Mark Cavendish Sprints to Stage 10 Win in 2011 Giro d'Italia

News & Results

05/17/2011| 0 comments
by AP and Roadcycling.com
Mark Cavendish (Team HTC-HighRoad) powers to win in stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia 2011. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Mark Cavendish (Team HTC-HighRoad) powers to win in stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia 2011. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Mark Cavendish Sprints to Stage 10 Win in 2011 Giro d'Italia

Team HTC-HighRoad's Mark Cavendish of Great Britain responded to a bit of controversy by winning the 10th stage of the 2011 Giro d'Italia in a sprint finish this past afternoon.

Team HTC-HighRoad's Mark Cavendish of Great Britain responded to a bit of controversy by winning the 10th stage of the 2011 Giro d'Italia in a sprint finish this past afternoon.

Race favorite Alberto Contador wore the pink jersey for the first time in this year's Giro and retained the overall lead.

Cavendish was timed in 4 hours, 49 seconds over the mostly flat 99-mile route from Termoli to Teramo, which featured a slight uphill finish. Spanish sprinter Francisco Ventoso finished second and Italy's Alessandro Petacchi was third, both with the same time.

It was Cavendish's first victory in this year's Giro d'Italia and the sixth in his career, having won two stages in 2008 and three in 2009.

"Winning in Italy is massively important for me," Cavendish said in a likely attempt to soften the race jury and added "It's where I took my first ever Grand Tour stage win and I was disappointed not to win in Parma, because this is one of my favorite races, really close to my heart."

"I got on Petacchi's wheel, he started accelerating with 250 meters to go, I went with 150 meters to go and then I came past him for the win," Cavendish said when asked to describe how he experienced the sprint finish.

Before the stage, Ventoso said Cavendish should have been disqualified from the Giro for getting help from his team car in Sunday's tough uphill finish on Mount Etna.

Cavendish was the 189th and last finisher on the volcano, crossing 26 minutes, 35 seconds behind stage winner Contador - just 25 seconds within the time limit cutoff that would have eliminated him from the race.

"It's shameful. Everyone else fights like crazy to finish within the maximum time and then some people attach themselves to the car and the judges don't intervene," Ventoso told Roadcycling.com and our mobile sister site Roadcycling.mobi. Ventoso hopes Cavendish is happy he's still part of the 2011 Giro and that he is realizing how lucky he is. "He should just be happy that he's still in the race."

Ventoso's opinion is supported by Team Garmin-Cervelo's Brasilian sprinter Murilo Fischer.

When asked to comment on Ventoso's accusations Cavendish told Roadcycling.com "I think that Ventoso has got problems. Ask him to make a stop with me."

During today's stage 10, Cavendish punctured a tire with 32 miles to go, but quickly rejoined the main pack after changing wheels.

After a rest day, the race path changed direction and began heading north along the Adriatic coast.

With schools closed for the occasion in Termoli, large crowds greeted the riders at the start.

During the opening mile, two riders -- Pierre Cazaux of France and Fumiyuki Beppu of Japan -- broke away from the pack and Yuriy Krivstov -- who was born in Ukraine but recently became a French citizen -- soon caught up with them to form a three-man breakaway.

Cazaux, Beppu and Krivstov gained a lead of more than six minutes at one point but were caught by the main pack with seven miles to go.

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