Cavendish wins, Wiggins doesn’t

It was less than a week ago that I tried to get us all to appreciate the near-inevitability of a Mark Cavendish sprint win. I don’t think I managed it and perhaps the measure of the man is that I feel in no hurry to correct that – I’ve infinite chances to get it right, haven’t I?

That’s how it seems.

Today was possibly Cavendish’s 100th win, depending on who you ask, what they count and how many fingers they have. The exact number isn’t important though. It’s enough to know that it’s enormous and that he’s the overwhelming favourite on every flat stage he races.

He’s probably underrated by the British public because he doesn’t compete for the general classification. They see that as a shortcoming, but just as every tour is a race, so is every stage. Mark Cavendish wins races like no-one else. He’s even managed to regain the elusive maglia rosso passione.

And Bradley Wiggins?

Yeah, he ain’t winnin’ owt. As I said on Tuesday, however bad it is today, it’s always going to be a little worse tomorrow. And so it has proven. He lost another three minutes today.

His wet descending (deliberately ambiguous choice of phrase there) has now been compounded by a cold. That sounds a bit feeble, but it’s far from trivial in his line of work. Your body redirects energy to fight that kind of thing. If you or I have a bit of a sniffle, we can go into work and get through it without too much trouble. If your job is to use energy and you have less energy to use, you can’t really bluff your way through that.