Sprint king Cavendish wins Tour de France's second stage
British sprint king Mark Cavendish won the second stage of the Tour de France in Tournai on Monday, with Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara retaining the overall race leader's yellow jersey.other Updated: Jul 02, 2012 23:21 IST
British sprint king Mark Cavendish won the second stage of the Tour de France in Tournai on Monday, with Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara retaining the overall race leader's yellow jersey.
Team Sky's Cavendish beat home German Andre Greipel on the line in a mass sprint at the end of the 207km ride between Vise and Tournai.
The reigning road-race world champion trailed Greipel at the start of the first mass sprint finish in this year's tour, but he edged home by half a wheel at the finish line.
Australia's Matt Goss took third place ahead of Tom Veelers of the Netherlands and Italy's Alessandro Petacchi.
Team Sky chief Dave Brailsford said: “Psychologically that was a big stage for all the sprint teams.
“He (Cavendish) has proved there why he is the number one in the world and why he has been the number one for a long time.”
World champion Cavendish stayed in Greipel's wheel in the home straight and went past his former team mate with about 50 metres to go.
Swiss Fabian Cancellara of the RadioShack-Nissan team retained the overall leader's yellow jersey.
A three-man breakaway group built a maximum lead of eight minutes but they were reined in as the peloton geared up for the expected bunch sprint. Frenchman Anthony Roux, despite an injured hand, was the last to surrender when he was caught 14 km from the line. Tuesday's third stage will take the peloton from Orchies to Boulogne-sur-Mer over 197 kilometres.