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Giro ’11 Stage 10: Cav Gets His Win!

Race Report: It took a bit of time to come, but in the end Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) got his sprint right and swooped past Alessandro Petacchi. There had been talk of Cav holding onto cars going up Etna on Sunday, but that was all forgotten by the finish line.

The road from Termoli to Teramo is quite flat, but the 159 kilometre course does rise steadily to the finish line for the last 24 kilometres from Giulianova Lido where the course turns in-land. Today is classed as a sprinters day, so that only leaves today and Thursdays stage from Castelfidardo to Ravenna for the fast finishers.

A group of three riders made their break early on, the first riders were Fumy Beppu (RadioShack) and Pierre Cazaux (Euskaltel-Euskadi), soon to be joined by Yuriy Krivtsov (Ag2r-La Mondial), they had a gap of over six minutes with 120 kilometres still to go. Fumy Beppu took the points at the 4th Cat climb. Britain’s Adam Blyth of Omega Pharma-Lotto abandoned early in the stage. Saxo Bank, as would be expected, was leading the peloton, but the sprinters teams were soon to take over the chase for their riders.

The weather heading north up the Adriatic coast was windy and not as warm as it had been on the west Mediterranean coast. With 85 kilometres left on the clock still to ride, the three had been pulled back to 3:42 after 2 hours of racing. HTC and Colnago took over the chase, but the time to the three leaders actually grew to 4:15 going through the feed at 75 kilometres to go.

Talking of sprinters, Francisco Ventoso of Movistar has accused Mark Cavendish (HTC) of holding on to team cars going up Etna on Sunday’s stage. He said that Cavendish is lucky to still be in the race and should have been disqualified for his actions. Other sprinters; Robbie McEwen (RadioShack) and Graeme Brown (Rabobank) didn’t make the time cut, Cavendish finished 26 minutes and 35 seconds after Alberto Contador and made the cut by 25 seconds. So far Cav has not said anything on Twitter…yet!

At the port town of Pescara (60K’s to go) the lead was 3:45 and Beppu took the sprint from Cazaux and Krivtsov, with a kid on a mountain bike 4th! The chase had started a bit more seriously and at 50 kilometres out the lead was back to 2:40.

Mark Cavendish received a wheel change, at first it looked like a puncture, but it appeared he wanted a deeper 80mm section rim on his wheels. It didn’t look like the three break away riders would be fighting out for the win as by the 30 kilometre mark they only had 2:49 and the sprinters were starting to shuffle around the pack.

Quick-Step had started to ride on the front, but a crash from their Kristof Vandewalle broke up the team effort.

The race arrived at Giulianova Lido with the wind coming in from the sea, the race turned in-land giving them a tail-wind up to the finish. HTC and Saxo Bank had brought back the lead to 52 seconds with 15 kilometres remaining and dropping steadily.

The three were in sight of the peloton as they crested a slight rise at 12 K, they were captured at 11.5 K with Omega Pharma-Lotto on the front. Lampre, Liquigas were in control with BMC, Acqua & Sapone and Movistar close by. Contador was near the front keeping out of trouble with some team mates around him making an alternative lead string on one side of the road.

HTC and Lampre moved forward to try to control any attempted breaks, they were joined by Sky, but the front of the bunch was very ragged and not its usual pointy shape, probably due to the effect of the tail wind.

Cavendish was on the wheel of Mark Renshaw as David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) jumped with 2.3 kilometres to the line, getting a good gap through the streets of Teramo. He was riding like a pursuit rider, but was not fast enough to stay out front.

The last kilometre saw a Movistar rider leading out Ventoso, but the Manx fast man Cavendish was on the wheel of Petacchi as the big Italian made his move for victory at 20 metres out. Cavendish just powered past Ale Jet on the slight rise to the line to win by a good bike length.

So Cav got his stage win and Alberto Contador keeps his pink jersey. Keep it Pez for all the Giro action.

Giro d’Italia Stage 10 Result:
1 CAVENDISH Mark GBR THR in 4:00:49 +bonus 20″
2 VENTOSO Francisco J. ESP MOV all same +bonus 12″
3 PETACCHI Alessandro ITA LAM +bonus 8″

Giro d’Italia Overall after Stage 10:
1 CONTADOR Alberto ESP SBS in 37:04:40
2 SIVTSOV Kanstantsin BLR THR at 0:59
3 LE MEVEL Christophe FRA GRM at 1:19
4 NIBALI Vincenzo ITA LIQ at 1:21
5 SCARPONI Michele ITA LAM at 1:28
6 ARROYO DURAN David ESP MOV at 1:37
7 KREUZIGER Roman CZE AST at 1:41
8 SERPA PEREZ Jose Rodolfo COL AND at 1:47
9 CATALDO Dario ITA QST at 2:21
10 CARRARA Matteo ITA VCD at 2:21.

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