Giro Stage 13: Cavendish makes it 3 and out, Menchov stays in pink
13 proves lucky for Cav as he bounces back from crash to win
Lido di Camaiore - Firenze 176Km
Mark Cavendish won his third stage of this year's Giro d'Italia taking stage 13 in emphatic style from Alessandro Petacchi (LPR Brakes) with Alan Davis (Quick Step) third. Cavendish won in trademark style going from a long way out on the run in and as has proved the case so often in the last couple of seasons his rivals just couldn't handle his pace.
With his third stage win in the bag Cavendish then retired from this year's Giro to concentrate on the Tour de France, the move was not unexpected simply because there is very little in this year's race left for the sprinters - with another round of mountain stages due to start tomorrow.
Today's ride didn't start so well for the Manxman though he was involved in a crash just after the start of the stage but quite obviously no damage was done. On a pan flat stage that was set up for the sprinters Cavendish and his Columbia team made sure that he was in the right place when it mattered to once again show why he is the top sprint specialist of the moment. His lead out was spot on and once the blue touch paper was lit he never looked like being over-hauled, as ever there was a moment just at the death when it looked like he was about to be caught… and then he's won.
Today's stage followed the classic pattern for a sprinter's stage an early escape, this time it became a three man effort comprising ISD's Leonardo Scarselli, Ignatiev of Katusha and Milram's Bernd Schroeder. The gap got out to over four minutes at one point, but the escape was never going to be allowed to succeed. Scarselli and Ignratiev were swept up with 25Km to go and Shroeder who had gone on alone was allowed to stay out in front by the sprinters teams more for tactical reasons than anything else - he eventually succumbed 7Km from the finish.
Then the jokeying for postion began the Garmin Slipstream team lined up to get their man Tyler Farrar ready to rumble with Bradley Wiggins and David Millar putting in a mighty effort at the head of the Garmin train, LPR brakes were in the mix too - with Petacchi appearing t the front like a ghost, Allan Davis and Quick Step looked a real threat. But once again all their efforts proved in vain as Cavendish made it look if not easy then at least inevitable.
Top 10 Giro d'Italia Stage 13
1) Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia - Highroad)
2) Alessandro Petacchi (LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini)
3) Allan Davis (Quick Step)
4) Robert Hunter (Barloworld)
5) Tyler Farrar (Garmin - Slipstream)
6) Juan José Haedo (Team Saxo Bank)
7) Robert Forster (Team Milram)
8) Ben Swift (Team Katusha)
9) Davide Vigano (Fuji-Servetto)
10) Sébastien Hinault (AG2R La Mondiale)
Top 10 on general classification after Stage 13
1) Denis Menchov (Rabobank) 54.16.01
2) Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini) 0.34
3) Levi Leipheimer (Astana) 0.40
4) Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) 2.00
5) Carlos Sastre (Cervelo Test Team) 2.52
6) Michael Rogers (Team Columbia - Highroad) 2.59
7) Ivan Basso (Liquigas) 3.00
8) Gilberto Simoni (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli) 4.38
9) Marzio Bruseghin (Lampre - N.G.C). 5.26
10) Thomas Lövkvist (Team Columbia - Highroad) 5.53