Tour de France: Mark Cavendish powers to stage six victory into Montauban as rival Kittel fumes at organisers

The Manx Missile won his third stage of the 2016 Tour de France, after winning a bunch sprint into Montauban

Tour de France: Mark Cavendish powers to stage six victory into Montauban as rival Kittel fumes at organisers
Mark Cavendish celebrates winning stage six at the Tour de France (image via: Peter Dejong/AP)

Mark Cavendish won his third stage of the 2016 Tour de France, after winning a bunch sprint into Montauban.

His 29th stage victory in Tour history moves him past Bernard Hinault into second of all-time, now just five behind the legendary Eddy Merckx

Just like his victories in stages one and three, Cavendish bullied his sprint rivals, motoring past the dominant force at the 2013 and 2014 Tours, Marcel Kittel inside the final 500 metres. 

There was no drama further down the road, with all of the main protagonists remaining comfortably with the peloton, and Greg Van Avermaet comfortably retaining the yellow jersey. 

Sprint ensues after breakaway reeled-in

On a more relaxed day for the peloton than on the previous stage, two riders were allowed up the road in what was a generally flat profile. 

After reeling in the breakaway of Yukiya Arashiro (Lampre-Merida) and Jan Barta of Bora-Argon 18 with 20km to the finish, the sprint teams increased the pace which really stretched the peloton. 

Arashiro and Barta on the descent during their breakaway (image via: Yoan Valat/EPA)

The teams were then jostling for position, due to the fact that the finish involved a number of tight bends. 

Going into the final 2km there was still no prominant lead train and the sprint was set to be a race-off between the pure speed man. 

That was proven to be the case, with Cavendish coming from behind Kittel's wear and searing past the German toward the line. 

For a moment it looked as though the Manx Missile may have gone too early, but he did just enough to hold off Kittel and the impressive 24-year Brit Dan McLay

McLay has shown positive signs for the future with his finishes at his maiden Grand Tour, and the Fortnueo-Vital Concept rider is thought of highly in British sprinting circles. 

The day belonged to Cavendish however, who moves back into the green jersey, 22 points ahead of Kittel, who is a further seven points clear of Peter Sagan

Kittel fumes at finish after being overtaken once more

Despite winning stage four into Limoges, it has not been the start many expected from the powerhouse German Marcel Kittel. 

After winning four stages in both 2013 and 2014, it looked as though the East German was ready to take over from Cav as the dominant force in road sprinting.

However, he has now been overtaken twice in the final moments by the Brit and let rip against the organisers in a post-stage interview.

The peloton cut through the forest on stage five (image via: Yoan Valat/EPA)

Kittel said: "It’s impossible to ride with a team like this, I don't know why the organisers do it like this."

He continued, complaining about the road layout in the final kilometres, saying, "It goes wide, narrow, wide again. It’s just pure chaos."

Unfortunately the 28-year-old then contradicted himself somewhat after claiming, “There is no tactics," before adding that, "You can win here with smart positioning,” making it seem as though many of his complaints may have risen from frustration having just been pipped to the line once more.