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Page last updated at 15:45 GMT, Friday, 9 July 2010 16:45 UK

Mark Cavendish wins second straight Tour stage

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
Cavendish now has 12 wins in the Tour de France

Mark Cavendish sprinted to victory on stage six of the Tour de France on Friday, his second stage win in a row.

The 227.5km route from Montargis to Gueugnon was the longest on the 2010 Tour, and the win was the 12th of the Isle of Man rider's career.

American Tyler Farrar was second and Italy's Alessandro Petacchi third.

Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara retained the overall leader's yellow jersey although Britain's Geraint Thomas closed the gap to 20 seconds.

Thomas, riding for Team Sky, started the day 23 seconds behind Cancellara but finished 11th in the leading group of 14 riders to be given the same time as Cavendish.

I cross the line with my hands in the air, but it doesn't make me necessarily the only guy who's done it

Mark Cavendish

A split in the peloton meant that Cancellara was timed three seconds back and as Saturday's seventh stage is hillier than any of the first six, the Swiss rider, who has spent 21 days in his career in yellow, is expected to lose his race lead as he is not renowned as a climber.

"Twenty one days - it's good, but I haven't won the Tour and that's the difference," said Cancellara.

"Tomorrow if I still have it I'll be even more proud, but I also know we'll be in the mountains, so we have to see how the race goes tactically."

Thomas, who is wearing the white jersey as the best young rider in the race, is well-placed to make an assault on the yellow jersey, although Australia's Cadel Evans, currently in third overall and 19 seconds behind the Welshman, is likely to go on the attack on Saturday.

Thomas was timed at five hours, 37 minutes, 42 seconds, the same as Cavendish who, as on Thursday, was perfectly set for the final stretch by his HTC Columbia lead-out man Mark Renshaw.

Australian Renshaw sat in the wheel of riders from Garmin and Lampre in the final kilometre before bursting through in the final 400m and peeling away for Cavendish to take the glory and 35 much-needed points in the green jersey classification.

Cavendish moved up from ninth to fifth in the standings, although he is still 33 points behind classification rival Thor Hushovd, who finished 10th and stays in green.

"It was deceptively hard today, we did 2,500m of altitude" Cavendish told BBC Sport.

"We can't lead out like we did last year because we haven't got the numbers.

"We have to jump off the other teams and Mark did that and delivered me to the finish from 200m."

Cavendish's victory was his 12th on the Tour de France, matching the feats of Erik Zabel, Mario Cipollini and Robbie McEwen. However, the 25-year-old Manx rider was quick to share the credit for his wins with his team-mates.

"I cross the line with my hands in the air, but it doesn't make me necessarily the only guy who's done it," Cavendish added.

"I've got guys riding for me on the front all day. It's incredible to do, especially with the Alps coming up where some of our guys will have their own ambitions. It shows they are willing to sacrifice for the team."

Spaniard Ruben Perez Moreno, German Sebastian Lang and France's Mathieu Perget broke away from the field in the opening kilometre and opened up an eight-minute lead before the peloton, led in the main by HTC Columbia's Bert Grabsch, began to reel them back in as they rolled through Burgundy.

606: DEBATE
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With 25km and only one of the four category four climbs of the day remaining, Frenchmen Dimitri Champion and Anthony Charteau jumped off the front in pursuit of the leaders, whose advantage had been cut to 40 seconds.

The gap was easily cut, although Perget made sure he reached the top of Cote de la Croix de l'Arbre first to collect maximum points in the King of the Mountains classification after summiting each of the three previous climbs ahead of Ruben Perez and Lang.

The quintet were finally caught as they went under the 10km to go banner and, with crosswinds threatening to split the bunch, the teams of the main contenders for yellow moved to the front.

Alberto Contador's Astana, Andy Schleck's Saxo Bank and Lance Armstrong's RadioShack were visible, although they left the main sprint well alone.

Garmin looked well set to deliver Farrar to the line as they negotiated a tricky right-hander in the final kilometre to lead, but Renshaw powered through to help Cavendish win by a couple of bike lengths.


Stage five results:

1. Mark Cavendish (GB/HTC-Columbia) 5 hours, 37 minutes, 42 seconds

2. Tyler Farrar (US/Garmin) same time

3. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita/Lampre) same time

4. Robbie McEwen (Aus/Katusha) same time

5. Gerald Ciolek (Ger/Milram) same time

Overall standings:

1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi/SAX) 28hrs 37mins 30sec

2. Geraint Thomas (GB/SKY) at 20"

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 1'16"

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"

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

107 Mark Cavendish (GB/HTC) at 9' 08"

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

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

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

For full results visit the official Tour de France site



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see also
Cavendish roars back to win stage
08 Jul 10 |  Cycling
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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