Giro d'Italia Stage 13: Mark Cavendish takes Giro stage tally into double figures

World champion makes it three victories in this year's race as he comes through to clinch sprint

by Simon_MacMichael   May 18, 2012  

Giro 2012 S13 Mark Cavendish wins in Cervere (Fabio Ferrari - LaPresse - RCS Sport)

Mark Cavendish of Team Sky has won the tenth Giro d'Italia stage win of his career in Cervere this afternoon after a hard-fought finish in which the world champion seemed to be boxed in but somehow found space on the barriers to the left to win from Alexander Kristoff of Katusha, with Rabobank's Mark Renshaw third. With today's victory, his third of this year's race, Cavendish consolidates his lead in the points classification, although the race heads into the hig mountains tomorrow. Katusha's Joaquin Rodriguez retains the race lead, but the battle for the maglia rosa will begin in earnest this weekend.

Team Saxo Bank, working for Argentine sprinter JJ Haedo, led the peloton into the closing 2 kilometres, Matteo Tosatto driving them along, but behind them were Team Sky who took up the pace ahead of the flamme rouge on the long, straight run-in to the finish.

Inside the final kilometre, GreenEdge moved to the front as they looked to lead out Matt Goss, and with other riders including Colnago CSF Inox’s Sacha Modolo and FDJ’s Arnaud Demare also in the mix, it made for a scrappy and hard fought closing few hundred metres, but one that thankfully was not marred by the type of crash seen in most sprint finishes on this year’s race.

With the business end of the 2012 Giro starting tomorrow as the race moves into the high mountains for the start of the third and final week, today’s stage, at 121km by far the shortest of the race, ended up being a relatively tame affair until that frantic finish.

Although attacks had been expected from the start as the race immediately headed uphill from the start in the port of Savona on the Ligurian coas and into Piedmontt, the peloton was happy to let Martijn Kaizer of Vacansoleil-DCM and fellow escapee Francesco Failli of Farnese Vini jump away after little more than a kilometre.

The pair, who would be kept on a reasonably tight leash with a maximum advantage of five and a half minutes, would eventually be swallowed back into the peloton with 22km left to ride.

With 6km to go, a trio of riders – AG2R’s Julian Berard, Julien Vermote of Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Fabio Felline of Androni-Giocattoli-Venezuela tried to get away on the final, short climb of today’s stage, which had a rolling profile but one that was less taxing than yesterday’s tough stage in the hills inland from the Ligurian coast.

The trio were soon brought back, however, as the sprinters’ teams started jostling for position ahead of the finale.

Prior to that, for the fourth time this week, breakaway specialist Kaizer, who had started the day in second place overall in the breakaway classification behind Lotto-Belisol’s Olivier Kaisen, had been the first rider across the intermediate sprint, which today came at Carrù, 38.3 kilometres from the finish.

After the two breakaway riders, the man who led the peloton across the day’s intermediate sprint was the maglia rossa himself, Cavendish, who has looked to pick up extra points wherever possible during the race.

The fact that he did so today is possibly a signal that he intends to take the fight for the jersey all the way to Milan, although there is only one potential sprint finish left in the race, at Vadelago next Thursday.

With the climbers also in the chase for points, however – unlike the Tour de France or the Vuelta, the Giro does not weigh the scale towards the flat stages – the world champion has cause to rue the crashes on Stage 3 and Stage 9 that took him out of the contest for the win and potential points within the closing few hundred metres on each occasion.

While today's finale was crash-free, there was a blow for NetApp, the German UCI Professional Continental team that celebrated its wild card entry to this year’s race by changing the green stripe on its kit to pink, when Reto Hollenstein crashed on a short descent early on in the stage and was taken to hospital with a suspected broken collarbone.

TV replays subsequently showed that the Swiss rider had drifted into the side of a TV motorbike that was travelling downhill to the left of the peloton and at a slightly slower pace, the director of host broadcaster RAI immediately offering an on-air apology to the team, describing the incident as “involuntary.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 13 result

1  CAVENDISH Mark           SKY     3:02:07
2  KRISTOFF Alexander       KAT all at same time
3  RENSHAW Mark             RAB
4  MODOLO Sacha             COG 
5  FAVILLI Elia             FAR 
6  GOSS Matthew Harley      OGE 
7  DEMARE Arnaud            FDJ 
8  HAEDO Lucas Sebastian    SAX 
9  COLBRELLI Sonny          COG 
10 BELLETTI Manuel          ALM 
11 VANENDERT Dennis         LTB 
12 CHICCHI Francesco        OPQ 
13 DELAGE Mickael           FDJ 
14 WYSS Danilo              BMC 
15 FERRARI Roberto          AND 
16 HAEDO Juan Jose'         SAX 
17 NIZZOLO Giacomo          RNT 
18 PONZI Simone             AST 
19 HUNTER Robert            GRM 
20 BODNAR Maciej            LIQ

Overall Standings after Stage 13

1  Joaquin RODRIGUEZ        KAT     54:21:15
2  Ryder HESJEDAL           GRM        at 17
3  Sandy CASAR              FDJ           26
4  Paolo TIRALONGO          AST           32
5  Ivan SANTAROMITA         BMC           49
6  Roman KREUZIGER          AST           52
7  Benat INTXAUSTI          MOV           52
8  Ivan BASSO               LIQ           57
9  Damiano CARUSO           LIQ         1:02
10 Dario CATALDO            OPQ         1:03

6 user comments

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Watched the race on RAI Sport. The Italian commentator said it all "Cavendish Cavendish Cavendish!" pity he's not Italian then maybe he would get the press coverage he deserves.

Paul W

posted by PaulVWatts [111 posts]
18th May 2012 - 17:06

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he's definitely achieved 'adopted son' status in Italy now and during today's coverage the RAI commentators were being very complimentary about the way he's conducted himself in this year's race.

It helps of course that he has a home in Italy and also that Peta and Delilah have been around at some of the finishes, Italians loving the whole baby thing.

Couple of vignettes people watching just the Eurosport coverage won't have seen in recent days, one was on the Processo alla Tappa show after the Montecatini stage (which he really wanted to win but was fourth to Ferrari) when the presenter said 'Our director's made a present for you.'

Took a few seconds for the video to kick in, during which he had that 'what the hell is going on?' look on his face, but it was a montage of Cav's wins plus family moments and he had a big smile on his face when it cut back to him.

The other was in the show they do at the start of the show, which includes a big guy called Paolo Belli who is a singer in his day job and is pretty much the comedy turn, who found Cav before yesterday's stage start sitting in the race director's car.

Asked what he was doing there, Cav replied straight faced that he planned to stay there for the whole stage.

Seriously, the Rai Sport 2 coverage is great, you get to see more racing plus all those other bits and pieces throughout the day - speaking Italian helps but you'll get enough out of it even if you don't.

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [8008 posts]
18th May 2012 - 17:24

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Link to RAI Sport 2 online streaming page here, has list of programmes at bottom so you can pick out Giro programming at the bottom.

Link should be valid for coming days too, doesn't seem to change. Bottom right of the video player puts it full screen.

http://www.rai.tv/dl/RaiTV/dirette/PublishingBlock-c7daf6b9-aeb4-48ed-8e...

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [8008 posts]
18th May 2012 - 17:58

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A great example of how not to do a train by saxo bank. Anyone else spot that?

posted by Super Domestique [1598 posts]
18th May 2012 - 18:38

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oops

Paul W

posted by PaulVWatts [111 posts]
18th May 2012 - 20:54

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Got to agree with Simon about Rai Sport 2 coverage. The post race coverage is very different being more relaxed than the normal mic in the face stuff. Cav as usual today praised his team for his win. I have a steerable sat dish with a freesat receiver so watch them direct. As to SD's comment on Saxo Bank I don't know that I have the expertise to comment but I have noticed that Sky's train do not seem to have the smoothness that HTC used to have at the final 300 or so metres.

Paul W

posted by PaulVWatts [111 posts]
18th May 2012 - 22:50

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