Richard Hepworth (Great Britain)
113Gediminas Bagdonas (Lithuania)
114Simon Gaywood (Great Britain)
115Peter Williams (Great Britain)
116Richard Cartland (Great Britain)
117Tanner Putt (United States Of America)
118Christopher Froome (Great Britain)
119Philip Lavery (Ireland)
120Takashi Miyazawa (Japan)0:07:21
121Shinichi Fukushima (Japan)0:10:46
122Jamie Riggs (Canada)
123Ross Creber (Great Britain)
124Tom Schanen (Luxembourg)
125Graham Briggs (Great Britain)
126Cleberson Weber (Brazil)0:12:12
127Christopher Mcnamara (Great Britain)0:14:30
128Martyn Irvine (Ireland)0:16:14
129Felix English (Ireland)
130Theo Rheinhardt (Germany)
DNFDale Appleby (Great Britain)
DNFStephen Gallagher (Ireland)
DNFYusuke Hatanaka (Japan)
DNFAbdeiati Saadoune (Morocco)
DNFAlexey Velikanov (Russian Federation)
DNFSteven Lampier (Great Britain)
DNFTarik Chaoufi (Morocco)
DNFMohamed Said El Ammoury (Morocco)
DNSOle Martin Olmheim (Norway)

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