Cycling fans in Sacramento were treated to one of the sport's most exciting moments Sunday when the Team HTC-Columbia leadout train put sprinter Mark Cavendish in perfect position for a Stage 1 victory. Cavendish executed his part flawlessly, powering to the line while holding off hard-charging J.J. Haedo of Team Saxo Bank to take the win and be the first to don the yellow jersey.
The event's move to May won early praises as beautiful weather followed the riders from Nevada City to the state capital. An early four-man break held a nearly six-minute advantage at one point. However, the peloton, led mainly by HTC-Columbia, reeled them in time to begin the finishing circuits as a single unit.
As Cavendish's team took control of the front on the final lap, riders behind them weren't so fortunate. Among those taken down in crashes on the final lap included Quick Step's Tom Boonen, BMC Racing Team's George Hincapie and Stuart O'Grady of Team Saxo Bank. All finished the race.
Mark Cavendish (left) beats J.J. Haedo to the finish in Sacramento.
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Stage 1 Results
- Mark Cavendish – Team Columbia-HTC 4:04:46
- Juan Jose Haedo - Team Saxo Bank +00:00
- Alexander Kristoff - BMC Racing Team +00:00
- Robert Hunter - Garmin-Transitions +00:00
- Jonathan Cantwell - Fly V Australia +00:00
- Marcus Burghardt - BMC Racing Team +00:00
- Guillaume Boivin - SpiderTech Powered by Planet Energy +00:00
- Andreas Stauff - Quick Step +00:00
- Nikolas Maes - Quick Step +00:00
- Thomas Leezer - Rabobank +00:00
Sunday, May 16 — 104.3 miles
The 2010 Tour begins in first-time host Nevada City before making its way south to the state's capital city. With just one major climb shortly before its mid-point, this course is designed to be a day for the sprinters, who will get to showcase their stuff in three finishing circuits around Sacramento
? Sprint points at: Auburn, Meadow Vista
? KOM points at: California Route 49