Cavendish title defence comes to a halt

British rider Mark Cavendish's defence of his cycling world road race title ended in disappointing fashion on Sunday as he retired from the race with 111 kilometres to go.

The 27-year-old had not been expected to be a contender for the title this time round as the undulating 267km course was less suited to his talents than the one he won on in Copenhagen last year.

Cavendish - who last year became the first British rider since the late Tom Simpson in 1965 to win the world title - had set the pace on several occasions at the head of the peloton before finally giving up.

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