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Page last updated at 15:40 GMT, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 16:40 UK

Cavendish surges to third victory

TOUR DE FRANCE
Date: 4 July - 26 July
Coverage: BBC Sport website: text commentary of each stage and streamed BBC commentary of the last 90 minutes of each stage available; commentary on selected stages on BBC 5 Live sports extra


Mark Cavendish and Thor Hushovd
Cavendish was again too strong for Hushovd in a sprint finish

Mark Cavendish produced another superb sprint finish to hold off Norway's Thor Hushovd and clinch his third stage win of this year's Tour de France.

The Manxman attacked in the last 200m and was accelerating away from Hushovd, his main rival for the green jersey, when he crossed the line in Issoudun.

Italy's Rinaldo Nocentini keeps the yellow jersey, with a six-second lead.

But Britain's Bradley Wiggins was caught up in a crash near the finish and drops out of the top five overall.

Seven-time champion Lance Armstrong and 2007 winner Alberto Contador both finished with Nocentini, safely near the front of the peloton.

But their Astana team-mate Levi Leipheimer was affected by the split in the main group that delayed Wiggins, and he also lost 15 seconds on the other contenders in the general classification.

That, and Cavendish's superb victory, added some late drama to what had been a dull day.

Most of the 194.5km, 10th stage had been overshadowed by an apparent 'go-slow' protest against a ruling that prevented radio contact between team managers and riders.

Fourteen of the 20 teams participating in the 2009 Tour had lodged official protests about the ruling, which is also in place for Friday's stage between Vittel and Colmars, but they also seemed to take matters into their own hands.

The first 150km of the race saw little action, apart from an early break by four riders - Benoit Vaugrenard, Mikhail Ignatiev, Thierry Hupond and Samuel Dumoulin - soon after the race left Limoges.

That quartet - including three Frenchmen chasing a stage win on Bastille Day - maintained a steady 90-second lead for much of the day and were only caught inside the last 2km.

The mass sprint finish was ideal for Cavendish, and his Team Columbia team-mates again set their man up perfectly for what was the seventh Tour stage win of his career.

606: DEBATE
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Hushovd keeps the green jersey, although the 24-year-old Cavendish has closed the gap to just six points at the top of the standings in the points category.

"It was a really hard finish, slightly uphill with a lot of corners," said Cavendish. "I was scared that I attacked too early but my team-mate Mark Renshaw helped me a lot.

"We had all nine guys there at the finish, working 100% and delivering perfectly.

"I hope to win more [stages] in the next two days. I have been trying to conserve as much energy as possible and that was for one reason - to get more stage wins in the second week."

Cavendish is now just one Tour stage win short of Barry Hoban's British record of eight and will look to equal that haul in Wednesday's 192km trek from Vatan to St Fargeau.


Stage 10 result:

1. Mark Cavendish (GB/Team Columbia) 4 hours 46 minutes 43 seconds
2. Thor Hushovd (Nor/Cervelo Test Team) "
3. Tyler Farrar (US/Garmin) "
4. Leonardo Duque (Col/Cofidis) "
5. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa/Caisse d'Epargne) "
7. Lloyd Mondory (Fra/AG2R) "
8. Kenny Robert van Hummel (Ned/Skil Shimano) "
8. William Bonnet (Fra/BBox Bouygues Telecom) "
9. Daniele Bennati (Ita/Liquigas) "
10. Said Haddou (Fra/BBox Bouygues Telecom) "

Selected others:

34. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita/AG2R)
40. Alberto Contador (Spa/Astana) "
46. Lance Armstrong (USA/Astana) "
64. Bradley Wiggins (GB/Garmin) + 15 seconds
151. Charlie Wegelius (GB/Silence) "
154. David Millar (GB/Garmin) "

Overall standings:

1. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita/AG2R) 39 hours 11 minutes 04 seconds
2. Alberto Contador (Spa/Astana) + 06 secs
3. Lance Armstrong (USA/Astana) + 08
4. Andreas Kloden (Ger/Astana + 54
5. Levi Leipheimer (USA/Astana) + 54

Selected others:

7. Bradley Wiggins (GB/Garmin) + 1min 1sec
15. Carlos Sastre (Spa/Cervelo) + 2minutes 52 secs
62. David Millar (GB/Garmin) + 27mins 33 secs
80. Charlie Wegelius (GB/Silence) + 35mins 55 secs
135. Mark Cavendish (GB/Team Columbia) + 1 hour 13mins 54 secs



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see also
No Armstrong rift, says Contador
13 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Tour de France week two photos
17 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Hushovd overhauls Millar for win
09 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Superb Cavendish triumphs again
06 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Cavendish storms to stage victory
05 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Tour de France ones to watch
03 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Understanding the Tour de France
03 Jul 09 |  Cycling


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