The 28-year-old Manxman’s big goal in 2014 is the opening stage of the Tour — and with it the yellow jersey – in Harrogate on July 5.
And the Omega Pharma-QuickStep sprinter warmed up with victory in trademark fashion into a headwind and uphill at the end of the 160-kilometre route from Heiden to Ossingen.
Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale) were second and third, respectively, as Cavendish’s team-mate Tony Martin retained the overall lead.
Cavendish’s compatriot Bradley Wiggins was checked over by a doctor after crashing following a collision in the peloton.
Wiggins, the 2012 Tour de France champion, finished almost 12 minutes behind Cavendish on the day.
The 34-year-old lies 99th overall, almost 14 minutes behind Martin.