Cavendish wins in Holland

17 June 2012 / 17:41

Team Sky's Mark Cavendish has won the Ster ZLM Toer in Holland - the first general classification win of his cycling career.

The 27-year-old boasted an eight-second lead over nearest challenger Lars Boom at the top of the standings heading into the fourth and final stage and he kept that advantage intact as he finished safely in the main pack following a sprint finish to take the overall win.

Germany's Marcel Kittel claimed the stage victory having also won on day one, the Argos-Shimano rider finishing the 163-kilometre ride from Schijndel to Boxtel in a time of three hours, 35.54 minutes.

Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) was second with third spot going to Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol), who also finished third overall behind Cavendish and Dutchman Boom (Rabobank).

A delighted Cavendish said: "I've been second a couple of times in the past but this is my first GC win and I'm really, really happy with it."

Looking ahead to the Tour de France, which begins in Liege on June 30, and the Olympics, the Manxman added: "I'm training really well. I wanted to be in my best form and definitely am so I'm looking forward to France now and hopefully Team Sky getting the green and yellow jerseys.

"It's pretty much about relaxing now and really looking after myself these next two weeks. You've got to start the Tour de France as fresh as possible - especially so this year with the Olympics so soon after."

It may have been Cavendish's first general classification win, but Team Sky sports director Steven de Jongh does not believe it will be the last.

He said on "It's a first stage-race win for Mark and he's pretty happy with it; I think there should be more in the future too. The guys had another good day - they controlled it throughout for the jersey. Rabobank helped out too as did Argos-Shimano later on.

"The whole team has done really well this weekend and there have been plenty of other plus points. For example, Alex Dowsett is getting better every day as he works his way back to top form after his injury so it's been a productive week."