Giro d'Italia: Mark Cavendish wins stage 13 at Cervere

Mark Cavendish extended his points lead in the Giro d'Italia with a trademark sprint finish to win in Cervere.

Going into the final kilometre Team Sky led Cavendish into position, he powered away from Katusha's Alexander Kristoff to win his third stage of the race.

Victory for Cavendish now means the Manxman holds a 31-point lead over Australia's Matt Goss of Orica GreenEdge for the red points jersey.

Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez retains the overall leader's pink jersey.

Rodriguez finished in the main bunch to retain his 17-second advantage over Canada's Ryder Hesjedal and 26 seconds over Sandy Casar of France.

A brief scare for Cavendish saw him boxed in on the left-hand barriers but his sprinting ability took him through to the line for his 10th career Giro win.

"Cavendish had to ease off as Matthew Goss started his sprint ahead but kicked through to take the win from Alexander Kristoff (KAT)", Team Sky said on Twitter. 

In his two previous Giro's, in 2009 and 2011, Cavendish pulled out before the end of the three-week race, but he plans on completing it this time.

"The guys are really looking after me," he said.

"They are keeping me protected throughout the stages, which is perfect, and I want to go to Milan and win the points jersey."

The riders enter the Alps during Saturday's 14th stage, a 206km ride from Cherasco to Cervinia and with the bunch all finishing together, overall standings remain the same.

Overall Standings

1. Joaquim Rodriguez (Esp/Katusha)

2. Ryder Hesjedal (Can/Garmin) at 17 secs

3. Sandy Casar (Fra/FDJ) at 26 secs

4. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita/Astana) at 32 secs

5. Ivan Santaromita (Ita/BMC) at 49 secs