Cavendish overtakes Hinault with 29th Tour win

Thu Jul 7, 2016 1:55pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

MONTAUBAN, France (Reuters) - Mark Cavendish cemented his status as the Tour de France's greatest sprinter when he claimed his 29th stage victory in the race in Thursday's sixth leg.

The 142nd triumph of his professional career put the Briton in outright second place on the list of all-time Tour stage winners ahead of Bernard Hinault (28).

Cavendish is now five shy of Eddy Merckx's record.

Greg van Avermaet (BMC) had a quiet day in the peloton, as did defending champion and race favourite Chris Froome (Team Sky) of Britain, but the Belgian retained the overall leader's yellow jersey.

Dimension Data rider Cavendish, 31, surged ahead in the final straight and held off a charge from German Marcel Kittel (Etixx-Quick Step).

Another Briton, Dan McLay (Fortuneo Vital Concept), took third place.

'Manx Missile' Cavendish, who reclaimed the green jersey in the overall points category from Slovak Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), has now won half of the stages in this year's race, having managed only one last year.

Kittel and German champion Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) had been widely tipped by pundits to win the sixth leg but once again Cavendish denied them.   Continued...

Cycling - Tour de France cycling race - The 190.5 km (118 miles) Stage 6 from Arpajon-sur-Cere to Montauban, France - 07/07/2016 - Team Dimension Data rider Mark Cavendish of Britain wins on finish line.    REUTERS/Stringer