Mark Cavendish jiggles up Guildford High Street

Sprint finish. Mark Cavendish won. But it was a bit of an odd one.

It seems Cav’s lead-out man, Alessandro Petacchi, is still strong enough at the age of 39 to split the peloton on the run-in to the line when everyone’s pretty much going flat out. There was him, Cavendish and then some other dude as they hit the gently rising cobbles of Guildford High Street, then a small gap, then the peloton.

Cav went past Petacchi at this point, but uphill on a tough surface, it was probably too early. Elia Viviani buzzed up alongside him as the line neared, even tipping ahead for a fraction of a second, but Cav somehow managed to cross the line first. He says he put in ‘a second kick’. Maybe he did. I more got the vibe that Viviani had just run out of juice. It was like he’d been aiming to get past Cav, achieved that, and then his body switched off.

General classification

Bradley Wiggins lost six seconds because the bunch split, but he’s still a happy distance ahead with just a short, entirely flat stage through London to come. Assuming he doesn’t get knocked off his bike undertaking a bus at a junction, he should win the race.

Stage eight

As I just said, short, flat and through London. This probably didn’t warrant a subheading.

Anything else?

The World Championships start today with the team time trial. The individual time trial is on Wednesday, the road race is on Sunday and then the Giro di Lombardia one-day classic takes place the Sunday after that. Cycling and this website will then take a bit of a breather. I might do some Grand Tour previews or summat to keep things ticking over, but basically it’ll be time to hibernate.