Giro d'Italia: Cavendish takes sprint victory in Cherasco

Having claimed the 100th win of his career on Thursday, Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) started on the path towards his next century of victories when he led the bunch home in Cherasco, narrowly holding off Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack-Leopard) and Luka Mezgec (Argos-Shimano) in a frantic finish at the end of the Giro’s longest stage.

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With Orica-GreenEdge also prominent as they worked for Brett Lancaster, Cavendish was seven riders back when Cannondale began to wind the sprint up for Viviani from 500m out. For a moment, it looked like the Briton was going to be boxed in, but seeing a gap to his right he shot through it with 350 metres still to the line. In typical fashion, he opened up a gap of half a dozen metres on the riders behind him, but had to battle hard to hold on as Nizzolo came through quickly on his left, but just fractionally too late to claim his first Grand Tour stage win.

Cavendish, who now has 40 Grand Tour stage wins to his credit, admitted he hadn’t wanted to ride for the win today, given the length of the stage and his team’s efforts yesterday. “I’m so, so tired. I don’t know how I’m going to recover before the mountains tomorrow,” he said. “A sprint like that takes so much effort out of you. I was right on the limit, I had to go from 350 metres out and I’m on my knees now. The guys saved me on the climbs today and I feel like this is now building into the teams I had of old. The guys just ride and ride and ride. They’re incredible.”

There was no change in the overall standings. Race leader Vincenzo Nibali said he had enjoyed the fact that the weather was much better and looked ominously strong on that final little rise as he chased down a cheeky attack by eighth-placed Beñat Intxausti (Movistar).

How it unfolded

With some very serious climbing ahead this weekend, there was a good chance a break might be able to stay away on this stage. It started to form 30km in when Danilo Hondo (RadioShack Leopard), Giairo Ermeti (Androni Giocattoli) and Rafael Andriato (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) went clear. This trio were soon joined by Pablo Lastras (Movistar), Tobias Ludvigsson (Argos-Shimano) and Lars Ytting Bak (Lotto-Belisol). Bardiani’s Nicola Boem bridged across on his own, making seven up front.

After 90km their lead had gone out to more than 13 minutes. The sprinters’ teams then moved into the vanguard of the peloton, steadily eating away at that deficit. The seven leaders were less than a minute clear when they reached the only categorised climb of the day, the Tre Cuni, with 37km remaining, and it was here that the three strongest riders in the break – Boem, Bak and Lastras – forged clear. Their lead was just 18 seconds at the top of the climb, but Omega were content to let that gap edge out again slightly.

On the next rise, 15km from home, Boem went for a solo break, but couldn’t sustain his pace and fell back as Lastras ploughed on. Behind these three, there was a flurry of attacks off the front of the peloton, where Astana took control as Omega Pharma finally began to wilt. A gaggle of riders got across to Lastras, including Vini Fantini pair Matteo Rabottini and Oscar Gatto, Euskaltel’s Jorge Azanza, Bardiani’s Francesco Bongiorno, Movistar’s José Herrada and Katusha’s Giampaolo Caruso.

On the final little climb, with 8km to go, the front group split as its members began to attack each other. It was Caruso who finally got clear just before cresting the climb with 6km remaining. For a couple of kilometres it looked as if the Italian might benefit from some dallying at the front of the peloton, until Cannondale decided it was up to then to start the chase in Omega Pharma’s absence. The risk was always that Cavendish would benefit, but they had to take it. Once again, though, the Briton had just a little bit too much speed and sprinting nous for his rivals.

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Full Results
1Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step6:09:55
2Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack LeopardRow 1 - Cell 2
3Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 2 - Cell 2
4Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 3 - Cell 2
5Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 4 - Cell 2
6Manuel Belletti (Ita) Ag2R La MondialeRow 5 - Cell 2
7Daniele Bennati (Ita) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 6 - Cell 2
8Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 7 - Cell 2
9Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJRow 8 - Cell 2
10Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Androni GiocattoliRow 9 - Cell 2
11Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin-SharpRow 10 - Cell 2
12Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 11 - Cell 2
13Paul Martens (Ger) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Marco Canola (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 13 - Cell 2
15Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto BelisolRow 14 - Cell 2
16Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-SharpRow 15 - Cell 2
17Grega Bole (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJRow 17 - Cell 2
19Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 18 - Cell 2
20Luca Paolini (Ita) KatushaRow 19 - Cell 2
21Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 20 - Cell 2
22Pavel Brutt (Rus) KatushaRow 21 - Cell 2
23Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) ColombiaRow 23 - Cell 2
25Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 24 - Cell 2
26Diego Rosa (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 25 - Cell 2
27Christian Knees (Ger) Sky ProcyclingRow 26 - Cell 2
28Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 27 - Cell 2
29Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 28 - Cell 2
30Oscar Gatto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle ItaliaRow 29 - Cell 2
31Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky ProcyclingRow 30 - Cell 2
32Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 31 - Cell 2
33Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Ag2R La MondialeRow 32 - Cell 2
34Jackson Rodriguez (Ven) Androni GiocattoliRow 33 - Cell 2
35Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) ColombiaRow 34 - Cell 2
36Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-MeridaRow 35 - Cell 2
37Francis De Greef (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 36 - Cell 2
38Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto BelisolRow 37 - Cell 2
39Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 38 - Cell 2
40Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro TeamRow 39 - Cell 2
41Ben Gastauer (Lux) Ag2R La MondialeRow 40 - Cell 2
42Nelson Filipe Santos Simoes Oliveira (Por) RadioShack LeopardRow 41 - Cell 2
43Vladimir Gusev (Rus) KatushaRow 42 - Cell 2
44Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle ItaliaRow 43 - Cell 2
45Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 44 - Cell 2
46Fabio Felline (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 45 - Cell 2
47Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 46 - Cell 2
48Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 47 - Cell 2
49Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 48 - Cell 2
50Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 49 - Cell 2
51Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-SharpRow 50 - Cell 2
52Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 51 - Cell 2
53Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 52 - Cell 2
54Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky ProcyclingRow 53 - Cell 2
55Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack LeopardRow 54 - Cell 2
56Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 55 - Cell 2
57Alessandro Proni (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle ItaliaRow 56 - Cell 2
58Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 57 - Cell 2
59Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack LeopardRow 58 - Cell 2
60Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 59 - Cell 2
61Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2R La MondialeRow 60 - Cell 2
62Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-MeridaRow 61 - Cell 2
63Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Sky ProcyclingRow 62 - Cell 2
64Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky ProcyclingRow 63 - Cell 2
65Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
66Yury Trofimov (Rus) KatushaRow 65 - Cell 2
67Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJRow 66 - Cell 2
68Hayden Roulston (NZl) RadioShack LeopardRow 67 - Cell 2
69Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Movistar TeamRow 68 - Cell 2
70Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 69 - Cell 2
71Dmitry Kozontchuk (Rus) KatushaRow 70 - Cell 2
72Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 71 - Cell 2
73Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 72 - Cell 2
74Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 73 - Cell 2
75Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-SharpRow 74 - Cell 2
76Tiziano Dall'Antonia (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 75 - Cell 2
77Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 76 - Cell 2
78Dario Cataldo (Ita) Sky ProcyclingRow 77 - Cell 2
79Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 78 - Cell 2
80Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle ItaliaRow 79 - Cell 2
81Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle ItaliaRow 80 - Cell 2
82José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 81 - Cell 2
83Petr Ignatenko (Rus) KatushaRow 82 - Cell 2
84Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 83 - Cell 2
85Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) ColombiaRow 84 - Cell 2
86Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 85 - Cell 2
87Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 86 - Cell 2
88Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:00:20
89Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 88 - Cell 2
90Danny Pate (USA) Sky Procycling0:00:22
91Stef Clement (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:00:24
92Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 91 - Cell 2
93Bruno Pires (Por) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 92 - Cell 2
94Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-MeridaRow 93 - Cell 2
95Jarlinson Pantano (Col) ColombiaRow 94 - Cell 2
96Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 95 - Cell 2
97Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-SharpRow 96 - Cell 2
98Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 97 - Cell 2
99Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:00:27
100Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:00:31
101Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:00:38
102Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 101 - Cell 2
103Thomas Damuseau (Fra) Team Argos-Shimano0:00:38
104Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha0:00:43
105Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:00:53
106Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:01:58
107Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Sky Procycling0:02:02
108Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol0:02:58
109Danilo Hondo (Ger) RadioShack LeopardRow 108 - Cell 2
110Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 109 - Cell 2
111Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 110 - Cell 2
112Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle ItaliaRow 111 - Cell 2
113Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox0:03:02
114Manuele Boaro (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:03:31
115Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 114 - Cell 2
116Robert Vrecer (Slo) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:03:47
117Fredrik Carl Wilhelm Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro Team0:04:13
118Hubert Dupont (Fra) Ag2R La MondialeRow 117 - Cell 2
119Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Lotto BelisolRow 118 - Cell 2
120Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:05:22
121Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:06:29
122Rory Sutherland (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:09:17
123David Millar (GBr) Garmin-SharpRow 122 - Cell 2
124Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 123 - Cell 2
125Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 124 - Cell 2
126Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 125 - Cell 2
127Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack Leopard0:09:58
128Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox0:09:59
129Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:12:37
130Thomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin-Sharp0:16:32
131Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 130 - Cell 2
132Brian Bulgac (Ned) Lotto BelisolRow 131 - Cell 2
133Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-SharpRow 132 - Cell 2
134Martijn Keizer (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 133 - Cell 2
135Cameron Wurf (Aus) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 134 - Cell 2
136Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 135 - Cell 2
137Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) Ag2R La MondialeRow 136 - Cell 2
138Ricardo Mestre (Por) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 137 - Cell 2
139Edwin Alcibiades Avila Vanegas (Col) ColombiaRow 138 - Cell 2
140Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 139 - Cell 2
141Ioannis Tamouridis (Gre) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 140 - Cell 2
142Mads Christensen (Den) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 141 - Cell 2
143Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 142 - Cell 2
144Robinson Eduardo Chalapud Gomez (Col) ColombiaRow 143 - Cell 2
145Cayetano José Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 144 - Cell 2
146Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 145 - Cell 2
147Wilson Alexander Marentes Torres (Col) ColombiaRow 146 - Cell 2
148Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling