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Cool Cav' wins 99th career stage

BRITAIN'S Mark Cavendish captured his 99th professional win yesterday in the Giro d'Italia with a faultlessly executed bunch sprint victory ahead of Italy's Elia Viviani and Australian Matthew Goss.

Cavendish clinched his second stage win of the 2013 race, his 12th Giro stage win of his career and 38th victory in a Grand Tour.

Asked if he now considered himself the greatest sprinter of all time, Cavendish shrugged his shoulders saying: "I just want to go on winning races. It's not about numbers or whatever. When I stop we'll see what happens after that."

Cavendish's fellow Briton, Bradley Wiggins, had a comparatively fraught day after he was blocked behind a mass crash with 32 kilometres remaining.

Already delayed by a bike change, Wiggins and four Sky team-mates had to chase hard to regain contact with the peloton, which notably eased its speed in order to wait for the British contender. Wiggins, in sixth place, remains 34 seconds behind overall leader Luca Paolini of Italy.

"Nobody went full gas," said Cavendish, who was in the front group. "I'm going to stick my neck out for all the teams, there was talk about carrying on riding, but in fact we all waited.

"If I'd have crashed, they might not have, I lost the lead in this race in 2009 for that reason.

"But this time, we waited."