Cavendish wins and Wiggins stays in lead at Tour of Britain

Mark Cavendish sprinted to victory in stage four of the Tour of Britain while Sir Bradley Wiggins held onto his leader's gold jersey.

Cavendish - who won three stages of his home tour last year - edged out Italian Elia Viviani in a close-fought bunch finish in Llanberis, after an initial escape group had determinedly struck out only to be caught in the final kilometre.

Wiggins defended attacks from key general classification rivals Dan Martin, Jack Bauer and Tour de France runner-up Nairo Quintana and still leads by 37 seconds overall.

Cavendish was guided to his 17th win of the season by veteran team-mate Alessandro Petacchi, who drilled an impressive lead out for his Omego Pharma Quickstep team.

"Alessandro showed how old and wily he is and it was a great performance by him, he put me in exactly in the right position for that sprint," said Cavendish.

"It was a really super job by the team overall. On that last climb I was totally at my limit but they stayed with me and brought me back into contention.

"They showed a massive commitment for me and I wanted to deliver for them."

However, Thursday's fifth stage will not see another Cavendish victory - with the demanding profile in the hills of Wales including two ascents of Caerphilly Mountain.

"It's going to be a tough day," admitted Wiggins, who is aiming to be only the second home rider to win the race since it was reconstituted in 2004.

"It's becoming a bit of a legendary stage on this race but hopefully my legs are alright."

© Sportsbeat 2013