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Cavendish edges Greipel to win Tour de France thriller

Mark Cavendish (right) joined French legend Bernard Hinault on 28 stage wins and second place on the all-time list

Mark Cavendish joined France great Bernard Hinault in second place of the all-time list of Tour de France stage winners when he pipped Andre Greipel on Monday for his second victory in this year’s race.

The Briton, riding for the Dimension Data team, beat German Greipel by less than a tyre’s length to snatch his 28th career Tour win at the end of a 223.5-km ride from Granville.

Belgian Eddy Merckx, like Hinault a five-time Tour winner, still tops the list of stage wins with 34.

World champion Slovakian Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey.

He leads France’s Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step) and Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) by eight and 10 seconds respectively with defending champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) of Britain in fifth place, 14 seconds off the pace.

Armindo Fonseca (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) was the first attacker of the day and he built an 11-minute lead over a peloton that rode at snail’s pace.

He was later joined by fellow Frenchman Thomas Vockler (Direct Energie), but their effort was doomed and the peloton, lef by Marcel Kittel’s Etixx-Quick Step’s team, launched its effort.

German Kittel, however, was unable to sustain the pace in the final straight, a slightly uphill 30-metre dash to the line.

Frenchman Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) was third.

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