McEwen breaks down Stage 6 sprint as Cavendish seizes 'golden opportunity'

SBS Tour de France commentator Robbie McEwen took a closer look at how Mark Cavendish seized upon a “golden opportunity” to claim Stage 6 overnight.

The Deceuninck Quick-Step rider timed his run with perfection to win his second stage of this year’s Tour, having gone head-to-head with Alpecin-Fenix a kilometre out from the finish line.



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McEwen was full of praise for the 36-year-old, who moved into a strong position atop the green jersey standings, and broke down just how he got the job done in the final phase.

“It was a sprint in two parts as we’re coming in, Deceuninck Quick-Step doing a lot of the work – actually – all of the work, all day long,” McEwen said.

“As they come into the sprint you'll see on this [left] side of the road you have [Davide] Ballerini, [Michael] Morkov, Cavendish, (and) he’s then followed on this side by [Cees] Bol, [Sonny] Colbrelli and Michael Matthews.

“On the other [right] side of the road, yellow jersey (holder) Mathieu van der Poel has just pulled his team into position, so then it's Jonas Rickaert followed by Tim Merlier, the man who won Stage 3, then Jasper Philipsen, [Peter] Sagan on the wheel and here is the big squeeze.

“First one to get squeezed out (is) Wout van Aert (who) gets in between the wheels and, over here, Morkov has immediately realised the danger for Mark Cavendish with Alpecin-Fenix coming towards the front.

“So, he takes him across to set him up to go with them if he needs to. Now, keep an eye on Peter Sagan right in the middle – he is going to get squeezed out as well.



“For a moment, he was in prime position on the Alpecin-Fenix lead-out train but he’s about to get pushed out by Nacer Bouhanni, who's right next to him in the red (jersey).

“As we roll forward, that's when the sprint lead-out really starts. As Tim Merlier goes, Cavendish slots straight across, right in front of Bouhanni, who’s elbowed Peter Sagan out of the way.

“Now, at this moment, Jasper Philipsen, he moves just to the left of the wheel of his lead-out man, Merlier.

“(But as for) Mark Cavendish, he now sees a golden opportunity; he’s lined himself up in the slipstream of Tim Merlier.

“So now Cavendish, he’s going to aim at him and go out to the right, Philipsen is going to go out to the left, and when they get around to the front of Merlier – which is only at about 90 metres to go – they're going to cut across his bow, he nearly comes down, but Cavendish has already started his run to the finish line.”



WATCH Robbie McEwen’s full analysis in the video at the top of the article.

The Tour de France continues tonight with Stage 7 and you can catch all the action on SBS and SBS On Demand at 8:30pm (AEST), with the SKODA Tour Tracker app commencing from 6:50pm (AEST).


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3 min read
Published 2 July 2021 at 10:28am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS