Mark Cavendish (Sky) suffered a rare second successive defeat in bunch sprints at the Ster ZLM Toer in Holland, as Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) out-paced the Brit to win on Friday.
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On Thursday, Greipel’s German compatriot Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) come in to win ahead of Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) in second and Cavendish in third.
Consistency pays, though, and Cavendish now moves into the overall lead in the race ahead of Renshaw and Greipel with two stages remaining.
Greipel, Cavendish and Renshaw will all clash in bunch sprints at the Tour de France later this month. Cavendish and Greipel are two of the favourites for the subsequent Olympic Games road race on July 28.
The four-day, UCI 2.1-ranked Ster ZLM Toer concludes on Sunday, June 17.