Mark Cavendish makes it a Tour de France four-timer

Manx rider beats Marcel Kittel in the final straight to win his 30th career stage

Mark Cavendish won his fourth stage of the 2016 Tour de France. Photograph: Afp

Mark Cavendish won his fourth stage of the 2016 Tour de France. Photograph: Afp

 

Mark Cavendish claimed his fourth stage win of the 2016 Tour de France and 30th of his career with victory in the Parc des Oiseaux in Villars-les-Dombes.

Cavendish came around the wheel of Marcel Kittel in the final straight and took victory ahead of Norwegian Alexander Kristoff and world champion Peter Sagan in third.

Cavendish enjoyed his best ever first week of a Tour de France with victories on stages one, four and six, and the Dimension Data rider proved he still has strong form after coming through the first mountain tests.

Last week Cavendish moved past Bernard Hinault in second in the all-time list of Tour stage winners and this latest success leaves him four behind the record of five-time Tour winner Eddy Merckx.

There has been speculation throughout the Tour that the Manxman would at some point withdraw to focus on preparations for racing on the track at the Rio Olympics, but with his form so strong he will also have an eye on a fifth career victory on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

Kittel, having made his move first, ended up fifth and behind fellow German John Degenkolb.

Team Sky’s Chris Froome finished safely in the pack to retain the yellow jersey.

Ireland’s Dan Martin and Sam Bennett also finished in the pack to retain their overall positions. Bennett was 12th on the stage.

As Cavendish crossed the line, Kittel was seen waving an arm in frustration, having felt Cavendish cut across him in the final metres.

The result remained provisional as the race jury reviewed the images. However, Cavendish’s win was soon confirmed.

Tour de France (Montelimar - Villars-les-Dombes, 208.5 km): 1. Mark Cavendish (Britain / Dimension Data) 5:43:49“ 2. Alexander Kristoff (Norway / Katusha) ST 3. Peter Sagan (Slovakia / Tinkoff) 4. John Degenkolb (Germany / Giant) 5. Marcel Kittel (Germany / Etixx - Quick-Step) 6. Andre Greipel (Germany / Lotto) 7. Bryan Coquard (France / Direct Energie) 8. Davide Cimolai (Italy / Lampre) 9. Christophe Laporte (France / Cofidis) 10. Samuel Dumoulin (France / AG2R)

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