McEwen dissects van Aert's triptych to deny Cavendish on the Champs-Élysées

SBS Tour de France commentator Robbie McEwen was full of praise for Wout van Aert, who denied Mark Cavendish on the final stage of the Tour de France with a historic victory of his own.

After winning the mountain stage over Mont Ventoux and the time trial in Saint-Emilion, van Aert completed his triptych with an impressive sprint over the Champs-Élysées cobbles.

The Team Jumbo-Visma rider made the most of a strong lead-out in the final kilometres to deny Cavendish a chance to break Eddy Merckx’s record for the most stage wins at the Tour.

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McEwen hailed van Aert’s strength in the finish, before breaking down just how the 26-year-old became the third rider in history to win a time trial, mountain stage and bunch sprint in the same Tour de France.

“Mark Cavendish, he’s got himself glued onto the wheel of Wout van Aert, who is following (teammate) Mike Teunissen,” McEwen said.

“Next to Cavendish, [Jonas] Rickaert from Alpecin, then it’s Jasper Philipsen. And Cavendish (is) already looking for a way out; he knows he’s going to get himself boxed in.

“On the front, from Intermarche, then it’s Mike Teunissen ready for the big lead-out for Wout van Aert – what an absolute freak; he won the time trial yesterday; he’s already won over the Ventoux.

“Mark Cavendish, he’s in the wheel there, then it’s Rickaert from Alpecin and Jasper Philipsen, and then the rest with Michael Matthews further behind.

“So, as well roll on, you’re going to see Cavendish start to look for a way out.

“He’s behind Wout van Aert as he starts the sprint and, right here, Cavendish is starting to aim himself to come around Wout van Aert, but he’s just overlapping the wheel.

“He’s pointing on this (left) side of it, so he’s got to back himself around and get ready to launch out here (on the right).

“Now, further back, Michael Matthews is caught in traffic following his teammate, Luka Mezgec, and then over on this side, launching his sprint way out to the right, is Jasper Philipsen.

“So, rolling on, watch for Cavendish, he’s aiming out to the right but Philipsen comes with speed from behind and gets the Manxman blocked in.

“Cavendish then tries to go left but the barriers are (on) that side, there’s no room – he doesn’t know where to go, he’s running out of time and Wout van Aert is too strong, too fast and he holds them all off.”




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3 min read
Published 19 July 2021 at 9:55am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS