May 11, 2014 7:22 PM by Associated Press

Cavendish wins first stage of Tour of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Mark Cavendish surged ahead of John Degenkolb in a thrilling sprint to win the first stage of the Tour of California on Sunday in the closest finish in the event's nine-year history.

Degenkolb pulled ahead of the most decorated stage winner in Tour de France ever in the final stretch before the "Manx Missile" burnished his legacy again. The two raced shoulder-to-shoulder until Cavendish threw the rim of his bicycle's tire just ahead as he crossed the line in a photo finish.

Cavendish completed the 120-mile stage in 4 hours, 47 minutes, 17 seconds for the Omega Pharma-Quick Step Cycling Team. Moreno Hofland was third.



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