Cavendish Wins Stage 4 of Giro
Matt Cavendish (High Road) has won Stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia. The 21-year-old took a crash-marred sprint to win the rolling, 183-km run from Pizzo Calabro to Catanzaro-Lungomare. Robert Forster (Gerolsteiner) finished second, and Daniele Bennati (Lampre) took third. Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) remains the maglia rosa.
The hostilities began early. At the gun, Rik Verbrugghe (Cofidis) surged into the lead. He led the field by 8:33 at 50 km and 9:30 at 64 km. The Belgian's advantage maxed out at 10:00. Liquigas, Milram, High Road, Euskaltel, and Quick Step went to the front and chiseled away at Verbrugghe's lead.
Quick Step led the charge up the day's final climb. The bunch reeled in Verbrugghe. Two Quick Steppers, Paolo Bettini and Kevin Seeldrayers, launched attacks but were reeled in. LPR Brakes, High Road, Lampre, Milram, and Liquigas took turns at the front to support their sprinters.
Milram led the field into the last km. A crash sent riders and bicycles flying. Nick Nuyens (Cofidis) abandoned with a broken collarbone. Nikolai Trussov (Tinkoff) received a cut that required three stitches to close, and Danilo Hondo (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni) suffered a contusion to his pelvis. Only 10 riders contested the finish.
Milram brought Erik Zabel (Milram) to the finish, but the German could not close the deal. Bennati started the sprint, but Cavendish and Forster passed the Italian on the left.
In the overall, Pellizotti (Liquigas) leads Christian Vande Velde (Slipstream) by 0:01 and Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes) by 0:07. Stage 5, a 203-km run from Belvedere Marittimo to Contursi Terme, has a rolling parcours that should allow an escape. Who will be in it? Will someone gain enough time to take the maglia rosa? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out?