Cavendish Back With Giro d’Italia Stage 5 Win

Fano, Italy, May 10, 2012 (AFP) – Britain’s world road race champion Mark
Cavendish won the 209km fifth stage of the Giro d’Italia for his second win in
this year’s race on Thursday and celebrated by taking his baby daughter onto
the podium.

Lithuanian rider Ramunas Navardauskas retained the overall leader’s pink
jersey.

Cavendish, 26, shrugged off the deep bruising he suffered to his left side
when he crashed at Horsens, Denmark, on Monday to edge out Australian Matt
Goss, winner of Monday’s stage, Italian Daniele Bennati and South African ace
Robert Hunter.

It was Cavendish’s sixth win of the season and ninth overall in the Giro,
in which he is competing for the fourth time, taking him to 32 stage wins in
the major Tours.

“As I couldn’t sleep after my fall, I wasn’t 100% and I felt tired,” said
the Isle of Man-born rider, who embraced his former model girlfriend Peta Todd
and daughter Delilah Grace on dismounting.

“However, in front of my girlfriend and my daughter I couldn’t afford to
slip up.

“It is the first time that Delilah Grace has come to watch me race and she
gets to get on the podium with me. Have you noticed she is wearing pink?

“I am very proud of her and I want her to be proud of me.”

Cavendish’s task was made easier when several of his major rivals such as
Thor Hushovd were dropped from the peloton in the final 30km when the Liquigas
team of Ivan Basso upped the pace aided by Czech rider Roman Kreuziger.

The British star’s Sky team then came into their own in the final 10km as
both Peter Kennaugh and Geraint Thomas paced him before the ‘Manx Express’
burst to the front to take the glory.

Navardauskas, who took the leader’s pink jersey on Wednesday’s team
time-trial, came in with the peloton.

Goss said he had lost out to the stronger man.

“What do you want me to say, Cavendish is easily the strongest rider,” said
the Australian.

“We went for the line at the same time and he finished in front of me. Is
he unbeatable? If I thought that, it wouldn’t make any sense for me to take
him on.”

On Friday, the riders have a 210km stage a little more challenging than
Thursday’s with four climbs, the last 33.5km from the finish.

They will set out from Urbino, the birthplace of Renaissance painting
master Raphael, and finish at Porto Sant’Elpidio on the coast.

Mark Cavendish, Team Sky Rider Quotes:

“I didn’t feel great three days after the crash. I was a little bit tired and we did really what the other teams have done and let the others do the work.

“But we were able to commit all our guys at the end and we took the race up with 10k to go and it was textbook work from the team.

“The Colombians haven’t done much lead-out work before and it’s taken them a couple of days to get into it but then they did an awesome job to set us up in the lead-out today. Then obviously it’s all the guys that I’ve grown up with delivering me to the line. I’m super super happy!

“I’m even more happy because my girlfriend and my daughter are here and I had my daughter on the podium. It’s the first race she’s been to watch me at and I’m so happy to make her proud and win for her here.”