The so-called “Manx Missile” has won the opening stage of the 2016 Tour de France, gaining the opportunity to wear the famous yellow jersey for the first time in his career. Cavendish sprinted to the finish line, securing his 27th stage win.
Le Tour de France started today and with it the adrenaline of the three-week race, that makes both racers and the audience nervous and thrilled. The British sprinter Mark Cavendish has marked the beginning of the competition by winning the yellow jersey.
The 2016 first stage of the race, started in Mont-Saint-Michel and racers faced 188 km and high crosswinds ahead of them. The Manx Missile managed to finish on the stage in the shortest time with the help of his Dimension Data team.
Marcel Kittel from Germany and Peter Sagan from Slovakia were breathing down Cavendish’s neck for the finishing kilometers of the race. Until his team released him from the peloton as other riders crashed, he sprinted his way to the finish line.
“To pull on the yellow jersey is an honour,” assured Cavendish to the press. “It’s going to be a special day tomorrow.”
— ITV Cycling (@itvcycling) July 2, 2016
At the next race, the cyclist with the yellow jersey tends to lead the peloton and the winner of the Tour gets to wear it. Wearing the yellow jersey can change the career of a runner completely.
The Tour de France works with four different types of clothes that are delivered to different athletes depending on their achievements. For example, the green jersey is given to the rider that gains more points in classification.
There’s a white jersey, which is given to the youngest rider (under the age of 26) that achieves the lowest time rate in the race. The polka-dot jersey goes to the ‘King of the Mountains’, and it’s a prestigious jersey given to the cyclist with most points in mountain stages, it’s given to “climbers” of teams.
The Manx Missile
Cavendish is a 31-year-old professional road racing cyclist who has specialized in the Madison race, points race and scratch race. He has trained to become what cyclists call a ‘sprinter,’ which is a cyclist that can suddenly finish a race with accelerated speed.
After participating in several races, he has won the title of the Manx Missile, for his outstanding speed as a sprinter, and some have even assured Cavendish as one of the best in recent times. He’s currently hoping to represent the UK in the 2016 Olympics.
The ‘Missile’ won gold at the Madison race in 2005 and in 2008 world championship representing Great Britain along two other riders from the country. Cavendish has won 27 Tour de France stages and forty-five victories in the race.
In 2012 a French newspaper named Cavendish the best sprinter of all times in the Tour de France and Cycling Weekly had ranked him the first of all British professionals riders.
Cavendish is the second British rider to win the world road championship in 2011, and he also won the 2009 Milan-San Remo, the 2010 Vuelta en España, the 2011 Tour de France and the 2013 Giro d’Italia.
He’s the first cyclist to win the Champs-Élysées stage in the Tour de France in four years in a row. The Queen of England appointed Cavendish as a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to British Cycling.
— FRANCE 24 (@FRANCE24) July 2, 2016
Most recently, he won two of the four stages at the 2015 Dubai tour.
The beginning of a long race
Le Tour de France celebrates its 103rd edition this year, starting on July second and finishing on July 24th. The 3,500 km long race, passes through France and it is divided in 21 days of racing with different stages.
Stages can be either flat or mountainous, and each one of them has their winner, depending on the time of their arrival. Points are given to the first 15 racers that make the finish line, and at the end of the race, awards are given to the best young rider and the best team.
Since the tour is just starting, racers are facing three long weeks of different stages, competitions, and possible crashes. In the opening stage of the race, the Spanish two-time winner of the race Alberto Contador suffered an injury after encountering an accident.
Currently, Cavendish is a the top of the overall classification, followed by Kittel, Sagan, Greipel, Theunus, and Laporte in the top six spots.
Source: Le Tour