Savio apologizes for Ferrari’s manoeuvre

Androni-Venezuela manager Gianni Savio has contacted Cyclingnews to say that he intends to make a full apology to world champion Mark Cavendish (Sky) for the 60kph pile-up provoked by his sprinter Roberto Ferrari in the finale of stage three of the Giro d’Italia.

Cavendish injured his shoulder when he hit the tarmac at full speed just yards from the line, after which he lay inert and trying to protect himself as riders fanned out to try and avoid him.

After a bad crash in the Tour of Qatar’s final stage, which left Cavendish shaken but able to ride (on this occasion, with his shoulder injured, he had to walk towards the finish line), this was the Briton’s second high-speed accident in 2012.

Androni-Venezuela manger Gianni Savio made no bones about his rider Ferrari’s responsibility, telling Cyclingnews, “I’m on the bus going to the airport [for the transfer – ed.] and I will apologize to Mark Cavendish in the name of the team and in the name of Roberto Ferrari for the incorrect behaviour that was not intentional.”

Ferrari himself, at least before talking to Savio, was unrepentant about the crash, telling reporters, “I was doing my sprint. I didn’t see him. I don’t know what happened because it was all behind me, my foot slipped. I had to switch lines because another rider moved abruptly.”

Asked how he felt about being relegated to the last spot in the peloton for his manoeuvre, [as well as receiving a 200 Swiss Franc fine, a 30-second penalty and losing 25 points from his tally in the points competition] Ferrari responded “I have nothing to say about that.”

Savio himself argued that “Ferrari made a mistake, but” - unsurprisingly - “he didn’t want to make Cavendish fall.”

The organisers seem to have no doubt who was responsible for the pile-up. After Ferrari’s dodgy manoeuvre, the organisers decided that Sky are the leaders of the Fair Play competition with 0 points, (the lowest score being the best) whilst Androni-Venezuela are right at the bottom, with 180 points. That is 140 points less than second-last Rabobank, who have 40.

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.