Sam Bennett's stand-in Mark Ca...


Sam Bennett's stand-in Mark Cavendish claims 31st Tour victory

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Five years on from his 30th, Mark Cavendish claimed a 31st stage win on the Tour de France. 

The Manx rider got the better of a sprint finish into Fougères in Brittany.

Cavendish only got the nod to ride for Deceuninck Quick-Step on this year's Tour, after Ireland's Sam Bennett withdrew days before the start of the race.

It was stage 14 of the 2016 Tour when Cavendish last took a stage victory. The win also saw Cavendish collect the green points jersey.

Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) retains the leader's yellow jersey, with an eight-second advantage over Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck Quick-Step).

"I didn't think I'd get to come back to this race," Cavendish said after the stage.

"I thought I was never coming back to this race.

"When you come to Deceuninck-QuickStep, they have the best riders in the world, so it wasn't even a though to come here."

Earlier in the day, the peloton staged a protest against what they believe are dangerous racing conditions.

After about a kilometre of riding, the riders stopped and got off their bikes for one minute, before carrying on.

Caleb Ewan was forced with withdraw from the Tour after sustaining a broken collarbone in a fall that also took down Peter Sagan yesterday.

While Geraint Thomas suffered a dislocated shoulder, and Primoz Roglic escaped with bad wounds in a separate incident.

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Deceunick Quick Step Julian Alaphilippe Mark Cavendish Mathieu Van Der Poel Primoz Roglic Tour De France

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