The Manxman, who already has two wins to his name in this year's race, now leads the points classification by 66 points from Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix).
The green jersey was the only major sprinter to make it into the huge break that formed on the road from Vierzon to Le Creusot.
Vincenzo Nibali, Toms Skujins, Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Philippe Gilbert, Harry Sweeny, Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal), Mathieu van der Poel, Xandro Muerisse (Alpecin-Fenix), Wout van Aert, Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), Kasper Asgreen, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Imanol Erviti, Ivan Cortina (Movistar), Magnus Cort, Ruben Guerreiro (EF-Nippo), Michael Schar, Dorion Godon (AG2R Citroën), Jan Bakelants, Boy Van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange), Dylan van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers), Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe), Christophe Laporte (Cofidis), Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka NextHash), Soren Kragh Andersen (Team DSM), Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious), Hugo Houle (Astana-Premier Tech), and Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels) made it into the break after a highly competitive phase of racing.
With an intermediate sprint after 115km at Saint-Benin-D'Azy, any sprinters with aims of winning the green jersey needed to be attentive.
Only Cavendish made the cut, with his main rivals, like Philipsen, Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) and Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) all missing out.
At Saint-Benin-D'Azy, Asgreen gave Cavendish the perfect lead-out, with the former road race world champion and 2011 green jersey winner beating Van Poppel and Mohoric to the maximum 20 points available at the line.
Cavendish now leads Philipsen by 66 points.
Green jersey standings
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep 168
2 Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 102
3 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 99
4 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange 96
5 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 84
6 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 84
7 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 72
8 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious 66
9 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 64
10 Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 62
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