Cavendish takes third stage win
Great Britain's Mark Cavendish took his third stage win of this year's Giro d'Italia on stage 13 to Cervere on Friday.
Team Sky manoeuvred Cavendish into position ahead of a rare incident-free sprint finish and he powered away from Team Katusha's Alexander Kristoff to add to his successes on stages two and five.
The Manxman took a 12-point lead in the points standings as he battles Matt Goss of Orica GreenEdge for the red jersey. Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) retains the overall leader's pink jersey ahead of tomorrow's entry into the Alps, with Canadian Ryder Hesjedal second for Garmin.
Team Saxo Bank had led the way as the 121-kilometre stage, the shortest road stage in this year's event, entered its closing stages but Team Sky moved up alongside them with 2km to go.
A group of four of the British team's riders picked up the pace going into the final kilometre and only GreenEdge, led by stage 11 winner Roberto Ferrari, were able to find a response.
Cavendish briefly appeared to have been boxed in on the left-hand barriers but found a path through and sprinted to the line in straightforward fashion.
He had also boosted his push for the points title with third place in the intermediate sprint at Carru two thirds of the way through the stage and is in a strong position as the climbers prepare to take centre stage instead.
Today's stage saw the withdrawal of NetApp's Giro debutant Reto Hollenstein, the Swiss rider crashing nastily on a downhill section early in the stage and being taken on a stretcher to an ambulance.