Cav rules in Ravenna
Sprint star takes his chance in style
By Jonathan Turner. Last Updated: 19/05/11 5:09pm
Cavendish: Had the power to hold off Appollonio and Petacchi at the finish
Mark Cavendish edged out Davide Appollonio to win stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia, his second victory of this year's race.
The 184 kilometres route from Castefidardo to Ravenna was a last chance for the sprinters to shine and Cavendish's HTC-Highroad squad were on the front of the peloton for most of the day.
They easily reeled in a four-man break which had gone clear after just 7km and heading into the destination town HTC were still at the head of affairs.
That proved crucial as a crash on a sharp left corner inside the final two kilometres took out the bulk of the field and left just 16 riders to contest the finish.
Cavendish was in pole position with his team leading him out but he was made to work all the way to the line by Team Sky youngster Appollonio who got onto his shoulder but could never quite get past and had to settle for second, with Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) in third.
"The team again did an outstanding job for me," said Cavendish afterwards. "They were in the right place throughout and Mark (Renshaw) delivered me perfectly as he always does.
"We had looked carefully at the stage book and knew that corner had the potential to cause problems but were got through it fine."
With the field all reaching the final three kilometres together before the late crash it means there are no changes on the general classification, with Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) maintaining his 59-seconds advantage over Kanstantsin Sivtsov (HTC-Highroad).