MARK Cavendish had every reason to feel aggrieved after he appeared to be done out of a win on the second stage of the Giro d’Italia on Sunday afternoon in Parma.
The HTC-Highroad star was lining himself up for the sprint finish at the end of the long 244km first road stage from Alba when veteran Italian Alessandro Petacchi’s (Lampre-ISD) was seen to cut across the Manxman on the left-hand side of the road.
Although his second place finish was enough to assume the overall lead, and with it the leader’s maglia rosa (pink jersey), Cav could scarcely hide his frustration in the moments directly after crossing the finish line.
A remonstrative Cavendish was visibly enraged by what he felt was Petacchi’s deviation from his line in the sprint, later saying: ‘I felt that Alessandro moved from his line. In my eyes, he turned left and he used tactics to block me, but in my life this has been sprinting. The tactics used in sprinting as well as the power used in sprinting is what sprinting is about.’
Cavendish went on to explain that his anger at the finish was directed not at Petacchi but at the race commissaires, claiming that if he sprinted in the same manner as the Italian, he would have been disqualified.
‘In the past, every time I moved one centimetre from my line I was disqualified but this isn’t Alessandro’s fault.’
In spite of his disappointment at missing out on the stage win, Cav said that appealing the race result never entered his mind.
Cav’s fellow Manxman Peter Kennaugh (Sky Procycling) finished in the bunch in 139th position of the 207 riders, on the same time as the leaders, having led his team home in the previous day’s 19.3km team time trial through the streets of Turin, won by HTC-Columbia. The Sky team finished ninth.
The Giro d’Italia lasts for a total of three weeks.