Mark Cavendish
Mark Cavendish celebrates claiming his first stage victory of the 2015 TourGetty Images

Mark Cavendish ended his Tour de France woes by blasting to victory in stage seven in Fougeres on 10 July.

The Manxman claimed his first win on the Tour for two years having crashed out on the opening stage in Harrogate in July 2014.

Cavendish was under pressure to deliver a win after being beaten in the previous two sprints by German rival Andre Greipel.

But the Etixx Quick-Step rider answered his critics with a perfectly judged effort and even had time to lift his hands in celebration.

Greipel, who still leads the Green points jersey battle, was second with Slovakia's Peter Sagan third.

Cavendish, 30, said: "I am super happy. I've had to wait for my first win of the Tour but the team were brilliant. I didn't want to push for it this time, I waited for it and when you see then I have still got the speed.

"The gap just opened and I went. Greipel could have closed it, but he's a gentleman and he didn't. Sagan probably would have.

The win was the 26th of his Tour career putting him outright third in the all-time history of the race. Only five-time Tour winners Eddy Merckx (34) and Bernard Hinault (28) are ahead of him on the list.

Cavendish celebrated with a hug from wife, Peta, and daughter Delilah. The 118-mile stage from Livarot was probably his last chance of a win before the Tour reaches its finale in Paris.

Team Sky's Chris Froome finished safely in the pack to retain the overall lead. The 2013 winner had taken over the race lead after stage six when Germany's Tony Martin was forced to quit with a broken collarbone.

But Froome, 30, had refused to wear the traditional yellow jersey out of respect for the EtixxQuick-Step rider, who had surgery on 10 July.