Britain’s Mark Cavendish won a drama-filled 13th stage of the Tour de France on Friday as former two-time winner Alberto Contador narrowed his deficit to yellow jersey holder Chris Froome.
Omega-Pharma sprinter Cavendish, taking his second win of the 100th edition of the race and 25th of his career, dominated a two-up sprint with Slovakian Peter Sagan.
The British champion had been near the front of the peloton when Contador’s Saxo team turned the screw on Team Sky and caused a split in the pack 31 kilometres from the finish.
It left a group of 14 frontrunners to build a lead on the main bunch that grew to 1min 08sec by the finish, but with few sprinters of Cavendish’s class among the group the Isle of Man rider won with relative ease.
“In the end it was just Sagan and myself, I was really happy to beat him,” said Cavendish, who was beaten at the line on Thursday when Marcel Kittle claimed his third win of the race.