Cycling: Cavendish rides high after taking California stage

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Mark Cavendish's preparation for the Tour de France began perfectly with victory in the first stage of the Tour of California. The rider from the Isle of Man pipped Juan Jose Haedo of Argentina on Sunday evening and afterwards hailed the victory as a great confidence booster.

"It's seven weeks to go for the Tour de France and it gave the team confidence," Cavendish said. "We should get the same results as we did last year." The three-times defending race winner Levi Leiphiemer and his Radioshack team-mate Lance Armstrong, the seven-times Tour de France winner, finished safely in the main field in the same time as the winner.