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Page last updated at 17:37 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 18:37 UK

Cavendish secures Giro stage win

Mark Cavendish
Cavendish is using the Giro as preparation for the Olympics

Britain's Mark Cavendish won the fourth stage of the Giro d'Italia in a sprint finish in Catanzaro.

Cavendish finished the 183km stage in four hours, 49 minutes and nine seconds to secure his first-ever Giro win.

The Olympic medal hopeful passed Italy's Daniele Bennati and held off Germany's Robert Forster in the sprint.

"This is my finest victory," the delighted Manxman said. "In terms of the sprinters' hierarchy I reckon I'm among the best."

Liquigas' Italian rider Franco Pellizotti retained the overall leader's pink jersey.

The stage victory was Cavendish's fifth in an event-filled season, adding to the gold medal in the madison in the Track Cycling World Championships in Manchester in March.


The peloton caught up with Cofidis' Rik Verbrugghe, who had ridden 164kms (102 miles) in a solo breakaway, 20kms (12 miles) from the finishing line to sprint clear of his rivals.

And the 22-year-old Cavendish timed his move to perfection, avoiding a home-straight crash before powering past the stage-three winner, Bennati.

"It was the result of my team's work which kept me surrounded over the last 20km," said Cavendish.

"The wind was blowing hard and Bennati went off at a good time, but I was able to follow him and overtake him.

Cavendish becomes only the third British winner of a Giro stage, and the first in 21 years, since Robert Millar in 1987.

Englishman Vic Denson was the first Briton to win a stage, in 1966.

Wednesday's fifth stage is a 203km run between Belvedere Marittimo to Contursi Terme near Salerno.

Stage four top 10 results:

1. Mark Cavendish (GBR/THR) 4hr 49min 9sec
2. Robert Forster (GER/GST) s.t.
3. Daniele Bennati (ITA/LIQ) s.t.
4. Assan Bazayev (KAZ/AST) s.t.
5. Mirco Lorenzetto (ITA/LAM) s.t.
6. Erik Zabel (GER/MRM) s.t.
7. Robbie McEwen (AUS/SIL) s.t.
8. Tony Martin (GER/THR) s.t.
9. Paolo Bettini (ITA/QST) s.t.
10. Koldo Fernandez (ESP/EUS) s.t.

Selected others

50. David Millar s.t.

138. Bradley Wiggins, at two minutes six seconds

171. Steve Cummings, at 10 minutes 18 seconds

180. Geraint Thomas, at 10 minutes 52 seconds

190. Charly Wegelius s.t.

Overall Standings (after 4 of 21 stages)

1. Franco Pellizotti, Italy, 16hr 41min 26sec

2. Christian Vandevelde, US, one second behind

3. Danilo Di Luca, Italy, at seven seconds

4. Morris Possoni, Italy, at eight seconds

5. Vincenzo Nibali, Italy, s.t.

6. Nicki Sorensen, Denmark, at 17 seconds

7. Kanstantsin Siutsou, Belarus, at 18 seconds

8. Paolo Savoldelli, Italy, at 19 seconds

9. Andrea Noe, Italy, at 22 seconds

10. Daniele Bennati, Italy, at 24 seconds

Selected others

14. Andreas Kloden, Germany, at 28 seconds

17. Alberto Contador, Spain, at 30 seconds

18. Riccardo Ricco, Italy, at 33 seconds

23. Levi Leipheimer, US, at 40 seconds

76. David Millar, GB, at two minutes 14 seconds

117. Mark Cavendish, GB, at 11 minutes 18 seconds

137. Bradley Wiggins, GB, at 13 minutes 44 seconds

158. Steve Cummings, GB, at 18 minutes 18 seconds

160. Geraint Thomas, GB, at 18 minutes 47 seconds

164. Charly Wegelius, GB, at 19 minutes 43 seconds

see also
Bennati wins third Giro stage
12 May 08 |  Cycling
Ricco secures second Giro stage
11 May 08 |  Cycling
Vandevelde wins first Giro stage
10 May 08 |  Cycling
Cavendish wins Romandie prologue
29 Apr 08 |  Cycling
Cavendish sprints to narrow win
16 Apr 08 |  Cycling
Cavendish sprints to stage glory
03 Apr 08 |  Cycling
Pretty in pink
08 May 08 |  Cycling

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