Though the name was bandied about before the race, Mark Cavendish was only a light favorite among a number of heavyweights. Nevermind that he’d just won five stages in the Tour de France, bringing his career total to 20 Tour stages wins. Or that he had the full support of a fresh Bradley Wiggins and an unbelievably tough Geraint Thomas serving as a leadout train. It was his teammate at the time, Matty Goss and new rival Andre Greipel getting all the whispers. A surprising showing from Heinrich Haussler, too, looked like it could be enough to take a win. But the Man from the Isle of Mann did just enough to take the win and become World Champion. This is one of the highest quality videos available of an outstanding race with one of the longest, most agonizing sprints of any race of 2011.

Bonus Photo: