Cavendish beats Greipel in photo finish

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) narrowly pipped Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) to the finish line to win stage three of the Tour de France in Angers on Monday.

The win marked the 31-year-old Briton's 28th career victory in the prestigious race, drawing him level with Frenchman Bernard Hinault in second place on the all-time list, behind only Eddy Merckx of Belgium.

The finish provided the only real drama on a largely incident-free day which saw the riders complete 223km from Granville to Angers.

Greipel initially celebrated the victory, only for a review of the video footage to confirm that Cavendish had won the stage.

Defending champion Chris Froome, meanwhile, finished safely in the peleton in 22nd place, having been shepherded to the finish line by his Team Sky squad.

Froome's main title rivals, Nairo Quintana, Alberto Contador and Fabio Aru, all finished in the main bunch as well.

Reflecting on his record achievement, stage winner Cavendish said: "Who thought when I started cycling that I would have my name mentioned in line with Bernard Hinault. It's pretty amazing.

"I know when I win and lose a photo finish and I thought I had it but I still had to wait," he said.

"It was so hairy in the finish but we planned it and I knew I had to come from behind. I wanted to be behind Greipel. After I didn't win the first stage last year I was anxious, a bit like Andre today.

"My team-mates were phenomenal again. Bernie Eisel and Mark Renshaw did a fantastic job."

Frenchman Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) finished third on the day, followed by Peter Sagan (Tinkoff).

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