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Cavendish is king of sprint

Latest update : 2008-07-19

British sprinter Mark Cavendish (Columbia) won his second stage in a row in Nimes, bringing his tally on this year's Tour de Fance to four. Australia's Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) retains the yellow jersey.

 

 
NIMES - Mark Cavendish took his fourth win on the Tour de France's 13th stage, a 182km ride from Narbonne to Nimes, as the race enjoyed a scandal-free Friday.

The roads were lined with thousands of people cheering the riders despite the doping scandals that erupted this week.

Italian Riccardo Ricco tested positive for the blood-booster EPO and his Saunier Duval team withdrew on Thursday.

Before him, Spaniards Manuel Beltran and Moises Duenas Nevado also tested positive for erythropoietin.

Briton Cavendish of Team Columbia became the first man to win four stages in the same Tour since fellow sprinter Italian Alessandro Petacchi in 2003.

Cavendish easily beat veteran Australian Robbie McEwen of the Silence-Lotto team and France's Romain Feillu of Agritubel.

Australian Cadel Evans of Silence-Lotto enjoyed a trouble-free day at the heart of the peloton and retained his overall leader's yellow jersey with a one-second advantage over Luxembourg's Frank Schleck.

France's Florent Brard and Dutchman Niki Terpstra broke away in the first km and opened a 10-minute advantage over the peloton in the sundrenched Languedoc region.

Terpstra went solo with some 20km to go but could not resist being pulled back into the peloton.

Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel jumped away eight km from the finish and started an individual time trial heading to Nimes.

The sprinters' teams, however, swallowed him with less than four km to go before Cavendish launched his victorious sprint some 200 metres from the line.

"My team mates perfectly launched the sprint in the last kilometre," said Cavendish.

Date created : 2008-07-18

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