Cavendish capitalised on another fantastic team lead-out in the final kilometre to power over the line in Châteauroux again for his 32nd stage win at the Tour, beating out Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) and Nacer Bouhanni (Arkea-Samsic).
The 36-year-old used his post-stage interview to call the tactics of rival teams Groupama-FDJ and Arkea-Samsic into question after they failed to have any riders in the early breakaway, a failure which led them to having to chase very hard in the early sections of the race.
The teams still managed good places on the stage, as Groupama-FDJ's chief sprinter Arnaud Demare came in fourth with Arkea's Nacer Bouhanni in third, but the latter seemed frustrated as he crossed the line, neither rider able to take top spot through the first three sprint stages with the next opportunity Stage 10's finish in Valence.
“I don’t understand why you bring a full sprint team here and not ride for a sprint," Cavendish said.
"The break went with all our guys in there, we had Kasper (Asgreen) in there and a lot of the sprint teams had someone in there. All of a sudden Française des Jeux (Groupama-FDJ) and Arkea panic because there’s a group gone then, but when there’s a breakaway to challenge for a sprint, they don’t pull.
"So, they've got everyone in the final there. Actually, as usual, it’s the other team that shared the work with us, Alpecin that came with the strongest team in the end as well.”
Cavendish was overjoyed with the work of his own team as they worked together perfectly to lay the foundation for the Manx Missile's first Châteauroux stage win in 10 years, another moment in what's been a fairy tale Tour return for the sprinter.
“Michael left the left side open for me to go, the wind was coming from the right," Cavendish said.
"I wanted just a split second longer in the wheels before I went. I had to switch trains and go from there.
"I’m so happy with that. You see the guys, you see how much they pulled there. The world champion, Julian Alaphilippe buried himself in the last kilometre. All the guys. I'm just buzzing."
The Tour de France continues with Stage 7, the longest of the race at 249 kilometres, with a hilly kick in the back section of the stage that looks set to suit the Ardennes classics specialists. Watch on SBS, SBS On Demand from 20:30 AEST and earlier on the SBS SKODA Tour Tracker from 18:50 AEST.