Roberto Ferrari yesterday won the longest stage of this year's Giro d'Italia, from Assisi to Montecatini, as Great Britain's Mark Cavendish finished fourth.
The Androni Giocattoli rider was granted a clear run to the line after a pile-up on the final bend hampered many of the chasing pack, with Cavendish having to ease his pace to avoid the crash.
The Team Sky rider, who was angered by Ferrari after being injured in a crash caused by the Italian on stage three, trailed in behind Francesco Chicchi, of Omega Pharma QuickStep and Tomas Vaitkus, of Orica GreenEdge. Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez retained the leader's pink jersey.
Team Saxo Bank's Manuele Boaro was at the head of the field for almost 230 kilometres of the 258km stage, having been part of an early six-man break and then pulled clear on his own 30km from home, but was swallowed up by the peloton.
Fellow Italians Mirko Selvaggi and Giovanni Visconti briefly led before Team Sky and Saxo Bank made parallel charges to the head of the field. But the latter were badly affected by the late crash and Sky could not get Cavendish to the front either as Ferrari took the honours.
The Belgian sprinter Tom Boonen, a big rival to Cavendish, will miss the Tour de France, to prepare for the Olympic road race.Reuse content