Mark Cavendish wins second successive Tour of California stage

Mark Cavendish (left) edges out Peter Sagan (right)
Cavendish (left) times his sprint to perfection to beat Sagan (right) on the line

Mark Cavendish continued his good start to the Tour of California by winning Monday's second stage in Lodi.

The Briton, who also won Sunday's first stage, prevailed by less than a bike wheel as he beat Slovakia's Peter Sagan in a bunch sprint for the line.

"We won the two stages that we came to win," said Cavendish, who leads Sagan by eight seconds in the standings.

"Tuesday is a mountain stage, so it will be a different story for the stage and also the General Classification."

It was an 11th win of the season for Cavendish, who came out of the final corner in Sagan's slipstream and although he was almost boxed in, the Manxman found a gap and closed down his rival in the closing metres.

The bonus seconds Cavendish received for winning the stage meant he extended his lead over Sagan, although he accepts that stage three's more hilly terrain will not suit him.

"We'll do what we have to do to honour the jersey and then see what can happen," he continued.

"There's an uphill right at the start. There will be a lot of attacks. It will be very interesting. Then we'll see. There might be another opportunity as soon as the fourth stage.

Tuesday's 169.8km stage takes the riders over Mount Hamilton in San Jose, while there is a steep uphill finish with gradients of more than 10%.

The eight-stage race finishes on Sunday in Pasadena.

Stage two result:

1. Mark Cavendish (GB/Etixx - Quick-Step) 4hrs 47min 02secs

2. Peter Sagan (Svk/Tinkoff-Saxo) Same time

3. Wouter Wippert (Ned/Drapac)

4. John Murphy (US/UnitedHealthcare)

5. Danny van Poppel (Ned/Trek)

General Classification after stage two:

1. Mark Cavendish (GB/Etixx - Quick-Step) 9hrs 30min 09secs

2. Peter Sagan (Svk/Tinkoff-Saxo) +8secs

3. Robin Carpenter (US/Hincapie) +11 secs

4. William Clarke (Aus/Drapac) Same time

5. Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa/Trek) +14secs

Top Stories