HTC-Columbia cyclist, but not Cavendish, wins Adelaide classic

If Mark Cavendish can't get to the front to win a final sprint for the HTC-Columbia pro cycling team, he has teammates who are willing and able to take the honors.

That was proven Sunday at the Cancer Council Helpline Classic, a circuit race in Adelaide that serves as the preview for the Santos Tour Down Under that starts in earnest on Tuesday.

While Cavendish and a few others were slowed by a crash in the last of the 30-lap bicycle race, Aussie teammates Matthew Goss and Mark Renshaw finished 1st and 2nd in the sprint, followed by Robbie McEwen, another Australian who moved over to the RadioShack team this year.

Tyler Farrar and Lance Armstrong

The top US sprinter in the race, Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo), finished in 18th place, 6 seconds behind the winner.

Another American (who is riding what he says is his last international race), Lance Armstrong of Team RadioShack, finished in 68th place, 23 seconds behind the winner.

After the race, Armstrong was happy for the high finish of teammate McEwen and the announcement that a bike trail on the westside of Adelaide would be named Livestrong Pathway to honor the fight against cancer.

Tour Down Under schedule

Although a prelude to the Tour Down Under, the Classic is separate and the results don't count in the six-day race. That stage race begins Tuesday in Mawson Lakes and wends its way for 138km (86 miles) to Angaston.

Because of time zone differences, the race starts at 7:30 p.m. (ET) Monday in the US; highlights will be televised on the Versus cable network at 6 p.m. (ET) Tuesday. All the race times and broadcast schedule is available at “Sorting out the 2011 Tour Down Under bike race schedule.” Also check out the clock and TDU index in the right sidebar.

Full results can be found at the Tour Down Under / Cancer Classic website.

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