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Cavendish wins in Bordeaux
Briton takes his fourth stage of Tour as Contador retains the yellow jersey.
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2010 17:18 GMT
Spain's Alberto Contador celebrated his yellow jersey with Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise [AFP]

Mark Cavendish of Britain won the 18th stage of the Tour de France in a bunch sprint in Bordeaux.

The 25-year-old Briton collected his fourth Tour stage win this year on Friday and the 13th in his career after a flat 198km ride from Salies-de-Bearn.

Cavendish made it look easy.

Within the last several hundred metres, he swerved left to get around two riders including Norwegian sprint star Thor Hushovd, then moved back right to cross all alone.

By the finish, Cavendish looked back over his shoulder, almost seeming to taunt his rivals, winning by several bike lengths. 

"I just wanted to conserve my energy,'' Cavendish said, when asked why he appeared to let up at the end. He said he wanted to save himself a bit for Saturday's tough time trial.

"I doesn't matter whether you win by a lot or half a bike length," he said, after clocking 4 hours, 37 minutes, 9 seconds, the same time awarded to the main pack.

Green jersey

Julian Dean of New Zealand was second, and Italy's Alessandro Petacchi was third, grabbing the sprinter's green jersey.

Hushovd, who had held the green jersey, finished 14th and gave up any hope of recovering the prize by the final stage.

"It's a big disappointment, but I realised step by step during the sprints that I'm suffering," he said.

"I don't have the same level as Cavendish and Petacchi, and today was just another sprint that didn't work out."

Spaniard Alberto Contador retained the overall lead over Andy Schleck of Luxembourg and is widely expected to consolidate his grip on the yellow jersey in the time trial.

The race ends in Paris on Sunday.

Source:
Agencies
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