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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 September 2007, 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK
Cavendish takes British Tour lead
Mark Cavendish
Cavendish is the first British rider to take yellow since 2004
Britain's Mark Cavendish took the first yellow jersey of the 2007 Tour of Britain with a prologue time-trial victory around Crystal Palace.

It was the ninth stage win of the season for the Manx sprinter, 22.

His time of two minutes 27.61 seconds over the 2.5km course was 0.8 secs quicker than Russian Nikolai Trusov.

Of the rest of the British contingent, Geraint Thomas, Ed Clancy and Chris Newton finished seventh, eighth and ninth respectively.

Cavendish is the first British rider to take yellow since the Tour of Britain resumed in 2004.

He said he was proud with his win but admitted he does not expect to keep the lead for long.

"Coming from a track background, it's not a complete shock to win a prologue," he said.

"However, I'm awfully proud to wear the yellow jersey in my home Tour.

"I want to be realistic, I know I'm not going for the yellow jersey overall. I just want to challenge in a couple of stages and keep it for as long as possible."

Welshman Thomas was equally pleased with his placing, saying: "I lacked a bit of power and speed but to be in the top 10 is a decent start.

"The first stage looks reasonably tough but I've not really got a separate plan for each day. I will just get myself in a nice position and try to get involved in the moves."

Monday's first stage from Reading to Southampton should conclude with a bunch sprint finish, with 71 miles of flat rolling roads punctuated by just two category-three climbs.

Thomas's Barloworld team-mate, South African Robbie Hunter, who was second in the Tour de France points classification, will start as favourite after his 11th place in the prologue.



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