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Cavendish takes first win of 2018

Cavendish celebrates on the podium after his victory

Mark Cavendish earned his first victory of 2018, winning the third stage of the Dubai Tour in a sprint finish.

The 32-year-old edged out France’s Nacer Bouhanni and German Marcel Kittel at the end of the 180km stage from Dubai to Fujairah.

Italian Elia Viviani, winner of Wednesday’s second stage, is the new race leader after Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen was penalised 20 seconds for drafting – using a team car to shield himself from the wind.

Crosswinds led to splits in the field, and Groenewegen dropped back down the field before drafting behind a team car in an effort to make up lost ground.

Cavendish also dropped back after suffering a puncture, but the Briton had plenty of time – and some team support – to get back into contention and eventually win the stage.

The Isle of Man rider is just four seconds behind Viviani in the overall standings with two stages left.

He has now won at least one professional race in each of the last 13 seasons.

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