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Cav Sprints to Another Win

He may have been disrupted yesterday by other teams.....but there was no stopping Mark Cavendish when another opportunity came his way in the early hours.

The Manx Express took victory on Stage Four of the Tour of California after a hilly 115 miles of racing which hadn't been targeted by the Columbia-Highroad team as a leg which was likely to come down to a sprint finish.

However, a breakaway of three riders was caught near the end and the sprinters came to the front.

Cav was nearly pipped on the line by Tom Boonen after sitting up to raise his arms to celebrate before the end.

It's an important race for the Colombia Highroad team as they are based in California.

“It was a massive win for us today,” said Cavendish. “To be honest I didn’t think I’d be anywhere near the front in the finish with all the climbing in the stage. But I had three or four guys with me over the climbs and we made it.”

“We got the lead out right and they dropped me off with 100m to go, so there could only be one outcome.”

He dedicated his third stage title of 2009 to his team-mate Kim Kirchen who broke a collarbone and shoulder in a crash mid-way through the stage.

This is the 31st win of Cavendish's short professional career and moves the Laxey rider up to 80th on the General Classification, third in the Points category and 11th in the Young Rider section.

He now becomes the second most successful British rider of all-time, equal with Malcolm Elliot and ten wins behind Chris Boardman. Boardman achieved his tally of 41 wins over seven seasons and Elliot took nine years - Cav is only in his third season as a professional tour rider.

Today's fifth stage is long at 134 miles, but it is flat until the final 30 miles which takes the riders over rolling hills. The final 14 miles are downhill to the finish.

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