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Giro d'Italia Stage 12: Cavendish ends his 2011 Giro with win in Ravenna

Second win of race for Manx Missile, Team Sky's Apollonio second, Petacchi third...

Mark Cavendish of HTC-Highroad became the first rider to win two stages in this year's Giro d'Italia as he just edged out Tea Sky's Davide Apollonio in a sprint finish in Ravenna, with Alessandro Petacchi of Lampre-ISG third. Riding at the head of the race, those riders were among a select group to avoid a big crash around 1.5km out in what was a technical closing few kilometres. With the crash happening inside the final 3km, all riders weree given the same finish time, meaning no change to the general classification, headed by Alberto Contador.

The crash appeared to be caused by an Acqua & Sapone rider running wide coming out of one of the bends in a twisting finale to the stage, a couple of riders going down behind him holding up the rest of the peloton on the narrow road, although thankfully no-one appeared to be badly hurt.

There had been crashes earlier in the stage too, one at 50km out involving yesterday’s stage winner in Castelfidardo, John Gadret of AG2R, whose team mates had to pace him back to the peloton.

Four riders had got away early on in today’s 184km run up the Adriatic coast from Castelfidardo to Ravenna, once capital of the Roman Empire, the escapees being Michal Golas of Vacansoleil, Davide Ricci Bitti from Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli, Rabobank’s Stef Clement and Miguel Minguez of Euskaltel.

Today was the last chance for the sprinters to fight it out in this year’s race, with the likes of Cavendish leaving the Giro as the race heads into the Alps tomorrow, so there was no way that the quartet would be allowed to build too much of an advantage.

As a result, they were kept on a tight leash until finally being swept up with a little over 10km left to race as HTC-Highroad towed the peloton along, their position at the front of the race keeping them out of trouble and away from the crash, withl Mark Renshaw unleashing Cavendish a couple of hundred metres out to allow the Manxman to take what turned out to be a hard-fought win.

There’s now a big transfer in prospect for those riders continuing in the race tonight before tomorrow’s stage start in Spilimbergo, around 70km northeast of Venice, with the race heading into the Alps and across the Austrian border with a summit finish on the Grossglockner.

Giro d’Italia Stage 12 Result 
1  CAVENDISH Mark          HTC-Highroad            4:17:25
2  APPOLLONIO Davide       Team Sky               same time
3  PETACCHI Alessandro     Lampre ISD                 “
4  FERRARI Roberto         Androni Giocattoli         “
5  CIOLEK Gerald           Quickstep                  “
6  SABATINI Fabio          Liquigas-Cannondale        “
7  BELLETTI Manuel         Colnago-CSF Inox           “
8  SELVAGGI Mirko          Vacansoleil-DCM            “
9  RENSHAW Mark            HTC-Highroad               “
10 CARDOSO Manuel          RadioShack                 “
          HTC-Highroad               “
12 VAN WINDEN Dennis       Rabobank                   “
13 BARRY Michael           Team Sky                   “
14 HONDO Danilo            Lampre-ISD                 “
15 RIGHI Daniele           Lampre-ISD                 “
16 MORKOV Michael          Saxo Bank-SunGard          “
17 FRAPPORTI Marco         Colnago-CSF Inox           “
18 MONTAGUTI Matteo        AG2R                       “
19 BEPPU Fumiyuki          RadioShack                 “
20 VISCONTI Giovanni       Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli  “

Giro d’Italia Overall Standings after Stage 12 
1  CONTADOR Alberto        Saxo Bank-Sungard      40:37:51
2  SIVTSOV Kanstantsin     HTC-Columbia            at 0:59
3  NIBALI Vincenzo         Liquigas-Cannondale        1:21
4  LE MEVEL Christophe     Garmin-Cervelo             1:28
5  SCARPONI Michele        Lampre-ISD                 1:28
6  ARROYO 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 


Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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