Mark Cavendish of HTC-Highroad got his revenge on Alessandro Petacchi following the Lampre-ISD rider's controversial Stage 2 win, coming out of the Italian's slipstream to take Stage 10 of the 2011 Giro d'Italia in Teramo this afternoon in what turned out to be a rare bunch sprint finish in this year's race. Francisco Ventoso of Movistar just edged out Petacchi to take second.
Garmin-Cervelo’s David Millar, who wore the race leader’s maglia rosa for two days last week, had gone off the front of the peloton with 3km left but the sprinters were not to be denied, with today representing the last but one opportunity for a bunch finish in this year's race. Alberto Contador retains the overall lead.
Cavendish had come under fire from Ventoso, winner of Friday’s Stage 8 to Fiuggi, who claimed that the HTC-Highroad rider had benefited from getting a tow up Etna from team cars on Sunday and should have been disqualified. If Cavendish had heard Ventoso’s comments, he clearly wasn’t bothered, drafting a team car today to get back onto the peloton after puncturing around 50km out.
A three-man breakaway spent most of the day out in front of the race before they were finally reeled in with around 11km of the 159km stage left. That trio of riders comprised Fumiyuki Beppu of RadioShack, Pierre Cazaux of Euskaltel-Euskadi, and AG2R’s Yuriy Krivtsov.
In common with those of his RadioShack team mates, Beppu’s frame today bore the message “I ride for Wouter Weylandt” in tribute to the Leopard Trek rider killed last Monday in a crash on the descent of the Passo del Bocco. The 26-year-old’s funeral takes place in his native Ghent tomorrow.
With an undulating profile including four categorised climbs and an uphill finish in prospect on tomorrow’s 144km Stage 11 from Tortoreto Lido to Castelfidardo, Thurdsday’s Stage 12 into Ravenna will represent the last chance for the sprinters to take a tilt at glory in this year’s Giro.
After that, it’s mountains pretty much all the way to Milan and the individual time trial that brings the 94th Giro d’Italia to a close a week on Sunday. Cavendish is likely to abandon the race in Ravenna, and while he'll clearly be going for the stage win there, today's victory is bound to take some pressure off.
Meanwhile, last year’s Giro champion, Ivan Basso of Liquigas Cannondale who has chosen not to defend his title as he focuses on his preparations for the Tour de France, needed 15 stitches in his face after an accident in training, although he was quick to reassure his fans through Twitter that otherwise he was okay.
Giro d’Italia Stage 10 Result 1 CAVENDISH Mark HTC-Highroad 4:00:49 2 VENTOSO Francisco Movistar same time 3 PETACCHI Alessandro Lampre-ISD “ 4 FERRARI Roberto Androni-Giocattoli “ 5 APPOLLONIO Davide Team Sky “ 6 CHICCHI Francesco Quickstep “ 7 LODEWYCK Klaas Omega Pharma-Lotto “ 8 MODOLO Sacha Colnago-CSF Inox “ 9 KRISTOFF Alexander BMC Racing “ 10 GATTO Oscar Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli “ 11 BOZIC Borut Vacansoleil DCM “ 12 LAGUTIN Sergey Vacansoleil DCM “ 13 MONTAGUTI Matteo AG2R “ 14 SABATINI Fabio Liquigas-Cannondale “ 15 TABORRE Fabio Acqua & Sapone “ 16 VAN WINDEN Dennis Rabobank “ 17 BELLETTI Manuel Colnago-CSF Inox “ 18 CATALDO Dario Quickstep “ 19 CARDOSO Manuel RadioShack “ 20 ISASI Inaki Euskaltel-Euskadi “ Giro d’Italia Overall Standings after Stage 10 1 CONTADOR Alberto Saxo Bank-SunGard 37:04:40 2 SIVTSOV Kanstantsin HTC-Highroad at 0:59 3 LE MEVEL Christophe Garmin-Cervelo 1:19 4 NIBALI Vincenzo Liquigas-Cannondale 1:21 5 SCARPONI Michele Lampre-ISD 1:28 6 ARROYO DURAN David Movistar 1:37 7 KREUZIGER Roman Astana 1:41 8 SERPA Jose Androni Giocattoli 1:47 9 CATALDO Dario Quickstep 2:21 10 CARRARA Matteo Vacansoleil-DCM 2:21
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.