Who didn't think there would be a crash in that final corner? Nobody, right? That thing was crazy tight. And the Giro d'Italia sprint field seems not to be especially adept with tight corners at 500 meters to go.
Thomas Vaitkus of Orica-GreenEdge, who does not usually show up in the sprints, was the first rider through that final corner, and he nailed that thing perfectly. He took a fast, smooth line and came out well ahead. Beautiful line, right there. Maybe he was hoping Matt Goss was on his wheel. Instead, Roberto Ferrari of Androni, the eventual winner and a faster sprinter than Vaitkus, goes through right behind the Orica-GreenEdge rider.
The Sky train, meanwwhile, gets tangled. It's unusual to see Sky blow a sprint lead-out, but this one goes awry for them. It looks like the first Sky rider goes wide, as if maybe he wants to try to pull off and give Geraint Thomas a straight shot for the lead-out. But Thomas follows and pulls Cavendish wide along with him. You can see Thomas realize that he is blowing the corner, and he actually pulls his inside foot out of the pedal. As a result of these hijinx, Cavendish gets delayed and starts his sprint late.
Up ahead, Ferrari is charging it. Once he gets untangled from his train, Cavendish unleashes a pretty massive turn of speed, but it isn't enough to get back to Ferrari. It's an amusing irony that Ferrari was called out for dangerous sprinting during the first week - and rightly so in that case - but this time, he hits the corner perfectly and runs arrow-straight for the line. Cavendish can only manage fourth after Ferrari, Francesco Cicchi of Omega Pharma-Quick-Step, and Vaitkus.
The actual crash happens well behind Cavendish and Team Sky, and does not really influence the stage outcome. Sascha Modolo of Colnago loses his front wheel with predictable results. People, don't brake and turn! It never works out.