Cavendish managed to pick his way through the hectic sprint finale in Brittany to claim his first stage win of the 2015 race, pipping double stage winner André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) on the line.
Cavendish dedicated his victory to German team-mate Tony Martin, who was forced to retire from the race after breaking his collarbone in a crash in the final kilometre of the previous day’s stage.
Chris Froome (Sky) had inherited the race lead, but as Martin had finished stage seven and collected the yellow jersey, Froome did not wear it during the day. Instead, he was awarded it on the podium at the finish and goes into the weekend in the race lead.
The escape group of the day saw Eritrean Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka) extend his lead in the King of the Mountains competition – he is the first African to lead the Tour de France KoM classification.
The race continues on Saturday with a tough stage from Rennes to Mur-de-Bretagne that features a sharp climb to the finish line. After a string of top three finishes but no victory, could we see Sagan finally get a stage win?