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Tour gallery: Mark Cavendish

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Brit Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) in the green sprinters' jersey after Tour de France stage three.

Brit Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) in the green sprinters' jersey after Tour de France stage three. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) in the green sprinters' jersey at the start of Tour de France stage five.

Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) in the green sprinters' jersey at the start of Tour de France stage five. (Image credit: sirott)
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Erik Zabel, advisor to Mark Cavendish (R).

Erik Zabel, advisor to Mark Cavendish (R). (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish (Columbia-THC) wins his third stage of teh Tour de France.

Mark Cavendish (Columbia-THC) wins his third stage of teh Tour de France. (Image credit: AFP)
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Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) crosses the line as the stage winner.

Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) crosses the line as the stage winner. (Image credit: AFP)
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Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) in the final few meters of the bunch sprint that ended stage 10.

Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) in the final few meters of the bunch sprint that ended stage 10. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) has some flashy green glasses.

Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) has some flashy green glasses. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) wins again in France.

Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) wins again in France. (Image credit: AFP)
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Success leads to happiness, as Mark Cavendish knows well.

Success leads to happiness, as Mark Cavendish knows well. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia-HTC) sprints to his eighth career Tour de France win.

Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia-HTC) sprints to his eighth career Tour de France win. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish celebrates his fourth stage win with his Team Columbia-HTC teammates.

Mark Cavendish celebrates his fourth stage win with his Team Columbia-HTC teammates. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish on the podium for his fourth stage win of the Tour.

Mark Cavendish on the podium for his fourth stage win of the Tour. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Green jersey Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia-HTC) outsprinted Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) for eighth place.

Green jersey Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia-HTC) outsprinted Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) for eighth place. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) wins his fifth stage of the Tour in Aubenas.

Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) wins his fifth stage of the Tour in Aubenas. (Image credit: AFP)
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Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) won stage 19, his fifth Tour victory this year and ninth in his career.

Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) won stage 19, his fifth Tour victory this year and ninth in his career. (Image credit: AFP)
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Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) celebrates his fifth win of the Tour.

Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) celebrates his fifth win of the Tour. (Image credit: AFP)
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Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) held off Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam) to win stage 19.

Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) held off Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam) to win stage 19. (Image credit: AFP)
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Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) takes his fifth stage of the 2009 Tour on stage 19.

Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) takes his fifth stage of the 2009 Tour on stage 19. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Mark Cavendish survived a difficult climb near the finish and took stage honours in Aubenas.

Mark Cavendish survived a difficult climb near the finish and took stage honours in Aubenas. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) on the podium for his victory in stage 19.

Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) on the podium for his victory in stage 19. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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George Hincapie gets a big hug from Cavendish after the win on stage 19

George Hincapie gets a big hug from Cavendish after the win on stage 19 (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)

Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia-HTC) came into this Tour knowing that he was the fastest.  Everyone else figured the same.

Expectation is one thing, backing it up another altogether. By the 21st of July Cavendish had won a quarter of the stages on offer and brought his career tally to eight total Tour de France stage wins.

Relegation for an irregular sprint at the conclusion of stage 14 may turn out to cost Cavendish the green jersey, but it's a relatively minor blemish on what has been another dazzling series of sprint wins.

Click here to view images of Mark Cavendish's Tour de France