- Giro d'Italia, Stage One
Cavendish sprints to opening stage win
Mark Cavendish demonstrated his great sprint powers as the 27-year-old was victorious on the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia.
The rider from the Isle of Man was down in eighth position with a couple of kilometres remaining, but with ten previous stage wins to his name at the Giro, the leader of Team Quick Step will wear the pink jersey after he came from behind to flash past Elia Viviani and triumph on day one in Naples.
Prior to the event, Cavendish was hopeful of winning at least one Giro stage, and with the opening day set to favour the sprinters across a distance of 130km, he was able to deliver the goods ahead of Viviani - who was frustrated with himself when he crossed the finish line and angrily hit his handlebars - and Nacer Bouhanni.
As the peloton approached the final few kilometres, Carlos Bentancur crashed and around 15 riders broke clear. Cavendish was boxed in on the final kilometre and had plenty of work to do to take the victory, but time after time Cavendish - the most successful sprinter in the Tour de France with 23 wins - finds a way to win and he edged ahead towards the end to snatch the win from Viviani.
Asked whether he was relieved or happy with the victory, Cavendish said: "A bit of both really. It was a difficult, difficult stage for me."
Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins finished with the peloton, but is expected to challenge at the front in Sunday's time trial.
Stage One result
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) - Omega Pharma - Quick Step
2 Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale
3 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ
4 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Radioshack - Leopard
5 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Radioshack - Leopard
6 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica - GreenEdge
7 Francisco Jose Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar
8 Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team
9 Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica - GreenEdge
10 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica - GreenEdge