It was Isle of Man sprinter Cavendish’s fourth consecutive win on the Champs-Elysees, taking his tally of stage wins this year to three and to 23 overall.
“I’m more than happy,” said world champion Cavendish as he held his newborn baby at the finish line. “The Champs Elysees is the most beautiful avenue in the world, and I’ve won here again.”
Spain’s Alejandro Valverde claimed a stylish solo victory in the 17th stage of the Tour de France as Bradley Wiggins reinforced his grip on the race leader’s yellow jersey.
Wiggins, of team Sky, came over the finish line of the 143.5km stage between Bagneres-de-Luchon and Peyragudes on the wheel of Sky team-mate Chris Froome 18secs behind the Spaniard.
Thomas Voeckler, winner of the 10th stage, celebrated again when he triumphed in the 16th stage of the Tour de France in the Pyrenees on Wednesday and took the King of the Mountains polka-dot jersey.
The Frenchman, fourth overall last year, took advantage of the four classic climbs on the 197km stage from Pau to drop the members of a 38-man breakaway one by one and bag the fourth Tour stage of his career.
French rider Pierrick Fedrigo gave the hosts their fourth win of the Tour de France when he beat American Christian Vande Velde to win the 158.5km 15th stage between Samatan and here on Monday.
Race leader Bradley Wiggins of Britain and the main peloton came over the finish line nearly 12 minutes behind a five-man breakaway that had fought hard to form in a frantic opening to the race.
Spaniard Luis Leon Sanchez handed his stricken Rabobank team a welcome boost by soloing to victory on a memorable the Tour de France 14th stage on Sunday.
Sanchez, whose team has been decimated by crashes, had been part of an 11-man break which built a 16-minute lead on the peloton well before the end of the 191km stage from Limoux to Foix.
Frenchman Pierre Rolland claimed an epic 11th stage victory on the Tour de France Thursday as race leader Bradley Wiggins of Britain took another step towards overall victory.
Rolland soloed over the finish line after an epic day of racing to claim his second victory in the race a year after his maiden win at Alpe d’Huez to hand Europcar their second win in as many days.
On a long hot day featuring the first hors catégorie climb of the Tour, the beautiful but tricky Col du Grand Colombier, Sky had absorbed the loss of Michael Rogers with a puncture at a crucial time to bring back a break by the dangerous Vincenzo Nibali on the descent that followed.
Further up the road, Frenchman Thomas Voeckler came home for a typically opportunistic and popular win but Wiggins and Sky kept their cool to chase down Nibali and nip in the bud a late burst from Cadel Evans. That meant their 1 min 53 sec lead remained intact, a useful buffer for Thursday’s massive alpine stage which features three of the biggest climbs on the Tour.
Britain’s Bradley Wiggins tightened his grip on the yellow jersey after claiming his maiden Tour de France victory in the ninth stage time trial on Monday.
Team Sky team-mate Christopher Froome finished second at 35secs with defending yellow jersey champion Cadel Evans of BMC some way back in sixth at 1min 43sec.