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Cav improves at Le Tour

Mark Cavendish finished yesterday's stage two of the Tour de France in 27th place, one behind Britain's David Millar.

They were part of a group who came in on the same time as stage winner Thor Hushovd of Norway.

However there was some success for Team Columbia as Luxembourg's Kim Kirchen and Germany's Gerald Ciolek completed the top three.

But that did not ease Cavendish's personal disappointment at not being up there in the sprint.

"I thought I could perhaps have a crack at it but it was tougher than I anticipated. I knew it was going to be quite tough in the last few kilometres but I didn't expect it to be so hard," he said just before the Team Columbia set off for their hotel.

"We were strong as a unit again at the end but unfortunately I wasn't strong enough to stay up there. OK we didn't win the stage but I think we can be happy with second and third."

Spain's Alejandro Valverde retained the yellow jersey, while Kirchen moved to second overall ahead of Spain's Oscar Freire in third.

Millar moves from 11th to seventh in the overall standings, while Cavendish, who has a genuine chance of success in today's stage from Saint-Malo to Nantes, is 100th.

"Stage three is a better chance for me personally," said the Laxey rider, "It's a pan flat run in so it's more suited to me. It's one of the finishes I've been targeting for the whole race."

(Picture: Mark Cavendish in his renamed team's new colours, courtesy of highroadsports.com)

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