Mark Cavendish claimed a record-equalling sixth career podium finish in the Scheldeprijs in Flanders on Wednesday, but was out-sprinted by home favourite Jasper Philipsen at the death.
Cavendish’s podium tally hauled him level with Belgium’s Ernest Sterckx who claimed the last of his own top three finishes in the event 67 years ago.
It was the biggest of the Manxman’s three podiums this season but leaves him still searching for his first race win since February 2018.
Cavendish sat in the lead group for much of the 194km race in gruelling conditions from Terneuzen to Schoten.
And when the sprint unwound it was Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) who best anticipated the final move, bursting clear and holding on from Ireland’s Sam Bennett.
Bennett almost managed to haul in Philipsen in the final metres but had to settle for second ahead of Cavendish, his Deceuninck Quick-Step team-mate.