Another great story in this year’s tour..Mark Cavenish who outpaced his fellow sprinters to take his third win on the Tour de France after it was hit again by a drugs scandal on Thursday.
The Briton prevailed at the end of the 168.5-km 12th stage from Lavelanet that started without the Saunier-Duval team, who pulled out of the race after it was revealed Italian Riccardo Ricco had tested positive for the blood-boosting drug EPO.
Cavendish, who rides for Team Columbia, beat France’s Sebastien Chavanel of La Francaise des Jeux with Belgian Geert Steegmans coming home third for Quick Step.
Asked about Ricco’s positive test, Cavendish said: “It’s a massive disappointment for the organisers but what matters is that you get the cheats.”
Australian Cadel Evans of the Silence-Lotto team retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey.
Two French riders, Samuel Dumoulin and Arnaud Gerard, pulled away after 25 km and were joined some 50 km from the line by Spain’s Juan Jose Oroz.
Tour de France, Stage 12: Top 10
1. Mark Cavendish (GB), Columbia, 3:40:52
2. Sebastien Chavanel (F), Française des Jeux, same time
3. Gert Steegmans (B), Quick Step, s.t.
4. Erik Zabel (G), Milram, s.t.
5. Oscar Freire (Sp), Rabobank, s.t.
6. Francesco Chicchi (I), Liquigas, s.t.
7. Thor Hushovd (Nor), Crédit Agricole, s.t..
8. Fabio-Leonardo Duque (Col), Cofidis, s.t.
9. Julian Dean (NZ), Garmin-Chipotle, s.t.
10. Heinrich Haussler (G), Gerolsteiner, s.t.
1. Cadel Evans (Aus), Silence-Lotto, 50:23:05
2. Frank Schleck (Lux), CSC-Saxo Bank, at 0:01.
3. Christian Vande Velde (USA), Garmin-Chipotle, at 0:38.
4. Bernhard Kohl (A), Gerolsteiner, at 0:46.
5. Denis Menchov (Rus), Rabobank, at 0:57.
6. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC-Saxo Bank, at 1:28.
7. Kim Kirchen (Lux), Columbia, at 1:56.
8. Vladimir Efimkin (Rus), Ag2r, at 2:32.
9. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 3:51.
10. Vincenzo Nibali (I), Liquigas, at 4:18.