Cavendish sprints out of nowhere to Worlds victory ahead of Goss

Great Britain won the world road race championship for the first time in 46 years when Mark Cavendish finished off an incredible demonstration of team work and pace-making by his seven teammates with a perfectly judged sprint on the drag up to the finish to beat Australia's Matt Goss by a wheel. Germany's André Greipel took the bronze medal, just edging out Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) by a tyre's width.

Sweeping into the final straight, Cavendish was a long way back in the line, behind a clutch of Australians, Germans and Norwegians, and had a huge amount of work to do. But, showing outstanding coolness considering the situation, the Manxman picked his way towards the front, before finally nipping though the narrowest of gaps along the right-hand barrier to launch his sprint with 150m to the line.

In typical fashion, his initial jump carried him clear of his rivals. Goss, who had hesitated very briefly as Cavendish flashed by on his outside, came hard at the Briton as the line neared, but the Australian's effort came too late as Cavendish held on to become the first British winner of the men's world road title since Tom Simpson in 1965.

Cavendish's victory crowned a hugely impressive performance from the British team. Right from the early stages of the 266km race, the British septet riding in support of Cavendish set the pace on the front of the bunch, looking very much in control until the mayhem of the final kilometre.

Cavendish was quick to pay tribute to them. "We had eight of the best guys in the world, and this is the first time we've come together. They were incredible. They took the race on from start to finish and we won. I can't believe it," said Britain's new world champion.

"We knew three years ago when this course was announced, that it could be good for us. We put a plan together to come with the best group of guys to this race and to come away from it with the rainbow jersey. It's been three years in the making. The guys have worked so hard throughout the season to get points so that we could have eight riders here and, as you just saw, they rode incredibly. I feel so, so proud."

High speed from the start

In the days building up to the race, many of those taking part had said that they expected the pace to be hot right from the off, and that was exactly how the race shaped up. The huge field started very quickly on the 14km circuit that had an altitude gain of just 40 metres per lap. The average speed was close to 50km/h for the first 30 minutes as breaks went and were brought back. Even at this early point, though, the Great Britain team was prominent on the front of the bunch.

Eventually seven riders did get clear, with only two of the strongest nations represented. Pablo Lastras was up there for Spain, with Anthony Roux representing France. Also in the group were Christian Poos (Luxembourg), Maxim Iglinskiy (Kazakhstan), Oleg Chuzhda (Ukraine), Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia) and Tanel Kangert (Estonia). As these seven riders went to work, the bunch eased off a tad behind, allowing their lead to stretch to more than eight minutes before Great Britain's Steve Cummings and David Millar began to push the pace a little more quickly on the front of the peloton.

With the gap down to a little over four minutes with 148km covered, the first attack from the main group finally came. Heading up through the finish to complete the 11th of 19 laps, Belgium's Johan Van Summeren accelerated on the right-hand side of the road. France's Yoann Offredo got on his wheel and Italy's Luca Paolini sprinted across to make three. Belgium's Oliver Kaisen and Australia's Simon Clarke also made it across to the move. These five riders quickly began to eat into the lead break's advantage, with Offredo staying mostly at the back of the line with his teammate Roux up ahead.

Hushovd's defence stymied by crash

Back in the bunch, the British riders continued to set the pace with occasional help from the US and German teams. Coming through to complete the 13th lap and with six still to go, a crash toward the back of the field left a number of riders on the deck and halted many others. Among those affected were defending champion Thor Hushovd (Norway) and new world time trial champion Tony Martin (Germany), who had been expected to play an important lead-out role for Greipel at the finish.

The incident split the peloton. Although Hushovd and New Zealand's Jack Bauer did attempt to close the gap, this second group steadily fell further behind and completely out of contention.

Approaching the 200km mark, the two groups ahead of the main field joined forces, giving France and Belgium two riders each up front. The 11-strong group - Poos having fallen back to the main pack - led by just two minutes now, with Great Britain happy to lead a steady pursuit and chase down any other sallies off the front of the peloton.

The tension increases with three to go

With four laps to go, it briefly seemed that the British team's relentless pace-making was taking a heavy toll. An attack by Denmark's Anders Lund didn't ultimately come to anything, but several nations took the opportunity to send riders across to the Dane in an attempt to weaken Cavendish's teammates. However, the British riders quickly regained their positions on the front of the bunch and the Lund-inspired attack was nullified. But the question was: would Team GB be able to remain in charge when the race reached its most crucial moments?

By now the gap to the 11 leaders was hovering around the one-minute mark. More attacks went and were countered, notably one instigated by Switzerland's Michael Albasini and containing two Belgian riders, Sweden's Thomas Lövkvist and Australia's Michael Rogers. As this group was chased down, Denmark's Lars Bak jumped away, no doubt hoping that others riders would join him, but pressing on nevertheless when no one did.

Going into the penultimate lap, with the break now within sight of the peloton on the long straights and Bak in between, the powerful Frenchman Roux attacked from the front group. It was a well-timed move as the peloton were quickly on the riders Roux had spent a lot of the race cooperating with. But with just 20 seconds in hand and more than 20km to the finish, the French rider was never likely to stay out front for long.

Voeckler goes on the attack

In the end, Roux's long day was brought to a close by a familiar face. As the bunch closed, Thomas Voeckler (France) accelerated off the front, paused briefly with Roux to acknowledge his huge effort with a pat on the back, then pushed on again with Denmark's Nikki Sorensen and Belgium's Klaas Lodewijk for company.

This trio led by 18 seconds going into the last lap. A handful of kilometres into it, they were joined by Holland's Johnny Hoogerland, whose arrival saw Voeckler drop to the back of the line and significantly reduce his work rate.

Behind these four, time trial world silver medallist Bradley Wiggins was steaming along on the front of the bunch, cutting lumps off the small advantage the break had. Hoogerland gave all he had to drive the break along, but Wiggins had simply too much horsepower for the Dutchman and his three companions. Voeckler made one final effort with 7km remaining, but quickly eased off as Wiggins motored by.

Stunning Stannard paves way for Cav

By now the British team had plenty of company toward the front of the bunch. Australian, Italian and German jerseys were also massing, and it was the Australians who eventually took over from Wiggins with 3.5km to go. They had four riders working for Goss, and the Germans too emerged strongly, leaving the British team swamped and, for the first time all day, slipping back down the field.

Inside the final 2km, Britain's Ian Stannard, having done a stack of work already, manoeuvred his way up through the fast-moving pack with Cavendish on his wheel. Joined by Geraint Thomas, Stannard's effort took him to the very front of the line as the bunch swept around the final corner with 500 metres left up to the line.

Before Stannard pulled aside, Thomas looked back to see where Cavendish was. Realising that his sprinter was some way back in the pack, Thomas followed Stannard's example in swinging out of the way rather than upping the pace. For a moment it looked like the Brits had lost out in the very final kilometre, but the slight drop in pace at the front meant Cavendish was able to gain some vital ground as the Australians started to set up Goss for the finish.

As Goss prepared to move, Cavendish saw daylight to his right against the barriers, squeezed through the tightest of gaps and was gone. Team Great Britain's incredible day was about to reach the perfect conclusion.


Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Cavendish (Great Britain)5:40:27
2Matthew Harley Goss (Australia)Row 1 - Cell 2
3André Greipel (Germany)Row 2 - Cell 2
4Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland)Row 3 - Cell 2
5Jurgen Roelandts (Belgium)Row 4 - Cell 2
6Romain Feillu (France)Row 5 - Cell 2
7Borut Bozic (Slovenia)Row 6 - Cell 2
8Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)Row 7 - Cell 2
9Oscar Freire Gomez (Spain)Row 8 - Cell 2
10Tyler Farrar (United States Of America)Row 9 - Cell 2
11Denis Galimzyanov (Russian Federation)Row 10 - Cell 2
12Peter Sagan (Slovakia)Row 11 - Cell 2
13Anthony Ravard (France)Row 12 - Cell 2
14Daniele Bennati (Italy)Row 13 - Cell 2
15Rui Costa (Portugal)Row 14 - Cell 2
16Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Portugal)Row 15 - Cell 2
17Philippe Gilbert (Belgium)Row 16 - Cell 2
18Michael Morkov (Denmark)Row 17 - Cell 2
19David Veilleux (Canada)Row 18 - Cell 2
20Grega Bole (Slovenia)Row 19 - Cell 2
21Pim Ligthart (Netherlands)Row 20 - Cell 2
22Aleksejs Saramotins (Latvia)Row 21 - Cell 2
23Denys Kostyuk (Ukraine)Row 22 - Cell 2
24Taylor Phinney (United States Of America)Row 23 - Cell 2
25Gediminas Bagdonas (Lithuania)Row 24 - Cell 2
26Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark)Row 25 - Cell 2
27Yauheni Hutarovich (Belarus)Row 26 - Cell 2
28Marek Rutkiewicz (Poland)Row 27 - Cell 2
29Lars Boom (Netherlands)Row 28 - Cell 2
30Takashi Miyazawa (Japan)Row 29 - Cell 2
31Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland)Row 30 - Cell 2
32Lars Ytting Bak (Denmark)Row 31 - Cell 2
33Aliaksandr Kuschynski (Belarus)Row 32 - Cell 2
34Matija Kvasina (Croatia)Row 33 - Cell 2
35Johnny Hoogerland (Netherlands)Row 34 - Cell 2
36Matt Brammeier (Ireland)Row 35 - Cell 2
37Yoann Offredo (France)Row 36 - Cell 2
38Maciej Paterski (Poland)Row 37 - Cell 2
39Thomas Lövkvist (Sweden)Row 38 - Cell 2
40Sacha Modolo (Italy)Row 39 - Cell 2
41Andre Fernando S. Martins Cardoso (Portugal)Row 40 - Cell 2
42Heinrich Haussler (Australia)Row 41 - Cell 2
43Nicki Sörensen (Denmark)Row 42 - Cell 2
44Maarten Tjallingii (Netherlands)Row 43 - Cell 2
45Gorazd Stangelj (Slovenia)Row 44 - Cell 2
46Thomas Rohregger (Austria)Row 45 - Cell 2
47Gabriel Rasch (Norway)Row 46 - Cell 2
48Nick Nuyens (Belgium)Row 47 - Cell 2
49Juan José Haedo (Argentina)Row 48 - Cell 2
50Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia)Row 49 - Cell 2
51Nicolas Roche (Ireland)Row 50 - Cell 2
52Björn Leukemans (Belgium)Row 51 - Cell 2
53Tony Gallopin (France)Row 52 - Cell 2
54Fredrik Kessiakoff (Sweden)Row 53 - Cell 2
55Rene Mandri (Estonia)Row 54 - Cell 2
56Oleg Chuzhda (Ukraine)Row 55 - Cell 2
57Anders Lund (Denmark)Row 56 - Cell 2
58Filipe Duarte Sousa Cardoso (Portugal)Row 57 - Cell 2
59Ricardo Jorge Correia Mestre (Portugal)Row 58 - Cell 2
60Pieter Weening (Netherlands)Row 59 - Cell 2
61Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spain)Row 60 - Cell 2
62Bauke Mollema (Netherlands)Row 61 - Cell 2
63Klaas Lodewyck (Belgium)Row 62 - Cell 2
64Pavel Brutt (Russian Federation)Row 63 - Cell 2
65Brent Bookwalter (United States Of America)Row 64 - Cell 2
66Jure Kocjan (Slovenia)Row 65 - Cell 2
67Ignatas Konovalovas (Lithuania)Row 66 - Cell 2
68Peter Velits (Slovakia)Row 67 - Cell 2
69Martin Velits (Slovakia)Row 68 - Cell 2
70Sylvain Chavanel (France)Row 69 - Cell 2
71Aidis Kruopis (Lithuania)Row 70 - Cell 2
72Christopher Sutton (Australia)Row 71 - Cell 2
73Grégory Rast (Switzerland)Row 72 - Cell 2
74Baden Cooke (Australia)Row 73 - Cell 2
75Danilo Hondo (Germany)Row 74 - Cell 2
76Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia)Row 75 - Cell 2
77Francesco Gavazzi (Italy)Row 76 - Cell 2
78Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spain)Row 77 - Cell 2
79Simon Gerrans (Australia)Row 78 - Cell 2
80Elia Viviani (Italy)Row 79 - Cell 2
81Gerraint Thomas (Great Britain)Row 80 - Cell 2
82Daniel Oss (Italy)Row 81 - Cell 2
83Juan Manuel Garate Cepa (Spain)0:00:16
84Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Norway)Row 83 - Cell 2
85Vladimir Isaichev (Russian Federation)Row 84 - Cell 2
86Michael Albasini (Switzerland)0:00:19
87Martin Kohler (Switzerland)Row 86 - Cell 2
88Wouter Poels (Netherlands)Row 87 - Cell 2
89Steven Kruijswijk (Netherlands)Row 88 - Cell 2
90Daniel Martin (Ireland)Row 89 - Cell 2
91Stuart O`Grady (Australia)Row 90 - Cell 2
92Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spain)Row 91 - Cell 2
93Kevin De Weert (Belgium)Row 92 - Cell 2
94Benjamin King (United States Of America)Row 93 - Cell 2
95Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spain)Row 94 - Cell 2
96Marcel Sieberg (Germany)0:00:26
97Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spain)0:00:29
98Thomas Voeckler (France)0:00:31
99Ian Stannard (Great Britain)0:00:34
100Mathew Hayman (Australia)Row 99 - Cell 2
101Michael Rogers (Australia)0:00:38
102Simon Clarke (Australia)Row 101 - Cell 2
103Manuel Quinziato (Italy)0:00:42
104Matteo Tosatto (Italy)0:00:49
105Kristijan Koren (Slovenia)Row 104 - Cell 2
106Luca Paolini (Italy)0:00:52
107Giovanni Visconti (Italy)0:01:02
108Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain)0:03:14
109Olivier Kaisen (Belgium)0:04:00
110Mart Ojavee (Estonia)Row 109 - Cell 2
111John Degenkolb (Germany)Row 110 - Cell 2
112Maxim Iglinskiy (Kazakhstan)Row 111 - Cell 2
113Anthony Roux (France)0:06:34
114David Millar (Great Britain)0:08:22
115Jeremy Hunt (Great Britain)Row 114 - Cell 2
116Miguel Armando Ubeto Aponte (Venezuela)0:08:54
117Jonas Ljungblad (Sweden)Row 116 - Cell 2
118Greg Henderson (New Zealand)Row 117 - Cell 2
119Rafael Andriato (Brazil)Row 118 - Cell 2
120Fumiyuki Beppu (Japan)Row 119 - Cell 2
121Jack Bauer (New Zealand)Row 120 - Cell 2
122Nélson Filipe S Simoes Oliveira (Portugal)Row 121 - Cell 2
123Mehdi Sohrabi (Islamic Republic of Iran)Row 122 - Cell 2
124Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Colombia)Row 123 - Cell 2
125Ioannis Tamouridis (Greece)Row 124 - Cell 2
126Hossein Askari (Islamic Republic of Iran)Row 125 - Cell 2
127Carlos José Ochoa (Venezuela)Row 126 - Cell 2
128Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Colombia)Row 127 - Cell 2
129Chris Anker Sörensen (Denmark)Row 128 - Cell 2
130Tomas Aurelio Gil Martinez (Venezuela)Row 129 - Cell 2
131Christian Knees (Germany)Row 130 - Cell 2
132Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Argentina)Row 131 - Cell 2
133Yukiya Arashiro (Japan)Row 132 - Cell 2
134Andrei Nechita (Romania)Row 133 - Cell 2
135Rigoberto Uran Uran (Colombia)Row 134 - Cell 2
136Maximiliano Richeze (Argentina)Row 135 - Cell 2
137Hrvoje Miholjevic (Croatia)Row 136 - Cell 2
138Winer Andrew Anacona Gomez (Colombia)Row 137 - Cell 2
139Svein Tuft (Canada)Row 138 - Cell 2
140Radoslav Rogina (Croatia)Row 139 - Cell 2
141Ivan Mauricio Casas Buitrago (Colombia)Row 140 - Cell 2
142Kristijan Ðurasek (Croatia)Row 141 - Cell 2
143Daniel Teklehaymanot (Eritrea)Row 142 - Cell 2
144Yuri Metlushenko (Ukraine)Row 143 - Cell 2
145Oleksandr Sheydyk (Ukraine)Row 144 - Cell 2
146Carlos Ivan Oyarzun Guinez (Chile)Row 145 - Cell 2
147Anatoliy Pakhtusov (Ukraine)Row 146 - Cell 2
148Gonzalo Garrido (Chile)Row 147 - Cell 2
149Gregory Panizo (Brazil)Row 148 - Cell 2
150Laurent Didier (Luxembourg)Row 149 - Cell 2
151Michal Golas (Poland)Row 150 - Cell 2
152Julian Dean (New Zealand)Row 151 - Cell 2
153Oleksandr Kvachuk (Ukraine)Row 152 - Cell 2
154Ben Gastauer (Luxembourg)Row 153 - Cell 2
155Maciej Bodnar (Poland)Row 154 - Cell 2
156Bartosz Huzarski (Poland)Row 155 - Cell 2
157Matthew Busche (United States Of America)Row 156 - Cell 2
158Bernhard Eisel (Austria)Row 157 - Cell 2
159Mikhail Ignatyev (Russian Federation)Row 158 - Cell 2
160Alexander Porsev (Russian Federation)Row 159 - Cell 2
161Timofey Kritskiy (Russian Federation)Row 160 - Cell 2
162Yevgeniy Nepomnyachshiy (Kazakhstan)Row 161 - Cell 2
163Sergey Renev (Kazakhstan)Row 162 - Cell 2
164Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spain)Row 163 - Cell 2
165Niki Terpstra (Netherlands)Row 164 - Cell 2
166Tony Martin (Germany)Row 165 - Cell 2
167John Murphy (United States Of America)Row 166 - Cell 2
168Kanstantsin Siutsou (Belarus)Row 167 - Cell 2
169Dmitriy Fofonov (Kazakhstan)Row 168 - Cell 2
170Thor Hushovd (Norway)Row 169 - Cell 2
171Andreas Klier (Germany)Row 170 - Cell 2
172Samuel Dumoulin (France)Row 171 - Cell 2
173Jeffry Louder (United States Of America)Row 172 - Cell 2
174Timothy Duggan (United States Of America)Row 173 - Cell 2
175Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium)0:09:10
176Marcel Kittel (Germany)0:09:16
177Johan Van Summeren (Belgium)Row 176 - Cell 2
DNFSteve Cummings (Great Britain)Row 177 - Cell 2
DNFTanel Kangert (Estonia)Row 178 - Cell 2
DNFChristopher Froome (Great Britain)Row 179 - Cell 2
DNFAbdelati Saâdoune (Morocco)Row 180 - Cell 2
DNFHonorio Rafael Machado Perez (Venezuela)Row 181 - Cell 2
DNFAmir Zargari (Islamic Republic of Iran)Row 182 - Cell 2
DNFFerekalsi Debesay (Eritrea)Row 183 - Cell 2
DNFJan Barta (Czech Republic)Row 184 - Cell 2
DNFAndrey Sartasov (Chile)Row 185 - Cell 2
DNFKrisztian Lovassy (Hungary)Row 186 - Cell 2
DNFSemere Mengis (Eritrea)Row 187 - Cell 2
DNFAdil Jelloul (Morocco)Row 188 - Cell 2
DNFBert Grabsch (Germany)Row 189 - Cell 2
DNFJean-Pierre Drucker (Luxembourg)Row 190 - Cell 2
DNFFrank Schleck (Luxembourg)Row 191 - Cell 2
DNFIvan Stevic SRBRow 192 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Barry (Canada)Row 193 - Cell 2
DNFStefan Denifl (Austria)Row 194 - Cell 2
DNFTomislav Danculovic (Croatia)Row 195 - Cell 2
DNFMert Mutlu (Turkey)Row 196 - Cell 2
DNFLeonardo Fabio Duque (Colombia)Row 197 - Cell 2
DNFBlel Kadri (France)Row 198 - Cell 2
DNFPetr Bencik (Czech Republic)Row 199 - Cell 2
DNFArtur Albeiro Garcia Rincon (Venezuela)Row 200 - Cell 2
DNFAndrew Talansky (United States Of America)Row 201 - Cell 2
DNFVicente Reynes Mimo (Spain)Row 202 - Cell 2
DNFChristian Poos (Luxembourg)Row 203 - Cell 2
DNFAdnane Aarbia (Morocco)Row 204 - Cell 2
DNFMouhssine Lahsaini (Morocco)Row 205 - Cell 2
DNFIsmail Ayoune (Morocco)Row 206 - Cell 2
DNFMohamed Said El Ammoury (Morocco)Row 207 - Cell 2
DNFOtavio Bulgarelli (Brazil)Row 208 - Cell 2
DNSRoman Kreuziger (Czech Republic)Row 209 - Cell 2


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