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Cavendish sees pink jersey as a consolation prize

Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia - Highroad)

Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia - Highroad) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Mark Cavendish was super confident that he would win his first stage at the Giro d'Italia with the pink jersey on his shoulders but it ended up differently with Alessandro Petacchi passing him with 250 metres to go. "Normally I deliver and today I didn't," said the Team Columbia-Highroad sprinter.

"I can take the consolation from the fact that I lost to Alessandro Petacchi, there's no shame about that," Cavendish said. He showed up with the pink jersey on his shoulders for the second day in a row. "It's another consolation keeping it but my team worked very hard for me. They did a perfect job, that's why it's difficult to accept losing."

Unlike Petacchi, Cavendish rode for a hot spot sprint on the way but he felt offended when an Italian reporter asked him whether or not he had wasted some of his resources doing so. "I stayed on the wheel of Tyler Farrar! It wasn't going to take energy from me!," Cavendish said.

Also, the Montebello climb which had to be done three times in the final 30 kilometres wasn't an excuse for him. "When I can sprint like I did after Milan-Sanremo, I wouldn't be afraid of today's climb," said 'Cav' who came back to his first point. "With an ego like mine, to lose to Alessandro isn't such a bad thing."

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