Author: Lee Rodgers
Published: 05/11/12 17:18
World Champion Mark Cavendish won the 5th stage of the 2012 Giro d’Italia, the first road stage to be held in Italy of this year’s edition. The Sky rider proved yet again that he is the man to beat n this Olympic year as he outclassed his rivals in the closing kilometer into the finish at the seaside resort of Fano.
The winner of Stage 3, Orica GreenEdge’s Matt Goss took second with Radioshack-Nissan’s Daniele Bennati taking 3rd.
Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Barracuda) remains in Pink with teammate Robbie Hunter in 2nd on the GC. The Australian just missed the time bonus for third place on the stage that would have taken him one second ahead of Navardauskas and into the race lead. Ryder Hesjedal, who has spoken of himself as a GC contender, is in third at 11 seconds.
Cavendish’s partner was there at the end with their new baby, which Cavendish held after the stage.
“There’s no better feeling than holding your baby in your arms,” said Cavendish. “Only thing comes close: holding your baby on the podium. It’s my first stage win with her at the race. I’m very happy. I’m very happy she’s here. I’m happy Peta’s here. I’m very proud.
“I would have loved to wear the pink jersey and my goal was the Red Jersey. But I lost out on 20 points because of the crash on the stage to Horsens and so it’s gone. I’m disappointed but I’ll come back and try to get it next year.”
As ever Cavendish was quick to praise his teammates, and yet again it was Geraint Thomas who led him out perfectly. Thomas is having a fine season so far, winning for himself and proving to be a very intuitive lead-out man.
In truth the Manxman also had Liquigas-Cannondale to thank for it was their pace setting in the final kilometers that saw many of Cavendish’s rivals drop from the back of the peloton, including Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda), Thor Hushovd (BMC Racing), Juan Jose Haedo (Saxo Bank) and Roberto Ferrari (Androni Gioccattoli), the Italian whom Cavendish blamed for his crash on Stage 3.
Despite a great effort by Matt Goss, Cavendish was perfectly placed n the final 250m to take the win. Goss though, despite so often coming second to the Briton, was complimentary at the end.
“Today, Cavendish has shown he's the strongest. We made our move at the same moment, and I couldn't get ahead of him. Once he had made his jump, it was always going to be difficult to get on terms with him, but it is an honor to have a team behind me that believes in me."
The day’s action on the 209km stage began from the gun when Farnese Vini's Pier Paolo de Negri took off to be joined soon by Alessandro de Marchi (Androni Giocattoli) and Lotto-Belisol duo Olivier Kaisen and Brian Bulgac.
The foursome were caught with 30km to go. Also notable was the fact that Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing crashed yet again. The American suffered bad luck to crash on Stage 3 and to then lose the Pink Jersey in the team time trial after being nursed around the course by his teammates.
“I made it through an entire Classics season with no crashes – nothing in the beginning of the year – and then I come here and it seems like it's every day,” said Phinney. “A lot of it has been out of my control. The only thing I can control is my attitude towards it and I've accepted that's way the sport is. And that's the way life is – you have highs and lows. You kind of ride the roller coaster and see where it takes you.”
Author: Lee RodgersPublished: 05/11/12 17:18