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Page last updated at 15:54 GMT, Thursday, 8 July 2010 16:54 UK

Mark Cavendish sprints to 11th Tour de France stage win

Tour de France 2010
Start: 3 July, Rotterdam Finish: 25 July, Paris
Coverage: Listen to the final hour of every stage on the BBC Sport website (UK only), with selected stages on BBC 5 live sports extra ; Watch live on Eurosport and ITV4; Live text commentary each day on BBC Sport website

Mark Cavendish punches the air in delight after claiming victory on stage five
Cavendish could not hold back the tears after winning stage five

Mark Cavendish bounced back from the setbacks of recent days to win a sprint finish into Montargis and claim his 11th Tour de France stage victory.

The Manxman was unable to contest the sprint on the first stage after a crash and finished a disappointing 12th in Wednesday's fourth-stage finish.

But his HTC-Columbia lead-out man Mark Renshaw set him up perfectly for an emotional win on stage five.

Fabian Cancellara retained the yellow jersey after crossing in the main pack.

Welshman Geraint Thomas retained second place and the young riders' white jersey, with no change in the positions of defending champion Alberto Contador (ninth), last year's runner-up Andy Schleck (sixth) and seven-time champion Lance Armstrong (18th).

Team Sky leader Bradley Wiggins stayed in 14th place overall, despite falling in the neutralised zone as the peloton meandered through Epernay at the start of the day.

All that emotion and pressure that has built up all year has finally come to an end

Mark Cavendish

Cavendish prevailed in the sprint ahead of German Gerald Ciolek in second and Team Sky's Edvald Boasson Hagen in third to claim his first victory of this year's race, after four stage wins in 2008 and another six last year.

The 25-year-old moved up to ninth in the green jersey standings on 50 points, but still 52 behind Norwegian Thor Hushovd, who finished fifth in the stage.

"It means everything," said a tearful Cavendish after his fourth win of a relatively mediocre season by his standards of the past two years.

"It has been hard this year and things haven't really gone our way in the first few days of the Tour.

"That was bad luck but yesterday the team did amazingly well and I let them down massively at the end.

"It would have been easy for them to say, like everyone else, 'he hasn't got it anymore' but they were incredible again today.

"It was a technical finish and we got it from all sides from others teams but the guys kept their cool. We kept the speed high and Mark Renshaw did an incredible job, he was fighting with Thor (Hushovd) and Oscar (Freire).

"I just sat there, I knew he would deliver me into the right place and then I just had to go for it.

"It is an incredible feeling. All that emotion and pressure that has built up all year has finally come to an end.

"For sure we are going to try for other stages but thank God it paid off today."

A three-man breakaway group carved out a lead of almost eight minutes before being caught with 4km left of the 187.5km from Epernay to Montargis.

With the peloton fast approaching, Spaniard Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne) burst away from his fellow escapees - Frenchman Julien El Fares and Belgian Jurgen Van De Walle - with 6km remaining.

But his solo break only lasted another 2km before he too was swallowed up by the chasing pack.

606: DEBATE
Andy

Britain's David Millar briefly led the peloton as he looked to help his Garmin team-mate Tyler Farrar to the win, but when Millar peeled off, Renshaw powered through the gap with Cavendish perfectly positioned on his wheel.

And the Isle of Man rider jumped out from behind his Australian lead-out man to power home by a couple of bike lengths from Ciolek.


Stage five results:

1. Mark Cavendish (GB/HTC-Columbia) 4 hours, 30 minutes, 50 seconds

2. Gerald Ciolek (Ger/Milram) same time

3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor/SKY) same time

4. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa/Caisse d'Epargne) same time.

5. Thor Hushovd (Nor/Cervelo) same time.

Overall standings:

1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi/SAX) 22hrs 59mins 45sec

2. Geraint Thomas (GB/SKY) at 23"

3. Cadel Evans (Aus/BMC) at 39"

4. Ryder Hesjedal (Can/GRM) at 46"

5. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra/QST) at 1'01"

6. Andy Schleck (Lux/SAX) at 1'09"

7. Thor Hushovd (Nor/CTT) at 1'19"

8. Alexandre Vinoukourov (Kaz/AST) at 1'31"

9. Alberto Contador (Spa/AST) at 1'40"

10. Johan van den Broeck (Bel/OPL) at 1'42"

Selected others:

11 Nicolas Roche (Ire/AG2R) at 1'42"

14 Bradley Wiggins (GB/SKY) at 1'49"

15 David Millar (GB/GRM) at 2'06"

18 Lance Armstrong (US/TRS) at 2' 30"

67 Stephen Cummings (GB/SKY) at 3'44"

107 Mark Cavendish (GB/HTC) at 9' 11"

134 Jeremy Hunt (GB/CTT) at 15' 07"

152 Daniel Lloyd (GB/CTT) at 19' 23"

174 Charlie Wegelius (GB/OPL) at 27' 15"

For full results visit the official Tour de France site



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see also
Tour de France's phoney war
07 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Petacchi wins as Cavendish fades
07 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Hushovd beats Thomas to stage win
06 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Cavendish to ride for Isle of Man
06 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Chavanel wins dramatic Tour stage
05 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Petacchi wins crash-strewn stage
04 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Millar & Thomas shine in prologue
03 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Tour de France 2010 guide
02 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Tour de France day by day
04 Jul 10 |  Cycling


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