Britain's Mark Cavendish had no excuses this time after being out-sprinted again by German Andre Greipel at the Tour de France yesterday.
Etixx-QuickStep rider Cavendish darted for the line with 300km to go but was denied a 26th stage win on the Tour by Lotto Soudal’s Greipel, while Peter Sagan of Tinkoff-Saxo pipped the Manxman to second.
Cavendish blamed his team’s lead-out when outpaced by Greipel on Sunday but after a repeat performance conceded that he had simply been out-paced in Amiens.
“I actually did a good sprint, but I was just beaten by two other guys. They just went faster,” he said.
“It was a bit chaotic. Greipel and Sagan just came past me in the end.”
Britain’s Chris Froome finished in the peloton to stay second in the overall standings, 12 seconds behind Germany’s Tony Martin, Cavendish’s team-mate, by 12 seconds. It also saw him maintain his advantage over key yellow jersey rivals Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana.
Martin said: “I would wish Cav could beat Andre today, but if Cav can’t win, I’m so happy that a German rider’s in front.”