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Published: Wednesday September 12, 2012 MYT 5:02:00 PM

Cavendish takes third stage of Tour of Britain

LONDON: Team Sky rider Mark Cavendish won a sprint finish to take the third stage of the Tour of Britain from Jedburgh to Dumfries on Tuesday.

Cavendish, the 2011 world road race champion, had suffered a crash in the closing moments of the opening stage and was pushed into second place by Australia's Leigh Howard in a tense finish at Knowsley Safari Park on Monday.

But he finally got his stage win on Tuesday after the peloton, led by Team Sky colleagues Jeremy Hunt and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, had reeled in the breakaway group heading into the final two kilometres.

Cavendish - who according to media reports is expected to leave the team at the end of the season - took advantage of their efforts to sprint clear to take the stage.

It was Team Sky's second stage win after Luke Rowe's victory on Sunday and Cavendish said: "I knew the finish was downhill but I had the perfect lead-out. It was pretty textbook."

Luke was so fast at the end, Berny (Bernhard Eisel) before him, and Brad also kept them strung out.

"It was pretty text book."

Second place was enough for Australian Howard, who won on Monday, to claim the overall leader's Gold jersey with Aidis Kruopis of Orica third.

The Tour of Britain heads to Carlisle, northern England, on Wednesday for a 156km race down to Blackpool. -AFP

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