She won't have known much about it, but on a landmark day for his family, Mark Cavedish's daughter Delilah was present at the end of a race won by her father for the first ever time. The world champion, still battered and bruised from that crash on Monday's Stage 3, held off former HTC Highroad team mate Matt Goss of Orica GreenEdge to take the sprint in Fano, with Daniele Bennati of RadioShack-Nissan third. Ramunas Navardauskas of Garmin-Barracuda retains the overall lead.
With a little over 3km still to ride, Lotto-Belisol's Adam Hansen tried to get clear of the peloton, but with Team Sky leading the bunch, the Australian's attack was doomed to failure the moment it began, and it was Team Sky's Ian Stannard who led the race under the flamme rouge before Geraint Thomas, the final link in the leadout chain, set Cavendish up for the ninth Giro stage win of his career.
The stage took the peloton 209km from Modena along the straight-as-an-arrow historic Roman road, the Via Emilia, to Fano on the Adriatic coast with a couple of excursions inland towards the end to tackle some short ascents.
Early on, four riders got away – the Lotto Belisol pair of Oliver Kaisen, also in a break on Sunday’s Stage 2, and Brian Bulgac, plus Pier Paolo De Negri of Farnese Vini-ISD Neri and Alessandro De Marchi from Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela.
With 60km left to ride, the quartet had an advantage of five and a half minutes over the peloton, a slight tailwind enabling them to clip along at a brisk 44km an hour, but their lead tumbled after that as a number of teams looking to set their men up for the sprint today led the chase.
By the time the race entered its closing 25km following the only categorised climb of the day, De Marchi was left alone out front but he too was swept up, the peloton splitting then regrouping as at headed up and down those short ascents reminiscent of the capi of Milan-San Remo.
Some riders had been shelled out the back as the stage headed into the flatter terrain of the final 10 kilometres, but Cavendish was present towards the front of the race as the sprinters’ teams started to rack up the pace.
Big names missing, however, included Garmin-Barracuda’s Tyler Farrar, who had been lying second overall after his team dominated yesterday’s team time tria in Verona, as well as BMC Racing’s Thor Hushovd.
Today was the third road stage of this year’s race and Hushovd’s team mate Taylor Phinney, who lost the maglia rosa to Navardauskas yesterday as he struggled with the after-effects of the Stage 3 pile-up in Horsens, maintained his unfortunate record of crashing in each of them.
Off the back of the peloton today with 30km still to ride after that chute shortly beforehand, the 21-year-old American, today sporting the best young rider’s white jersey, angrily gestured at the RadioShack team car as it swept past him on an ascent, its wing mirror almost clipping him.
This morning, on a stage where riders were due to sign on at the house where motor racing legend Enzo Ferrari was born, the rider held responsible for that stack 200 metres from the end of Monday’s Stage 3, Roberto Ferrari of Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela, had been due to apologise publicly to Cavendish and Phinney for the injuries they received in that incident.
Speaking to host broadcaster RAI at the start, however, Ferrari revealed that Cavendish did not want a public apology and instead wanted to meet with him in private. There was more welcome company for Cavendish at the end of today’s stage, however – girlfriend Peta Todd was waiting with their month-old daughter Delilah, who had even been issued with her own accreditation badge by organisers.
Giro d'Italia Stage 5 result 1 CAVENDISH Mark SKY 04:43:15 2 GOSS Matthew OGE all at same time 3 BENNATI Daniele RNT 4 HUNTER Robert GRM 5 MODOLO Sacha COG 6 KRISTOFF Alexander KAT 7 FAVILLI Elia FAR 8 BELLETTI Manuel ALM 9 DEMARE Arnaud FDJ 10 JORGENSEN Jonas Aaen SAX 11 CARUSO Damiano LIQ 12 DELAGE Mickael FDJ 13 MAES NikolasBEL OPQ 14 RENSHAW Mark RAB 15 NIZZOLO Giacomo RNT 16 RUBIANO Miguel AND 17 THOMAS Geraint SKY 18 ROBERTS Luke SAX 19 BAKELANTS Jan RNT 20 BENEDETTI Cesare APP Overall Standings after Stage 5 1 NAVARDAUSKAS Ramunas GRM 14:45:13 2 HUNTER Robert GRM 00:05 3 HESJEDAL Ryder GRM 00:11 4 GOSS Matthew Harley OGE 00:13 5 CAVENDISH Mark SKY 00:14 6 THOMAS Geraint SKY 00:16 7 BOARO Manuele SAX 00:19 8 VANDEVELDE Christian GRM 00:26 9 RODRIGUEZ Joaquin KAT 00:30 10 KRISTOFF Alexander KAT 00:30
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.