Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Friday, 20 July 2012

2012 Tour de France: brilliant win by Mark Cavendish makes it 22!!

Mark Cavendish produced a brilliant long sprint at Brive-la-Gaillard to just catch the breakaway group close to the line, while comfortably distancing André Griepel, Matthew Goss, Peter Sagan, Tyler Farrar and others. This win takes Mark Cavendish to an amazing 22 stage victories – the same number as André Darrigade, the great French sprinter, as well as Lance Armstrong. All that pent-up energy built up over the past three weeks acting as a domestique to Bradley Wiggins was released with some 500 metres to go. The overhead video shows him passing the remains of the breakaway – Luis-Leon Sanchez and Nicolas Roche – as though they were standing still. Quite extraordinary!  

Cav managed to get himself over the Côte de Lissac-sur-Couze at 10K and then back in position in the Sky train. As they got into Brive the peloton was led out by Bradley Wiggins, then Edvard Boasson Hagen, who had been in the break. Mark left EBH just after the last corner to catch and then overtake the remains of the breakaway making an unstoppable surge for the line.   

Article in The Independent here about André Darrigade accepting that Cav would overtake his record. Mark has now equalled it and could break it on Sunday in Paris. On this sort of form with the Sky train it looks very possible!

Now only three riders have won more stages: the great Eddy Merckx (34), Bernard Hinault (28) and André Ledcq (25). See here list of all time Tour stage winners. Mark is still only 27 and Meckx, Hinault and Leduc were all in their 30s when they won their last stages. 22 wins in just five Tours is a quite astonishing achievement. 

Bradley Wiggins remains comfortably in Yellow and short of a disaster in tomorrow's time trial will be the first Briton to win the Tour de France.

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