Mark Cavendish claimed his 24th Tour de France stage victory on the seafront in Marseille as he shrugged off the last remnants of bronchitis.
The Manxman triumphed in a bunch sprint finish ahead of Team Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen, with Cannondale’s Peter Sagan beating Andre Greipel of Lotto-Belisol to third.
A major crash 200 metres from the finish stopped much of the peloton in its tracks, but Cavendish was already flying over the line.
It was a much-needed win for Cavendish, who had been affected by an illness he did his best to conceal in the opening days of the Tour, keeping quiet in the hope he could get over it before any of his rivals realised he was suffering.
They probably got the idea from the way he was dropped in the Corsican mountains, but he looked back to his imperious best as he took advantage of a brilliant lead-out from his Omega Pharma-Quick Step teammates.
Cavendish’s team held the line through the last of the record 55 roundabouts on this Tour stage.