56th Road Win for OPQS in 2014.
Omega Phama – Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Mark Cavendish finished the fantastic work of his teammates, launching with impressive power and winning the bunch sprint finale of 192.4km Tour du Poitou-Charentes Stage 1 on Tuesday.
The OPQS leadout was so impressive — despite a nervous stage with plenty of crashes — that Mark Renshaw also placed 9th.
Maxime Daniel (AG2R – La Mondiale) was 2nd, and Roy Jans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) was 3rd.
The original breakaway was brought back early, but it wasn’t clear who would control for the sprint until the final kilometers. OPQS emerged on the front with inside 10km to go in the stage, and Cavendish was put into position for the group arrival perfectly. It was the 10th victory of the season for Cav, and the 56th on the road (58th overall) for OPQS in 2014.
OPQS looks next to 183.6km Stage 2 on Wednesday, with Cav in the leader’s jersey.
“The team was incredible today,” Cavendish said. “We rode well, we protected ourselves from the wind but also sped up a bit to try and split the group. But the wind changed direction and it was impossible. The guys controlled perfectly regardless. With 8 kilometers to go, with a crosswind, we started our leadout and it was perfect. I’m so proud of the guys, this was a real team victory today. Personally it’s a nice feeling to win again, especially after such a well executed sprint. In the next few days we’ll see if we can try again and continue this winning mood.”