Cavendish captures Giro win
Contador maintains pink jersey
Last Updated: 17/05/11 5:23pm
Cavendish: Silenced his critics with a stunning turn of speed to win in Teramo
Mark Cavendish powered to victory in the bunch sprint to take stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia in Teramo.
The Manxman put the disappointment of stage two behind him to blast past rival Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD), fending off Francisco Ventoso (Movistar) and the Italian as the peloton flooded across the finish line.
Four days shy of his 26th birthday the stage handed the Brit the win he has been craving in a Grand Tour where opportunities for sprinters are notably scarce.
Team Sky’s Davide Appollonio again showed signs of progress in his young career by coming from deep in the back to edge fifth place on the line.
The bunch sprint was also good news for Alberto Contador who, after being kept out of trouble by his Saxo Bank-Sungard team, was able to comfortably maintain his 59-second race lead.
On a day always likely to end in a bunch sprint Fumiyuki Beppu (RadioShack) and Pierre Cazaux (Euskaltel) opted to take up the thankless task of trying to stay away and attacked within the first kilometre.
Both riders were allowed to go clear before Yuriy Krivtsov (Ag2r La Mondiale) bridged across, the trio pushing ahead to amass a gap of over six minutes before the peloton began to peg them back.
The pace-setting duties in the bunch were handled by a determined HTC-Highroad on behalf of Cavendish for close to the entire 159km distance.
Cool and windy conditions met the peloton as they headed north along the Italian coastline, making life difficult for the escapees who were unsurprised to be swept up with 12km to go.
With the peloton strung out for the final run in, David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) broke clear with a speculative attack 2.8km from home in a bid to time trial to the finish.
Swept up as the peloton hit the final kilometre, the brave Scot pulled aside as Cavendish was lead out en route to an emphatic victory.