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(AP) CHATEAUROUX, FRANCE - Mark Cavendish won a crash-marred seventh stage of the Tour de France on Friday, capturing his 17th career stage win in the same town where he won his first, as world champion Thor Hushovd retained the yellow jersey.

A pileup toward the end of the 218-kilometre race south across the Loire River valley under sunny skies cost British champion Bradley Wiggins his hopes of a final podium place in Paris. Sky's leader crashed out of the race with what the team said later was a broken collarbone.



Stage 7 Results
1. Mark Cavendish HTC-Highroad - 5:38:53
2. Alessandro Petacchi Lampre - ISD
3. André Greipel Omega Pharma-Lotto
4. Romain Feillu Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
5. William Bonnet FDJ
6. Denis Galimzyanov Katusha Team
7. Thor Hushovd Team Garmin-Cervelo
8. Sébastien Turgot Team Europcar
9. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil Movistar Team
10. Sébastien Hinault AG2R La Mondiale




General classification after Stage 7
1. Thor Hushovd Team Garmin-Cervelo - 28:29:27
2. Cadel Evans BMC Racing Team - 0:00:01
3. Fränk Schleck Leopard Trek - 0:00:04
4. David Millar Team Garmin-Cervelo - 0:00:08
5. Andreas Klöden Team RadioShack - 0:00:10
6. Jakob Fuglsang Leopard Trek - 0:00:12
7. Andy Schleck Leopard Trek
8. Tony Martin HTC-Highroad - 0:00:13
9. Peter Velits HTC-Highroad
10. Robert Gesink Rabobank Cycling Team - 0:00:20


Full results here..


Jersey Standings:
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Thor Hushovd
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Jose Joaquin Rojas
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Johnny Hoogerland
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Robert Gesink

Links to news sites...

"British sprinter Cavendish wins Tour's 7th stage
By Justin Davis (AFP)

CHATEAUROUX, France - British sprint king Mark Cavendish took his victory tally on the Tour de France to 17 when he powered to victory in the seventh stage ahead of Italian veteran Alessandro Petacchi Friday.

Norway's Thor Hushovd, seventh on the stage, retained the leader's yellow jersey after the 218km ride over mainly flat terrain from Le Mans to Chateauroux.

Cavendish, who claimed his first victory of the 98th edition on Wednesday, opened his Tour de France account at Chateauroux in 2008 when he beat Spanish ace Oscar Freire and German legend Erik Zabel to the line.

In recent years Zabel has been a consultant to Cavendish, and his HTC-Highroad team put on sprint train master class to show their rivals how it's done on the flat home straights.

All Cavendish had to do was emerge from behind the wheel of lead-out man Mark Renshaw inside the final 200 metres and go hell for leather to the finish line -- where he beat Petacchi with ease.

"You guys are the best," an emotional Cavendish shouted at the finish." Read more from AFP...

"Crash ends title hopeful's Tour as Cavendish wins again

(CNN) -- British cyclist Mark Cavendish claimed his 17th stage victory at the Tour de France on a crash-marred seventh leg on Friday that saw title hopeful Bradley Wiggins' participation end with a broken collarbone.

Cavendish won his second stage of this year's event as sprint rival Thor Hushovd retained his slim overall lead following the incident-packed 218 kilometers from Le Mans to Chateauroux.

Team Sky had celebrated their first win in the sport's premier race on Thursday when Edvald Boasson Hagen came in first, but that joy proved short-lived when Wiggins was taken to hospital after a tumble with 40 km left." Read more from CNN International...

Photos by CorVos