This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.
Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) took his second win of the Giro d'Italia, finishing a bike length clear of Elia Viviani (Cannondale) and Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) at the end of a high-speed stage 6 into Margherita di Savoia. The Briton immediately dedicated his victory to Wouter Weylandt, who died two years ago today while racing at the Giro.
Although no one team managed to establish a good measure of control over the closing kilometres, Omega Pharma-QuickStep were always well placed. Coming into the final kilometre, stage 5 winner John Degenkolb made the first move from several hundred metres out, but the Argos-Shimano sprinter was soon swamped. With 250m remaining, Gert Steegmans established some order as he surged to the front with teammate Cavendish on his wheel. Using the Belgian as his launch pad, the Briton never looked in danger of being overhauled.
"It's incredible to win like that. I am so happy. Every one of the team rode 'til their legs couldn't go anymore," said the beaming Manxman. "It's like when you get a kit car. All of the bits have to be fitted together for it to work perfectly. I'm just the last piece, the exhaust, the bit that makes the most noise."
Luca Paolini retained the race leader's maglia rosa for another day, although the stage didn't pass without complications for some of those who have a longer-term claim on it, notably Bradley Wiggins. The Sky leader was one of many riders caught up behind a crash on the first of two laps of the 16km finishing circuit. He appeared to be unscathed and quickly started to chase after the large lead group with the assistance of a number of teammates, who impressively erased a deficit of almost a minute in little more than 10km.
From that point on, Wiggins rode very close to the front, or even on it. With 3.5km to go, he went to the very front of the line and remained there until well inside the 3km banner to ensure he didn't lose any time, as was the case two days ago.
Just as he did on day one, Cameron Wurf (Cannondale) spent most of the stage in the break, on this occasion with compatriot Jack Bobridge (Blanco). The two Australians went clear after 14km and quickly established a lead of more than six minutes, provoking a reaction from Omega Pharma, who halved their advantage and then held them at about three minutes. The pair were reeled in just before they reached the finishing circuit in Margherita di Savoia.
Giro BikeRadar Challenges
Why not take part in your very own Giro challenge? BikeRadar Active is running two challenges throughout May. Join the Maglia Rosa Challenge and log 21 rides in May for your chance to win a box of cycling goodies plus exclusive BikeRadar Maglia Rosa t-shirts.
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