Cavendish tunes up for worlds defense with win

Mark Cavendish of Great Britain celebrates winning the final stage of the Tour of Britain on September 16, 2012 in Guildford, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

LONDON, Sept 16 (Reuters) – World road race champion Mark Cavendish warmed up for the defense of his title by winning the final stage of the Tour of Britain on Sunday as compatriot Jonathan Tiernan-Locke took the overall honors.

Cavendish produced a trademark sprint finish on the uphill Guildford incline outside the capital to rack up his third stage victory of the tour ahead of next Sunday’s road race in the Netherlands.

Tiernan-Locke, who will join forces with Cavendish and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins for the nine-man British team around the Limburg course in a week’s time, held on to his overnight lead of 18 seconds.

The first home winner of the Tour of Britain in 19 years was already looking forward to a battle to help Cavendish retain his world title.

“Whatever role I’m given I’m confident I can do a good job. The success of British cyclists has been a real inspiration,” Tiernan-Locke told Sky Sports.

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