While Mark Cavendish is always quick to heap praise on his Omega Pharma-QuickStep team-mates after a victory, the sprinter also has Cannondale to thank after his success at Tirreno-Adriatico.
Cannondale’s effort at the front of the peloton ensured there was no Marcel Kittel in the mix for the final sprint, while Andre Greipel’s efforts to get back on in the final kilometre meant he had nothing left to kick, and OPQS made sure Cavendish was then perfectly positioned to seal a resounding victory.
Led into the final three kilometres by yet another huge pull from Tony Martin, Cavendish’s sprint train avoided the crash which brought down Lotto-Belisol because they were on the front and motoring. Michal Kwiatkowski led the way into the final straight with a sizable gap between the team and any rivals, and as each rider peeled off the front the gap remained huge.
Cavendish said post-stage that the lead-out was technically spot on and it’s hard to disagree with the Manxman’s assessment. Yes, Kittel and Greipel were removed from the mix, but it’s often said that you make your own luck.