REUTERS - Mark Cavendish won the 11th stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday to equal Barry Hoban's British record of eight victories in the world's greatest race.
The Isle of Man rider outsprinted American Tyler Farrar and Yauheni Hutarovich of Belarus at the end of a 192km ride from Vatan to St Fargeau to take his fourth win in this year's Tour.
Hoban won his eight stages from 1967 to '75, the last at the age of 35, while the 24-year-old Cavendish is taking part in only his second Tour.
Italian Rinaldo Nocentini retained the overall leader's yellow jersey two seconds ahead of Spain's Alberto Contador with American Lance Armstrong in third place eight seconds off the pace.
Briton Bradley Wiggins slipped back to fifth after the race jury decided to cancel a 15-second gap between two bunches in the final part of Tuesday's stage.
Wednesday's stage was marred by two early crashes that allowed Belgian Johan Van Summeren and Marcin Sapa of Poland to break away after 24km.
The duo built a maximum lead of 4 minutes 35 seconds before the sprinters' team used their collective force to rein in the fugitives.
Cavendish's Columbia team mates set up the perfect lead-out for their sprinter, who resisted Farrar's late burst of speed to claim the green jersey for the points classification off Norwegian Thor Hushovd's shoulders.