Mark Cavendish will have a on his hands in the upcoming Tour de France stages. American Tyler Farrar ran Cavendish all the way to the line and nearly got the best of him yesterday in Gueugnon.

The result is impressive, considering that five days ago team Garmin-Transitions’ Farrar was ready to quit the Tour de France due to a crash and a micro-fracture near his left wrist.

“I am just happy he is still in the race because he really thought he was going to home after that crash in Spa.” said sports director, Matt White. “I was having nightmares, thinking we were going to lose two leaders in the same day.”

Farrar came down in a crash with team-mate Christian Vande Velde and many other race favourites Monday on the way to the stage finish in Spa. They both limped home and went directly to the hospital, where doctors put five stitches above Vande Velde’s eye and X-rays reavealed two fractured ribs.

Despite the pain, Farrar continued to race and showed progression. Yesterday, Garmin led the sprint out of the last bend with Robert Hunter and Julian Dean, and nearly setup the win for Farrar.

“He has improved a lot in the last three days. The only time it really bothers him is that moment when he really has to pull on the handlebars,” continued White.

“He won’t have a problem at all getting over the mountains, his condition is as good as any of the others sprinters here.”

Farrar has three more chances to get one over on Cavendish and win his first Tour de France sprint stage. The next likely sprint stage is Thursday, stage 11 to Bourg-lès-Valence.

“It’s survival now, but he will have his chance before the race is over, even if it is the Champs-Élysées,” explained team manager, Jonathan Vaughters. “If you can get over the cobbles the day after you break your wrist then you are pretty damn tough.”

If Farrar manages to get a win then certainly Vande Velde will be cheering, with his ribs still in pain, from home.

Tour de France 2010: Latest news

Cavendish strikes back in Tour de France

Thomas happy with Tour’s white jersey; but says ‘All for Brad’

Wiggins crashes on Tour stage start

Cavendish and Farrar return to top

Cavendish keeps up fight for first Tour win

Sky delivers Boasson Hagen to third without pressure

Thomas in tour’s white jersey; Wiggins gains time

Evans and Schleck gain in Tour’s hell of the north

The Feed Zone: Tour news and views (July 6)

Vande Velde abandons Tour following crash

Andy Schleck has a laugh after stage two crash

The Feed Zone: News and views (July 5)

Sky banks on Thomas ahead of cobbled stage

Cavendish’s sprint train weakened with Hansen out

Armstrong under fire as Landis allegations reach mainstream

Team Sky’s decision to put Wiggins off early back fires

Tour de France 2010: Stage reports

Stage six: Cavendish makes it two as Tour hots up

Stage five: Cavendish wins his first stage of Tour

Stage four: Petacchi wins into Reims

Stage three: Hushovd takes dramatic win; Thomas second on stage and GC

Stage three live coverage: As it happened

Stage two: Comeback man Chavanel takes victory in Spa

Stage one: Petacchi wins in Brussels as bunch left in tatters

Prologue: Cancellara pips Martin to win

Tour de France 2010: Photos

Stage six photo gallery

Stage five photo gallery

Stage four photo gallery

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one gallery

Prologue photo gallery

Tour de France 2010: Videos

Stage five video highlights

Stage four video highlights

Stage three video highlights

Stage two video highlights

Stage one video highlights

Prologue video highlights

Tour de France 2010: Race guide

Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

Official start list, with race numbers

Brits at the Tour 2010

Tout team guide

Tour jerseys: What they are and what they mean

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins

Tour de France 2010: Pictures

Tour team presentation, Rotterdam

Tour teams take to the cobbles: Photo special