Cavendish wins Olympic Test Event, Farrar caught in late crash


Mark Cavendish won the bunch sprint in front of the fitting backdrop of Buckingham Palace.
Mark Cavendish won the bunch sprint in front of the fitting backdrop of Buckingham Palace.
Mark Cavendish (GBR) took the sprint victory in the London-Surrey Cycle Classic on The Mall in London on Sunday. American Tyler Farrar (Wenatchee, Wash./Garmin-Cervelo) finished 87th after getting caught up in crash with less than three kilometers remaining.
 “I came here to try and win,” said Farrar. “It wanted to do this sprint for the win to get a feel for it. It is a pity, but that is bike racing.”
In the early going a group of four British riders escaped and were able to open up as much as a six minute gap on the peloton mid-way through the 140-kilometer race. The peloton was relaxed however until the second and final time up the tough climb of the Box Hill circuit when they turned on the gas and opened a determined chase. Ian Boswell (Bend, Ore./Trek Livestrong U23) and Ty Magner (Athens, Ga./Team Type 1 Development) helped drive the chase and finally pulled the leaders in on the fast descent back into London.
With Boswell, Magner and Gavin Mannion (Dedham, Mass./Trek Livestrong U23) all riding in the peloton in support of Farrar with 20-kilometers remaining, the U.S. team seemed exactly where they wanted to be. A bit of bad luck soon ensued however as Farrar suffered a flat with 10-kilometers remaining. A quick change got him back in contention, but with just three-kilometers left a sizeable crash in the peloton took out the American sprinter just as he was making his way to the front.
“An early break went, but then the field kind of settled in and relaxed,” explained Magner. “The second time up Box Hill things started to split up a lot. Boswell and myself then took turns rotating on the front and helping pull the break back for Farrar. It was a little unlucky in the end with Farrar crashing, but that’s bike racing.”
Ahead of the late-race crash, recent Tour de France sprint jersey winner Mark Cavendish (GBR/HTC-Highroad) sealed the victory in front of his hometown crowd. Sacha Modolo of Italy and Samuel Dumoulin of France earned second and third out of the approximately 20 men who were not affected by the pile up.  
The U.S. squad during team presentation.
The U.S. squad during team presentation.
Caught behind the crash Magner and Boswell finished 67th and 68th with Farrar 87th after the entanglement and Mannion 88th. Tanner Putt (Roswell, Ga./Team Type 1 Development) suffered a broken wheel on the circuits and wasn’t able to catch back on, but finished 117th.   
“The team did great,” said Farrar. “I think they should be proud of themselves today, particularly Boswell who was on the front from nearly start-to-finish. They are young guys, but they were committed to trying to help me out and did a really good job. We just didn’t have luck on our side in the end.”
The men’s Olympic road race will offer the first medal of the 2012 Olympic Games next summer in London, kicking off the Games on July 28. The world’s best will then contest a much longer version of today’s race through the streets of downtown London; going up Box Hill nine times.
“I think the circuit is harder than people have given it credit for,” stated Farrar. “Nine laps of that circuit will be quite hard, especially for guys like me. There is still a long way to the finish however so there is time to come back. It will be an unpredictable Olympics I think.”
Following last month’s mountain bike test event where Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./Luna) scored the silver for the ladies while Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, Va./Cannondale) finished fourth, Sunday’s road race marked the second of four Olympic cycling test events. The next, also a BMX Supercross World Cup event, kicks off in London on Friday. 
For more information on all the Olympic test events visit the London Prepares Series website. View photos from the event in USA Cycling’s photo gallery.
London-Surrey Cycle Classic – Olympic Road Race Test Event
London, England
Men’s 140-kilometer road race
1. Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) 3:18:11   
2. Sacha Modolo (Italy) st.
3. Samuel Dumoulin (France) st.  
67. Ty Magner (Athens, Ga./Team Type 1 Development) +0:42
68. Ian Boswell (Bend, Ore./Trek Livestrong U23) +0:42
87. Tyler Farrar (Wenatchee, Wash./Garmin-Cervelo) +3:23
88. Gavin Mannion (Dedham, Mass./Trek Livestrong U23) +5:24
117. Tanner Putt (Roswell, Ga./Team Type 1 Development) +6:05
Photos by Robin Wilmott

This Article Updated April 13, 2012 @ 04:27 PM For more information contact: