Britain’s Mark Cavendish won the seventh stage of cycling’s Tour de France, as Norway’s Thor Hushovd kept the race-leading yellow jersey.
Cavendish, of the HTC-Highroad team, won a sprint at the end of the 218-kilomter (135-mile) stage from Le Mans to Chateauroux, beating out Italy’s Alessandro Petacchi of Lampre-ISD and German Andre Greipel of Omega Pharma-Lotto.
It was the second stage win in three days for Cavendish and his 17th overall at the Tour. It came on the same road in Chateauroux that he won his first stage in 2008.
“It’s a very, very special day for me,” Cavendish said in an interview with Eurosport. “I think out of all the stages this was the one I wanted because of all the sentiment.”
Garmin-Cervelo’s Hushovd finished in seventh place to maintain his one-second lead over Australian Cadel Evans of BMC Racing, who also finished in the main pack.
Britain’s Bradley Wiggins withdrew from the race after breaking his collarbone in a crash with about 40 kilometers remaining. He held his arm in pain as he got up and was taken away in an ambulance.
“It happened so quick,” Team Sky head coach Shane Sutton told Eurosport. “He was in really good form. Hopefully we can repeat that next year.”
Wiggins entered today’s stage in sixth place, 10 seconds behind Hushovd. He finished fourth in the 2009 Tour.