Cycling: Cavendish triumphs over former team mates in third Giro d'Italia win
Mark Cavendish convincingly took his third stage win of the Giro d’Italia this afternoon as he battled against former team mates Mark Renshaw and Matt Goss.
Cavendish’s win extended his lead in the points standings to 31 over Goss, who he took the red jersey from yesterday.
The Briton won an impressive 15 stages in the Tour de France as part of team HTC-Highroad; Goss and Renshaw’s lead-outs being key to many of those successes.
Cavendish’s Team Sky organised well to control the closing kilometres of the race, with Goss’ team Orica-GreenEdge posing the greatest threat and eventually overtaking them in the last 500 metres. The attack left Cavendish alone and boxed-in against the barrier, but still he locked onto the wheel in front of him.
As Goss dealt with one former team mate - moving right to battle Rabobank’s Renshaw head-to-head - he inadvertently invited another up the inside. Putting to good use the limited space granted to him, Cavendish made his move by darting alongside the crash barrier.
Whilst other riders tied up, the world champion visibly accelerated through to affirm his status as the Giro’s top sprinter. He crossed the line with three fingers aloft – one for each stage win so far.
The sprinters survived two categorised climbs in the relatively short 121kilometre ride from Savona to Cervere. Unlike yesterday, when a breakaway rider was able to steal the stage, the sprinters’ teams were fully focused on the win today.
Riding at the front for almost 100kilometres, Martijn Keizer and Francesco Failli mounted a forceful attempt to ride away from the pack but their efforts were cruelly quashed 22kilometres from the finish.
Joaquim Rodriguez of team Katusha continues to hold the pink jersey as the race moves into the first big mountain stage tomorrow. The Spaniard now fancies himself for the title and has adjusted his tactics accordingly.
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