Mark Cavendish beaten by Sacha Modolo on stage two of Tour de San Luis
Mark Cavendish was beaten in a sprint by Italy's Sacha Modolo on stage two of the Tour de San Luis.
Last Updated: 23/01/13 12:23pm
The Manxman's Omega Pharma - Quick-Step team were at the front of the peloton with 2km to go but a slight rise to the finish line took the sting out of his pace and allowed Modolo (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox) to capitalise.
Cavendish crossed the line second, with Australia's Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEDGE) following in third. Slovakia's Peter Sagan (Cannondale), who had been among the favourites to win the stage, was fifth.
The day took the riders 171km from Tilisarao to Terrazas del Portezuelo on a rolling route that undulated all the way to the end.
A group of five made an early breakaway and opened up a gap of four minutes 20 seconds after 35km, but they were unable to stay together and only Benjamin Jacques-Maynes, Leandro Messineo and Martin Hacecky remained as they entered the final 50km.
Despite the slight climb at the finish, the sprinters' teams were keen to rein them back in and duly did so with 4km to go.
As on stage one, Omega Pharma - Quick-Step assumed control at the front in a bid to deliver Cavendish in prime position, but the 27-year-old was unable to match the burst of Modolo, who now assumes overall lead of the race.
There were two Britons in the top 10, with NetApp-Endura's Scott Thwaites finishing 10th.
Stage two result
1 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox, 3:50:08;
2 Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, same time;
3 Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE, st;
4 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto-Belisol, st;
5 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale, st;
6 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Merida, st;
7 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Vini Fantini, st;
8 Manuel Belletti (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale, st;
9 Francesco Lasca (Ita) Caja Rural, st;
10 Scott Thwaites (GB) NetApp-Endura, st.