Even among the din created by the thousands of spectators who lined the finishing  straight in the town of Carmaux, it was possible to distinguish a collective gasp as Mark Cavendish was beaten in a sprint to the line by Andre Greipel.
The Manxman does not do second place and certainly didn’t want to lose to a former team-mate with
whom he has a bitter past.
In spite of his congratulations to the German, Cavendish will be mortified that the man who moved
teams last winter to challenge him has exacted revenge on a Tour stage.
Sprint finish: Germany’s Andre Greipel edges out Mark Cavendish in a tight finish to stage 10
‘I’m happy for him but personally I’m disappointed,’ said Cavendish. ‘I made a mistake but Greipel came past so there’s nothing I can say. I went early but it wasn’t too early on this type of finish.’
With several of his HTC team-mates failing to stay with the peloton on the final climb, Cavendish was
left in a free-for-all in an awkward, twisting finish.
It seemed he was set for his third stage win of this year’s Tour when he surged into the lead but for once he couldn’t maintain his pace, allowing Greipel to snatch victory by less than a wheel.
Cheer we go: Fans spur on the pack as they pass through on stage 10
Cavendish has an opportunity to restore what he considers to be the natural order with a finish in Lavaur promising another showdown between the pair.
Their feud goes back four years, to when a young Cavendish’s role was to lead out Greipel to win sprints.
So quick was the Manx Missile, however, that his team-mate could not keep pace and HTC decided to make Cavendish their leader instead.
Show of respect: France’s Thomas Voeckler (L), who retained the yellow jersey, shakes hands with Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert ahead of the start of the race
It meant that Greipel, 28, had never ridden the Tour prior to this year.
Cavendish, meanwhile, has 17 stage wins. ‘I always used to have a break in July,’ said Greipel tellingly. ‘This is the greatest moment since I became a bike rider.’
On the line: Greipel is the surprise victor by a wheels finish forcing favourite Cavendish to finish second
In spite of the defeat, Cavendish made up ground on his main rival for the green jersey, Philippe Gilbert.
Victory in Lavaur and an impressive showing in today’s intermediate sprint might be enough to see him wearing green when the Pyrenees are reached tomorrow.
SOURCE: dailymail.co.uk

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