Excite

Cavendish wins Giro D'Italia sprint

  • Getty Images

Mark Cavendish proved he is still among the foremost sprinters on the professional cycling tour by claiming the opening stage of the Giro D'Italia. A dramatic race was marred by a crash in the closing stages, but Cavendish stayed out of trouble to claim the pink jersey in a close finish in the centre of Naples.

The former Team Sky member now rides for the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team and has worn the leader's shirt twice in the past. "I've worn it before at the start," Cavendish recalled, "but that was thanks to my team. I really wanted to win this here in Napoli, and now I want to go for a pizza."

The narrow streets caused some collisions and a major crash two kilometres from the finish left only a dozen or so riders to contest the finish. Race favourite Sir Bradley Wiggins finished safely in the main group behind Cavendish.

Wiggins has said he is in good shape for the race although one problem remains with the relationship between Wiggins and teammate Chris Froome. Although The Tour De France and Olympic champion Wiggins has previously expressed his willingness to work for Froome in this year's Tour De France, there is still some ambiguity about who has priority in Team Sky. Wiggins made it clear he wants the Giro D'Italia to be part of an attempt at a Giro-Tour double.

"That's always what we have set out to do," Wiggins said, "although whether I get the opportunity to do that as leader of the Tour remains to be seen. There may be someone who is in a better position that me to win it, in which case I have to play second fiddle, which is fine." Froome certainly wouldn't be happy to play second fiddle once more, so, if both riders remain in top form, Team Sky looks headed for a collision course between its two most prominent names.

United Kingdom - Excite Network Copyright ©1995 - 2017