Giro d'Italia: Mark Cavendish claims second victory as Bradley Wiggins survives crash
Mark Cavendish sprinted to his second victory of the Giro d'Italia on stage six.
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 09/05/13 7:10pm
Cavendish received a textbook lead-out from his Omega Pharma - Quick-Step team-mates and won by half a bike's length from Italy's Elia Viviani and Australia's Matthew Goss.
It was the 27-year-old Briton's ninth victory of the season and saw him regain the points leader's red jersey from John Degenkolb.
"I'm so happy," Cavendish said afterwards. "No problems, nothing wrong, everybody rode till their legs couldn't go anymore. It is beautiful. I am buzzing."
"I dedicate this win to Wouter Weylandt, two years to the day since he died."
Wiggins followed safely in the peloton, but only after he and all but one of his Team Sky squad had been caught behind a huge crash that caused a major split in the peloton 30km from the finish line in Margherita di Savoia.
A one-minute gap opened up as Wiggins and another 60 riders were forced to stand and wait for the road to clear, but the teams at the head of the race sportingly slowed to allow them to catch back up.
All of the race favourites subsequently finished on the same time, meaning the general classficiation remained unchanged and Luca Paolini (Katusha) will stay in the pink jersey for a fourth day.
Cavendish was unaffected by the crash and went on to profit from a near-perfect lead-out from his team-mates, who made amends for a string of poor performances earlier in the season.
They dropped him at the front of the race 250m out, from where he launched his sprint and held off the challenge of a handful of rivals.
Describing the clockwork lead-out, Cavendish added: "Imagine you get a kit car, you build it, and then when you start it, you know that feeling? It is like that. There are all these bits of the engine that fit together and I am just the exhaust. I am just the last thing and the thing that makes the most noise."
Stage six took the riders on a pan-flat, 169km route from Mola di Bari to Margherita di Savoia on Italy's south-east coast.
The stage took place exactly two years after Belgian rider Weylandt died from a crash on stage three of the 2011 Giro.
Two Australians, Cameron Wurf (Cannondale) and Jack Bobridge (Blanco), broke away from the peloton and although they opened up a gap of over six minutes, their efforts were futile on such a sprinter-friendly parcours and they were caught 36km from home.
Sprint teams, including Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, FDJ and Orica-GreenEDGE, immediately took to the front of the race, but as the peloton made its way on to the first of two, 16km finishing circuits around Margherita di Savoia, space became tight and the crash inevitable.
Wiggins was caught out by it having dropped back for an enforced bike change less than 2km before.
Watch highlights of stage six on Sky Sports 4HD from 10pm BST
Stage six result
1 Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, 3:56:03
2 Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale, same time
3 Matthew Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE, st
4 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ, st
5 Mattia Gavazzi (Ita) Androni - Venezuela, st
6 Manuel Belletti (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale, st
7 Davide Appollonio (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale, st
8 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Leopard, st
9 Matti Breschel (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff, st
10 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida, st
80 Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky, st
1 Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha, 23:52:42
2 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Team Sky, +17secs
3 Benat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar, +26
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, +31
5 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp, +34
6 Sir Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky, same time
7 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha, +36
8 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky, +37
9 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini-Fantini, +39
10 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC, +42
Red (points classification) - Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)
Blue (mountains classification) - Giovanni Visconti (Movistar)
White (best young rider) - Fabio Aru (Astana)