Cavendish secures hat-trick
Mark Cavendish sprinted to his third stage victory of this year's Tour de France in Issoudun. Rinaldo Nocentini retained the yellow jersey.
By Graeme Mair
Last Updated: 14/07/09 11:02pm
Britain's Mark Cavendish sprinted to his third stage victory of this year's Tour de France on Tuesday.
The Team Columbia rider once again proved too quick for his rivals in a mass finish to stage 10, which covered a 194.5-kilometre route from Limoges to Issoudun.
Cavendish was given another superb lead out by team-mate Mark Renshaw and easily held off Cervelo's Thor Hushovd in the final charge to the line. American Tyler Farrar took third for Garmin.
Hushovd, from Norway, retained the green jersey with his second-place finish but his advantage over Cavendish has been trimmed to six points.
"I needed the rest day yesterday, it was good, and everyone was fresh today," said Cavendish, who has now won seven Tour de France stages in his career - one short of equalling Barry Hoban's British record.
"The team rode well again today and took the race on again. It was a tough little finish but they delivered me perfectly. It's nice.
"Thor was second there so I only got five points back on him. But I've got another two stage wins, or even four, lined up that I want to win. Maybe two is realistic."
Italian Rinaldo Nocentini of AG2R finished safely in the main pack to keep hold of the yellow jersey.
Britain's Bradley Wiggins, however, slipped from fifth to seventh in the overall standings after being held up by a late crash and losing 15 seconds.
Stage 10 was held entirely without the use of radio earpieces, the first time in almost 15 years that team managers were unable to communicate with their riders.
Tour de France organisers, looking to inject some extra excitement into proceedings, have another radio ban planned for stage 13 on Friday.
A four-man group - Benoit Vaugrenard, Samuel Dumoulin, Thierry Hupond and Mikhail Ignatiev - had formed an early breakaway and, at one point, led by more than four minutes.
The three Frenchmen - Vaugrenard, Dumoulin and Hupond - were particularly keen in their efforts as they eyed a home win on Bastille Day, while Russia's Ignatiev contributed little work on the front.
Team Columbia, Milram, Quick-Step and Liquigas all took turns powering the peloton's chase and, with just over one kilometre remaining, the escapees were hauled back - allowing Cavendish to take full advantage.
Meanwhile, Saxo Bank's Kurt-Asle Arvesen is out of the race after breaking his collarbone in two places.
The Norwegian, who won stage 11 of last year's Tour, sustained the injury after 87km trying to avoid a spectator who had fallen into the road.
Stage 10 result:
1 M Cavendish (Britain/Columbia) 4hrs 46mins 43secs
2 T Hushovd (Norway/Cervelo) same time
3 T Farrar (US/Garmin)
4 L Duque (Colombia/Cofidis)
5 J Joaquin Rojas (Spain/Caisse d'Epargne)
6 L Mondory (France/AG2R)
7 K van Hummel (Netherlands/Skil-Shimano)
8 W Bonnet (France/Bbox-Bouygues)
9 D Bennati (Italy/Liquigas)
10 S Haddou (France/Bbox-Bouygues)
1 R Nocentini (Italy/AG2R) 39hrs 11mins 04secs
2 A Contador (Spain/Astana) +6"
3 L Armstrong (US/Astana) +8"
1 T Hushovd (Norway/Cervelo) 147 points
2 M Cavendish (Britain/Columbia) 141
3 J Joaquin Rojas (Spain/Caisse d'Epargne) 97