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Cavendish sprints to win in Saitama

AFPBritain’s Mark Cavendish produced a blistering late surge to win the Tour de France’s Saitama Criterium on Saturday, overshadowing crowd favorite Chris Froome in a sprint finish.

The Olympic medalist and 30-time Tour de France stage winner pipped Japanese riders Fumiyuki Beppu and Yusuke Hatanaka to claim victory in the fifth edition of the criterium, held just north of Tokyo.

Froome, who captured his fourth Tour de France title this year, had no response as Cavendish broke away from a peloton that also included Marcel Kittel and Greg van Avermaet to win the 19-lap race over a 3-kilometer course.

“It was a flat course so I was expecting it to be a sprint,” Cavendish said.

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