Mark Cavendish made sure there was no need for a photo finish at the Giro d?Italia on Friday. He lost by three centimetres to Daniele Bennati (Liquigas) in Carpi on Thursday but won by three bike lengths in Cittadella.

Cavendish is the first British rider to win two stages of the Giro d?Italia and his latest win also moves him up to eighth in Cycling Weekly’s list of all-time British pro winners.

Yet again the High Road team lead the peloton towards the finish. Milram took over in the final kilometre but Cavendish dived into a gap between Bennati and the barriers and then accelerated away to win. Bennati finished second and Spain?s Koldo Fernandez (Euskaltel) was third.

?This definitely makes up for losing in Carpi because I was really disappointed to lose by so little,? Cavendish said in the press conference after his win.

?I promised my team mates I?d win and we did a perfect sprint. They gave me a great lead out and then I did the rest.?

?I think we can celebrate my birthday a bit now. We usually have a bottle of champagne for someone?s birthday but I told everybody we?d wait until I won. Winning again is a perfect birthday present for me and for the team who did a great job.?

?I know I have to say a massive thanks to Bennati. I actually shouted thanks to him as I went passed him with a hundred metres to go. He showed great sportsmanship, so that we could contest the sprint and show who really is the fastest.”

?I probably would have closed the gap in the same situation but I hope to pay him back some time in the future for his kindness.?

Cavendish confirmed that he will now stay in the Giro to try and win stage 17 to Locarno next Wednesday but also to learn what it is like to ride in the mountains in a major Tour.

?This is my first Giro and I?ve won two stages. That?s promising for the future. I hope to perhaps win the points jersey in the Giro d?Italia or the Tour de France one day and to do that you need to be able to suffer and make it through the mountains, so I?m going to treat the final week as a massive learning curve. I?ll take things day by day and only quit if I get too tired. I?m enjoying the Giro and want to stay as long as possible.?

The Italian press and tifosi are full of admiration for Cavendish?s fast sprinting and he said he is really enjoying the Giro.

?I?ve done 13 stages now and I?m enjoying it very much. We?ve been unlucky with the weather but there?s a great group of riders here and great organisation. The food’s pretty good as well. I live in Italy in the summer, near Max Sciandri in Quarrata. I love the country and it?s a big opportunity to be able to ride here. I hope to come back in the future.?

Asked if he is now the fastest sprinter in the peloton, Cavendish admitted he was the fastest in the final 100 metres but acknowledged he still has a lot to learn.

?My age means I?m the fastest for speed and acceleration in the last 100 metres when we go from 50km/h to 70km/h. I think I?m the fastest and I?m lucky that it enables me to win, but Zabel and Bennati are stronger than me. They get over the hills even without their teams. I?m not the strongest sprinter by far but I?m fast and I?ve had a bit of luck.?

He also explained that his amazing acceleration comes from his track background.

?My muscles are short and tight and I use 170mm cranks. That means I?ve got more punch and I?m quicker which is good. Pedalling a fixed gear on small cranks means you learn to pedal for maximum speed and also plays a massive part in knowing how to go through gaps in the bunch. I?m very lucky. I?ve got the natural physiology of a sprinter.?

?I know I?ve also got the perfect team, with riders who have been professional for five years helping me win. That means more than physical talent.?

GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: STAGE REPORTS

Stage 13: Easy victory for super-fast Cavendish

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

Cavendish disappointed after missing out in Giro sprint

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