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Team Sky rider loses big time to rivals again following split in peloton on descent from climb 40km out

Mark Cavendish riding for Omega Pharma Quick Step today notched up the 100th win of his career on a rainswept stage to Treviso on which his former teammate Sir Bradley Wiggins' dreams of adding the Giro d'Italia's maglia rosa to the Tour de France's maillot jaune he won in Paris last year were dealt what is likely to be a fatal blow. On a day where the peloton had to endure torrential rain, a five-man breakaway group was finally caught with a couple of hundred metres left, Cavendish held off Nacer Bouhanni of FDJ to for a win that marks a notable career milestone.

That group that contested the finish contained race leader Vincenzo Nibali and his closest challenger, Cadel Evans of BMC Racing, but despite a desparate chase from Team Sky on behalf of Wiggins, dropped on the descent from a Category 4 climb crested some 40km out, he lost 3 minutes 17 seconds to his rivals, and - as if to hammer home the bad luck that has dogged him during the race - drops to 13th position overall.

Today's downpour is the last thing Wiggins needed, not only because of the reticence he has displayed descending in the wet since crashing on Stage 7 to Pescara on Friday, which cost him nearly a minute and a half to his rivals, but also following his revelation last night that he was suffering from a chest infection.

Some seasoned Sky watchers may with hindsight now detect the hand of the British WorldTour outfits fabled spin machine in the timing of that disclosure, perhaps made with a view to today's weather forecast and the expectation that another day of suffering was in prospec for the Tour de France champion.

Wiggins had been distanced as Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s Jerome Pineau led Cavendish down at the front of the peloton from the climb of Montello, seeking to reel in the five members of the break who had got away early on in the 134km stage from Longarone, an initial quartet of Fabio Felline of Androni-Giocattoli, Argos Shimano’s Bert De Backer, Maurits Lammertink of Vacansoleil-DCM and Stage 9 winner Maxim Belkov of Katusha joined by a second Vacansoleil rider, Marco Marcato.

The hazards posed by the wet conditions were laid bare when four of the quintet crashed on a bend with 100km still to ride, only De Backer managing to stay upright, but as the stage headed towards its conclusion it was still touch and go whether they would be caught.

The chase being led by Cavendish and his team mates as they headed into the closing circuit in Treviso was overshadowed however by the drama engulfing Wiggins, who with 15 kilometres left to ride found himself isolated from his Team Sky colleagues, finding himself in the company of a rider from Cannondale and one from Euskaltel, neither of whom seemed inclined to help him by taking a turn at the front.

Wiggins did manage to get back onto the group in front of him on the road, but there had been a split in the peloton and it wasn’t the maglia rosa group. It did, however, contain all of his Sky team mates with the exception of Rigoberto Uran, who was third overall this morning, one second ahead of Wiggins and who will surely now be the team’s protected rider for the overall contest.

As the group headed towards the final 10km, it was already apparent that Wiggins was going to lose big time to the likes of Nibali and Cadel Evans of BMC Racing, second overall, given that however hard Sky were riding, the maglia rosa group was going quicker as teams including Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Cannondale forced the pace to bring back the breakaway.

Inside the final kilometre, it was still not guaranteed that the escapees would be caught, but Gert Steegmans put in a huge effort to set up Cavendish to overhaul them with the line in sight and get back into the red points classification jersey.

Behind, Bouhanni outmuscled Luca Mezgec of Argos Shimano to take second, on a day that will be remembered not only for Cavendish’s 100th win as a pro, but the one when Wiggins’ unhappy challenge for the overall in the 2013 Giro in all probability came to an end.

Giro d'Italia Stage 12 result  
  
1  CAVENDISH Mark      Omega Pharma - Quick-Step     03:01:47
2  BOUHANNI Nacer      FDJ                       All at same time
3  MEZGEC Luka         Team Argos - Shimano
4  NIZZOLO Giacomo     RadioShack - Leopard
5  LANCASTER Brett     Orica GreenEDGE
6  BELLETTI Manuel     AG2R La Mondiale
7  FERRARI Roberto     Lampre - Merida
8  MODOLO Sacha        Bardiani Valvole - CSF Inox 
9  TAMOURIDIS Ioannis  Euskaltel - Euskadi
10 VENTOSO Francisco   Movistar Team
11 APPOLLONIO Davide   AG2R La Mondiale
12 DEHAES Kenny        Lotto Belisol Team
13 HUNTER Robert       Garmin - Sharp
14 BOLE Grega          Vacansoleil - DCM
15 BENNATI Daniele     Team Saxo-Tinkoff
16 VIVIANI Elia        Cannondale Pro Cycling Team
17 STEEGMANS Gert      Omega Pharma - Quick-Step
18 COLBRELLI Sonny     Bardiani Valvole - CSF Inox 
19 ROLLIN Dominique    Equipe Cycliste FDJ 
20 FELLINE Fabio       Androni - Venezuela
  
Overall Standings after Stage 12  
  
1  NIBALI Vincenzo     Astana Pro Team              46:28:14
2  EVANS Cadel         BMC Racing Team                 00:41
3  URAN Rigoberto      Sky Procycling                  02:04
4  GESINK Robert       Blanco Pro Cycling              02:12
5  SCARPONI Michele    Lampre - Merida                 02:13
6  SANTAMBROGIO Mauro  Vini Fantini                    02:55
7  NIEMIEC Przemyslaw  Lampre - Merida                 03:35
8  INTXAUSTI Benat     Movistar Team                   04:05
9  POZZOVIVO Domenico  AG2R La Mondiale                04:17
10 MAJKA Rafal Team    Saxo-Tinkoff                    04:21

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.

14 comments

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Lane71 (not verified) [368 posts] 3 years ago
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 20

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Colin Peyresourde [1749 posts] 3 years ago
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Eggs-in-one-basket time - Uran it is.

Wish Brad a speedy recovery.

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Cycle_Jim [264 posts] 3 years ago
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1,2 and 3  1 good choices!!!! knew I should have dropped brad the other day! Hope he's better for the TT! Good luck to Uran, hope he becomes protected rider now.

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Nick T [947 posts] 3 years ago
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Lets see if Wiggins is humble enough to do some work for Uran's challenge now.

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Stumps [3354 posts] 3 years ago
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Nick T wrote:

Lets see if Wiggins is humble enough to do some work for Uran's challenge now.

THATS IF HE IS WELL ENOUGH AND DOESN'T GO HOME.

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antonio [1126 posts] 3 years ago
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Well that's the first 100 done, let's start on the next!

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1961BikiE [242 posts] 3 years ago
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Congrats to Cav even though I'm not a fan of the fella.  4

Would like to think that Brad is man enough to ride in a supporting role. But it does depend how his health is really. I can see that the team (and he himself) may want to withdrew him to recover for the Tour even though Froome is supposedly the leader. Even if that is true having him there in form gives a better chance of overall for the team by having 2 potentials. He is obviously out of Giro contention now.  20

Difficult decisions for all concerned.  39

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Chris [158 posts] 3 years ago
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At least Uran is a lot cheaper in the fantasy cycling thingy. Makes team selection easier.
Sorry Bradley.

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Colin Peyresourde [1749 posts] 3 years ago
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1961BikiE wrote:

Congrats to Cav even though I'm not a fan of the fella.  4

Yeah, well done Cav on reaching 100. Perhaps he can expect a card from the Queen?!

I couldn't tell if he lost his lead out man at the end. But he had quite a way to sprint. You have to feel for the breakaway group, but they added to the tension of the finale.

OPQS really busted a nut to catch them and it was only in the last 500km that they did. I think most of the sprinters were cooked by the time their turn came around - OPQS had really burnt all their candles (bar Cav).

Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

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a.jumper [846 posts] 3 years ago
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What about Bouhani's little stunt? Bye bye Bouhani!

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Leviathan [2129 posts] 3 years ago
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Great job Knees!

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northstar [1108 posts] 3 years ago
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a.jumper wrote:

What about Bouhani's little stunt? Bye bye Bouhani!

What did he do?

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a.jumper [846 posts] 3 years ago
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northstar wrote:
a.jumper wrote:

What about Bouhani's little stunt? Bye bye Bouhani!

What did he do?

Looked like he smashed Modolo's handlebars on the run in so that he could steal his place on Cav's wheel. I'm surprised that it wasn't a disqualification.

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Super Domestique [1605 posts] 3 years ago
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Shame Uran lost that time the other day going back to help Brad but hindsight is 20/20 vision.

Sadly we don't get to see Wiggo ride for Riggo either!