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.
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
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