Mark Cavendish sprinted to victory on stage two at Three Days of De Panne
Last Updated: 28/03/13 6:37am
Mark Cavendish: Fought off his rivals in Belgium to signal his form
Mark Cavendish demonstrated his form with victory on stage two at the Three Days of De Panne after a hard-fought sprint.
The Manxman (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) went toe-to-toe with a number of big rivals in Koksijde and was able to rebound from disappointment on Tuesday to claim victory.
Cavendish was forced to kick early on the finishing straight but still had enough in the tank to edge out late charges from Elia Viviani (Cannondale) and Francesco Chicchi (Vini Fantini) - claiming his seventh success of the season.
Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) looked like he had moved into the box seat to claim victory but the German ran out of legs in the final 100 metres after briefly edging his great rival Cavendish towards the barriers.
The overall race lead passed over to fellow sprinter Arnaud Demare (FDJ) who placed fourth on the day but finished as part of an elite escape group on Tuesday's opening test.
The stage saw the riders tackle some of the most famous bergs of the Flemish region with a significant split at one point of 28 riders up the road. Three escapees were finally swept up on the bell lap of the final circuit before the inevitable bunch sprint.
The race concludes on Thursday with two stages - a short 109.7-kilometre sprint test in the morning followed by a 14.75km time trial on the seafront to decide the overall winner.