Mark Cavendish, on the Sky Procycling Team, won today's grueling race in the Pyrenees. He's been part of the team supporting Bradley Wiggins to help him win overall, and it's been hard. Each member of the team, however superb, has had to put their own goals behind them. But today it was his turn.
As Wiggins said afterwards: ...he's been a true champion and today we showed that we all wanted to repay him somehow. We've still got Sunday as well but today was fantastic...He has certainly improved his climbing and if you look at all those contenders for the Olympic road race there aren't many left really who you could say were in as good a shape as Mark... he certainly is the favourite. He's the fastest man in the world - without doubt. He showed that he can go from 600 out - we just watched it - and he left them for dead, didn't he?"
The team is in a pretty good mood before tomorrow's time trial. But that's up for grabs. Tejay van Garderen from the USA (BMC Racing) remarked: "We did 220 kilometres today and we did it in under five hours. It was just crazy. I don't know what to expect from the time trial. I'll just empty the tank and see where I'll end up. I had a good one last time and maybe I can go even better."
Today's jersey wearers:
Bradley Wiggins - Yellow Jersey overall leader (UK Sky Procycling)
Peter Sagan - Green Jersey (Italian, Liquigas- Cannondale)
Thomas Voeckler - Polka Dot Jersey (France, Europcar)
Tejay van Garderen - White Jersey (USA, BMC Racing).
Tomorrow it's the individual time trail from Bonneval to Chartres. But it's looking great for Bradley Wiggins and Sky Procycling.
For information on the race, read the Tour de France 2012 guide
Image: Mark Cavendish wins Stage Eighteen, 2012 © Bryn Lennon/Getty Images Sport