Giro d'Italia - Cavendish fumes at finish

Sun, 08 May 23:06:00 2011

Mark Cavendish took the overall Giro d'Italia lead from his Italian team-mate Marco Pinotti but he was visibly unhappy over what he felt was an application of double standards by race officials.

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Veteran Alessandro Petacchi of Italy took a controversial sprint victory in stage two despite protests from his British rival.

Petacchi squeezed across the line barely a tyre's width ahead of Cavendish at the finish in Parma, with Italian Manuel Belletti in third.

The British rider waved his arms and gesticulated as Petacchi claimed the 181st victory of his career.

"If I moved my line slightly during the sprint, it wasn't intentional and I didn't realise it," Petacchi said.

"It wasn't too much of a shift of direction and I've got nothing to be sorry for.

"It was a straight sprint, something without any question or doubt.

"And for me, to still be winning Giro stages at 37 is something very important."

A stoney-faced Cavendish claimed the leader's jersey for the second time in three years and has a 12-second advantage over team mate Kanstantsin Sivtsov. American Craig Lewis is third.

"He (Petacchi) turned left and used tactics to block me," Cavendish said. "But that is what sprinting is all about.

"What gets to me is that every time I move my line a centimetre like he did I get disqualified.

"But that isn't Alessandro's fault, so for me to take my frustration with the (race) jury out on Alessandro would not be fair and I don't want to lodge a protest."

Cavendish was asked who was prejudiced against him.

"That's the price of success, they want to pull you down and I've got to deal with it.

"Would I have sprinted like Alessandro sprinted? In the past yes, but not now."

"It's great to be back in the lead of a race as big as the Giro and nothing can overshadow that," Cavendish added.

"To go into tomorrow's stage wearing a pink jersey is an incredible feeling.

"We did a lot of the hard work today although we got some help at the end, but to be able to keep the maglia rosa in the team for another day is absolutely beautiful.

"The team rode like little motorbikes yesterday in the team time trial and today they were bigger motorbikes."

Cavendish hopes to be back in a bunch sprint battle as soon as Monday.

"I absolutely think it's possible, for sure it's not as easy as today and it's a very technical finish, but it could happen, and even the next day too.

"We are content with our Giro d'Italia start. We've got riders who can contend in every single one of the Giro's 21 stages."

Giro d'Italia : Stage 2

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