World champion Mark Cavendish won the fifth stage of the Giro d'Italia on Thursday, and Ramunas Navardauskas of Lithuania retained the overall lead.

Cavendish edged out Matthew Goss of Australia to finish the 199-kilometre leg from Modena to Fano in 4 hours, 43 minutes, 15 seconds. It is the Team Sky rider's second victory in this year's Giro, after his stage 2 triumph, and put him into the top 10 in the overall standings.

Cavendish stayed with the group in a tough finale, which saw several of his rivals drop down the field, before being expertly led to the finish by his teammates, who took to the front of the peloton with just over 5 kilometres to go.

Goss sprinted around Sacha Modolo to stay on Cavendish's heels but could not pass the Briton. Italian Daniele Bennati was third.

Navardauskas finished in the main pack to retain his pink jersey and is five seconds ahead of Garmin-Barracuda teammate Robert Hunter.

Collision

There was more bad luck for American rider Taylor Phinney, who collided with Lucas Sebastian Haedo about 30 kilometres from the finish. Both were quickly back on their bikes but struggled to join the front of the peloton.

Phinney led the race after the opening stages but has been struggling with a swollen right ankle following a crash on Monday.

Alessandro de Marchi, Pier Paolo de Negri, Olivier Kaisen and Brian Bulgac broke away early and held a lead of six minutes for most of the race before the peloton began to close in around 50K from the finish.

Following this mostly flat leg on the Adriatic coast, the climbers get a chance to shine this weekend with the first hilly stages on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Source: AP