• Tour de France, Stage 18

Cavendish powers to stage win

ESPN staff
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Mark Cavendish celebrates victory in Stage 18 © PA Photos
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Team Sky's dominance of the Tour de France continued as Mark Cavendish timed his sprint to perfection to claim Stage 18.

Questions had been asked about the world champion, as he had been in the shadows on account of Sky's focus on leading Bradley Wiggins to Tour glory. He came into the stage with just one win in the Tour to date, having been outsprinted on a couple of occasions, but he silenced the doubters with a brilliant burst to claim the win.

With the mountains out of the way, Sky were free to support Cavendish for the stage win and the team reeled in a break with a kilometre to run. Wiggins put a huge turn on the front to deliver Cavendish, but he still had work to do on his own to close down Nicolas Roche.

But he found a devastating turn of pace to cut down the Irishman well before the line and he was able to coast home.

Wiggins kept himself out of trouble and cruised home in the pack to retain his lead ahead of Saturday's timetrial.

Stage 18 result
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky - 04:54:12
2 Matthew Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale
4 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Rabobank
5 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale
6 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
7 Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana
8 Sebastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
9 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
10 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne

General Classification
1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky - 83:22:18
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky 0:02:05
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:02:41
4 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:05:53
5 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing 0:08:30
6 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing - 0:09:57
7 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan - 0:10:11
8 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar - 0:10:17
9 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana - 0:11:00
10 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat - 0:11:46

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