Tour of Britain: Mark Cavendish confident of more wins after stage four triumph
Last Updated: 18/09/13 6:05pm
Mark Cavendish heaped praise on Alessandro Petacchi
Mark Cavendish is confident of claiming more wins at this year's Tour of Britain after his fledgling partnership with Alessandro Petacchi worked perfectly to set up a first victory on stage four in Llanberis.
Cavendish was ushered through a hectic finish by veteran Italian Petacchi and went on to seal a comfortable triumph over second-placed Elia Viviani (Cannondale) and third-placed Steele von Hoff (Garmin-Sharp).
Petacchi is still bedding into the Omega Pharma - Quick-Step team after joining last month, but Cavendish has been impressed with what he has seen so far and is now high on confidence ahead of potential sprint finishes on stages seven and eight this weekend.
"We have been rivals a lot of my career," Cavendish said. "He [Petacchi] is an old guy, but he is a really good guy and has settled in brilliantly to this team.
"Obviously, I want to ride in my home race, but it was a big factor for me that he was riding here, to see how we worked together, and it is working OK.
"There are still a couple of more sprints to go and hopefully we do well at the weekend."
Bradley Wiggins followed Cavendish over the line in the peloton on stage four to retain his overall lead of the race.
However, that did not tell the full story of a difficult day in which his Team Sky colleagues were forced to spend the whole stage on the front of the bunch and work hard to chase down an 11-man breakaway.
"It is another day ticked off because there are no easy days in the Tour of Britain."
Sir Bradley Wiggins
Wiggins, who leads team-mate Ian Stannard by 37 seconds in the general classification, said: "It always looks easier than it is, but it was tough out there. There was a lot of wind and cold weather, but the boys did an incredible job.
"They rode all day to keep the gap at about three or four minutes, and then on the final climb, Ian took it up and did a really impressive job. The attacks started coming but I was always riding just a little bit within myself.
"I knew the run-in as well because Sir Dave Brailsford lived in this town and it is another day ticked off because there are no easy days in the Tour of Britain."
Wiggins is now turning his attentions to Thursday's fifth stage, which ends with two ascents of the tough, category-one climb of Caerphilly Mountain.
"From an emotional point of view, it is one of my best days in cycling, that is for sure."
Sir Dave Brailsford
"I recce'd tomorrow's stage last week and it's a tough one, with two ascents of Caerphilly," Wiggins added. "Everyone knows it and it is become a bit of a legendary stage now on the Tour of Britain, but my legs are all right."
The stage was not only special Cavendish and Wiggins. Team Sky principal and British Cycling performance director Brailsford grew up in Llanberis and he admitted to being emotional at seeing one of his Great Britain riders claim victory.
"When I grew up here, there was no cycling," he explained. "There was nothing. I played football on the local football pitch just over there.
"This is where I grew up and when you have a life like mine, where you move everywhere, you haven't got homes really.
"This feels like home to me. To come back here and Cav winning here, it is nuts really. It is pretty special for me. From an emotional point of view, it is one of my best days in cycling, that is for sure."