Friday July 20th, 2012

Stage 18Blagnac / Brive-la-Gaillarde

Start 11h20 GMT 2+

Cavendish: I've enjoyed every minute of it

interview20.07.2012Stage 18- Blagnac / Brive-la-Gaillarde

When he's the protected rider he wins almost every time it's flat. But this year Mark Cavendish has had more of a support role for a greater cause. Still, he proved once again that he is the «fastest man in the world»...

“It's incredible. I've had a lot of desperation for a sprint as we haven't had a lot for me to do this year. It was always going to be close at the end because there were a few guys still away but the team rode perfectly and Brad timed it so we'd catch them in the last kilometre and then Edvald went and gave me a slingshot and off I went. I had a lot to give.
“We came here with the goal of winning the yellow jersey. We've got first and second on GC. We can't ask for anything more than that. The spirits are high and to be part of the team that is going to win the Tour de France is a massive honour. It put my sprint chances on the back foot but...
“Twenty-two stage wins… has it sunk in? Yeah! Because I've been waiting to do it for nearly three weeks no. I'm now equal with André Darrigade: he won 15 sprints but 22 stages of the Tour de France. So to match him is something; it makes me happy.
“Physically this race has been hard. I've been trying to do my work before the mountains arrived so at least I can say I've done something. And then I had Bernie [Eisel] to look after me and I've still got some good form.
“Mentally it wasn't hard because we have the yellow jersey and we have second on GC and the guys are doing incredibly well so I'm full of pride to be part of that. But I'm a sprinter and I had to find my place – it's kind of like putting Wayne Rooney in defence, you know... I was kind of lost. But I'm so proud. It could have been easy for the guys to cruise into Paris. Even this morning, on the bus, Sean Yates was like, ‘Okay boys, it's an easy day today... let's let the break go'. But I was like, ‘Oh please let me have a chance!' Then Brad came up and said, ‘Look, we're going to ride today. We'll make a sprint.' And we saw that. He could have easily sat up at the end but Brad and Froomey just came up and I'm so grateful for what they did. We had Edvald in the break then he was leading me out... we've got a great group of guys.
“It's been an emotional three weeks but I've enjoyed every minute of it.”

Stage 18 Blagnac / Blagnac

All about the stage key moments

Jersey wearers after the stage 20

Classifications after the stage 20

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