Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) was undoubtedly the best sprinter in this year’s Tour de France winning four stages, but Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick Step) still managed to claim a victory of his own on stage seven, having been trumped by the German twice before.
Heading into the seventh stage, Cavendish and the other sprinters knew their opportunities for further wins were limited, with only two more flat stages remaining.
The previous day, Cavendish had congratulated his teammate Zdenek Stybar after his win on stage six, but had also commiserated another fellow Etixx rider, Tony Martin, who crashed out of the yellow jersey with a broken collarbone.
But Cavendish helped his team overcome the loss of their German powerhouse by outsprinting Greipel in Fougères by sitting on the green jersey holder’s wheel and undercutting him on the final corner.
The Manxman was well off the pace in the sprint to Valence on stage 15, having suffered through a few days in the Pyrenees and Massif Central and came sixth on the Champs-Elysées as Greipel rounded off his phenomenal Tour.