Leave it to Mark Cavendish to finish off one of the most impressively controlled races in recent memory. Team SKY had it pegged from the start, with the only hitch in the plan taking the form of an 18 man breakaway with around 60 km to go. Even then, as Tom Boonen put the hammer down, SKY had no less than three gents in the the break with him. When that effort was eventually clawed back, the SKY train set up with a further 43 km left of racing. With a small break of five just a minute up the road, Alex Dowsett, Ian Stannard, Juan Antonio Flecha, Jeremy Hunt, Matt Haymen and Bernie Eisel set a solid, controlling pace that kept the peloton from attacking.
With Chris Sutton just behind Cavendish in reserve, SKY made the catch with three men left to work, with Sutton eventually moving up to contribute. In the final sprint against some of the best in the world, it really wasn’t even all that close. Cav kicked from a long ways out, but only put more daylight between himself and the field as they neared the line.