Cavendish wins stage; Wiggins leadsBradley Wiggins moved closer to becoming the first British champion of the Tour de France while teammate and countryman Mark Cavendish won the 18th stage in a sprint.
BRIVE-LA-GAILLARDE, France (AP) — Bradley Wiggins moved closer to becoming the first British champion of the Tour de France while teammate and countryman Mark Cavendish won the 18th stage in a sprint.
The ride along four small hills Friday took the pack 138 miles from Blagnac to Brive-la-Gaillarde, a transitional stage before Saturday's time trial. The three-week race ends Sunday in Paris.
Wiggins, Cavendish and the Sky team made it look easy with an almost textbook sprint setup. With less than a mile to go, Wiggins took the head of the pack and chased down six breakaway riders, then peeled away.
The Sky train motored ahead and Cavendish, showing he's perhaps the world's most explosive rider, whirred around the remaining escapees in the last few hundred yards to win by a couple of bike lengths.
Luis Leon Sanchez, seeing Cavendish speed by, appeared to sigh with resignation.
Cavendish beat Matt Goss of Australia, with Peter Sagan of Slovakia in third place.
Cavendish has been largely overshadowed on Sky by Wiggins. He won a stage for the second time on this Tour, giving him 22 stage victories for his career and tying him with seven-time champion Lance Armstrong.