Mark Cavendish takes second stage win of Tour de France – and yet another milestone

Frank Dalleres
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Cavendish, in green, pipped Greipel, in white, in a photo finish in Angers (Source: Getty)

Britain's Mark Cavendish struck a humble note after going joint-second on the all-time list of stage winners at the Tour de France.

Dimension Data rider Cavendish pipped German Andre Greipel of Lotto-Soudal by 0.006 seconds in a photo finish in Angers on stage three of the world’s most prestigious race.

The Manx sprinter’s second stage win already in this year’s event drew him level with five-time Tour champion Bernard Hinault’s 28 stage victories, and behind only the great Eddy Merckx’s tally of 34.

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“When I started my career, for me to at any point be mentioned in the same sentence as Eddy Merckx or Bernard Hinault is more than I could have dreamed of,” said the 31-year-old.

“There’s no way I could sit here and compare myself in any way to those two greats.”

Fellow Briton and defending champion Chris Froome finished in the peloton and climbed to fourth in the general classification, 14 seconds behind Slovakia’s Peter Sagan, who retained the yellow jersey.

Colombian Nairo Quintana and Spanish two-time winner Alberto Contador, who are among Froome’s key rivals as he attempts to win a third Tour title, also finished safely in the main group.

Greipel had a full bike length’s lead over Cavendish heading into the last 50m in the Loire Valley and celebrated when he crossed the line, unaware that he had been beaten by the slimmest of margins.

“It was touch and go if I would pass him,” Cavendish added. “I didn’t get him with the sprint, I got him with the lunge to the line, so I was pretty fortunate with that.”

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