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Tour of Britain: Mark Cavendish takes stage but Sir Bradley Wiggins on course for title


Surrey residents, furious that their home is being turned into a cycling track, would have been up in arms again yesterday, as the sport's elite made their way through the heart of the county before finishing on the cobbled streets of Guildford in the penultimate stage of the Tour of Britain.

Mark Cavendish won a sprint finish from Italian Elia Viviani, after the British national champion made a break for the line early. He looked as though he might pay the price as Viviani burst forward from fourth place to draw alongside and even marginally ahead in the final metres, but a second push from Cavendish earned him the victory after a 155km run from Epsom racecourse.

Cavendish won on the streets of Guildford last year but admitted that he had mistimed his attack due to over-confidence.

"We planned to kick with 700 meters to go but I am just lucky that I have that second kick," he told reporters. "The guys did a brilliant job and I am so happy.

"I was maybe over-confident. I remembered last year kicking out on the cobbles and I thought I'd do the same but maybe I didn't get it right.

"I saw [Viviani] coming and just moved across to put him on the rough part of the road. The second kick really takes so much out of me so we'll have to see about tomorrow."

Team Sky's Sir Bradley Wiggins was safely across the line in the pack to retain his overall lead going into today's final stage in central London, a 10-lap race over an 88km course, which is again expected to end in a sprint finish.

Wiggins, seeking a first victory in his home tour, is 26 seconds ahead of Switzerland's Martin Elmiger, with Great Britain academy rider Simon Yates 66 seconds further back in third, following his victory on Dartmoor on Friday.

Last year's Tour de France champion is aiming to become the second Briton in a row to win the race after Jonathan Tiernan-Locke won it in 2012.