Cav heads to the Fylde in top spirits

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Mark Cavendish set off for Blackpool in the Tour of Britain today boosted by victory on stage three.

The Team Sky rider took victory in Dumfries for the second year in succession ahead of Orica GreenEDGE duo Leigh Howard and Aidis Kruopis.

The win moves Cavendish him level with new race leader Howard, who takes the IG Gold Jersey a day after winning Monday’s second stage.

Boy Van Poppel, who led after two days, has dropped back to third place, level with stage one winner Luke Rowe. Rowe gave Cavendish his final leadout, taking fourth on the stage himself, after Team Sky pulled back breakaway duo Sep Vanmarcke and Wesley Kreder with two kilometres remaining.

The peloton experienced all four seasons in one-day en route to Dumfries, with several riders electing to spend the day off the front of the peloton. After a year as world road racing champion, Cavendish realises yesterday’s victory may be his last in the rainbow stripes.

The Manxman said: “It’s actually dawning on me now that it’s actually been a year, and I am trying to savour the moment. I wanted to get a final win in the rainbow jersey and I am glad I could do that.”

The racers head to Blackpool from Carlisle today.

n THE TOUR IN BLACKPOOL: Souvenir pull-out tomorrow