The Specialized Venge ruled the World Championship Road Race with an abundance of speed and only a trace of aerodynamic drag thanks to Mark Cavendish, Matt Goss, and HTC. Cavendish raced his Venge to victory for Great Britain, with Goss—normally Cav’s trade teammate on HTC-Highroad—taking silver for Australia. Germany’s Andre Greipel finished third. All three men wore Specialized Prevail helmets.
“I know when I kick if I am going to win or not. When I win, I win,” Cavendish said. “I saw Goss come close to me in the end. We knew it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, we knew it was going to be close.” Cavendish lost the position of his British teammates through the last corner of the 260-kilometer race, and tucked onto Goss’ wheel with 900 meters to go.
“I know that’s a good wheel to be on,” Cavendish added. “I saw my gap and went for it, even if it was early.” On the slight incline to the finish, Cavendish appeared to be losing speed as Goss charged. Goss failed to get Cavendish, but he nipped ahead Greipel. Cavendish became the first World Champion from Great Britain since Tom Simpson, 46 years ago, 1965 in San Sebastián. The monumental victory—combined with his green jersey from the Tour de France—caps what must be Cav’s best season to date.
Goss was brilliant throughout the year, starting by winning Milan-San Remo (and debuting the Venge to the world) and finishing with a silver medal at Worlds. “I don’t like being a bridesmaid, but it’s a good way to finish the year,” Goss said. “The team rode so hard for me today. I would have loved to have won for them, but I can’t be too unhappy.”
“It was uphill and I won,” Cavendish continued. “There were a lot of people who marked me down as a favorite for today. Some said that it was too hard for pure sprinters, but I did it. I had two goals this year: the green jersey at the Tour and this.” Cavendish’s win marks the 17th World Championship title for Specialized. This fall alone, Specialized riders won three titles at the Mountain Bike Worlds Championships (cross-country, junior downhill, and four cross) and three at Road Worlds (men’s road race plus the men’s and women’s time trial).