Mark Cavendish knew he was going to be disqualified on Stage 11 of the Tour de France, but the British great soldiered on to finish the race regardless.
Cavendish was disqualified from the race after failing to make the required time cut, crossing the line one hour five minutes and 33 seconds after stage winner Geraint Thomas.
Despite knowing he wouldn’t make the cut-off, Cavendish was dedicated to finish the stage – much to the delight of viewers, fans and pundits.
Mark Cavendish is the only rider still climbing the Roselend, 37 minutes behind the lead group
— Peter Cossins (@petercossins) July 18, 2018
Doug Ryder says Mark Cavendish is still on his bike. Intends to finish the stage but will miss time cut. #TDF2018
— Josh Burrows (@JoshRBurrows) July 18, 2018
A huge cheer for Cavendish as he crossed the line with the broom wagon behind him. You've got to respect him for going to the finish, knowing he'd already missed the time cut #TDF2018
— Sadhbh O'Shea (@SadhbhOS) July 18, 2018
Sad to see Mark Cavendish exit the Tour de France under difficult circumstances two years in a row. Merckx’s all-time stage win record looking safer by the year. #TDF2018
— Neal Rogers (@nealrogers) July 18, 2018
@MarkCavendish Nothing but total respect for you today…that commitment and shear bloody mindedness to finish shows why you've achieved your successes, and why you are the man that you are. Chapeau!
— Birdy (@GeoffBirdy) July 18, 2018
— Onside PR (@JamesAFletcher) July 18, 2018
The required time cut behind the stage winner had been set at 31:27, and the Dimension Data Rider would have been well aware of his impending disqualification.
— Le Tour de France (@LeTour) July 18, 2018
The sprint specialist, who has 30 Tour stage wins to his name, had appeared out of form on this year’s edition, failing to fight for victory in the flat stages.
Also out of the race are his teammate Mark Renshaw and German Marcel Kittel, winner of 14 Tour stages.
Thomas, who won the week-long Criterium du Dauphine last month while Froome was resting after winning the Giro d’Italia, took the 11th stage of the Tour with an impressive attack in the final climb to snatch the yellow jersey.
He leads teammate Froome by one minute 25 seconds in the overall standings.
Four-time champion Froome, however, is the more experienced rider, having already won all three grand tours.
“Froomey is the leader. He’s won six grand tours, he knows how to ride a three-week race,” Thomas told a news conference.
“I just had an opportunity. Froomey knows how to win a three-week race. For me it’s already a success. Froomey is still our best chance.”
Sky’s position, however, is a nightmare for their rivals, who in the past have struggled to unsettle the British outfit when Froome, who was cleared of a suspected doping offence in the week leading up to the Tour start, was the sole leader.
Stage 12 of the Tour will continue overnight with a 175.5km race from Bourg-St-Maurice Les Arcs to Alpe d’Huez.