|Cavendish's win earned the green jersey for the man from the Isle of Man [AFP]
Mark Cavendish defeated fierce rival Andre Greipel to win the 11th stage of the Tour de France and snatch the green jersey in the process.
Briton Cavendish was set up perfectly by his teammate Mark Renshaw in the final stretch, prevailing one day after losing by a hair to Greipel to claim his 18th victory on the Tour after a 167.5-km effort from Blaye les Mines.
American Tyler Farrar was third as Thomas Voeckler of France, who spent a quiet day in the peloton, retained the overall leader's yellow jersey.
A six-man breakaway built a 4:30 gap and kept the peloton at bay until four kilometres from the finish.
Dutchman Lars Boom tried his luck just before the other fugitives were reeled in but he had to surrender two kilometres from the line.
The sprinters' teams took the matter in their own hands and once again, it was the HTC-Highroad train that took control in the last kilometre.
Cavendish overcame a failing buckle on his shoe to win again and the Englishman took the lead in the points classification standings with 251 points.
Spain's Jose Joaquin Rojas has 235 points.
After taking possession of the green jersey for the points competition from Philippe Gilbert, the 26-year-old Cavendish, from the Isle of Man, was in seventh heaven.
"It's everything I wanted when I came here this year," said Cavendish, who also won stage five in Cap Frehel and stage seven in Chateauroux.
Thursday's 12th stage is the first of three in a row in the Pyrenees and is expected to stage the first skirmishes in the yellow jersey battle between Contador, Schleck and Evans.
Voeckler will wear the jersey at the start, but is not optimistic about keeping it after what should be a thrilling 211km of racing.
"It was quite a stressful day but we kept the yellow jersey so it finished well," said Voeckler.
"If we lose the yellow jersey tomorrow then we'll do so knowing that we gave it everything. But to be honest, I fully expect to lose it tomorrow."