Cycling: Ventoso profits as Cavendish and Co fall by the wayside


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Mark Cavendish crashed again at the Giro d'Italia yesterday but escaped serious injury as Spain's Francisco Ventoso won the ninth stage in a sprint finish after several other contenders fell at the last turn.

Francisco Ventoso profited from a crash involving Cavendish in the final corner. Cavendish, who was incensed after being caught in a pile-up last week in which he blamed the Italian Roberto Ferrari, was unhurt.

The world champion and sprint rival Matthew Goss were among the leaders who ran wide before being involved in a pile-up at the last bend, less than half a kilometre from the finish line.

That allowed Movistar rider Ventoso to go through and win the 166km stage from San Giorgio nel Sannio to Frosinone in a time of three hours, 39 minutes and 15 seconds.

The Spaniard managed to hold off the advances of Italian duo Fabio Felline (Androni Giocatolli) and Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack), who finished second and third respectively.

Ryder Hesjedal managed to avoid any slip-ups to retain the pink jersey and his overall nine-second lead over Joaquin Rodriguez.

Meanwhile, the wife of three-time Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins said she was "raging" after thieves broke into their property and stole his Beijing 2008 competitors' souvenir medal. Lancashire police are investigating after being alerted yesterday to the break-in at a property in Chorley.

Catherine Wiggins tweeted: "Phone went on way back from rugby, Lancs Police informing me we'd been burgled. Brads participants medal from Beijing Olympics most ... distinctive thing taken so if anyone hears of it please inform police, who were brilliant this morning. Raging! That is all. To clarify, NOT Brads Olympic medals thank god, a participants souvenir one. Still unpleasant enough though."

A Lancashire police spokesman said: "We were called following a break-in on May 13 at 12.03pm. We think there is damage to the property. We are looking into it."