Cycling: Cavendish has mountains to climb

 

Cervere

When the world champion Mark Cavendish delivered a knockout bunch sprint to claim his 10th Giro d'Italia stage of his career and 33rd Grand Tour win yesterday it was very much business as usual – however, the Manxman then created a far greater surprise by announcing he would not be making a widely expected exit.

Cavendish quit the Giro in 2009 after stage 13 and again after stage 12 in 2011, on both occasions so he could avoid the toughest mountain stages and rest up before the Tour de France.

But when asked by Italian television if he would be staying in this Giro into the third week, Cavendish confirmed he would remain, perhaps even as far as the finish at Milan on 27 May.

One possible reason for Cavendish's decision to continue is that he is leading the points competition: if he does make it to Milan on top of that classification, he will have taken the points jersey in all three major Tours.

There is also the question of the Olympic road race, which features repeated assaults of a short but tough mid-race ascent at Box Hill in Surrey: Cavendish has been working on improving his climbing for the last three years, and racing through the Alps and Dolomites in the third week of the Giro could well form part of that process.

If the Sky rider tore up the script after the stage, the victory in itself was textbook Cavendish, with a three-man lead-out from Sky into the final, flat, straight kilometre at Cervere in Piedmont and Britons Ian Stannard and Geraint Thomas forming a key part of the process.

The Briton was all but blocked in the finale on the left-hand side with about 150 metres to go. But showing his usual technical ability and strength, he first managed to brake sharply enough to avoid a crash (which would have been his third in this year's accident-torn Giro) and then as Australian rival Matt Goss went right, Cavendish powered away to claim his third victory of this year's Giro.

"It wasn't perfect, but Goss opened a gap so I could get through and go for it," Cavendish said, before discussing his lack of a definitively designated team-mate as a key wingman – the "leadout" man – to guide him in the final metres – which would perhaps have made a difference in those tricky last 150m. "At the moment I've had a different leadout man in each race I've been in, but I've got the best team-mates in the world. The most you can ask from a team-mate is commitment, and these guys are 100 per cent committed."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review