Britain’s Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile) came third in Wednesday’s opening stage of the Tour of Denmark. The 174.7 kilometre stage from Thisted to Aalborg was won by Francisco Chicchi (Liquigas), with Juan Jose Haedo (CSC) second.

Welsh resident Magnus Backstedt (Liquigas) placed eighth on the stage, having more recently been seen in action in the Blackpool round of British Cycling’s Premier Calendar Series.

Cavendish’s third place means that he now wears the event’s Best Young Rider jersey. Britain’s other representative at the event, Ian Stannard – riding as stagiaire on Cavendish’s T-Mobile squad – placed 107th.

The race is Cavendish’s first return to competition after the Tour de France, where the man from the Isle of Man had tried his luck in the opening week sprints with mixed results. He crashed heavily on two stages, including the first in Canterbury. He still managed to gain two top ten placings in subsequent stages despite his injuries – a fantastic achievement for the first year pro.

The Tour of Denmark comprises of six stages, running from August 1-5. The event was won last year by Fabian Cancellara (CSC) and in 2001 by Britain’s David Millar.

Official race website: www.postdanmarkrundt.dk.

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