Cavendish Gets Third Stage Win of 2012 Giro
Mark Cavendish (Sky) has scored his third stage win of the 2012 Giro d'Italia.
Mark Cavendish (Sky) has scored his third stage win of the 2012 Giro d'Italia. The Manx missile took a bunch sprint to win the flat, 121-km run form Savona to Cervere in 3:02:07. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) finished second, and Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) finished third. Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) remains the maglia rosa.
Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil-DCM) wasted little time in starting the break of the day. At 6 km, the Dutchman attacked, and Francesco Failli (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) joined him. The pair led the field by five and a half minutes at 40 km. At that point, Sky and FDJ-Big Mat went to the front and pegged the lead.
The bunch reeled in the break gradually. With 21 km, the peloton was together. The sprinters' teams formed pacelines, and the overall contenders' squads moved to the front. With about 6 km left, Fabio Felline (Androni Giacattoli-Venezuela), Julien Berard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), and Julien Vermote (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) attacked. The bunch reeled them in 2 km later.
Saxo Bank took over at the front, and Sky took over from the Danish squad. With 500 m left, however, Cavendish was boxed in against the left-hand barriers with two Sky riders in front of him and Orica-GreenEdge riders alongside of him. The Manxman took Robbie Hunter's (Garmin-Barracuda) wheel, shot a gap along the left-hand barriers, freewheeled when the gap closed, and then burst through a gap to his right to win by a bike length.
After the disappointments and crashes of the last week and a half, Cavendish was happy to win today's stage. "I'm really, really happy and it's nice to finally get another win. The guys just rode their hearts out again today and I'm so, so proud.
"After they did that I had to win; I had to find some gap to get through. It was just a question of waiting for that moment and then taking my chance. It was a headwind finish which probably played into my hands a little bit after leaving it late."
In the overall, Rodriguez leads Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) by 0:17 and Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) by 0:32. Cavendish will not win Stage 14, the first high mountain stage of the 2012 Giro. The 206-km ride from Cherasco to Cervinia will feature two Category 1 climbs in the last third of the stage, the second of which will take the riders to the finish. The stage will belong to the specialist climbers and the overall contenders. Will Rodriguez stay in the pink? Will Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) or Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) seize the day? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
Watch video highlights from all stages of the Giro d'Italia in our video section (U.S. only) and spread the word about our Giro d'Italia and Amgen Tour of California coverage to your friends and family. Follow Roadcycling.com on Twitter and Facebook to receive daily coverage updates automatically.