Howard beats the best

VERY few riders can boast they have beaten world road race champion Mark Cavendish or Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins this year.

Australian Leigh Howard can after winning stage two of the Tour of Britain.

The 22-year-old from Geelong, riding for the Aussie-owned Orica-GreenEDGE team, held off the challenge from Cavendish in a sprint finish at the end of the 180.7km race from Nottingham to Knowsley Safari Park, via the Derbyshire Peak District.

Cavendish (Team Sky) finished second, while Holland's Boy Van Poppel (UnitedHealthcare) moved into the overall lead after finishing third.

The stage win was Orica-GreenEDGE's 30th victory of the season and Howard's maiden win.

Howard, who is second overall, said he was thrilled with his win.

"I feel a huge sense of relief," he said. "It's been a long season looking for a win. I've tried time and time again."

The eight-stage Tour moved to Scotland for stage three from Jedburgh to Dumfries.

Topics:  bradley wiggins mark cavendish

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