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Giro d'Italia: Mark Cavendish wins stage 3

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Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's British rider Mark Cavendish celebrates after he crossed the finish line to win the third stage of the Giro d'Italia 2022 cycling race, 201 kilometers between Kaposvar and Balatonfured, Hungary, on May 8, 2022. (Photo by Luca Bettini / AFP) (Photo by LUCA BETTINI/AFP via Getty Images)

Mark Cavendish (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) wins stage 3 (Image credit: LUCA BETTINI/AFP via Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Mattia Bais of Italy and Team Drone Hopper Androni Giocattoli Sidermec Samuele Rivi of Italy and EoloKometa Cycling Team and Filippo Tagliani of Italy and Team Drone Hopper Androni Giocattoli Sidermec compete in the breakaway during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Breakaway riders are Mattia Bais of Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli Sidermec, Samuele Rivi of Eolo-Kometa and Filippo Tagliani of Drone Hopper Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec (Image credit: Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Samuele Rivi of Italy and EoloKometa Cycling Team competes in the breakaway during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Samuele Rivi of Eolo-Kometa at front of breakaway (Image credit: Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Mathieu Van Der Poel of Netherlands and Team Alpecin Fenix pink leader jersey competes during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Mathieu van der Poel of Alpecin-Fenix rides stage 3 in pink leader's jersey (Image credit: Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Mathieu Van Der Poel of Netherlands and Team Alpecin Fenix pink leader jersey competes during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Alpecin-Fenix pace race leader Mathieu van der Poel in maglia rosa (Image credit: Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Senne Leysen of Belgium and Team Alpecin Fenix competes during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Senne Leysen sets pace for Alpecin-Fenix during 201km Stage 3 (Image credit: Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Mathieu Van Der Poel of Netherlands pink leader jersey and Team Alpecin Fenix compete during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Stage 3 is the final day of racing in Hungary (Image credit: Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Ignatas Konovalovas of Lithuania and Team Groupama FDJ competes during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Ignatas Konovalovas of Lithuania (Groupama-FDJ) competes during stage 3 from Kaposvár to Balatonfüred (Image credit: Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Hailu Biniam Girmay of Eritrea and Team Intermarch Wanty Gobert Matriaux purple points jersey prior to the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images

Biniam Girmay of Intermarché -Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in the purple points jersey (Image credit: Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 A general view of the peloton passing through flowery landscape during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

View of the peloton passing through flowery landscape on final day in Hungary (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Fans dressed in pink wait for the peloton to pass during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Fans along the 201km course cheer the peloton (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Hugh Carthy of United Kingdom and Team EF Education Easypost competes during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Hugh Carthy of EF Education-EasyPost during the 201km stage 3 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Simon Yates of United Kingdom and Team BikeExchange Jayco competes during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Stage 2 winner Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) rides on flat roads of stage 3 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 LR Hailu Biniam Girmay of Eritrea and Team Intermarch Wanty Gobert Matriaux purple points jersey Mathieu Van Der Poel of Netherlands and Team Alpecin Fenix pink leader jersey Rick Zabel of Germany and Team Israel Premier Tech blue mountain jersey and Matteo Sobrero of Italy and Team BikeExchange Jayco white best young jersey prior to the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images

Start of stage 3 with classification jersey leaders during callups in Kaposvár (Image credit: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Richie Porte of Australia and Team INEOS Grenadiers competes during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Richie Porte rides among Ineos Grenadiers teammates on stage 3 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Pieter Serry of Belgium and Team QuickStep Alpha Vinyl leads the peloton during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Thomas De Gendt of Lotto Soudal rides behind Pieter Serry of QuickStep - AlphaVinyl at front of peloton (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 A general view of Pieter Serry of Belgium and Team QuickStep Alpha Vinyl Senne Leysen of Belgium and Team Alpecin Fenix and Thomas De Gendt of Belgium and Team Lotto Soudal lead the peloton passing through Eszterglyhorvti village lduring the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

With 28km to go the catch was made for three breakaway riders and peloton focused on finish in Balatonfüred (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 A general view of the peloton passing through Eszterglyhorvti village landscape during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

View of stage 3 countryside and small village (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 LR Diego Ulissi of Italy and UAE Team Emirates Magnus Cort Nielsen of Denmark and Team EF Education Easypost and Nicolas Jonathan Castroviejo of Spain and Team INEOS Grenadiers compete during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Teams with GC contenders ride at the front of the peloton en route to Balatonfüred (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Attila Valter of Hungary and Team Groupama FDJ while holding the flag of they country prior to the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Hungarian Attila Valter of Groupama-FDJ holds the flag of this home country prior to the start in Kaposvár (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Mark Cavendish of United Kingdom and Team QuickStep Alpha Vinyl Caleb Ewan of Australia and Team Lotto Soudal Arnaud Demare of France and Team Groupama FDJ Hailu Biniam Girmay of Eritrea and Team Intermarch Wanty Gobert Matriaux purple points jersey Fernando Gaviria Rendon of Colombia and UAE Team Emirates and Jakub Mareczko of Italy and Team Alpecin Fenix sprint to win during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images

Mark Cavendish turned on after-burners with 300 metres to go and held lead with 50m to go for stage 3 win (Image credit: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Mark Cavendish of United Kingdom and Team QuickStep Alpha Vinyl celebrates winning ahead of Arnaud Demare of France and Team Groupama FDJ Hailu Biniam Girmay of Eritrea and Team Intermarch Wanty Gobert Matriaux purple points jersey Fernando Gaviria Rendon of Colombia and UAE Team Emirates and Jakub Mareczko of Italy and Team Alpecin Fenix during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images

Mark Cavendish takes win ahead of Arnaud Démare (on left) and Fernando Gaviria (on right) (Image credit: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Mark Cavendish of United Kingdom and Team QuickStep Alpha Vinyl celebrates winning ahead of Arnaud Demare of France and Team Groupama FDJ Hailu Biniam Girmay of Eritrea and Team Intermarch Wanty Gobert Matriaux purple points jersey Fernando Gaviria Rendon of Colombia and UAE Team Emirates and Jakub Mareczko of Italy and Team Alpecin Fenix during the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images

Victory signal from Mark Cavendish (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) (Image credit: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Mark Cavendish of United Kingdom and Team QuickStep Alpha Vinyl celebrates winning the stage on the podium ceremony after the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Podium celebration for winning stage 3 by Mark Cavendish (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Mark Cavendish of United Kingdom and Team QuickStep Alpha Vinyl celebrates winning the stage on the podium ceremony after the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Mark Cavendish won stage 3 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Rick Zabel of Germany and Team Israel Premier Tech celebrates winning the blue mountain jersey on the podium ceremony after the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Rick Zabel gets mountains classification jersey (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Mathieu Van Der Poel of Netherlands and Team Alpecin Fenix celebrates winning the purple points jersey on the podium ceremony after the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Mathieu van der Poel celebrates winning the purple points jersey (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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BALATONFURED HUNGARY MAY 08 Mathieu Van Der Poel of Netherlands and Team Alpecin Fenix celebrates winning the pink leader jersey on the podium ceremony after the 105th Giro dItalia 2022 Stage 3 a 201km stage from Kaposvr to Balatonfred Giro WorldTour on May 08 2022 in Balatonfured Hungary Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Another day in maglia rosa for Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Nine years since his last appearance at the Giro d’Italia, Mark Cavendish (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) notched up his 16th stage victory at the Italian Grand Tour with a commanding sprint on stage 3.

The Manxman, who was wearing a QuickStep jersey when he last rode the Giro in 2013, was given a perfect lead-out by Michael Mørkøv before finishing the job with a long-range sprint.

Despite hitting the front with some 300 metres still to run, Cavendish comfortably held off challenges from Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) and Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) on his right and left shoulders, respectively, to celebrate on the shores on Lake Balaton.

Démare inched Gaviria to second place, while Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) found himself boxed in and had to settle for fourth.

Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) retained the pink jersey as overall leader after switching to a support role. He looked to lead-out Jakub Mareczko but the Italian was slightly out of position and could only manage fifth place despite hitting the line with speed.

“It’s really nice,” said Cavendish. “We wanted to do good in this first sprint, we did, and I’m very happy.”

The 201km flat stage from Kaposvár to Balaton was largely a sleepy affair, with a three-man breakaway dangling in front of a relaxed peloton for the best part of five hours, but it came to life in the closing kilometres.

Alpecin-Fenix looked to take control on the left-hand side in the final 2km but QuickStep’s organisation and timing proved superior. Davide Ballerini led them through a roundabout to the flamme rouge before Bert Van Lerberghe took over. They were at risk of getting swamped on the left when Mørkøv hit the front and pulled Cavendish through the middle.

The 37-year-old then decided to open the taps with a full 300 metres remaining, getting out front and holding his line and speed all the way for what was a convincing victory. Démare and Gaviria jostled on either shoulder but never had the strength to get on terms, while Girmay was nestled in Cavendish’s slipstream but couldn’t plot a route out.

Mareczko finished fast but started from too far back, as he found himself a full two wheels back as Van der Poel was reaching full tilt in his own lead-out alongside Mørkøv.

“We’ve got half a team for the climbs half for the sprints, but everyone committed,” Cavendish said. “With Ballero, Van Lerberghe, and Morky, I’ve got an incredible final group there and they delivered today.

“Ballerini kept it to the roundabout then Van Lerberghe went, other teams came, but Morky stayed super cool. In the end I had to go long, I had to go with 300 to go. I just had to hold the side. I’m happy I could hang on for that long.”

The last time Cavendish raced the Giro, he finished the race with five stage wins. Will history repeat itself?

How it unfolded

The final stage of the Hungarian Grande Partenza plotted a 201km route from Kaposvár over to Lake Balaton, tracking the shoreline and taking in the gentlest of fourth-category climbs before the flat finish.

There was little appetite for the breakaway, so three riders clipped clear with a minimum of fuss. In there were the pair who formed the two-man break on the opening day - Drone Hopper-Androni’s Mattia Bais and Filippo Tagliani - while Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa) gave them a bit of company this time around.

They built a lead of more than five minutes but Alpecin-Fenix hit the front en masse and set about reducing it. There appeared to be a hint of wind as the race leader’s team took control and raised the pace from far out but the pace never really lit up and things soon settled right back down again.

In the first hour 39.5km were covered and the gap fell to 2:30 by the first intermediate sprint, where Bais led out Tagliani for full points as Rivi challenged but settled for second. The peloton followed and the sprinters were drawn out in search of ciclamino jersey points, with Gaviria and Démare the top finishers as Cavendish trailed much further back.

The race then entered a truly relaxed phase, with riders smiling to the cameras, chit-chatting, taking nature breaks, and leisurely putting away their lunches. The gap hovered around the two-minute mark as little of consequence occurred for some two hours.

The second intermediate sprint came with just over 50km to go, but this time did not count towards the ciclamino standings. Once again, Bais led out Tagliani, who collected maximum points for the intermediate sprints competition ahead of Rivi.

By that point, the gap was less than a minute, and when it dropped to 30 seconds, Rivi launched a surprise. Bais and Tagliani were deep in discussion when the Eolo rider sprang out and stole a march. Bais was drawn into instant riposte but Tagliani immediately fell away.

Rivi attacked again some 10km later, while Bais did the same 10km after that. Neither move came to any fruition and both just delayed the inevitable catch, but they at least provided some semblance of action. The breakaway finally came to an end with 28km to go, at which point teams were holding position but not really fighting for it.

The sole climb came with 13km to go but was only a short incline. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Jumbo-Visma), who’d tried to take the mountains jersey by saving himself for the late climb in Saturday’s time trial, used the grass to move up and attack, but he was followed by the rider who’d executed the same plan better than him the previous day: Rick Zabel (Israel-Premier Tech). Wearing blue, Zabel led out the dash for the top, but Eenkhoorn got there first and drew level on mountains points, although Zabel will remain in the blue jersey by virtue of his superior placing overall.

Eenkhoorn continued his effort over the top and led solo until 6km to go, by which point the sprint trains were assembled and were rubbish shoulders with the GC teams keeping their leaders out of position. Alpecin-Fenix punched through on the left and looked to take control but their sprinter was disengaged. UAE and FDJ looked to have their say but didn’t have the same numbers. 

In the end, it was QuickStep who had all the ingredients, although in this case the lead-out was only as good as the sprint, with Cavendish’s 300-metre effort slotting in right towards the top of his greatest Giro hits.

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Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.


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