OSSINGEN, Switzerland (AP) -- Mark Cavendish edged out Juan Jose Lobato and Peter Sagan in a thrilling final sprint to win the fourth stage of the Tour de Suisse on Tuesday, while Tony Martin remained in the overall lead.
Cavendish, who is one of the world's top sprinters, launched the sprint and made a second attack with 100 meters to go to win by almost three bike lengths.
''It wasn't so easy, it was a headwind finish,'' Cavendish said. ''It was very chaotic in the peloton, a lot of teams were trying to get it right. My team weren't 100 percent but we were committed.
''I sat in Mark Renshaw's wheel and he brought me around. It was about timing your sprint right. It was slightly uphill into the headwind, so even though the others jumped early, I waited until the last moment. I knew that I had to go with 200 or 100 to go.''
The clear victory will be a boost to the British cyclist's confidence for the Tour de France.
Cavendish clocked 3 1/2 hours on the 160-kilometer (99-mile) leg from Heiden to Ossingen.
Martin retained his six-second advantage over Dutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin, while third-place Sagan reduced the gap slightly to 10 seconds behind the German.
Laurens De Vreese and Daniel Teklehaimanot led for most of the stage after opening up a lead of three minutes early on.
Their advantage increased to nearly four minutes before the peloton began to up the pace with about 100 kilometers remaining, with Omega Pharma-QuickStep - riding for both Cavendish and Martin - driving the group.
The duo's long stint up front ended with 10 kilometers to go.
There was more bad news for Bradley Wiggins. The 2012 Tour de France winner, who lost more than two minutes on Monday and any chance of overall success, was involved in a crash with about 26 kilometers remaining.
Although Wiggins was eventually able to continue, he coasted to the finish, crossing the line nearly 12 minutes behind his British compatriot.
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- Tour de France