Mark Cavendish claimed his third win on the 2008 Tour de France, in a day marred by a further doping scandal. The Team Columbia Briton beat France's Sebastien Chavanel and Belgian Geert Steegmans in the final sprint in Narbonne.
The Briton prevailed at the end of the 168.5-km 12th stage from Lavelanet that started without the Saunier-Duval team, who pulled out of the race after it was revealed Italian Riccardo Ricco had tested positive for the blood-boosting drug EPO.
Cavendish, who rides for Team Columbia, beat
Asked about Ricco's positive test, Cavendish said: "It's a massive disappointment for the organisers but what matters is that you get the cheats."
Australian Cadel Evans of the Silence-Lotto team retained the overall leader's yellow jersey.
Two French riders, Samuel Dumoulin and Arnaud Gerard, pulled away after 25 km and were joined some 50 km from the line by
The trio enjoyed a 90-second lead over a quiet peloton but were caught with 10 km to go.
Despite crashing earlier in the stage, Cavendish burst out some 150 metres from the line to show again he was one of the new sprint kings.
With Ricco and his team mates out, Italian Vincenzo Nibali of Liquigas took the white jersey for the best young rider and German Sebastian Lang of Gerolsteiner the polka dot jersey for best climber.
Date created : 2008-07-17