Omega Pharma Quick Step's Mark Cavendish easily won a sprint from Nacer Bouhanni of FDJ in Treviso to take stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia, while his countryman Bradley Wiggins of Sky saw his chances of overall victory disappear. Wiggins lost contact with the group of leaders and conceded over three minutes, putting him more than five minutes in arrears. Considering his faltering health as the race swings over to the Alps, Wiggins' dream of winning the Giro looks to be over.
Cavendish's third stage win -- and the 100th of his career -- came at the end of a dreary day, yet another wet and cold stage of this sloppy spring in Italy. Cav got a perfect leadout on the sprint and his result was sealed early. Behind him, however, the battle between Bouhanni and Sacha Modolo of Bardiani was a fierce one, ending with Bouhanni swerving right, then left -- following Cavendish's movements -- and then shouldering Modolo off the line en route to second place. As of this writing we're not aware of any race jury decisions but it wouldn't be shocking to see the Frenchman relegated. Luka Mezgec of Argos Shimano sailed home in third as Modolo stopped pedaling.
Cavendish's win puts him back in the maglia rosso passione (points) for the time being, taking a ten point lead on Cadel Evans of BMC, but he'll have to extend that tomorrow to have any hope of final success in Brescia.
- Mark Cavendish
- Nacer Bouhanni, FDJ, s.t.
- Luka Mezgec, Argos-Shimano, s.t.
- Giacomo Nizzolo, Radio Shack, s.t.
- Brett Lancaster, Orica GreenEdge, s.t.
- Vincenzo Nibali, Astana
- Cadel Evans, BMC, at 0.41
- Rigoberto Uran, Sky, at 2.04
- Cavendish, 83 points
- Cadel Evans, BMC, 73
- Elia Viviani, Cannondale, 60