Cavendish takes Stage 2 

click to enlarge Mark Cavendish - BRYN LENNON/GETTY IMAGES
  • Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
  • Mark Cavendish

TOURNAI, Belgium —

The Briton did not need any help to upstage Andre Greipel and Matthew Goss on a podium reminiscent of the last world championships in Copenhagen, when the Manx missile also beat the Australian and the German for gold.

It was the world champion’s 21st stage victory on the Tour and an unusual one as he had to fend for himself, while previously he could rely on the ‘train’ formed by his former HTC Columbia teammates.

"The team this year is for the yellow jersey. It’s a new configuration and I knew it wouldn’t be easy," Cavendish said. "I’m much more alone but I’m much more relaxed in a sense. I came into the sprint with the least pressure I ever had on the Tour."

Swiss Fabian Cancellara stayed out of trouble to retain the overall leader’s jersey won in the prologue.

"I’m glad to return to France with the yellow jersey on. I hope to have better legs tomorrow because it’s a hard stage we have marked down with my team management a while ago," he said.

A leaner Mark Cavendish showed he was still too talented for the rest of the Tour de France bunch, outpacing his rivals for victory in the 129-mile second stage in Tournai on Monday.

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Gilles Le Roc’H

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