Cycling: Blythe happy to have a flat after up and downs

John Degenkolb of Germany celebrates after winning the fifth stage of the Giro d'Italia yesterday.  (AP Photo/Gian Mattia D'Alberto)
John Degenkolb of Germany celebrates after winning the fifth stage of the Giro d'Italia yesterday. (AP Photo/Gian Mattia D'Alberto)
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Sheffield’s Adam Blythe will be looking forward to a relatively flat stage today as the Giro d’Italia begins its journey up the Adriatic coast.

The 23-year-old sprinter from Dronfield, who rides for American-based BMC Racing, has slogged his way through the previous three days of hill side finishes.

But today’s 154 kilometre route from Mola di Bari to Margherita di Savoia is as flat as they come and should see Blythe in the pack trying to defeat Britain’s sprint superstar Mark Cavendish.

Blythe was in a group 12 minutes behind yesterday’s stage winner John Degenkold on the 199km from Cosenza to Matera.

Degenkold benefitted from a crash inside the final kilometre that included his Argos-Shimano lead-out rider Luka Mezgec, who skidded into the barriers on a late corner in the wet conditions, taking out a number of racers and holding others up.

The German sprinted for home to win in four hours 37 minutes 48 seconds ahead of Angel Vicioso (Katusha) and Paul Martens (Team Blanco).

Sir Bradley Wiggins remains in sixth place while Luca Paolini (Katusha) retained overall lead in the race. Wiggins’ teammate Rigoberto Uran is 17 seconds behind leader Paolini in second place.