Mark Cavendish opened his account at this year’s Giro d’Italia by winning the bunch sprint into Teramo on Tuesday afternoon.
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Cavendish came off Alessandro Petacchi’s wheel with 150 metres to go of the slightly-uphill victory and carved past to win stage ten ahead of Francisco Ventoso (Movistar) and his Italian rival.
“I knew if I was behind Petacchi, I was in a better place, I could surprise him,” Cavendish said.
The break, which went on the outskirts of the start town of Termoli, consisted of Fumiyuki Beppu (RadioShack), Yuri Krivtsov (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Pierre Cazaux (Euskaltel-Euskadi).
Although the 156-kilometre stage represented the most straightforward leg of the race so far for many riders, Britain’s Adam Blythe abandoned the race after 50 kilometres.
Sitting in last place overall after the Etna stage, the Omega Pharma-Lotto rider had been struggling with a niggling knee injury.
After the leading trio were pulled back twelve kilometres from the finish, former maglia rosa and in-form man David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) shot out of the bunch with a late attack, but he was brought back with 1,000 metres to go.
Cavendish sat on Alessandro Petacchi’s wheel as Movistar opened the sprint for Ventoso. In the slightly-uphill final 150 metres, he sprinted past smoothly to secure his third win of the year.
It was revenge for Petacchi’s controversial weave in Parma last Sunday, which saw the Briton gesture angrily as he crossed the line. “What happened there made me even more hungry,” Cavendish said after the finish.
Underlining the scarcity of opportunities for thoroughbred sprinters in this year’s race, that was the last occasion Cavendish sprinted for the win.
Can the Manxman add a second stage win? With a hill-heavy route from Tortoreto Lido to Castelfidardo tomorrow, Thursday’s pan-flat twelfth stage to Ravenna represents the last chance for the sprinters
Aberto Contador (Saxo Bank) finished safely in the bunch to remain in the overall lead of the race.
Giro d’Italia 2011, stage 10: Termoli to Teramo, 156km
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Highroad in 4-00-49
2. Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Movistar
3. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-ISD
4. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
5. Davide Appollonio (Ita) Team Sky
6. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Quick Step
7. Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
8. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox
9. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing Team
10. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Farnese Vini-Neri Sottolli
General classification after stage 10
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo Bank-Sungard
2. Kanstantin Sivtsov (Blr) HTC-Highroad at 59 secs
3. Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Garmin-Cervelo at 1-19
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 1-21
5. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-ISD at 1-28
6. David Arroyo (Spa) Movistar at 1-37
7. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana at 1-41
8. Jose Serpa (Col) Androni Giocattoli at 1-47
9. Dario Caldato (Ita) Quickstep at 2-21
10. Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM at 2-21
David Millar launched a late attack but was caught by the bunch
The sprinters head towards the line
Mark Cavendish celebrates his win
Alberto Contado rmaintains the race lead
Giro d’Italia 2011: Latest news
Giro d’Italia News Shorts (May 15)
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Contador minds food at Giro as CAS decision nears
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Giro d’Italia News Shorts (May 12 edition)
Blythe finding way in second Grand Tour
Leopard-Trek withdraws from Giro d’Italia
Leopard-Trek uncertain to continue in Giro
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Giro doctor describes actions to save Weylandt
Wouter Weylandt killed in Giro crash
Giro news shorts (May 8)
Cavendish likely to take Giro lead tomorrow
Giro 2011: Who will win?
Kennaugh to lead Team Sky in Giro’s opening stage
Nibali’s Giro fight with Contador may reach the courtroom
Riis defends Contador’s participation in Giro
Cavendish set to start winning again at the Giro
Doping investigations force cyclists out of Giro d’Italia
Kennaugh replaces Pauwels in Sky’s Giro line-up
Contador scouts out the Giro mountains
Cavendish and Millar top list of Giro-bound Brits
Lampre likely for Giro despite doping investigation
Giro announces record 23 teams to race
2011 Giro to start in Turin with team time trial
Giro goes one up on the Tour with spectacular route
Nygaard, Sciandri and Lloyd comment on 2011 Giro route
Nibali’s Giro d’Italia?
Giro d’Italia 2011: Stage reports
Giro d’Italia 2011: Photo galleries
Stage 10 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson
Giro d’Italia 2011: Live text coverage
Giro d’Italia 2011: Start list
Giro d’Italia 2011: TV schedule