Mark Cavendish pullings off four-timer to contact 30 Tour de France stage wins

Mark Cavendish has prevailed stage 14 of the Tour de France, his fourth stage win of this years hasten and the 30 th of his career

It is five years since Mark Cavendish acquired five stages in the Tour de France, but all gamblings should be off after he took his fourth victoryin this years hasten here to move to 30 profession victories, just four behind the all-time chronicle held by Eddy Merckx. The Manxman will not pair the Cannibal this year, as there is only one clear-cut sprint stage standing, on the Champs Elyses the leg to Berne on Monday has a hill near the finish but the record has to be now very much on the cards in the coming few seasons.

Cavendish survived an appeal from Marcel Kittel, who finished fifth and who felt that the Manxman had deviated from his text in the final 100 metres. He moved right and I had to restraint, Kittel said.

However, the hasten jury upheld research results, and Cavendish pointed out that Kittel had moved to his left as the Dimension Data rider came past. Subsequentlies, Cavendish weaved slightly but without definitively closing the door on the German. The sprint searched sketchy, but into a headwind, where the riders leave their efforts belatedly, they are even scarier than usual.

The sprint started sometime, and Kittel was left with no alternative but to become earlier than he craved, from 250 m out, with Cavendish on his pedal. As at Montauban, where he used the Germans slipstream in same style, the advantage was always going to be with Cavendish because of the imbalance in their respective sizes. Here, that was accentuated with the gust blowing in their faces.

I didnt see what happened because I was in front of him, said Cavendish. We did come together but if you look at him next to the barriers I think it was him coming off them. He added that in his view what has made the difference this year is his return to the track, where he will travel the omnium for Great Britain, but not in a physical sense.

You refresh your hastening nous. When you razz the track you need to be patient, assess the situation and Ive been more patient in this Tour. I knew Marcel would have to be on the figurehead early, because he had only four lead-out mortals left at two kilometres to croak, he was on the front too long, so what I had to do was wait for him to lose his meridian hasten and then jump-start around him.

Cavendish added that he will dohis best to get through to Paris, but it was necessary to do so while ensuring that he remains fresh for Rio.

The start of this 206 kilometre stage northwards through the Drme, Isre and Ain was were put forward 15 hours because of a strong headwind the same northerly which has caused disturb since Wednesday but the riders still finished behind the slowest schedule, although Chris Froome said the slow gait came as a accepted pause. The second half of the roadway in particular had a slightly different feeling to it. Kilometre after kilometre, the roadside bunch were on a scale that is rarely seen in France, even in the cycling heartland of Brittany; Yorkshire and the Netherlands are where the most spectators have turned out in recent years.

This crowd was almost exclusively French, with a massive predominance of children, and they brandished tricolour pennants on a scale that again seemed somehow new.

Admittedly, this was part of the long Bastille Day weekend and the street did lead close to a major centre of population Lyon but it was hard not to see this as partly a largely silent statement of faith in the French summertime in spite of Thursday nighttimes affairs, partly perhaps a is a requirement to flee and find diversion in this revered institution.

Mark Cavendish twinkles four digits for his fourth victory in this years Tour. Photograph: Peter Dejong/ AP

Three kilometres from the finish, the road changed northwards on to an exposed main road. Had the equestrians gazed to their left, they would have investigated Mont Blanc glittering lily-white on the horizon, a reminder of what awaits in the next week. On Friday, the Tour finishes contiguous to the great mountain, but there is spate of uphill work before then.

The climbing starts again on Sunday on the road to the town of Culoz over a profile peppered with risings, six of which counting for the King of the Mountains prize, includes the super-category Col du Grand Colombier. It is, said Froome, a stage that Team Sky are plowing with particular upkeep: Its a stagecoach that has been underestimated and you could be caught out.

Even if Froome is not instantly peril, the order of those below him may be altered. The stands from Bauke Mollema in second to Geraint Thomas in 15 th are spanned by five minutes and a single second. The publication of climbing to come is such … … that any of the dozen riders above Sergio Henao in 14 th still has a chance of finishing in the top five.

The question is at what point they will begin to prioritise the chick in the handwriting of a high put over the chick in the bush of a putative succes, and on that hangs often of the next weeks interest.

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