Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) landed his third win of the 2016 Tour de France on Thursday, blasting ahead of Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep) as the sprinters approached the finish line of stage 6 in Montauban. More historically, the result was the 29th career Tour de France stage win for the Manx Missile, pushing him past five-time Tour winner Bernard Hinault. Only Eddy Merckx, with 34 career wins, has more.
On a day marked by a serious increase in temperature, Yukiya Arashiro (Lampre-Merida) and Jan Barta (Bora-Argon 18) animated the early racing with a two-rider escape. Race leader Greg Van Avermaet's BMC Racing team let the duo have a five-minute gap, but in the end everyone knew this day would come down to a sprint. Cavendish bided his time in the big German's slipstream and then launched his powerful final kick with time to celebrate at the line.