Cavendish beat Hushovd in a sprint finish to claim his ninth Tour stage win
Mark Cavendish produced a trademark stunning sprint finish to clinch his fifth stage win of the 2009 Tour and a British record ninth in total.
The Manxman overtook Barry Hoban's record, adding his fifth win to the four victories he claimed last year.
Norway's Thor Hushovd could not match Cavendish's surge to the line but came in second to keep the green jersey.
A split in the peloton saw Britain's podium hopeful Bradley Wiggins lose four seconds to rival Lance Armstrong.
Armstrong came home 12th, only two places in front of Wiggins, but with a big enough gap to be given a separate time.
The seven-time champion, who lies third in the general classification, is now 15 seconds ahead of fourth-placed Wiggins.
Spain's Alberto Contador retained the leader's yellow jersey after finishing the 178km stage from Bourgoin Jallieu to Aubenas in the same group as Wiggins and second-placed Andy Schleck.
The day had begun with Britain's David Millar joining a 20-strong breakaway and he was one of five riders that stayed clear until the bottom of the Col d'Arenier with 35km to go.
Thanks to his Columbia team-mates, Cavendish stayed near the front of the peloton up to the summit and they again lined him up for the victory on the descent.
World road-race champion Alessandro Ballan and Laurent Lefevre, who had attempted to escape, were caught inside the last two kilometres to leave Cavendish to battle it out with Hushovd for the stage win.
It was a beautiful, beautiful win. We really didn't have this stage put down as one that would end in a bunch sprint
Record breaker Mark Cavendish
An uphill finish was far from ideal for the Manxman, who had Hushovd on his shoulder, but, led out by Tony Martin, he went for the line with 200m to go and again easily saw off his Norwegian rival - accelerating away from him at the end to win by almost a bike's length.
"I'm really, really happy," said Cavendish. "It was a beautiful, beautiful win. We really didn't have this stage put down as one that would end in a bunch sprint, but we came through all the same.
"At the team meeting I told the guys that if we got to the climb all together and I could hang on, then I would do my absolute best to win.
"Half the team supported me all the way to the climb and half the team were there with me on the descent that followed and through to the finish.
"They were amazing, particularly if you consider that Saturday's a really hard mountain stage. Tony Martin led me out perfectly, even though it was a very tough uphill finish, but I did it."
Cavendish closes the gap on Hushovd in the race for the green jersey to 25 points but faces a near impossible task to beat him in that category with just two stages left.
On Saturday the Tour moves to the fearsome Mont Ventoux for the 20th stage when the riders with aspirations of a podium place will have their last realistic chance to claim a position in the top three.
Contador, the 2007 champion, survived Friday with no mishaps and, with a lead of more than four minutes over Schleck, is in a strong position to win his second Tour.
"It was a very difficult day with a very fast start because a lot of teams didn't have riders represented in the early breakaway," said Contador.
"It was also very fast on the climb because a lot of teams wanted to drop Cavendish off the back."
Stage 19 result:
1. Mark Cavendish (GB/Columbia ) 3hrs 50mins 35secs 2. Thor Hushovd (Nor/Cervelo) " 3. Gerald Ciolek (Ger/Milram) " 4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel/Silence-Lotto) " 5. Oscar Freire (Spa/Rabobank ) " 6. Jerome Pineau (Fra/Quick-Step) " 7. Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn/Skil-Shimano) " 8. Nicolas Roche (Ire/AG2R) " 9. Christophe Le Mevel (Fra/Francaise des Jeux) " 10. Martijn Maaskant (Ned/Garmin) "
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