Joy for Cavendish but fellow Briton Wiggins crashes out

CHATEAUROUX, France,  (Reuters) – Mark Cavendish  powered to his second stage victory in the Tour de France in a  crash-marred seventh stage from Le Mans which saw fellow Briton  Bradley Wiggins forced out of the race with a broken collarbone  yesterday.

Mark Cavendish

Wiggins was involved in a multiple pile-up some 40  kilometres from the finish in Chateauroux and was already in  hospital when Cavendish won the bunch sprint.

Cavendish was set-up perfectly by his HTC Highroad team  mates and finished superbly to follow up his win in stage five  and take his Tour de France tally to 17 since winning in  Chateauroux three years ago.

The Manxman easily checked Italy’s Alessandro Petacchi and  Germany’s Andre Greipel, who finished second and third  respectively.

With Wiggins in the crash were Americans Tyler Farrar and  Chris Horner, who lay for a while in a ditch before making it  back on his bike, as well as Frenchman Remy Pauriol who also  abandoned like the British champion.

Fourth overall in 2009, Wiggins was seen as a leading Tour  contender this year after winning the Dauphine Libere in June.  His withdrawal came a day after Norway’s Edvald Boasson-Hagen  claimed a first Tour stage victory for Team Sky.

“It’s obviously a devastating day for the team. He was in  great shape,” said Sky’s team manager Dave Brailsford said.

Before the sudden end to the Olympic pursuit champion’s  race, 2005 world champion Tom Boonen of Belgium also said  farewell to the Tour.

Involved in a crash two days ago, the 2007 green jersey  winner finally called it quits after 90 kilometres.

The collective crash caused the peloton to split and  American Levi Leipheimer was the leading favourite trapped in  the 80-man second part of the pack, finishing 3:06 behind.

The Tour tackles its first serious climbs on Saturday in a  189-kms eighth stage between Aigurande and Super-Besse.

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