Mark Cavendish had not marked down stage 11 to Arenzano as one of the three he was targeting this year but when the gruppo controlled the breaks and Cavendish comfortably got over the Turchino climb, he and his Columbia team automatically slipped into sprint formation and took home yet another win.
The sprint was scrappy behind Cavendish but he was kept out of trouble and got a perfect lead out from Edvald Boasson Hagen and Mark Renshaw.
Just two months ago Cavendish dived down the Turchino and went on to win Milan-San Remo. The stage to Arenzano brought back all the emotions of that day and inspired Cavendish.
?Going through the tunnel at the top of the Turchino was quite special. It was where Milan-San Remo really started and it brought back some nice, happy memories,? Cavendish said after his win.
?I was a bit worried that I would suffer on the Turchino and thought it was going take the sting out of my legs but it?s unbelievable when you can smell the finish and how deeper you can go,? Cavendish said in the winner?s press conference.
?I was put in good position to have some sliding room but didn?t need it. To be honest I seemed to be floating up there. It was perfect.?
?It?s a nice descent and so I was more relaxed because I was near the front and then the team placed me in perfect position. I didn?t want a repeat of the first stage and so hit out early. When it kicked up I said ?oh-ho? but I managed to keep going and win. I seem to be in better form that I thought I was??
Petacchi out of the picture
Alessandro Petacchi was blocked by the fight to get on Cavendish?s wheel but Cavendish didn?t even know it, thanks to Renshaw?s lead out. Irritated by a question that he considered irrelevant, he said: ?It happened behind me so I can?t answer about what happened. I just don?t know. I don?t know.?
?I?m lucky that I can trust Mark Renshaw and follow every move. Edvald was also there before that. He?s learnt how to move round the peloton and I?m lucky that he can guide me.?
?I suppose it was a bit sketchy at the end. Some guys are professional and let you through a gap but then there are others who don?t. They?re dangerous in the last two kilometres because they don?t have the energy to keep going and become like bollards in the road. I?m lucky that I?ve got the best guys to look after me and put me in the best position.?
Lucky 13 for Cavendish
Friday?s 13th stage to Florence is Cavendish?s next big objective and perhaps his last stage of this year?s Giro. He admitted he is starting to feel the effects of the long stages and hilly racing but would love to win again; close to his second him in Italy.
?I targeted three stages in the Giro (Trieste, Milan and Florence). I wanted to win today but it wasn?t one of the three. Friday is because it?s close to my Italian home and there?s going to be a big contingent from Quarrata. There?s going to be a lot of people coming and I?d love to win on front of them all.?
?I?m going to carry on as long as I can. I?m starting to feel how hard it is and I was still tired today. I don?t like stopping but we?ll see what happens and take every day as it comes.?
Cavendish will spend his 24th birthday tomorrow riding the 60.6km time trial through the Cinque Terre but if he can win in Florence the day after, it would be a much better birthday present.
|Giro d’Italia 2009 links|
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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
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