Mark Cavendish won the 11th stage of the Tour de France in a sprint with help from an illegal head-butt from a teammate on Thursday. Andy Schleck of Luxembourg retained the race lead.
Cavendish collected his third stage win in this Tour over the 184.5-kilometer (114.6-mile) trek from Sisteron to Bourg-les-Valence which featured one mid-grade climb.
The Briton, one of the world's best sprinters, second-placed Alessandro Petacchi of Italy and third-placed Tyler Farrar of the United States all clocked 4 hours, 42 minutes, 29 seconds.
Cavendish got a bit of late-stage help from his HTC Columbia teammate and lead-out man, Mark Renshaw. The Australian head-butted Farrar's lead-out man, Julian Dean of New Zealand, three times in an apparent bid to push him out of the way during the final sprint.
Tour organizers said Renshaw was booted from the race.
"Mark Renshaw fought to prevent the lane from being closed on him," said Cavendish, defending his teammate, referring to his forward trajectory. "He didn't want to be blocked."
It was Cavendish's 13th career Tour stage victory.
The stage was mainly flat, and thus favored sprinters.
The general classification didn't change, with all the top contenders finishing behind the sprinters in the main pack.
Schleck earned the yellow jersey for a third straight day. Defending champion Alberto Contador remained second overall _ 41 seconds behind. Samuel Sanchez of Spain was third, 2:45 behind.
Friday's ride is a bit more bumpy, with five mid-grade climbs on tap during the 210.5-kilometer stage from Bourg-de-Peage to Mende in deeply rural southeastern France.