Cavendish tastes triumph at Tirreno-Adriatico
Thu, 08 Mar 15:56:00 2012
Mark Cavendish won the second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico in a sprint finish in Indicatore.
The Manxman avoided a crash inside the final 3km, which took out Philippe Gilbert, to record his fourth victory in Team Sky colours after two wins at the Tour of Qatar plus triumph in Kuurne–Brussels–Kuurne.
Cavendish said: “I always want to win and I think every sprinter here at Tirreno does too. It gives you a psychological advantage for Milano-Sanremo.
"I felt good day and though about not sprint, so as not to show how I felt. But we wanted to win and we rode for it. We know we have good form and now we can kind of relax for the rest of the week.”
Stefano Pirazzi (Colnago) and Diego Caccia Farnese (Vini-Selle Italia) enriched the stage with a 199km breakaway but the long, straight final kilometre was made for the pure sprinters and the duo were caught in the closing stages.
Garmin-Barracuda's Robbie Hunter gave Farrar the perfect lead-out as the American looked for victory for the second successive year in the Tuscan town but he had no answer to Cavendish with Katusha's triple former world champion Freire taking second.
Australian Matt Goss retains the overall lead in the Italian ProTour race after GreenEdge won Wednesday's opening team time trial.
Goss will wear the blue race leader’s jersey during Friday’s 178km third stage from Indicatore near Arezzo to Terni in Umbria.
The seven-day race ends with a 9.3km individual time trial on the Adriatic coast on Tuesday with two hilly stages and a mountain finish at Prati di Tivo set to decide the general classification.
Cavendish tastes victory in Tirreno-Adriatico