Win number 16 for Cav at Tour de France

Stage winner Mark Cavendish of Britain celebrates on the podium of the fifth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 164.5 kilometers (102.2 miles) starting in Carhaix and finishing in Cap Frehel, Brittany, western France, Wednesday July 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours)

Stage winner Mark Cavendish of Britain celebrates on the podium of the fifth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 164.5 kilometers (102.2 miles) starting in Carhaix and finishing in Cap Frehel, Brittany, western France, Wednesday July 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours)

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MARK Cavendish moved into the top 10 all-time Tour de France stage winners after storming to victory in Wednesday’s fifth stage.

The Manx Missile’s 16th career win at the grand tour places him joint ninth in the list of winners at cycling’s biggest event and throws him right back into contention for the coveted green jersey.

Wednesday’s 164.5km stage from Carhaix to Cap Frehel in Brittany proved to be an incident-packed affair with several top riders being involved in a series of crashes throughout, including defending champion Alberto Contador and Britain’s Bradley Wiggins.

A brief incline less than a kilometre from the end seemed to have put Cav out of contention for the stage win as he languished in 10th place with less than 100 metres to go.

However, despite not having his usual HTC leadout train, Cavendish stayed on the wheel of Wiggins’ Team Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas before launching a blistering attack which saw him storm ahead of Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Jose Rojas (Movistar) to take the win.

A full report and picture will be in this week’s Manx Independent, in shops Thursday afternoon.

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