Mark Cavendish grabbed his 99th professional win with a faultless sprint to beat Italy’s Elia Viviani and Australian Matthew Goss in yesterday’s sixth stage of the Giro d’Italia.
It was his second win of the 2013 race, the 12th Giro stage win of his career and his 38th victory in a Grand Tour. Asked if he now considered himself the greatest sprinter of all time, the Manxman shrugged his shoulders and replied: “I just want to go on winning races. It’s not about numbers or whatever.”
He went on to praise his Omega Pharma-Quick Step team for “pedalling to support me until their legs fell off, they were superb.”
Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins was blocked behind a mass crash with 32 kilometres to go and, already delayed by a bike change, he and four team-mates had to chase hard to regain contact with the peloton.
Wiggins, in sixth place, remains 34 seconds behind overall leader Luca Paolini of Italy.
On the second anniversary of the death of Belgian rider Wouter Weylandt, killed in a downhill crash in the 2011 Giro, Cavendish held up Weylandt’s race number on the podium and said: “It’s a very hard day for us, he’s always in our thoughts.”
Today sees the main contenders face almost 4,500 metres of vertical climbing on a stage running through the Abruzzo hills.