Cavendish sprints to third stage win

World champion produces trademark sprint finish to win 13th stage of the Giro d'Italia as Rodriguez retains lead.

    Cavendish sprints to third stage win
    Third time’s a charm: The Team Sky rider took stage 12 by a bike length over Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff [REUTERS]

    World champion Mark Cavendish won the 13th stage of the Giro d'Italia in a sprint finish on Friday as Joaquin Rodriguez retained the overall lead.

    It was the third win of this year's Giro for Cavendish, who finished in a time of 3 hours, 2 minutes, 7 seconds on the shortest leg of the race, a 121-kilometre ride from Savona to Cervere.

    The Briton appeared boxed in on the approach to the line but managed to squeeze past former teammate Matt Goss for the win. Alexander Kristoff was second and Mark Renshaw third. Goss had looked on course for victory but set off too early, leaving the Australian sixth.

    Early breakaway

    The route was mainly downhill apart from a short climb at the beginning.

    There was an early breakaway as Martijn Keizer and Francesco Failli created a gap of four minutes 15 kilometres into the day. The gap eventually increased to more than five minutes before the peloton started reeling it in.

    Team Sky and Greenedge took to the front as the peloton cycled into the final 2.5-kilometre  home straight, preparing to give Cavendish and Goss the best possible chances.

    Cavendish then left his team behind and held off attacks from other sprinters as he forced his way through, bursting clear just 100 metres from the line and winning by a bike length for his 10th Giro stage win of his career.

    There was no change in the overall standings and Rodriguez retains a lead of 17 seconds over Ryder Hesjedal. The Spaniard will wear the pink jersey for the fourth successive day on Saturday.

    The race moves to the Alps next, with the 14th stage covering 205 kilometres from Cherasco to Cervinia. With just one more stage that suits the sprinters - stage 18 - several are expected to withdraw overnight.

    The Giro ends on May 27 in Milan. 

    SOURCE: AP


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