Mark Cavendish sprinted to victory in Brescia yesterday to take the red jersey in the Giro d’Italia and become only the fifth-ever rider to win the points classification in all of cycling’s Grand Tours.
The Manxman edged out Sacha Modolo and Elia Viviani to take the red jersey back from overall winner Vincenzo Nibali, who claimed it during his race-defining victory in the mountains on the penultimate stage on Saturday.
Cavendish, who won the points classification in the 2010 Vuelta a Espana and 2011 Tour de France but finished second by a single point at the Giro last year, took both of the intermediate sprints on the final stage and the Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider then positioned himself perfectly for one final burst to the finish.
Nibali, who has been the clear class of the field in this year’s race after the early exits of Sir Bradley Wiggins and defending champion Ryder Hesjedal, finished the race four minutes 43 seconds ahead of second-placed Rigoberto Uran of Team Sky.
Sheffield’s Adam Blythe finished the race for the first time as he helped BMC Rading teammate Cadel Evans round off the podium positions in third place.
In Germany Rotherham’s Ben Swift completed an excellent Bayern-Rundfahrt by finishing 21st overall.
The Team Sky sprinter was 11th on yesterday’s final stage into Nuremberg as Britain’s Geraint Thomas finished second overall behind Italy’s Adriano Malori.
Swift’s next race is the Tour de Suisse (June 8-16). Rotherham’s Russ Downing ended the race 102nd.
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