Bradley Wiggins moved one step closer to becoming the first British champion of the Tour de France while compatriot Mark Cavendish captured his 22nd career stage win on Friday, moving him into fourth place on the all-time list of Tour de France stage winners.  

Cavendish, the world champion stormed from escapes in the last 500 meters to capture stage 18 by a few bike lengths.

Cavendish is now tied with cycling greats such as Lance Armstrong and Andre Darrigade in all-time wins.

I knew I would be able to go from a long way out, and no-one would get past me today. I felt really good, the 27-year-old told the BBC.

Meanwhile, the overall standings did not change. Wiggins still leads Sky teammate and fellow countryman Christopher Froome by two minutes and five seconds. Vincenzo Nibali of Italy is in third, two minutes and 41 seconds behind, Jurgen Van den Broeck of Belgium is fourth, five minutes and 53 seconds behind, and Tejay Van Garderen of the United States in fifth, behind by eight minutes and 30 seconds.

Wiggins was able to maintain his lead during the final mountain stage on Thursday and kept his lead on Friday's flat 222.5km route from Blagnac to Brive-la-Gaillarde.

Moving into stage 19's time trial, the Brit is expected to further enhance his lead. He won the Tour's previous time trial by 35 seconds and is expected to dominate Saturday's 53.5km stage from Bonneval to Chartres