Another win for Cavendish
Team Sky's Mark Cavendish won the eighth Giro d'Italia stage of his career with a classic sprint victory on day two of the 2012 edition.
The British world champion was brilliantly led out by Welsh team-mate Geraint Thomas in the closing stages of today's 206 kilometres stage in central Denmark.
Australia's Matt Goss, riding for Orica GreenEdge, was second with Geoffrey Soupe (FDJ-Big Mat) third.
The lead sprinters were split from the peloton by a crash in the final kilometre but American Taylor Phinney of BMC retained the leader's pink jersey he had secured with a win in yesterday's prologue.
A predominantly flat stage with long stretches up the west Jutland coast was expected to produce an early break.
So it was no surprise when Alfredo Balloni (Farnese Vini), Olivier Kaisen (Lotto Belisol) and Miguel Rubiano (Androni Giacattoli-Venezuela) pulled away with 145km still to go.
But the trio were caught comfortably before the end - with 40km to go until the finish in Herning.
There was an ineffectual attack by Dane Lars Ytting Bak (Lotto Belisol), who went in search of a win on home soil but was undone by a combination of a headwind and a watchful peloton determined to set up a sprint finish.
The race stays in Denmark on Monday but leaves Herning for a 190km circuit around Horsens in east Jutland which is again expected to favour the sprinters and Cavendish in particular.
Cavendish said afterwards: "There was lots of wind on the coast. We were monitoring things and in control. We had Ian Stannard on the front. He did 150 kilometres alone reeling in the break - he did incredible.
"The guys were so great and they stayed together. We had a mixture of the old guard and new people. Jez Hunt, Bernie Eisel - experienced guys with G too. And guys like Pete [Kennaugh] who are pretty new and who I've not worked with before.
"Everybody handled it well and we stayed together as a team. I was really looked after at the finish and kept sheltered. Geraint took me perfect and went exactly when he was supposed to. I was able to come off him and win the stage so I'm very, very happy."