ANGERS (France) • Mark Cavendish joined France great Bernard Hinault in second place on the all-time list of Tour de France stage winners, when he pipped Andre Greipel yesterday for his second victory in this year's race.
The Briton, riding for the Dimension Data team, beat the German Greipel by less than a tyre's diameter to snatch his 28th career Tour win at the end of a 223.5-kilometre Stage 3 ride from Granville to Angers.
Belgian Eddy Merckx, like Hinault a five-time Tour winner, still tops the list of stage wins with 34.
World champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) from Slovakia retained the overall leader's yellow jersey after finishing fourth behind Bryan Coquard of France.
He leads France's Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step) and Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) by eight and 10 seconds respectively - with defending champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) of Britain in fifth place, 14 seconds off the pace.
"I thought I'd won when I crossed the line, but I couldn't be sure," said Cavendish.
"I thought Andre would go because he didn't win the other day. He got a real second wind, which surprised me."
He brushed aside suggestions that Greipel lost by celebrating too soon, saying: "He just went too early... it was an uphill finish."
But Greipel will feel absolutely sick. He lost position, fought back on his own, but was outgunned despite a comfortable lead a few metres out.