Tour de France: No excuses from Mark Cavendish after Marcel Kittel wins in Paris
Mark Cavendish admitted he was beaten by a better man after he could only finish third behind Marcel Kittel.
Last Updated: 22/07/13 4:59pm
Cavendish was bidding for a fifth successive victory in the Paris finale but was unable to peg back both Kittel and Andre Greipel in the closing stages on the Champs-Elysees.
The result left Cavendish with just two stage wins in the 2013 Tour, the lowest total of his career bar the 2007 event from which he withdrew a little over a week in.
"Kittel was faster," he said. "I did 1500 watts and usually when I do 1500 watts I win by a few bike lengths."
Kittel has been described as "the real deal" by Cavendish and the 25-year-old German was sprinting to his fourth stage victory of the Tour for the Argos-Shimano team.
"It was for sure the best day in my life as a rider on a bike," he added.
"This was a great, great win and a great performance by the whole team. Thank you to everyone, the boys were amazing today.
"I was already hungry, but of course it is always nice to get such a compliment, especially from a sprinter such as Mark.
"He's a nice guy and he actually said 'Good luck' to me in the race today before the sprint.
"We have lots of respect for each other and I like that way of having a fair sporting competition."