After a lead pack of 40 riders dropped Armstrong and the rest of the field over the Cipressa climb, Mark Cavendish (Columbia-High Road) chased down and just barely edged out Cervelo TestTeam rider Heinrich Haussler to win the 100th Milan-San Remo classic bicycle race. Ã‚Â Haussler was leading out teammate Thor Hushovd, who ended up in third.
Milan-San Remo is the first major one-day classic of the year, and Cavendish was beside himself after winning.
“It’s the most beautiful day of my life. I didn’t expect to win. I couldn’t dream of anything better,” said Cavendish, who won four stages in last year’s Tour de France. “Hincapie helped me enormously, but the whole team stayed with me on the climbs. When Haussler broke away at top speed I was scared, but it makes the victory even sweeter.”
Australia’s Alan Davis (Quick Step) claimed fourth and Alessandro Petachi (LPR) fifth.
Overcoming comments from other riders that he couldn’t handle the climbs during such a long race, the win moves Cavendish’s reputation from being a great sprinter to just being a great cyclist. Ã‚Â Cavendish now heads to Poland for the World Track Championships.
Photo from Centovolte’s Flickr Stream (they have a lot more nice B&W’s).