Saturday, 19 May 2012
Giro d'Italia 2012: why Mark Cavendish is a great champion
Today the Giro d'Italia (Tour of Italy) hits the mountains. This is the start of a really tough last week that will select the overall winner of the 2012 edition. Yesterday Mark Cavendish showed again why he is a great champion – one of the greatest sprinters of all time. Possibly the best ever?
In yesterday's finish Mark appeared to be blocked in as the sprinters and their trains charged for the finish line. Watching this video clip it is clear from overhead how Mark remains calm and is able to find a way through, even freewheeling just before the gap opens up. Then he has that remarkable acceleration that immediately takes him clear and he wins by a substantial margin – more than a bike length.
Cavendish is a great champion because he delivers under pressure and is able to improvise in difficult situations like yesterday when the Sky train didn't quite work perfectly at the end. More here in last year's Tour de France when he won a real tough sprint at the end of Stage 5.
Although he keeps calm in a sprint Mark is certainly no robot – instead can be highly emotional as he shows here in the first of his five victories (in Montargis) in the 2010 Tour de France.