He wasn't supposed to be at the Tour de France. The stage almost ended with a solo breakaway. But Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quickstep) beat all the odds and completed his renaissance with his 31st Tour de France stage win in a bunch sprint in Fougères on stage 4.
With 250m to go, escapee Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal) was finally reeled in after a massive effort of 138 kilometres, finished off by the Alpecin-Fenix team - winners of two stages and with race leader Mathieu van der Poel in their midst.
But in the slight uphill drag, Cavendish shot through an opening around Van Moer and when he opened up the jets, Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa-Samsic) and Alpecin's Jasper Philipsen had no answer.
The victory also gave Cavendish the green points jersey, previously on the shoulders of teammate Julian Alaphilippe, after the Manxman also took 15 points in the intermediate sprint.
To a man, the peloton celebrated Cavendish's achievement, with Peter Sagan, André Greipel, Cees Bol, and Alexey Lutsenko patting him on the back before Mads Pedersen grabbed Cavendish in a bear hug. Then, it was time for Kasper Asgreen and Alaphilippe to embrace their teammate and celebrate the victory.
Watch the stage 4 race highlights in the video above.
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