Cavendish Sprints to Victory in Stage 2 of Giro d'Italia
Mark Cavendish (Sky) has won Stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia 2012.
Mark Cavendish (Sky) has won Stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia. The Manxman took a crash-marred bunch sprint to win the flat, 206-km ride beginning and ending in Herning, Denmark in 4:53:12 (Watch video highlights - US only). Matthew Goss (GreenEdge) finished second, and Geoffrey Soupe (Francaise des Jeux) took third. Taylor Phinney (BMC) remains the maglia rosa.
The break of the day formed at the gun. Alfredo Balloni (Farnese Vini), Miguel Angel Rubiano (Androni Giocattoli), and Olivier Kaisen (Lotto) sallied off of the front. Rabobank, GreenEdge, and Sky shared the work of reeling in the escapees. With 60 km left, 2:00 separated bunch and break. Ten km later, the field was together.
The bunch made the catch too early. Lars Bak (Lotto) attacked. The Dane led by 0:44 with 30 km left, but the peloton pegged the lead at about 0:30 before reeling him in with 17 km remaining.
With 8 km left, Phinney dropped his chain. He lost 0:30 before several teammates paced him back to the bunch. The American would finish with the field and keep his maglia rosa.
Garmin led out the sprint, but GreenEdge took over at the front. With 150 m left, a crash split the field, and a small group of riders battled for the win. Cavendish powered his way through the middle of the front group into the lead and held on.
As always, Cavendish was quick to praise his teammates. "There was lots of wind on the coast," he said. "We were monitoring things and in control. We had Ian Stannard on the front. He did 150 kilometres alone reeling in the break - he did incredible.
"Everybody handled it well, and we stayed together as a team. I was really looked after at the finish and kept sheltered. Geraint [Thomas] took me perfect and went exactly when he was supposed to. I was able to come off him and win the stage so I'm very, very happy."
In the overall, Phinney leads Geraint Thomas by 0:09 and Alex Rasmussen (Garmin-Barracuda) by 0:13. Stage 3 will be a flat, 190-km ride that will begin and end in Horsens, Denmark. Will Cavendish make it two in a row? Will Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) or another sprinter win the day? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!