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British double as Willems takes overall win

  • Story Highlights
  • Mark Cavendish underlines his dominance among leading sprinters
  • Fellow Briton Bradley Wiggins scores fine win in afternoon time trial
  • Fredrik Willems of Belgium wins the overall title after three days of racing
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(CNN) -- British cyclists Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins claimed the two stages on the final day of the Three Days of De Panne race on Thursday but it was home rider Frederik Willems who took the overall honors.

British sprinter Cavendish claimed his eighth win of the season in northern Belgium.

British sprinter Cavendish claimed his eighth win of the season in northern Belgium.

Cavendish, who is targeting the Ghent-Wevelgem classic next week, won the opening 112 kilometer stage, once again relegating Australian rival Robbie McEwen to second place with Germany's Andre Schulze in third.

It was his second successive win in the Belgium race for Team Columbia's Cavendish, who is in peak form after claiming the opening classic of the season Milan-San Remo.

In the afternoon time trial over 15.3 kilometers, it was Wiggins who showed his ability against the clock to beat Dutchman Liewe Westra by 20 seconds with Belgian Stijn Devolder in third.

Garmin rider Wiggins, a teammate of Cavendish on the all-conquering British track cycling team, clocked 18 minutes one second on a flat and fast course.

Willems took advantage of a crash on the opening stage of the final day which saw the peloton split into two.

Overnight leader Filippo Pozzato was caught in the back group and ceded his overall lead to Willems.

Pozzato did not bother to compete in the afternoon time trial, leaving Dutch pair Joost Posthuma and Tom Leezer to claim second and third overall.

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