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UK's Mark Cavendish wins second stage

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-07-05

Briton Mark Cavendish won the second stage of the Tour de France on Sunday. American Tyler Farrar of Garmin-Slipstream is second with France's Romain Feillu finishing third. Fabian Cancellara retains the overall lead.

AFP - Briton Mark Cavendish of the Colombia team won the second stage of the Tour de France on Sunday, a 187km ride from Monaco to Brignoles, as stage one winner Fabian Cancellara of Saxo Bank retained the yellow jersey.

The 24-year-old Cavendish, who won four stages of last year's edition, came through in a sprint finish after his team pushed to the front 75km from the line.

In sweltering conditions, Cavendish edged out American Tyler Farrar and Frenchman Romain Feillu but not before a fall split the peleton going into a curve 750 metres out.

A four-man breakaway had escaped the peloton early in the stage which took the bunch away from glitzy Monaco into the roads of the Var region.

Finland's Jussi Veikkanen, Dutchman Stef Clement and French duo Stephane Auge and Cyril Dessel worked well together for the first 100km and managed to build a maximum lead of five minutes.

Behind Cancellara's team were helping set an easy pace at the front of the bunch.

But from around the halfway mark the frontrunners were virtually condemned to being caught and as Colombia and Cavendish took over the chase the leaders' advantage quickly evaporated.

With 28km to race and few difficulties left no negotiate, their lead had dropped to two minutes and a further 10km on they held only 1:11.

That set the stage for Cavendish to seize the final initiative and burst for the line.
 

Date created : 2009-07-05