MONTECATINI TERME, Italy (AFP) –
Italy’s Roberto Ferrari of the Androni team won a sprint finish for the 11th stage of the Tour of Italy here in Tuscany on Wednesday.
Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez retained the overall leader’s pink jersey after the 258km stage, the longest in this year’s race, in which Italy’s Francesco Chicchi was second just ahead of Lithuanian Tomas Vaitkus.
Britain’s world champion Mark Cavendish finished fourth despite the Sky rider being well placed to challenge in third just 400 metres from the line when several riders fell coming out of the final bend.
But the Briton could not match the final sprint of 29-year-old Ferrari, the rider who was responsible for Cavendish’s fall during the third stage, and who achieved the biggest win of his career.
In a marathon stage lasting just under seven hours a group of five riders – Oliver Kaisen, Mickael Delage, Manuele Boaro, Stefan Denifl, Adrien Saez – broke away from the 10km mark and which lasted until the final kilometeres.
Thursday’s 12th stage covers 155km from Seravezza to Sestri Levante and includes one category two and two category three climbs the final just 11km from the finish line on the Ligurian coast in north western Italy.