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Final mountain stage completed at Le Tour

Mark Cavendish made it over the finish line inside the cut-off time in the final mountain stage of the Tour de France today.

He was led home by Bernhard Eisel, just over 31 minutes behind stage winner Alejandro Valverde, at the end of the 144km stage from Bagnères-de-Luchon to Peyragudes in the Pyrenees.

Cavendish and Eisel's team mates Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins were second and third respectively, nineteen seconds behind Valverde.

Wiggins therefore retains his 2.05 lead over Froome in the general classification, while third-placed Vincenzo Nibali made up no time on the pair, meaning Wiggins is now the strong favourite to win Le Tour.

There are just two stages proper to go; tomorrow's relatively flat 223km run from Blagnac to Brive-la-Gaillarde, and Saturday's 53.5km time trial.

Sunday then sees the final stage into Paris, culminating in the sprint down the Champs Elysee, which Cavendish has won for the last three years.

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