Mark Cavendish equalled Eddy Merckx's record of 34 stage wins at the Tour de France ©Getty Images

Britain's Mark Cavendish of Deceuninck-QuickStep led home a team one-two, winning stage 13 of the 2021 Tour de France in a sprint to equal Eddy Merckx's stage victories record.

He claimed his 34th stage win of the Tour de France after crossing the line just ahead of team mate Michael Mørkøv of Denmark and Belgium's Jasper Philipsen of Alpecin-Fenix in second and third in a time of 5 hours 4min 29sec.

After a late burst, Spain's Ivan Garcia Cortina of Movistar was fourth.

On the flat 219.9-kilometre route from Nîmes to Carcassonne, it was a day for the sprinters as the British rider claimed his fourth stage win of the Tour.

It comes 13 years after his first win at the Tour de France on stage five in 2008.

Deceuninck-QuickStep came under threat from the trains of Team DSM and Bahrain Victorious, who provided a disruption, but could not stop Cavendish's team after Italian Davide Ballerini pushed alone on the final 300 metres to set up the Briton and Mørkøv.

Cavendish also extended his points classification lead at the end of the day, adding another 50 points to his haul and now sits on 279.

Australian Michael Matthews of Team BikeExchange is his closest challenger, but 101 points adrift, while Philipsen is a further seven points back.

"I can’t even think about it," said Cavendish following his win.

"I’m so dead after 220km, in that heat, in that wind, that final. 

"I went deep there, so deep. 

"The boys were incredible. I can’t believe it.

"It's still just another win on the Tour de France, it's like my first one. 

"I've won a stage of the Tour de France, it's what I've dreamed of as a kid. 

"It's what I dream of now. 

"I've worked so hard for it."

Slovenia's Tadej Pogačar of UAE Team Emirates remains in the lead of the general classification after he and the main overall contenders sat in the peloton today.

Colombian Rigoberto Urán of EF Education-Nippo is his closest challenger, 5min 18sec off his lead.