Mark Cavendish was deeply disappointed not to win Grio stage 12 in Carpi.
His late acceleration proved he is the fastest sprinter in the final 100 metres of the Giro sprints but he again lost out to Daniele Bennati (Liquigas) due to a slight mistake in the finale.
?I thought the final corner was much tighter and so didn?t dive into it. The race manual showed it was really tight and so I eased off a bit,? he admitted to Cycling Weekly after the sprint.
?Bennati didn?t and I quickly realised it wasn?t that bad but by then I was 20 metres behind him. I gave it everything and almost got him but he just held on.?
After watching the sprint on television, Cavendish considered making an appeal against the judges decision but changed his mind when he saw the photo finish, which showed clearly that Bennati won by three centimetres.
?If the finish line had been five metres further on, I?d have got him, but unfortunately it wasn?t,? Cavendish said.
Cavendish?s High Road team did a near-perfect job in the run-in to the centre of Carpi.
Bradley Wiggins set a high pace for the final kilometre and then Cavendish let the other sprinters go to the front, confident his late speed would take him past them all.
Just like before his winning sprint in Catanzaro, Cavendish tried to inspire his team mates with a strong pre-race talk on the team bus.
?I spoke to the lads this morning and told them that were the best team in the world and we showed that in the finale today,” he told Cycling Weekly.
?Other teams tried to come next to us but we just lifted the pace and held them off. That showed how good we are now. We rode on the front because we knew it went from a wide road to a narrow and back again. We needed just one more guy there in the end – I wouldn?t have needed to panic and I could have gone full gas at the end.?
?It?s tough when it?s that close and you lose but I?ll try and win tomorrow in Cittadella.?
The 177km stage from Modena to Cittadella is the last flat stage before the Giro heads into the Dolomites.
Cavendish knows it is his last chance to take another stage win. Do not bet against him winning by several metres to make sure the judges know who is the fastest sprinter in the Giro d?Italia.
GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: STAGE REPORTS
Stage 12: Bennati gets photo finish verdict over Cavendish
Stage 11: Bertolini wins hilly stage
Stage 10: Bruseghin wins Giro d’Italia time trial
Stage nine: Cavendish misses out in sprint
Stage eight: Ricco wins again
Stage seven: Di Luca, Ricco and Contador gain time on rivals
Stage six: Italians clean up
Stage five: Millar denied by snapped chain
Stage four: Cavendish wins
Stage three: Bennati romps home
Stage two: Ricco wins Giro d’Italia second stage
Stage one TTT: Slipstream wins Giro team time trial
GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: NEWS
Can Cavendish win the Giro today? [stage 12]
Aggressive Cummings comes away empty handed [stage six]
Millar speaks out after missing out in Giro [stage five]
Reaction to Cavendish’s Giro stage win
Cav hits back at Pozzato’s snipe
Cavendish: This is my biggest win [stage four]
Millar celebrates Slipstream Giro d’Italia success
Bettini looking for final Giro glory
Astana’s troubled build-up to the Giro
Petacchi banned for Salbutamol positive
Yates and Astana make last minute rush to Giro
GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: PHOTOS
Giro d’Italia 2008: Photo gallery, week two – new photos added daily
Giro d’Italia 2008: Photo gallery, week one.
GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: FEATURES
Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 19)
Rest day 1: How the favourites are doing
Giro Britannia part two: From rule Britannia to cruel Britannia
Tuesday Comment (May 13): Why Cavendish is a bona fide world-class star
Giro Britannia: how the Brits are doing in Italy
Giro d’Italia 2008 preview
Giro d’Italia 2008: who will win?
Giro d’Italia 2008: The British are coming
Giro d’Italia on Eurosport: TV schedule