Cav on the cobbles
2011: Tour of Flanders. Result: 110th
Riding for HTC-HIGH Road 12 months after his debut attempt to conquer the cobbled climbs of Flanders ended in a DNF, the Manxman rolled in over 15 minutes behind Saxo Bank -Sungard’s race winner Nick Nuyens. He did have some British company as he reached the finish line in Ninove as Roger Hammond and Ben Swift rolled in with the same group. Meanwhile fellow Brit Geraint Thomas secured his first top-10 finish in a Monument.
2015: Tour de France stage 4. Result: 12th
Despite only consisting of 13km of pavé over seven sectors, stage four caused a fair bit of trepidation in the peloton, especially the GC favourites. Cavendish himself negotiated the cobbles to perfection and latched back on to the lead group and looked in contention for the sprint finish into Cambrai. However, Etixx-quick Step team-mate Tony Martin broke away with 3km to go to secure the stage win and yellow jersey.
2016: Paris-roubaix. Result: 30th
In his debut year for Dimension Data, and riding in support of team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen, Cavendish was looking for his first finish in the ‘Hell of the North’ after a DNF in 2011. His Norwegian team-mate did manage to get himself into the race-winning break to finish fifth behind surprise winner Matt Hayman. Meanwhile Cavendish showed his future potential on the cobbles, mixing it with seasoned pavé specialists until being caught behind a crash which blocked the road.
Last year’s Roubaix proved Cav can cut it on cobbles