Mark Cavendish won Stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia. It marked his third stage victory of the event and the 100th of his tremendous cycling career (via Cycling Weekly).
Cyclists were forced to endure rainy conditions throughout the stage. The elements made what should have been a relatively simple flat stage from Longarone to Treviso trickier to navigate.
The race's official Twitter feed sent out a picture of the contenders crowding inside before the start to stay dry. Once the stage began, there was no dodging the drops.
The final sequence of the race saw a breakaway pack of five get chased down by a large, hard-charging group led by Cavendish. It was a dramatic sprint to the finish, and when that's the case, it's hard to beat the star from Great Britain.
Let's check out the results for Stage 12, the route they were forced to race on the rainy day, the current race leaders and a recap of the day's action.
Stage 12 Results
|1||Mark Cavendish||Omega Pharma/Quick Step||Great Britain||3:01:47|
|4||Giacomo Nizzolo||Radioshack Leopard||Italy||+:00|
|5||Brett Lancaster||Orica Greenedge||Australia||+:00|
|6||Manuel Belletti||AG2R La Mondiale||Italy||+:00|
|8||Sacha Modolo||Bardiani Valvole/CSF Inox||Italy||+:00|
|9||Ioannis Tamouridis||Euskaltel Euskadi||Greece||+:00|
For a complete list of Stage 12 results, visit the race's official site.
Stage 12 Route
|2||Cadel Evans||BMC Racing||Australia||+:41|
|3||Rigoberto Uran Uran||Sky Procycling||Colombia||+2:04|
|4||Robert Gesink||Blanco Pro Cycling||Netherlands||+2:12|
|6||Mauro Santambrogio||Vini Fantini/Selle Italia||Italy||+2:55|
|8||Benat Intxausti Elorriaga||Movistar||Spain||+4:05|
|9||Domenico Pozzovivo||AG2R La Mondiale||Italy||+4:17|
To see where every cyclist stands after 12 stages, visit the race's official site.
Highlights and Recap
Cavendish picked a perfect time to start making his move. If he went too soon, he would have left time for other members of the pack to pass him. If he waited too long, a member of the breakaway pack likely would have held on to win.
It doesn't come as a surprise, though. Cavendish is a tremendous sprinter. He narrowly edged out Nacer Bouhanni and Luka Mezgec for the victory. All members of the large lead pack received the same finishing time.
Were Wiggins' hopes dashed by Stage 12?
The other storyline to emerge from Stage 12 was Bradley Wiggins' struggles. Sky Sports reported before the stage that the British cyclist was dealing with a chest infection and head cold, problems likely compounded by the poor weather.
He ended up finishing more than three minutes off the pace, which dropped him from fourth place to 13th place in the overall standings. He's now more than five minutes behind the current leader Vincenzo Nibali.
Cadel Evans and Rigoberto Uran round out the top three heading into Stage 13 on Friday.