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Mark Cavendish takes 1st GC win at 2012 Ster ZLM Toer

BOXTEL, The Netherlands (VN) — Mark Cavendish (Sky Procycling) collected the first general-classification triumph of his career by winning the Ster ZLM Toer on Sunday.

The world road champion finished the four-stage race eight seconds ahead of Lars Boom (Rabobank), with Jürgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol) third at 14 seconds.

Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) won the final 163.5km stage from Schijndel to Boxtel. Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) finished second and Roelands third.

Cavendish praised his teammates for their work, particularly on Saturday’s hilly stage through the Ardennes.

“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,” he said. “The team rode so well yesterday, setting such a high tempo on the front that guys were going out the back all day. We were down to just 25 at the finish — it was incredible and I’m really proud of what we did.”

Now Cavendish will turn his attention to the Tour de France and the London Olympics.

“I’m training really well,” he said. “I wanted to be in my best form and am definitely in it 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.”


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