Giro d'Italia: Mark Cavendish wins stage 12 - as it happened

Sir Bradley Wiggins's title hopes suffer a big blow but Mark Cavendish wins his third stage of the 2013 Giro d'Italia.

16 May 2013 Last updated at 16:08 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1706: 

    The report on today's stage is taking shape and we will of course bring you any news on whether Sir Brad will continue in the race - he has slipped to 13th overall, 5'22" behind race leader Nibali. Thanks for all your texts and tweets on another great day for Mark Cavendish. Join me from 1330 BST on Friday to see if he can win his 101st race.

  2. 1700: 

    From one of the shortest stages in the race, to the longest on Friday. The 254km race from Busseto to Cherasco is designated as another flat stage for the sprinters, however a category three climb 40km from the end may put pay to Cavendish's chances of winning a fourth stage.

  3. 1655: 

    Team Sky's Rigoberto Uran finished in the main bunch alongside Nibali and Evans and remains third overall, two minutes, four seconds behind the Italian leader. The official standings are yet to be announced, but Wiggins is likely to be around five minutes, 40 seconds adrift.

  4. 1649: 

    Stage 12 standings:

    1. Mark Cavendish (GB/Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) 3:01:47"

    2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra/FDJ) Same time

    3. Luka Mezgec (Slo/Argos-Shimano)

    4. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita/RadioShack)

    5. Brett Lancaster (Aus/Orica GreenEdge)

  5. 1648: 

    And here comes Cav to get his red jersey. He's paid tribute to his team after helping him win the stage. "They were incredible," he said. "We left it right to end. We were a minute down with 10km to go, and it was a hard circuit in the rain. It was left to my men. Julian Vermote pulled and pulled until his legs couldn't go any more and then with 2.5km to go Matteo [Trentin] took over and he rode and rode and rode. Gert Steegmans could have gone and left me in no mans land but he didn't and I was able to go. It's my 100th win. What a beautiful way to do it with my team."

  6. 1646:  
    Pink Jersey, Giro d'Italia leader

    Vincenzo Nibali is next out on the podium - he finished in the main bunch to retain his overall lead of 41 seconds over Evans. "It was cold and hard out there today," says the Italian before donning the maglia rosa and spraying a bit of Prosecco over the assembled photographers and fans.

  7. 1644: 

    Cavendish is all smiles backstage as he waits to be introduced to the crowd and he appears with a T-shirt with 100 on it, to celebrate his landmark victory. The win also means he gets the red points jersey back from Cadel Evans - full standings to follow.

  8.  
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    James Cooper on Twitter: Congratulations Mark Cavendish on win number 3 in this year's Giro and victory number 100 overall!! #legend #bbccycling

  9. 1636: 

    Back to Cavendish. He's had three chances to win a stage on this year's Giro so far and he's taken each one with some style. His lead-out man Gert Steegmans timed the chase to perfection as he rode past the escapees with 300m remaining before moving to one side to allow Cavendish to sprint to victory.

  10. 1633: 

    Before I look in more detail at that finish, here comes Wiggins and the Team Sky boys. There is no sense of urgency here as they cruise over the finish line 3'35" down. "It's been a rotten day at the Giro for him," says Simon Brotherton on commentary.

  11. 1631: 

    And that is Cavendish's 100th professional race victory - hats off to the Manxman who proved why he is the best sprinter in world cycling.

  12. 1630: 
    CHAMPAGNE MOMENT

    BRITAIN'S MARK CAVENDISH WINS GIRO D'ITALIA STAGE 12

  13. 1629: 

    The escapees are keeping clear as they enter the final kilometre - the wet roads are keeping the peloton from closing right up. But here comes the peloton, will they catch the quintet?

  14. 1626: 

    We are inside the last 3km and the leading five are 10 seconds clear of the advancing peloton. Is it time for Cavendish to bring up his century?

  15.  
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    Pedro on Twitter: If Wiggo's giro is written off it will make him more determined for the Tour. More headaches for Brailsford and Froomy!

    Pat Creely on Twitter: Could Wiggo stay in the race and be any use to Uran later on for the GC?

  16. 1623: 

    It's going to be tight and testing this run-in. Plenty of right-angled lefts and rights with puddles and super-slippy white lines to negotiate. The Team Sky train lead the third bunch over the line - and they are three minutes down - with Wiggins last in the line. It's a far cry from 2012 when Team Sky were leading in similar fashion at the head of each stage.

  17. 1620: 

    The leaders zip over the finish line in the heart of Treviso - they have one lap of 7.5km remaining. Some hardly souls bang on the fences as the main bunch flies by just 25 seconds back - Cavendish is handily placed, just six from the front.

  18. 1618: 

    The final 10km for the leaders. Their advantage is all-but gone though as Omega Pharma - Quick-Step lead the chase. Simon Brotherton reports that the rain has just about stopped but the roads remain greasy and treacherous. Team Sky are doing their utmost to bring Bradley Wiggins home in one piece but they are still more than two minutes down on the pink jersey group.

  19.  
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    Stuart via text on 81111: As hard as it might be for him, would Wiggo consider withdrawing to prepare for le tour? Sky's attention must surely switch to Uran for the Giro.

  20. 1613:  
    Pink Jersey, Giro d'Italia leader

    Wiggins is back with his Team Sky team-mates but the bad news is that he is two minutes down on the pink jersey group. Rigoberto Uran does not appear to be among the half dozen or so Sky riders with Wiggo - I can only presume that he is stalking Nibali et al.

  21.  
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    Decal Dungeon on Twitter: I can see SBW bowing out today citing illness if he drops time today combined with the weather forecast for the mountains

  22. 1610: 

    While we've been focusing on Wiggins, the leaders have moved inside the final 15km of the stage. The peloton, which contains race leader Nibali and second-placed Evans, is about 67 seconds back - they will be caught soon.

  23. 1609:  
    Rob Hayles, Former GB cyclist and 5 live sports extra commentator

    "I'd be very surprised to see him continuing in the next few days. He's going to have to see the doctor and Dave Brailsford and then make a decision."

  24. 1608:  
    Simon Brotherton, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentator

    "I think he's having to dig very deep just to keep the pedals turning here."

  25. 1607:  
    Rob Hayles, Former GB cyclist and 5 live sports extra commentator

    "He's not going to be a contender in this Giro. His head is down. He's at his lowest ebb right now and it's going to be so hard for him."

  26. 1606: 

    Wiggins looks absolutely shattered. Water is dripping off his nose and he looks like he'd rather be anywhere than sat on a bike in northern Italy. And here's confirmation of Wiggo's plight. He's three minutes down on the breakaway riders and more than one minute down on the group containing Nibali and Evans.

  27. 1604: 

    BMC Racing are pulling the peloton along with one of their British riders Steve Cummings doing a lot of the leg work and several Team Sky riders have been cast adrift. Is Wiggins among them? I can't see him there and neither can Rob or Simon on radio commentary. There he is, no team-mates with him, difficult to tell whether he's on the back of the peloton though.

  28. 1559: 

    The closing stages to this sprint includes several sharp turns and in the final kilometre the road briefly narrows which will cause concern among the sprinters, who are already jostling at the front of the peloton to get the best position.

  29.  
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    Andy in Edinburgh, via text on 81111: I don't get this decision to take the times as at the 3km to go mark. Don't the teams now just tell their riders that this is the effective race end and they end up racing it out to there anyway, therefore not avoiding the dangers? Confused!

  30. 1550: 

    There is a steely determination in the faces of the leading five. Argos-Shimano's Bert De Backer takes a big turn on the front and they are holding their advantage with 30km remaining. Will the monsoon conditions help them stay away?

  31. 1549: 

    The rain looked to be easing off...but no such luck for the riders as the heavens really open up again. What has Italy, or the riders themselves for that matter, done to deserve this? Spray splashing everywhere as the Omega Pharma - Quick-Step team slide gently round a right-hander.

  32. 1543: 

    The peloton sweeps under the 40km to go banner as the leaders reach 38km to go - a quick reminder of the five out front - Maxim Belkov, Bert De Backer, Maurits Lammertink, Fabio Felline and Marco Marcato. Their lead is 2'38"

  33. 1539:  
    Rob Hayles, Former GB cyclist and 5 live sports extra commentator

    Wiggins has not been feeling at his best and it looked at one point in the opening 20km that he may get dropped. It's unsurprising that he's been ill. His team-mate Dario Cataldo was ill and once one person in your team gets ill, then it can spread. Mark Cavendish has had a bit of a chest problem as has Ryder Hesjedal I think. It's not surprising given the weather.

  34. 1537:  
    Rob Hayles, Former GB cyclist and 5 live sports extra commentator

    If there are any gaps between the riders in those final 3km, those riders that do lose time will be given the same time as the group they were with at the 3km to go mark. It's a sensible decision by the organisers.

  35. 1534: 

    Not many punters out on this climb and those that are are huddled under umbrellas or kitted out in all manner of waterproof clothing. Cavendish is at the front of the peloton, mouth agape, pushing hard on his pedals alongside more renowned climber Cadel Evans, who is currently wearing the red points jersey that Cav covets.

  36. 1530: 

    We have around 44km remaining and the leading quintet are on the final slope of the day - it's 3.6km long and has a steepest gradient of 14%. Their lead is holding firm at 2'28".

  37. 1526:  
    Simon Brotherton, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentator

    Live radio commentary of today's stage is a website only affair and only for those of you in the UK I'm afraid. Test Match Special is hogging the 5 live sports extra channel. The link can be found on the right-hand side of this page. Simon Brotherton and Rob Hayles in the hotseat as always - coverage starts at 1530 BST.

  38. 1524: 

    The lime green tops of Cannondale appear at the business end of the peloton. They are racing for local favourite Viviani - the man who Cavendish pipped to victory on the first and sixth stages of this year's race.

  39.  
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    Lee Simmonds on Twitter: Presumably British riders have a huge advantage in the rain? Must be more used to it than anyone else. Sadly.

    And more evidence as to the wet conditions in Italy - here's a photo of Garmin-Sharp sporting director Charly Wegelius on Twitter: Water water everywhere @wegelius interviewed about racing in weather

  40. 1515: 

    The five out front are holding an advantage of 2'22" over the peloton which is being led along by the Omega Pharma - Quick-Step team of Mark Cavendish. It may be wet, but Cav has just ditched his raincoat in preparation for the sprint finish, which is still 56km away. The racing is only going to get quicker from here on in and you don't want to get caught with your arm in a coat sleeve when someone shoots off up the road.

  41. 1507: 

    Unofficial word suggesting that the race officials are going to take the time of the peloton as it crosses the 3km to go point as the finish time- the idea being that they don't want everyone racing into the finish in these treacherous conditions and if any splits do occur in the final run-in, everyone is safe in the knowledge they won't lose time. Unofficial at present remember, but certainly being discussed.

  42. 1502: 

    In other cycling news...AG2R La Mondiale rider Sylvain Georges has called himself "stupid" for taking what he thought was a "harmless drug" which has led to him being suspended from the Giro. "I took Ginkor Fort, which is freely available without a prescription," he said. "Now it appears that that medicine contains a very small dose of the prohibited Heptaminol, a substance which I had never heard of before today. I did not study the composition of the drug and did not consult the team doctor before taking it. Stupid."

  43.  
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    Ever wondered how the riders while away those long, lonely evenings in the hotel between stages? Wonder no more...

    BMC Racing's Taylor Phinney on Twitter: Beat @MarkCavendish 3 times in a row last night at Chess, so expect him to be reeling from those devastating losses a bit in today's sprint.

  44. 1454: 

    Sorry, don't have a snow graphic. I'll use the rainy one again because this doesn't look like it's going to let up in the closing 70km or so.

  45. 1449: 

    The rain continues to fall on the sodden-peloton but this is nothing compared to the weather that has been forecast for the next six days. The rain may ease off on Friday afternoon but another weather front is coming into northern Italy and that could bring snow to the Alps for this weekend's mountain stages to Bardonecchia and the summit finish on the Galibier.

  46. 1445: 

    The leading quintet are on to the first of the day's two category four climbs - it's not particularly long, only a few kilometres, but features gradients of 18% - which is about one in five and plenty steep enough thank you very much.

  47.  
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    Simon English on Twitter: Sky are PR savvy & Brailsford's a tactician. Brad's statement either to get GC riders off his back,or he's preparing to drop out."

    Simon on Twitter: Presumably Wiggins is mostly over his cold and chest infection, otherwise why would you broadcast this to rivals?

    Daniel Eckersley on Twitter: London test event a UCI 1.2 race, which doesn't ordinarily count as a 'pro' victory. If they did, Cav would be already over 100.

  48. 1438: 

    The red flag is out on the back of the moped that is leading the peloton, which signifies the race is being neutralised - not sure why, if anything, the rain seems to have abated a little - it is soon lowered. The five out front have regrouped and are working well together, approaching 80km to go with a lead of a little over three minutes. Two category four climbs to get over before the downhill cruise into Treviso.

  49. 1430: 

    Treviso is the home town of Pinarello - the bikes ridden by the Team Sky and Movistar riders - and you'd normally expect riders of those teams to come to the fore on a stage like this. The Veneto region is also home to Italian sprinters Elia Viviani and Sacha Modolo, who may have fancied their chances of testing Cavendish's pace but the weather may put a stop to that.

  50. 1426: 

    Sean Kelly on the TV commentary suggests that the final 7.5km lap of today's stage in Treviso may be scrapped because of the conditions. He reckons that the team officials may get in the ears of the race officials and try to call a premature halt to racing.

  51.  
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    Tom Edwards on Twitter: Re: 2012 test event win for Cav. Would like to see his reaction if the UCI tell him it doesn't count. May not be broadcastable!

    Grant Wyeth on Twitter: From personal experience spending a couple hours in the rain is torrid, let alone a day. Big commitment from Wiggo to carry on. #bbccycling

  52. 1415: 

    Expect that to be the first of many spills today. If you can't see the TV pictures, it's difficult to get across just how wet it is. There are streams running down the sides of the road in places. The peloton has slowed almost to a standstill as they take the bend that accounted for Belkov et al. Wiggins is towards the back of the peloton and barely pedalling.

  53. 1413: 
    OUCH!

    Yikes! A massive spill in the leading five. Belkov leads round a sweeping right-hand bend and his front wheel just gives way and down he goes. Lammertin, Felline and Marcato follow him on to the tarmac - not that you can see it for all the water on the road. De Backer is the only one who manages to stay upright.

  54. 1411: 
    GET INVOLVED

    Time for you to get involved in today's live offering. You know the routes by now - text me on 81111 or tweet #bbccycling. Topics for discussion? Best races you've seen in the wet? Can anyone beat Cavendish today? And if you were Wiggins, would you still be riding today?

  55. 1407: 

    The quintet in the break at Maxim Belkov, Bert De Backer, Maurits Lammertink, Fabio Felline and Marco Marcato. They are moving nicely and have extended their lead to three minutes.

  56. 1401: 

    The riders only set off today at around 1330 BST, so we're still in the early stages of the 134km race to Treviso. Five riders have broken away from the peloton and have opened a 100-second advantage. It looks brutal out there - kagouls very much the order of the day and there's not many smiles in the peloton.

  57.  
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    BBC Radio 5 live commentator Rob Hayles on Twitter: Bone of contention over official race wins by @MarkCavendish . Well I just spoke with him now, and his actual words to me were... "Rob! I've won more bike races than you've had hot dinners." So there you have it. Case closed. #giro

  58. 1355: 

    There is some conjecture however and it appears to centre around the Olympic road race test event, which was won by Cavendish in August 2011. Cav is claiming it as an official race win, cycling's governing body, the UCI, doesn't necessarily agree. I'm trying to get official word from the UCI - and when I do, I'll let you know.

  59. 1351: 

    One cyclist though has not been talking about the weather. He's been talking about winning the stage. The pan-flat finish looks perfectly suited to Britain's sprint king Mark Cavendish and he reckons if he does cross the line first today it will be his 100th career victory.

  60. 1347: 
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    It's so wet out there today that it just about all the cyclists and commentators are talking about.

    BMC Racing's Cadel Evans on Twitter: Shortest flatter day of this Giro also coincides with wettest day seen in Italy for months. Who said 'this Giro's full of surprises?'

    Movistar's Alex Dowsett on Twitter: All I'm hearing this morning is "it's a good day for Alex." Think I've found the British stereotype according to the spanish #lovesitwet

    BBC Radio 5 live commentator Simon Brotherton on Twitter: Sustained torrential rain in Treviso this morning which is nice for the riders in the Giro.

  61. 1344: 

    On paper, it would have looked like a relatively straightforward day for the likes of Wiggins, race leader Vincenzo Nibali and other contenders such as second-placed Cadel Evans and Rigoberto Uran in third. Barring the time trials, it's the second shortest stage of this year's race, features a couple of minor climbs, and a sprint finish is expected. However, the torrential rain has returned and if Wiggo is still feeling a little ropey, it will be another testing day in the saddle.

  62. 1342: 

    Ciao and welcome to live text commentary of stage 12 of the 2013 Giro d'Italia. So Sir Brad has not been feeling too well of late - that could explain a lot. Let's hope he had an early night and has been given some approved medication to get him fit for today's 134km ride from the mountains down to Treviso in north-eastern Italy.

  63. 1340: 

    "I've got a chest infection and a bog-standard head cold," said Sir Bradley Wiggins after finishing stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia in the pack alongside his main rivals.