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Mark Cavendish wins first stage of Tour of California.

Manxman Mark Cavendish predicted he’d win the first stage of the Amgen Tour of California and did just that on Sunday.

Cavendish whizzed past the finish line in front of the State Capitol in Sacramento just in front of Saxo Bank's JJ Haedo.

The 24 year-old sprinter finished the 104.2-mile trip from Nevada City to Sacramento in four hours, four minutes, six seconds.

He also had plenty of praise for his California-based HTC-Columbia team who ‘took control of the race all day. We kept the gap down and controlled it to the finish. We've got the experience not to take over too early or too late.

‘I thought it was going to be a bunch sprint and the team controlled it perfectly. When you've got eight guys giving 100 per cent and all trusting each other it just works. Only one guy crossed with their hands in the air but it's a team effort.’

Today’s (Monday) 109.5-mile stage is from Davis to Santa Rosa.

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