Cavendish tops Viviani in stage 4 of the 2013 Tour of Britain

Manxman comes out on top after the breakaway nearly survives in Britain

Photo: Graham Watson

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LONDON (AFP) — Mark Cavendish won the fourth stage of the Tour of Britain on Wednesday as compatriot Bradley Wiggins remained atop of the general classification.

Former world champion Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) emerged at the front of a bunch finish at the end of the stage that started in Stoke in the English Potteries before ending in Llanberis in northwest Wales. Cavendish took top spot after the peloton hauled in an a 11-strong breakaway group with a just a kilometer left in the Snowdonia National Park.

Cavendish then saw off the challenge of opening stage winner Elia Viviani (Cannondale) and Steele von Hoff (Garmin-Sharp).

“I am really, really happy about my victory and the super job of the guys,” Cavendish said in a press release. “Fortunately, we had the entire day with Iljo [Keisse] in the break, so we didn’t have to ride behind. The guys stayed with me the entire day. On the last climb, the short climb when Martin attacked, I have to say I was at the limit — but the guys stayed with me and brought me back. They showed a big commitment. That is why I did my best in the sprint. Even [Alessandro] Petacchi, who was still suffering from the crash of a couple days ago, wanted to be there. He really led me out in the final. He put me in the best position for the sprint.”

Olympic champion Wiggins (Sky), the 2012 Tour de France winner, who went to the head of the standings with a dominant display in the stage 3 time trial, finished in the peloton to remain in front with four stages left.

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