Cavendish claims stage win
Mark Cavendish produced a superb sprint to take a second stage victory at the Giro d'Italia for Team Sky.
The Manxman bounced back from a hard crash on Monday in Denmark to take the win, holding off former team-mate Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEDGE) on the line in a frenetic run to the finish.
The sprinter was able to hold on during a tough and undulating finale, which saw a number of his rivals dropped, before being expertly shepherded to the line by his Team Sky team-mates.
Hitting the front with 10 kilometres to go, the team pulled hard on the front to put together a textbook lead-out into Fano with Rigoberto Uran and Bernhard Eisel passing over to Juan Antonio Flecha, before Peter Kennaugh and Geraint Thomas led Cavendish into the final metres.
The win was made all the more sweet for the 26-year-old with girlfriend Peta Todd and newborn baby daughter Delilah on the line to greet him.
Overnight leader Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Barracuda) finished in the main bunch to maintain his 10-second race lead after five stages while Cavendish is up to fifth overall, with Thomas sixth.
The race's first road stage in Italy, the 209-kilometre test always looked likely to end in a bunch sprint with only a few small but tough rises to negotiate on the arrow-straight road.
Four riders headed clear on the run out of Modena with Lotto-Belisol team-mates Olivier Kaisen and Brian Bulgac joined by Pier Paolo De Negri (Farnese Vini) and Alessandro De Marchi (Androni Giocattoli).
The quartet saw their advantage pegged at six minutes with Garmin-Barracuda on the front to protect the maglia rosa of Navardauskas.
Heading towards the finish the pace and the nervousness increased in the bunch with a few crashes peppering proceedings.
Previous race leader Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) again had a tough day, hitting the ground and struggling to regain the tail end of the bunch.
Liquigas-Cannondale arrived on the front as the climbs began with Team Sky sitting just behind to keep Cavendish out of trouble as behind riders, including sprinters Tyler Farrar and Thor Hushovd, began to be dropped from the pack.
De Marchi was the last man to be caught on the run for home as Team Sky took up the pace-setting to launch Cavendish to another superb victory.
Cavendish was greeted at the finish by girlfriend Peta and baby daughter Delilah.
He took Delilah on to the podium and said: "There's no better feeling than holding your baby in your arms. Only thing comes close: holding your baby on the podium. It's my first stage win with her at the race. I'm very happy. I'm very happy she's here. I'm happy Peta's here. I'm very proud.
"I would have loved to wear the pink jersey maglia and my goal was the red (points) jersey. But I lost out on 20 points because of the crash on the stage to Horsens and so it's gone. I'm disappointed but I'll come back and try to get it next year.
"I didn't feel great three days after the crash. I was a little bit tired and we did really what the other teams have done and let the others do the work.
"But we were able to commit all our guys at the end and we took the race up with 10km to go and it was textbook work from the team."