Tennis: Mark Cavendish wins second stage of Three Days of De Panne


Mark Cavendish won the second stage of the Three Days of De Panne race in Belgium after a very tight sprint finish. Cavendish launched the decisive attack inside the final kilometre and managed to squeeze past Italians Elia Viviani and Francesco Chicchi. The Omega Pharma-QuickStep received a big helping hand from team-mates Iljo Keisse and Niki Terpstra which guided him towards the final dash.

"The team was phenomenal for me today," said Cavendish at the end of the 204km stage. "The guys had to go long just because of the wind. Iljo and Niki had to take some big, big pulls. But they were really strong and I am really proud of them." Cavendish, who already won the Tour of Qatar in February, beat Viviani by half a bike length for his seventh stage win of 2013. The British rider is in third place overall in the race, five seconds behind leader Arnaud Demare of the FDJ team but one second ahead of defending champion and Omega Pharma team-mate Sylvain Chavanel .

The race finishes on Thursday with a 109 km stage finishing in De Panne and a 14.75km individual time trial. Sylvain Chavanel is the big favourite to win the overall classification, Bet365 have him at 1/5, with Niki Terpstra at 6/1, Lieuwe Westra at 11/1 and Luke Durbridge also at 11/1.

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