The Giro d’Italia was turned upside down today in Horsens, Denmark, due to Robert Ferrari’s sprint. The Italian of team Androni darted right, hit Mark Cavendish‘s front wheel and caused a crash that also took out race leader, Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing).

“Ouch! Crashing at 75kph isn’t nice!” Cavendish said on Twitter. “Nor is seeing Roberto Ferrari’s manoeuvre. Should be ashamed to take out Pink, Red & World Champ jerseys.”

Team Sky’s sprint leader hit the road hard on his left side in the final 200 metres, but then got up and walked over the finish line carrying his bike. Afterwards he re-mounted and rode toward the team bus, stopping first to congratulate his former team-mate Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) on the stage win.

“He was a bit pissed off, a bit gutted,” Geraint Thomas told Cycling Weekly.

Thomas led Cavendish into the sprint, but lost him in the final kilometres. He kept looking back over his shoulder to see where he was and to make sure he’d be in position to repeat yesterday’s win in Herning.

“I knew he’d lost my wheel with two K to go in that last right-hander. I wasn’t sure if he let me go or what, so I wasn’t too sure whether to go back and wait for him. I thought I’d just get around the corner in good position. I looked back and he was in decent position, behind Mark Renshaw about five or six positions back. He wasn’t too far off at all, I thought he was in a decent position.”

Cavendish was a little far back, but jumped to follow Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda). They surged up the right side, when Ferrari shot right and tried to pass behind Farrar. He took out Cavendish, Arnaud Démare (FDJ-BigMat) swerved and avoided Cavendish’s head and Elia Favilli (Farnese Vini) bunny-hopped his body.

Ferrari continued to finished ninth, but the jury disqualified him to last place in bunch at 192nd. “Ferrari goes on instinct,” Gianni Savio, Androni team manager said. “He didn’t know what he did behind him.”

Pink jersey, American Taylor Phinney went down in a subsequent crash. He nursed his right ankle and had to cross the line in an ambulance. The jury awarded he could keep the jersey, in an action similar to the one that allowed Daryl Impey to keep his after the Tour of Turkey crash in 2009.

The award ceremony went on, a young boy took the jersey in Phinney’s place. Phinney then returned in the ambulance and accepted the jersey, right ankle wrapped and race numbers dangling over his backside.

“I have no idea what happened in the crash. I just ran over somebody,” explained Phinney. “I am happy that nothing is broken.”

Phinney and the rest of the peloton are travelling by aeroplane to Verona for the start of the Italian stages. He and Cavendish will be able to recover on the rest day, but both will suffer in the team time trial on Wednesday. Phinney added, “I think I’ll be able to start.”

Goss won the first Grand Tour stage for Australia’s new top division team, Orica-GreenEdge. However, he wasn’t pleased with Ferrari’s actions.

“Some guys don’t have much regard for the safety,” Goss said. “It’s win at all costs at some points.”

A substitute accepts Taylor Phinney’s maglia rosa after the leader’s crash


Phinney later arrives via ambulance to collect the maglia rosa in person

Phinney’s bandaged right ankle

Phinney leaves after the podium presentation to head to Italy

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Giro d’Italia 2012: Stage reports
Stage three: Goss wins in Horsens as Cavendish and Phinney crash
Stage two: Cavendish wins in Herning
Stage one: Phinney wins time trial

Giro d’Italia 2012: Photo galleries

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one photo gallery

Giro d’Italia 2012: Teams and riders

Giro d’Italia 2012 start list

Giro d’Italia 2012: TV guide

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Cycling Weekly’s Giro d’Italia section