Sky teammate and compatriot Bradley Wiggins came over the finish line seconds later with his 2min 05sec overall lead on British teammate Chris Froome intact.
Italian Vincenzo Nibali is still third overall at 2:41. Wiggins, who is set to become Britain’s first winner of the world’s biggest bike race on Sunday, played a starring role for his Sky teammate Cavendish in what was a technical but thrilling finale into Brive.
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