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"I'm just happy I could hold on for that long!": Mark Cavendish WINS stage three of the Giro d'Italia

The Manx Missile won his 16th Giro stage on the race's final day in Hungary...

Mark Cavendish won the opening sprint stage of the Giro d'Italia, surging to victory on stage three ahead of Fernando Gaviria and Arnaud Démare in Balatonfüred.

The Manx Missile was guided to the final three hundred metres by a flawless Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl leadout, with the ever-reliable Michael Mørkøv and Davide Ballerini impressing once again.

Cavendish Giro 2022 stage three

As the finish line loomed, none of Gaviria, Démare and Biniam Girmay could come around Cavendish, with the 36-year-old staying in front.

It is his 16th Giro d'Italia stage win, but a first for nine years — his last coming in Brescia in 2013 — and his team's first stage win at the race since 2018.

Speaking after the stage, Cavendish said: "It was really nice. We wanted to get good in this first sprint, we did and I'm very happy.

"We've got half a team for the climbs and half a team for the sprints, but everybody committed. Ballerini, Van Lerberghe and Mørkøv, I've got an incredible final group there, and they delivered today.

"In the end I had to go long. I went at 300m to go. I had to hold a side and I'm just happy I could hold on for that long."

Cavendish Giro 2022 stage three

Mathieu van der Poel retained the maglia rosa, finishing comfortably in the peloton, having helped guide teammate Jakub Mareczko to fifth place. Pre-stage favourite Caleb Ewan finished eighth.

> Return of the 1,000w attack + sprinting uphill at 32mph — Mathieu van der Poel uploads Giro d'Italia stage win to Strava

Tomorrow is the first of three rest days at this year's Giro, and will see the riders travel to Sicily ahead of the Mount Etna summit finish on Tuesday.

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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