Cavendish maintains points lead in Giro D'Italia

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Mark CavendishItalian Roberto Ferrari sprinted to his first Grand Tour stage win in the 11th and longest leg of the Giro d'Italia as Britain's Mark Cavendish (9/4 to win London Olympics Road Race Gold Medal) came fourth. Cavendish's hopes of victory were ended when he slowed to avoid a crash at the final bend.

But he now leads the points race by 12 from Australian Matthew Goss (16/1 to win London Olympics Road Race Gold Medal). Joaquin Rodriguez retained the overall race lead and has an advantage of 17 seconds over Ryder Hesjedal.

It was a frustrating end to the race for Cavendish, who was angered by Ferrari after being injured in a crash caused by the Italian on stage three and was unable to get into a winning position following Wednesday's incident.

Team Saxo Bank's Manuele Boaro was at the head of the field for almost 230 kilometres of the stage, having been part of an early six-man break and then pulled clear on his own around 30km from home, but was swallowed up again by the peloton. Fellow Italians Mirko Selvaggi and Giovanni Visconti briefly led before Cavendish’s Team Sky and the Saxo Bank team made parallel charges to the head of the field and but it was Ferrari that picked up his first stage win in the Giro D'Italia.

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