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Mark Cavendish claims 26th Tour de France stage win

Cavendish crossed the line ahead of Andre Greipel. Credit: ITV4

Mark Cavendish has secured his 26th Tour de France stage victory and his first at this year's Tour.

The Manx rider crossed the line ahead of Andre Greipel and Peter Sagan in today's seventh stage.

The pressure had been mounting for Cavendish after he was beaten by Greipel in a sprint finish on Sunday and Wednesday.

Cavendish wins first stage at Tour of California

Cav got the win. Credit: PA

Mark Cavendish recorded his 10th win of the season as he took the opening stage of the Tour of California in Sacramento on Sunday evening.

The Manxman's Etixx-QuickStep team-mates controlled the front of the peloton to allow Mark Renshaw to give Cavendish the perfect lead-out in the final stretch of the 203.1km stage which started and finished in the state capital.

Cavendish edged out Tinkoff-Saxo's Peter Sagan and Jean-Pierre Drucker of BMC Racing for his sixth Tour of California stage win and the first leader's jersey of this edition.

However, there was also a major withdrawal as American Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin), who was looking to get into shape for the Tour de France, pulled out with what the team said was a combination of respiratory problems and allergies.

Once a four-man breakaway had been swept up, Etixx-QuickStep, Tinkoff-Saxo, MTN-Qhubeka and BMC battled at the front of the peloton for control.

Cavendish's team moved to the front inside the final five kilometres and held position under pressure from their rivals. With Renshaw his guide, Cavendish was able to jump off his wheel and win with relative ease.

Monday's stage is on more rolling terrain as the riders tackle 193.7km from Nevada to Lodi.


Cavendish salutes young sprinter ace

Mark Cavendish signalled his admiration of young rival Fernando Gaviria after the Colombian outpaced him again to win stage three of the Tour de San Luis.

For the second time this week in Argentina, 20-year-old Gaviria had Cavendish in his slipstream as he crossed the line first, this time at the end of the 176.3 kilometres the riders raced from Concaran to Juana Koslay.

Gaviria, riding for his national team, burst clear inside the final quarter of a mile and held off second-placed Cavendish, a serial winner of sprints at the highest level in world cycling.

The beaten Briton, from the Etixx-Quick Step team, wrote on Twitter: "Well, 2nd again in @TourSanLuis to @77Gaviria. He has this phenomenal acceleration that's hard to close a gap to.. Impressive. Congrats!"


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Downing: 'Gutted' Cav is out of Le Tour

Professional cyclist Dean Downing says he is "gutted" to hear that Mark Cavendish will not compete in the remaining stages of Le Tour de France.

Cavendish crashed in the last stretch into Harrogate, dislocating his shoulder.

Watch: Dean Downing put through his paces to show rigours of Tour

Mark Cavendish out of Tour de France following injury

Mark Cavendish is out of the Tour de France following the shoulder injury he suffered on the first stage in Harrogate on Saturday, his Omega Pharma-Quick Step team have confirmed.

mega Pharma-Quick Step's Mark Cavendish rides over the finish line in Harrogate after crashing out of the final sprint. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Excitement builds in Yorkshire for Le Tour de France

Final preparations are under way for this weekend's Grand Depart of the Tour de France in Yorkshire.

ITV News correspondent Damon Green reports from Leeds, as thousands of people gather to see the stars of cycling at tonight's opening ceremony:

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