Giro d'Italia 2009 stage 13 photo gallery, by Graham Watson>>
Mark Cavendish (Columbia-Highroad) took the win he wanted in Florence today, leaving his Giro d'Italia rivals floundering in his wake.
After some close finishes and two wins earlier in the race for Alessandro Petacchi (LPR Brakes), Cavendish has reinforced himself as king of the sprints with his third and most decisive win of this year's Giro on stage 13.
Cavendish had focused on this stage as the finish is near the British Cycling base in Quarrata, and several of his friends had come out to watch, along with his partner. But the 13th stage looked like being an unlucky one when Cavendish hit the deck after just 20km with BBox Bouygues Telecom rider Yohann Gene.
Thankfully Cavendish wasn't injured and soon rejoined the bunch that was no doubt still feeling the affects of yesterday's brutal mountain time trial. In the end, despite the best efforts of his rivals, he made it look easy.
Both Petacchi and American Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) used different tactics today, but still they can't beat the Manxman.
Petacchi did nothing but sit on Cavendish's wheel until the final 200 metres. The tall Italian came off Cavendish's wheel but made almost no impression on his lead, just about drawing level with the Brit's rear wheel as they crossed the line.
Farrar decided to take another route in his quest for his first Giro stage win. The American put his Garmin team mates on the front for the last five kilometres but the Argyle Army still don't have the wherewithal to close out a sprint.
The bunch was lined out perfectly by first Bradley Wiggins and then David Millar, but then the Garmin riders seemed to disappear. Julian Dean took up the sprint as Farrar was distracted from his sprint as he became embroiled in a shoulder barging feud with Cav's lead-out man Mark Renshaw.
Cavendish sat calmly behind the duelling pair, waiting for his moment. Farrar lost the battle and dropped back as soon as Renshaw started his sprint. As soon as Cavendish jumped round his team mate the result was a foregone conclusion.
Today's stage is expected to be Cavendish's last of the race. With more mountains to come Cavendish is likely to head home, rest and turn his attention to winning the green jersey in the Tour de France.
Swift still fighting on
Ben Swift (Katusha) shows little sign of slowing down in his first grand tour as the 21-year-old took eighth place in today's stage. The Yorkshireman had been on Petacchi's wheel with two kilometres to go but got swamped in the run in to the line.
His chance may still come, but he'll have to battle through a few more mountain stages first.
The next three stages each have at least four classified climbs on the route while stage 17 is uphill all the way to the top of the Blockhaus climb.
Stages 18 and 21 looks like being the only two remaining for the sprinters, but that's only if the teams are willing to close down any break-aways.
Cycling Weekly's all-time list of British pro winners>>
Stage 13: Lido di Camaiore-Firenze, 176km
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia-Highroad in 3-48-36
2. Alessandro Petacchi (Italy) LPR-Brakes
3. Allan Davis (Australia) Quickstep
4. Robert Hunter (RSA) Barloworld
5. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Slipstream
6. Juan Jose Haedo (Argentina) Saxo Bank
7. Robert Forster (Germany) Milram
8. Ben Swift (GB) Katusha
9. Davide Vigano (Italy) Fuji-Servetto
10. Mark Renshaw (Australia) Columbia-Highroad all at same time.
27. Denis Menchov (Russia) Rabobank at 8sec
32. Ian Stannard (GB) ISD at 8sec
78. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Cervelo at 8sec
84. Daniel Lloyd (GB) Cervelo at 8sec
106. Chris Froome (GB) Barloworld at 8sec
134. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 34sec
165. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 1-15
166. Charly Wegelius (GB) Silence-Lotto at 1-31
Overall classification after stage 13
1. Denis Menchov (Russia) Rabobank in 54-16-01
2. Danilo Di Luca (Italy) LPR Brakes at 34sec
3. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana at 40sec
4. Franco Pellizotti (Italy) Liquigas at 2-00
5. Carlos Sastre (Spain) Cervelo at 2-52
6. Michael Rogers (Australia) Columbia-Highroad at 2-59
7. Ivan Basso (Italy) Liquigas at 3-00
8. Gilberto Simoni (Italy) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni at 4-38
9. Marzio Bruseghin (Italy) Lampre at 5-26
10. Thomas Lovkvist (Sweden) Columbia-Highroad at 5-53
29. Chris Froome (GB) Barloworld at 14-05
33. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 19-25
New race leader Denis Menchov in pink
Lucky number 13: Cavendish takes his third 2009 Giro win
Congratulations from Max Sciandri at the finish
|Find the pink jersey competition|
Find the jerseys throughout the Giro and you could win a £400 Parker International voucher.
18 pink jerseys will be hidden around the Cycling Weekly and Parker International websites over the course of the three week race - all you have to do is decipher the clues at the end of the stage reports to find them.
Friday, May 22. Clue number 11:
You'll find today's jersey in an article that lists every British Olympic medal winner, cyclists of course...
Today's jersey is on www.cyclingweekly.com
Full details of CW's find the pink jersey competition>>
|Giro d'Italia 2009 links|
Stage 12: Menchov storms to Giro TT win and race lead
Stage 11: Cavendish romps to second Giro stage win
Stage 10: Di Luca lays down the gauntlet
Giro rest day review (May 18)
Stage nine: Cavendish blitzes rivals to win in Milan
Stage eight: Siutsou makes it two in a row for Columbia-Highroad
Stage seven: Boasson Hagen takes treacherous stage
Stage six: Scarponi wins longest stage with big break
Stage five: Menchov wins mountain battle as Di Luca grabs the pink jersey
Stage four: Di Luca denies Soler on the line; Lovkvist takes pink jersey
Stage three: Cavendish loses pink jersey after being caught behind late crash
Stage two: Petacchi denies Cavendish the stage win
Stage one: Cavendish in pink as Columbia prove their point to Garmin
Menchov's first pink jersey (Stage 12)
Wiggins: 'I went too hard at the start' (Stage 12 TT)
Lance and Levi: Ready for Giro time trial
Cavendish: 'Today brought back memories of San Remo' (stage 11)
Is Di Luca trying too hard, too soon?
Wiggins loses time in the Giro (stage 10)
Armstrong and Basso say sorry for Giro protest
How are the Giro favourites doing?
Cavendish says 'I'm addicted to winning'
Riders stage go-slow protest during Giro stage in Milan
Cavendish cool before Milan sprint
No sympathy for Armstrong from Giro boss
Boasson Hagen celebrates his birthday early
Cavendish overjoyed for Boasson Hagen
Armstrong 'livid' at dangerous Giro stage
Astana riders wear faded kit in protest over unpaid wages
Armstrong sees Leipheimer in pink
Giro news round-up: 14 May
Wiggins: 'I can't keep smashing away on the climbs'
Wiggins eyes top 20 finish overall
Armstrong after Giro stage 5: 'That was hard'
Cavendish looking for Giro revenge
Armstrong happy with stage four performance
Lovkvist will fight to keep Giro lead
Giro could be last race for Armstrong's team
Vande Velde crashes out of Giro
Petacchi claims he didn't know of Cavendish crash
Cavendish struggles to find consolation in pink jersey
Petacchi: I've been working out how to beat Cav
I'm wearing pink on behalf of the team, says Cavendish
Wiggins ready to win Giro team time trial
Friday, May 8: Giro news round-up
Cavendish out to topple Garmin in Giro team time trial
Team time trial start times
Cycling Weekly's Giro d'Italia top ten prediction
Brits in Venice for Giro presentation
Armstrong overshadows overall favourites at Giro presentation
Armstrong confident of finding new sponsor for Astana
Armstrong working to save Astana team
Wiggins in top form for Giro
Garmin Slipstream kitted out for Giro opener
Dan Lloyd gets late Giro call-up
Armstrong's special Giro bikes unveiled
Daniel Lloyd overlooked for Giro ride
Cummings and Thomas not selected for Giro d'Italia
Cavendish tests Giro form at Tour of Romandie
David Millar confirms he's riding in 2009 Giro
Bennati to take on Cavendish in Giro 2009 sprints
2009 Giro d'Italia to start in Venice
Evans and Silence-Lotto disagree on Giro 2009 ride
Armstrong to ride 2009 Giro
Tuttosport reveals 2009 Giro d'Italia route
Dolce & Gabbana design new Giro jersey
2009 Giro d'Italia guide and features
Find the pink jersey competition
Giro d'Italia 2009: The Big Preview
British riders to have led the grand tours
CW's Giro top ten prediction
Brits in the Giro 2009
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish
CW Classic: the 1987 Giro d'Italia
2008 Giro d'Italia archive
Giro d'Italia 2008 coverage index - race reports, photos, results
From rule Britannia to cruel Britannia
Giro 2008: The final word on this year's race
Brits at the 2008 Giro: photo special
Five days to go, what's in store?
Giro d'Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 27)
Giro d'Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 19)
Giro d'Italia 2008 preview
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