Friday 24 November 2017

Cycling: Triumphant Cavendish rubbishes cheat claims

Mark Cavendish of Great Britain. Photo: Bryn Lennon, Getty Images
Mark Cavendish of Great Britain. Photo: Bryn Lennon, Getty Images

Gerard Cromwell

Mark Cavendish showed a clean pair of wheels to his rivals to win a mass bunch sprint on stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia in Teramo yesterday - then strongly denied claims he had cheated.

The sprint specialist rubbished earlier accusations by Italian sprinter Francesco Ventoso that he had held onto a car on the climb to the summit finish on Sunday's stage to make the time cut.

"If I stop to pee, if I crash and change a wheel, I always have a race official -- as well as an ice cream truck and a marching band -- all watching me. If I can cheat then I'm David Copperfield," he fumed.

Yesterday, Cavendish's HTC Highroad team-mates reeled in a three-man breakaway, who at one point had a lead of over six minutes.

In the sprint, Cavendish sprung off the wheel of stage one winner Alessandro Petacchi in the final metres to win by a clear bike length from Ventoso.

"There are only three proper sprint stages and I thought I'd win on the first sprint day, but what happened that day just made me even more hungry today," said Cavendish of his opening stage battle with Petacchi, where the Manx native accused the Italian of taking him into the barriers.

There was no change in the overall standings -- Alberto Contador retains the lead with a 59-second advantage over Konstantin Sitsov.

Ireland's Philip Deignan finished safely in the bunch yesterday and is looking forward to going on the attack in the high mountains towards the end of this week.

Irish Independent

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