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Mark Cavendish claims third consecutive stage win on Tour of Turkey

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Deceuninck-QuickStep rider Mark Cavendish holds the overall lead on the Tour of Turkey after claiming a third successive stage win on Wednesday; the 35-year-old has now won three stages in a row for the first time since he claimed four at the Tour of Qatar in 2013

Mark Cavendish (right) has won a third consecutive stage on the Tour of Turkey

Mark Cavendish (right) has won a third consecutive stage on the Tour of Turkey

Mark Cavendish made it three stage wins in a row as his outstanding week at the Tour of Turkey continued on Wednesday.

Having waited three years for the victory that came on Monday, the Manxman is back to making it look routine as the 35-year-old once again proved himself to be the quickest man in this race.

With elbows out in a messy sprint that saw several riders hit the deck in Kemer, Cavendish bided his time and recognised that Jasper Philipsen had gone too early before powering around the Belgian to win the 184km stage from Alanya.

    Cavendish ends three-year wait with Tour of Turkey stage winCavendish secures back-to-back stage wins in Turkey

In doing so, Cavendish delivered the 800th victory in the history of the Deceuninck-QuickStep team who handed him a career lifeline this season, and won three in a row for the first time since he took four at the Tour of Qatar in 2013 – when he was with the same team in its days as OmegaPharma-QuickStep.

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There will surely be no fourth on Thursday as the mountains loom – Cavendish will also expect to lose the leader’s jersey on the road to Elmali – but that is of little concern.

“It’s nice,” he said. “It’s irrelevant how many in a row it is, it’s just nice to win again.”

Cavendish ended his three-year wait for a stage victory after winning the second stage of the Tour of Turkey on Monday Cavendish ended his three-year wait for a stage victory after winning the second stage of the Tour of Turkey on Monday

Cavendish is ignoring questions about what his victories this week might mean in terms of his race programme for the rest of the season, determined simply to enjoy moments many thought might not come again.

Cavendish won four stages of this race back in 2014 – he is now one behind Andre Greipel’s record of 11 victories in Turkey – but said he could not compare his form now with then.

“I’ve not got a clue because I never had time off then,” he said. “I won back in Alanya back in those days and I won here too but in all honesty I wouldn’t know.

“There are my first wins back so it’s hard to say about any form. We’re not playing Cycling Manager where you can see the numbers. It’s professional cycling.”

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