Mark Cavendish edges out Nicolas Roche in spring finish at the Tour de France
A SENSATIONAL sprint finish saw Mark Cavendish claim the 22nd Tour de France stage success of his career in Brive-la-Gaillarde today.
Ireland’s Nicolas Roche was in the shake up for the stage to the very finish.
The 27-year-old from the Isle of Man equalled Lance Armstrong and Andre Darrigade in fourth place in the all-time rankings of Tour stage winners.
Bradley Wiggins, who retained a lead of two minutes five seconds at the top of the overall rankings as he seems ever more certain of becoming the first British winner of the Tour, played his part in leading Cavendish out at the end of the 222.5-kilometre route from Blagnac.
But the world champion had to use all his skill to negotiate his way around Luis-Leon Sanchez and Nicolas Roche, who were making a last-ditch bid to avoid a sprint finish, and power to a stunning triumph.
Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) was second, with points classification leader Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) third.
Sanchez (Rabobank) was fourth, with Roche (Ag2r La Mondiale) fifth.