The HTC-Highroad rider, who has been linked with a move to Sky for 2012, won the 187km Limoux-Montpellier stage having suffered the previous day in testing mountain conditions.
Cavendish, however, was quick to praise the efforts of his team. "It's me that's on the results sheet, but it's my team that are really behind this," he explained.
The Brit was also keen to extinguish any false hope, saying that the result is "far from guaranteed".
"It's not in the bag," he warned. "I'll just keep plugging away."
The 26-year-old has now won 19 stages in the last four years, a record no other sprinter has achieved in the history of the competition.