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Cavendish battles for green jersey
World champion Mark Cavendish appears unwilling to give up his Tour de France points classification title without a fight.
The 27-year-old from the Isle of Man, who won a first green jersey in 2011, contested the intermediate sprint on Sunday's first road stage, the 198-kilometres from Liege to Seraing, which is a loop through the Ardennes region of Belgium.
With support of Team Sky colleague Edvald Boasson Hagen, Cavendish was the second member of the peloton over the line with 81.5km to go, with Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) beating his former HTC-Highroad team-mate to the line.
Yohann Gene (Europcar) led at the intermediate sprint to claim 20 points, with Pablo Urtasun (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Anthony Delaplace (Saur-Sojasun), Maxime Bouet (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff) also in the day's six-man breakaway.
Goss led the peloton over the line two minutes 35 seconds behind, narrowly ahead of Cavendish, who claimed eight points.
Team Sky were wearing yellow helmets as leaders of the team classification, while Bradley Wiggins was in temporary possession of the green jersey, on behalf of Fabian Cancellara, the race leader.
Wiggins finished second to Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) in the opening prologue as the Swiss took the race leader's yellow jersey.