Britain’s Mark Cavendish won the second stage of the Tour of Ireland on Saturday in another sprint finish. Lance Armstrong came home safely in the pack in 74th place, in the same time as Cavendish.
Team Columbia rider Cavendish, whose outstanding performance in last month’s Tour de France included victory in the final sprint on the Champs-Elysees, beat off Belgium’s Michael Van Staeyen and Australia’s Stuart O’Grady.
Armstrong, seven-times Tour de France winner, lies 20th overall but played down his chances of overall victory in yesterday’s final stage from Bantry to Cork.
“It’s a hard climb and there should be bodies everywhere. It’s one of the few things I remember from when I last raced in Ireland in 1992,” Armstrong said.
After the race, Armstrong will head to Dublin for a Livestrong Global Cancer Summit.
Saturday’s victory was Cavendish’s 21st win of the season.
Briton Russell Downing led the standings by five seconds going into the final leg yesterday, 26 seconds clear of Armstrong and more than two minutes ahead of Cavendish.