Sprinter Mark Cavendish may be riding for a different team this year, but the lead-out train for the “Manx Missile” approaching the finish line for Stage 5 at the Giro d’Italia on Thursday resembled textbook set-ups by HTC Columbia earlier in his career.
Team Sky’s efforts earned another victory for Cavendish, his second at this year’s Giro. Garmin-Barracuda’s Ramunas Navardauskas continued to lead overall after the 123-mile bike race from Modena to Fano.
American Taylor Phinney, dropped off the radar on Thursday after another crash. Some cyclists ahead of him had slowed after JJ Haedo went down after losing control, and he plowed into the back of one of them, falling off his bike.
No longer in the pink jersey, BMC Cycling’s Phinney had to fend for himself and failed to catch up to the main part of the peloton. He finished in the last bunch to cross the finish line and dropped from 5th on Wednesday to 174th place overall on Thursday, 12:10 behind the leader.
Wenatchee, Washington-born Tyler Farrar also dropped in the overall standings, from 2nd to 166th place, after failing to catch the main group. This isn’t so critical to the Garmin-Barracuda cyclist, as he’s hunting for stage victories and not the overall championship.
The only American left in the top 10 is Farrar’s teammate, Christian Vande Velde. Pushed up to 9th place overall on Wednesday by virtue of his team’s 1st place finish in the team time trial, Vande Velde rose to 8th place overall, 26 seconds behind the leader.
A heart-warming side note is that Cavendish appeared on the podium after the race holding his newborn daughter, Delaila.
Top 10 overall
1. Ramunas Navardauskas (Lith) Garmin
2. Robert Hunter (South Africa) Garmin – 5 seconds
3. Ryder Hesjedal (Canada) Garmin – 11 seconds
4. Matthew Goss (Australia) Orica GreenEdge – 13 seconds
5. Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) Sky – 14 seconds
6. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky – 16 seconds
7. Manuele Boaro (Italy) Saxo Bank – 19 seconds
8. Christian Vande Velde (US) Garmin – 26 seconds
9. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain) Katusha – 30 seconds
10. Alexander Kristoff (Norway) Katusha – 30 seconds