Mark Cavendish emerged from a sprint finish to claim victory on the 11th stage of the Giro D’Italia today.
The Columbia-Highroad rider crossed the line ahead of Tyler Farrar and Alessandro Petacchi.
While the sprinters cleaned up at the front, Danilo Di Luca remains top of the overall standings as there was little change in the general classification.
Today’s stage took the riders from the Italian Alps to Arenzano ahead of tomorrow’s critical time trial, and it was Vladimir Isaichev who looked most eager to reach the coast as he built a sizeable early lead of eight minutes shortly after the midway stage of the 214km stage.
However, he was reeled in before the day’s only significant climb and Astana, who lost Christian Horner to injury overnight, then moved to the front with Lance Armstrong leading the pack and team-mate Levi Leipheimer, now fourth in the overall standings, just behind him in third.
The peloton was together going into the final few kilometres to set up a big sprint finish.
Mark Renshaw and Edvald Boasson Hagen did their job in setting things up for team-mate Cavendish to emerge in the last kilometre, leaving Farrar to scrap with Allan Davis going into the final corner before crossing the line comfortably ahead by a bike’s length.
Davis finished fourth with Petacchi coming through to snatch third.