No Ferrari in sight.
Those who miss the tight control and sprint dominance of the old HTC-Highroad, got the Sky version today in Fano on stage five of the Giro d’Italia.
The British squad went to the front in the final five kilometers and never let anyone get in Mark Cavendish’s way. The World Road champion had nothing but open road and it was deja vu all over again. Only Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) took a run at Cavendish, coming off his wheel but unable to close the gap.
Not a bad performance for a rider who two days ago was slammed to the tarmac by an out of control Ferrari. “I didn’t feel good all day. With that many anti-inflammatories. I was suffering with the heat. It wore me out,” said Cavendish. “I was comfortable on the climb — I had the form and the cadence but I was dead.” That’s one fast guy for a dead man.
Stage 3 winner Goss gave Cavendish a little scare in the final 150 meters but not enough to win. “I could see Gossy’s shadow the whole way, getting closer and closer,” said Cavendish. “I was happy to hang on for the win.”
It was close but no champagne for the rider from Tasmania. “I’m still a little bit behind Cav when it comes to the finish line,” said Goss. “I tried to jump early but I couldn’t get past.”
At least Goss made it over the few climbs about twenty kilometers outside Fano. More than can be said for Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) who was only 10 seconds away from the maglia rosa. Thor Hushovd (BMC Racing), Theo Bos (Rabobank), JJ Haedo (Saxo Bank) and the unapologetic Roberto Ferrari (Androni Giacattoli) all failed to hang on over the hills. As Goss said later, the race profile was “maybe not accurate. It was a tough little finish.”
While Ferrari was no where in sight, Mark Cavendish’s little daughter and his girlfriend Petra were at the finish. It was the first race for Delilah and her dad, the fastest sprinter in the world, did not disappoint.
Old HTC-Highroad DS Brian Holm must have been smiling a bit. The jerseys were black and the bikes were Pinarello’s but the high speed train sure looked familiar. So were the results. “We had a relatively easy day and finished it off with the win,” said Cavendish.