Mark Cavendish wins Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne one-day race

Mark Cavendish
Cavendish is the only British rider to win the Belgian race

Britain's Mark Cavendish won a sprint finish to claim the Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne one-day race in Belgium.

It is a sixth victory of 2015 for the Etixx - Quick-Step rider, who also won this race in 2012 when at Team Sky.

Cavendish beat Katusha's Norwegian rider Alexander Kristoff and Italy's Elia Viviani of Team Sky in the run-in.

The 29-year-old, who is the only Briton to have won the race, said: "I've been going good all year and the team looked after me. They were incredible."

Cavendish timed his sprint to perfection, despite not having the best of lead-outs from his team-mates in the 500m-long finishing straight.

"Because of the headwind going into the last corner, we used our guys too quickly," he said.

"Tom Boonen went to go but I already left him to go on to Kristoff's wheel. I thought that was better."

Boonen, a three-time winner of the race, was one of Cavendish's team-mates who had been part of a breakaway group of around 25 riders earlier in the race.

Fellow Britons Ian Stannard of Team Sky, who won Saturday's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, and Bora-Argon 18 rider Scott Thwaites, were also in the break.

It was reeled in before two final circuits through finish town Kuurne and Kristoff's Katusha team controlled the peloton until Belgium's former world champion Philippe Gilbert broke clear with 5km remaining.

The one-day specialist opened a lead of 11 seconds but was caught with around 800m remaining, leaving the sprinters to contest the win.

Cavendish immediately turned his attentions to the Milan-San Remo one-day race - the first of the Spring Classics - on Sunday, 22 March.

"I've been training all winter for it," the winner of the 2009 race said. "I grew up watching and dreaming about Milan-San Remo so I'd like to give it another go."

Kristoff goes into the race across northern Italy as the defending champion.

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