Cavendish scores second Tour stage win
Australian sprinter Matt Goss finished second again as world champion Mark Cavendish scored an outstanding sprint win at the Tour de France.
Cavendish launched his sprint 300m from the line and no-one could match him at the end of the 222.5km stage from Blagnac to Brive-la-Gaillarde.
It was his second stage win of this Tour and the 22nd of his superb career.
Sky also scored their fourth stage win of the Tour and team leader Brad Wiggins is two days away from becoming the first British overall winner.
Wiggins was one of the Sky riders who helped set up Cavendish for his final sprint.
It was the second time Goss has finished second in this Tour as new Australian team Orica-GreenEDGE chase their first stage win.
They will have their last chance on Sunday when the Tour has its traditional finish on the Champs Elysees in Paris.
“He was a fair way in front – I was just too far back on the last corner,” Goss said.
“He already had 20m before he even started the sprint – well, second place again, Champs Elysees, one more try.
“I felt really good, I felt strong, I felt good all day – it was a hard day.
“I still feel like I have a lot there … (but) Cavendish was gone before I even started.
“Definitely, it (Paris) is another good chance, we get the guys organised and we might be able to do something good there, hopefully.”
Another Australian, Lotto-Belisol rider Adam Hansen, also featured prominently in the stage.
The Queenslander was in a break of 16 that went clear at 71km.
They built their lead to only three and a half minutes and Hansen attacked with 20km left when it became clear the peloton would catch the break.
Hansen, French rider Jeremy Roy and Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov were unable to build a big enough advantage and their late adventure ended in the last 5km.
It has been a tough few days for Hansen – three days ago, his mother broke her ankle and has been in a French hospital since.
There was drama at 120km when a large dog ran onto the road and caused a crash in the peloton, bringing down four riders.
One of them, Belgian star Philippe Gilbert, was furious and was seen yelling at the owners before continuing in the race.
Gilbert landed on his shoulder, but his BMC team said he will finish the Tour.
The Tour continues with Saturday’s individual time trial, where Wiggins is expected to dominate.© AAP 2013
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