Cavendish Takes Stage 5 of Giro d'Italia 2012
Mark Cavendish (Sky) has won his second stage of this year's Giro d'Italia.
Mark Cavendish (Sky) has won his second stage of this year's Giro d'Italia. The Manx missile took a bunch sprint to win Stage 5, a mostly flat, 209-km run from Modena to Fano in 4:43:15. Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) finished second, and Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan) finished third. Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Barracuda) remains the maglia rosa.
The hostilities began early. At the gun, Pier Paolo de Negri (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) sallied off of the front, and Alessandro de Marchi (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela) and Olivier Kaisen and Brian Bulgac (both from Lotto-Belisol) joined him. The Garmin-Barracuda-led peloton pegged the escapees' lead at about 6 minutes.
After 100 km, Garmin-Barracuda quickened the pace somewhat, and the gap between bunch and break narrowed gradually. With 35 km remaining, as the field approached the day's only categorized climb, Lucas Haedo (Saxo Bank) and Taylor Phinney (BMC) collided and went down. Both remounted quickly and raced to catch the bunch.
On the climb, some contenders for the stage win were dropped and never got back on. Among these were Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda), Thor Hushovd (BMC), Juan Jose Haedo (Saxo Bank), and Roberto Ferrari (Androni Giacattoli-Venezuela). For the last 20 km, Sky, FDJ-BigMat, Orica-GreenEdge, and Liquigas-Cannondale took turns pacing the field, which stayed together.
Sky led the field into the final 2 km. Orica-GreenEdge challenged the British squad in the last km, but Geraint Thomas (Sky) got to the front and launched Cavendish. With 150 m to go, the Manxman charged into the lead and held off a challenge by Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) to take his second win in the last four stages.
Cavendish noted that team cohesion helped to produce today's win. The Sky rider felt additional motivation to win because his girlfriend and the couple's daughter awaited him at the finish line.
"I didn't feel great three days after the crash," Cavendish said. "I was a little bit tired, and we did really what the other teams have done and let the others do the work.
"But we were able to commit all our guys at the end and we took the race up with 10k to go and it was textbook work from the team.
"The Colombians haven't done much leadout work before and it's taken them a couple of days to get into it, but then they did an awesome job to set us up in the leadout today. Then obviously it's all the guys that I've grown up with delivering me to the line. I'm super super happy!
"I'm even more happy because my girlfriend and my daughter are here and I had my daughter on the podium. It's the first race she's been to watch me at and I'm so happy to make her proud and win for her here."
In the overall, Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Barracuda) leads teammates Robert Hunter and Ryder Hesjedal by 0:05 and 0:11, respectively. Stage 6 will be the first hilly stage of the 2012 Giro. The 210-km ride from Urbino to Porto Sant'Elpidio will feature three Category 3 climbs and a Category 2 ascent. The field should break up. Who will