Giro d'Italia 2013: Mark Cavendish wins the sixth stage

 

Giro d'Italia

  • Dates: 4-26 May (13 and 20 May are rest days)

Coverage: Live commentary on the final hours of each stage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra or online; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Britain's Mark Cavendish produced a trademark late sprint to win stage six of the Giro d'Italia.

The Omega Pharma Quick Step rider's win was his second of the race and saw him take the sprinter's red points jersey.

Cannondale's Elia Viviani was second with Orica's Matthew Goss third. Luca Paolini retains the overall lead.

Sir Bradley Wiggins had to change his bike after picking up a puncture and lost time when he was caught behind a crash but recovered and stays sixth.

Analysis

"It was job done for Mark Cavendish. The whole Omega Pharma Quick Step team did a good job for him. They knew the circuit well. We had a look this morning and I phoned through everything on the lap that they should look out for - like the wind and which side of the road to be on for the two circuits at the end.

"They stayed out of trouble and didn't take it up too early, which we have seen them do quite a lot in the last year. With only three stages that will end with a bunch sprint, Cavendish will be happy to get two from two so far.

"Bradley Wiggins has had a bit of bad luck in the last couple of days and there have been a few mutterings that he is not looking so good. But he recovered from getting stuck behind the crash to lead out the peloton in the closing stages.

"That was classic Brad. He likes to do that. It keeps him out of trouble and stamps his authority on the race. He will want everyone to know that he's here and he's strong. It was a good show of strength."

Team Sky rider Wiggins was forced to stop when he picked up a puncture with 30km to go. His team-mates waited for him before escorting him back to the main pack.

However, their progress was slowed when they became trapped behind a crash which blocked the road and split the peloton in half.

Wiggins and his team-mates gave chase, with the 2012 Tour de France winner even doing some of the work himself at the front, and they eventually caught the peloton where he drifted back into the pack before easing across the line.

The Briton remains 34 seconds adrift of leader Paolini, but with the same time as defending champion Ryder Hesjedal and just three seconds behind rival Vincenzo Nibali.

Cavendish, 27, bounced back from the disappointment of Wednesday when he lacked the pace on the category-four climb and dropped out of contention for the stage win.

But there were no such problems on Thursday's pan-flat 169km stage from Mola di Bari to Margherita di Savoia.

Cavendish was led out perfectly by his Omega Pharma Quick Step team-mate Gert Steegmans before sliding out of his slipstream and injecting a burst of acceleration to take his 12th career Giro stage win.

The Manxman, who missed out on the red sprinter's points jersey by one point last year, also moved to the top of the points classification on 58 points, six clear of Viviani.

"It was incredible," said Cavendish. "I'm so happy, [we had] no problems. Everyone [on the team] rode until their legs couldn't go any more. I'm so happy, we're buzzing, absolutely buzzing.

"What does it feel like? Imagine you get a kit car, you build it and when you start it, you get that feeling - it's like that.

"It's like all the bits of an engine and I'm just the exhaust at the end, the bit that makes the most noise. That's how it feels - everything just fits together."

Stage seven takes place on Friday and is a hilly 176km leg from San Salvo to Pescara.