British sprint king Mark Cavendish made amends for defeat by German rival Andre Greipel by notching up his 18th career victory in the Tour de France in the race's 11th stage on Wednesday.

Frenchman Thomas Voeckler, of Europcar, retained the race leader's yellow jersey after the 167.5km stage from Blaye-les-Mines to Lavaur, which ended in a select bunch sprint after an early breakaway was caught 4km from the finish.

Bunched together

Voeckler finished the stage with all the yellow jersey favourites to retain his lead of 1min 49sec on Spaniard Luis Leon Sanchez of Rabobank.

It is Cavendish's third win of this year's race, after victories on stage five in Cap Frehel and stage seven in Chateauroux.

A day after being beaten to the finish of stage 10 by Greipel, Cavendish beat the Omega-Pharma sprinter by over a bike length in a rain-hit finish to the stage.

In doing so, the 26-year-old from the Isle of Man took possession of the points competition's green jersey from Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert.

Thursday's 12th stage is the first of three in a row in the Pyrenees and is expected to stage the first skirmishes in the yellow jersey battle between Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck and Cadel Evans.

Keywords: Tour de France

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