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Cavendish marks 21st victory of 2009 in Ireland

Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) wins stage two in Killarney

Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) wins stage two in Killarney (Image credit: Stephen McMahon)

Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia-HTC) sprinted to his twenty-first victory of the season in stage two of the Tour of Ireland on Saturday.

"It's always good to win," Cavendish said, "and though it was a tough finish we managed to take control of things with two kilometres to go. It was a team win, one guy crosses the line with his arms in the air, but it's a success for everybody.

"This is the first time I've gone really deep since July," said Cavendish, winner of six stages in the 2009 Tour de France. "I'm not going to be going for the overall here, but for sure it's an objective for the team. We won it last year with an amazing ride on the last day, and I think we can do it again."

After the Tour of Ireland, Cavendish's next race will be the Tour of Missouri in the United States from September 7 to 13.

"My objective there is a stage win. After that, I'll go on to the World Championships where I'll be going to support my teammates. Then I want to do Paris-Tours."

Saturday's victory was Cavendish's fourth career stage victory in the Tour of Ireland and the 68th win of the season for his team.

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