Skip to main content

Cavendish wins stage at Tour de France as Froome's overall lead cut

updated 2:48 PM EDT, Fri July 12, 2013
Mark Cavendish lost a sprint finish Thursday at the Tour de France but came out on top Friday in the 13th stage.
Mark Cavendish lost a sprint finish Thursday at the Tour de France but came out on top Friday in the 13th stage.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mark Cavendish wins the 13th stage of the Tour de France for his 25th stage victory
  • Cavendish gains ground on Peter Sagan in the points race for the green jersey
  • Chris Froome retains the overall lead but rival Alberto Contador makes up ground

(CNN) -- Mark Cavendish finally had reason to smile at the Tour de France, winning the 13th stage to make up ground on Peter Sagan in the race for the green jersey.

But Cavendish's fellow Brit, Chris Froome, didn't have as good of a day since main rival Alberto Contador cut into his overall lead.

"It was a difficult stage, it was a nervous stage, but finally I'm so excited to win," said Cavendish. "It's been a difficult few days and it's nice to be on the podium again."

Cavendish, who won his second stage this year and 25th all time, became embroiled in controversy Tuesday when he collided with Tom Veelers as part of a sprint finish.

Although he was cleared by race officials, Veelers heavily criticized Cavendish and called for him to be thrown out of cycling's most prestigious race.

Cavendish was then sprayed with urine by a fan as the difficult days continued and edged by Marcel Kittel on Thursday in another sprint finish after seemingly looking in control.

On Friday, though, Cavendish cruised past Sagan at the finish line.

How has cycling recovered?
Can cycling beat the cheats?

He was part of a group of racers who broke away from the pack -- Contador included -- with about 18 miles of the relatively flat 107-mile stage remaining.

Cavendish said his Omega Pharma-Quick Step teammates carried him throughout the stage.

"They gave everything for me yesterday and I let them down," said Cavendish, now 84 points behind Cannondale's Sagan. "Today I just sat there while eight guys rode until their legs fell off.

"I didn't really do anything today. I just crossed the finish line first. In the end it was just Sagan and myself. I was really happy to beat him."

Team Sky was unable to keep pace with the breakaway pack as crosswinds became a factor, leaving Froome behind two-time race winner Contador.

Froome didn't benefit from the support of Edvald Boasson Hagen, who was ruled out of the Tour after breaking his shoulder Thursday.

"I desperately wanted to get on to the Contador move but I was sitting a little too far back," said Froome. "I was just behind Cav's wheel when he sprinted across.

"I think he was the last guy to get across and again it's another reminder that this race is 100 percent open and that there is still everything to race for."

His lead of three minutes, 25 seconds shrunk, although it wasn't Alejandro Valverde in second. The Movistar rider slipped to 16th overall when he collided with another racer and damaged a wheel.

Cavendish downplays Armstrong impact
Cycling's Next Generation

Dutchman Bauke Mollema moved into second, 2:28 behind Froome, and Saxo-Tinkoff's Contador shaved a minute off Froome's advantage to pull to within 2:45.

"I knew I had a really good buffer already -- almost four minutes on Contador," said Froome. "And okay, I worked really hard to get that time gap but you can't win them all.

"It was a really tough day. I don't think anyone was expecting it to be this hard.

"On paper it was a flat day and it should have been a bunch sprint but with those crosswinds it definitely made the race a lot more exciting."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:19 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
He admits to having a "f**k you" attitude, but Lance Armstrong insists he "never gets crap" following his long-awaited admission of long-term doping.
updated 6:17 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
CNN's Alex Thomas talks to CNN.com writer Matt Majendie about his interview with Lance Armstrong.
updated 7:52 AM EDT, Wed August 13, 2014
He might have been best known for his acting career, but the late Robin Williams was a cycling fanatic.
updated 12:06 PM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Whisper it quietly, but after years of foreign domination the prospect of a French winner of the Tour de France is more than just a mere pipe dream.
updated 3:47 PM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Vincenzo Nibali became only the sixth man in history to win all three of cycling's major tours as he sealed victory in the 2014 Tour de France.
updated 11:00 AM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
Standing on the podium at London 2012, Joanna Rowsell achieved her greatest dream -- and gave hope to millions around the world.
updated 6:48 PM EDT, Mon July 7, 2014
The Tour de France is arguably the world's toughest event -- but it's just got a whole lot tougher.
updated 8:25 PM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
The Great DIvide
The primary joy of a bicycle is that, in its purest form, it's little more than a highly efficient way of walking.
updated 9:15 AM EDT, Wed May 28, 2014
David Kinjah njau and Davidson Kamau kihagi of Kenya in action during stage 2 of the 2007 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race.
David Kinjah won medal after medal -- but he also nurtured local Kenyan talent, like future Tour de France champion Chris Froome.
updated 7:40 AM EST, Wed March 5, 2014
Chris Froome and mentor David Kinjah
Winning the Tour de France may be one of sport's toughest challenges but Chris Froome believes today's cyclists have an equally arduous task.
updated 5:26 AM EST, Thu January 23, 2014
Dubbed "the fastest man on two wheels," Mark Cavendish is a formidable sprint cyclist.
ADVERTISEMENT