Giro d'Italia Stage 11 – Route map, how to watch as Cavendish seeks 17th win

After Biniam Girmay’s historic victory on Tuesday, another chance for the fast men arrives on Stage 11. Only this time, Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) will expect to feature.

The flat-track bullies were cruelly distanced by their more versatile, but slower, rivals during the early hills on Stage 10, but there should be no repeat on the pan-flat run from Santarcangelo di Romagna to Reggio Emilia.

Cavendish is chasing his second win at this year’s Giro, and his 17th in total, while Ewan is yet to get off the mark in Italy after a frustrating start.

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Opinion: Van der Poel’s magnificent gesture enhances significance of Girmay’s historic win

10 HOURS AGO

The pair were pipped by Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) in their last sprint opportunity on Stage 6, with the Frenchman currently leading the race for the maglia ciclamino.

Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) will again start the day in pink and should have an easy day.

HOW CAN I WATCH THE GIRO ON TV AND LIVE STREAM?

Each and every stage will be broadcast in its entirety on Eurosport, discovery+ and GCN+, bookended by The Breakaway, presented by Orla Chennaoui and Dan Lloyd. Rob Hatch and Hannah Walker will be in the commentary box with regular contributions from pundits Robbie McEwen, Sean Kelly and Adam Blythe, with Bradley Wiggins doing his thing on the back of a motorbike.

WHEN IS STAGE 11?

It’s an earlier start! Tune in from 11:00-17:00 BST to watch Stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia. Watch the action on Eurosport 1, with uninterrupted coverage on discovery+

STAGE 11 PROFILE AND ROUTE MAP

https://i.eurosport.com/2021/11/11/3252471.jpg

– – –

Stream the Giro d’Italia live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.

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‘I’m in awe’ – Girmay lauded after seeing off Van der Poel in historic win

11 HOURS AGO

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‘Take the right way!’ – Girmay’s dream almost unravels after going wrong way

13 HOURS AGO

Giro d'Italia Stage 11 – Route map, how to watch as Cavendish seeks 17th win

After Biniam Girmay’s historic victory on Tuesday, another chance for the fast men arrives on Stage 11. Only this time, Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) will expect to feature.

The flat-track bullies were cruelly distanced by their more versatile, but slower, rivals during the early hills on Stage 10, but there should be no repeat on the pan-flat run from Santarcangelo di Romagna to Reggio Emilia.

Cavendish is chasing his second win at this year’s Giro, and his 17th in total, while Ewan is yet to get off the mark in Italy after a frustrating start.

Giro d’Italia

Opinion: Van der Poel’s magnificent gesture enhances significance of Girmay’s historic win

10 HOURS AGO

The pair were pipped by Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) in their last sprint opportunity on Stage 6, with the Frenchman currently leading the race for the maglia ciclamino.

Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) will again start the day in pink and should have an easy day.

HOW CAN I WATCH THE GIRO ON TV AND LIVE STREAM?

Each and every stage will be broadcast in its entirety on Eurosport, discovery+ and GCN+, bookended by The Breakaway, presented by Orla Chennaoui and Dan Lloyd. Rob Hatch and Hannah Walker will be in the commentary box with regular contributions from pundits Robbie McEwen, Sean Kelly and Adam Blythe, with Bradley Wiggins doing his thing on the back of a motorbike.

WHEN IS STAGE 11?

It’s an earlier start! Tune in from 11:00-17:00 BST to watch Stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia. Watch the action on Eurosport 1, with uninterrupted coverage on discovery+

STAGE 11 PROFILE AND ROUTE MAP

https://i.eurosport.com/2021/11/11/3252471.jpg

– – –

Stream the Giro d’Italia live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.

Giro d’Italia

‘I’m in awe’ – Girmay lauded after seeing off Van der Poel in historic win

11 HOURS AGO

Giro d’Italia

‘Take the right way!’ – Girmay’s dream almost unravels after going wrong way

14 HOURS AGO

Groupama-FDJ propel Demare to thrilling victory on Stage 5 as Cavendish dropped

An enthralling fifth stage in Sicily saw favourites Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) distanced on an early climb before France’s Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) powered to victory in Messina.

Demare, who fought back into contention after being dropped on the same climb, held off Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) in a tight finish after the Colombian appeared to be hampered by a gearing issue on the home straight.

Italy’s Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel-Premier Tech) took third place ahead of compatriot Davide Ballerini, the only Quick-Step rider who had not dropped back to try and nurse Cavendish, the Stage 3 winner, back into the fold.

Giro d’Italia

Cavendish and Ewan dropped by ferocious peloton pace

AN HOUR AGO

Demare’s victory was the sixth of his career in the Giro and saw him move ahead Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) in the maglia ciclamino standings after the Eritrean rider was forced to settle for fifth place after being boxed in by the barriers.

Spain’s Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) finished safely in the pack to retain the maglia rosa before the race heads across the Strait of Messina and onto the Italian mainland ahead of Stage 6.

More to follow…

– – –

Stream the Giro d’Italia live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk

Giro d’Italia

Giro d’Italia Stage 5 as it happened – Cavendish and Ewan distanced as Demare takes win

6 HOURS AGO

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Giro d’Italia 2022 Stage 5 – Route map, how to watch as Cavendish chases second win

8 HOURS AGO

Groupama-FDJ propel Demare to thrilling victory on Stage 5 as Cavendish dropped

An enthralling fifth stage in Sicily saw favourites Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) distanced on an early climb before France’s Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) powered to victory in Messina.

Demare, who fought back into contention after being dropped on the same ascent, held off Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) in a tight finish after the Colombian appeared to be hampered by a gearing issue on the home straight.

Italy’s Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel-Premier Tech) took third place ahead of compatriot Davide Ballerini, the only Quick-Step rider who had not dropped back to try and nurse Cavendish, the Stage 3 winner, back into the fold.

Giro d’Italia

Cavendish and Ewan dropped by ferocious peloton pace

3 HOURS AGO

Demare’s victory was the sixth of his career in the Giro and saw him move ahead Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) at the top of the maglia ciclamino standings after the Eritrean youngster was forced to settle for fifth place in the sprint having been boxed in by the barriers.

Spain’s Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) finished safely in the main field to retain the maglia rosa before the race heads across the Strait of Messina and onto the Italian mainland ahead of Stage 6.

‘It was a bonus if we could sprint’ – Cavendish on Stage 5 disappointment

“What can you do? You’ve got to try,” Cavendish said after a frustrating day in the saddle. “In a different situation we would have probably come back. We were 30 seconds behind FDJ and Caleb [Ewan] was behind us. Ironically, if all of us were together, we’d probably have got back. It’s just how it is.

“The boys did everything and I’m so proud of them – but in the end, what can you do? We tried. You’re always disappointed but we knew that was going to happen today – it was a bonus if we could sprint today. We’ll try again.”

The day’s only climb provided the fireworks with just over 100 kilometres still left to ride when a handful of the fastmen found themselves distanced after some hefty tempo-setting from the Alpecin-Fenix team of maglia ciclamino Mathieu van der Poel and Girmay’s Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert.

‘Up for the chase!’ – Cavendish pulled up mountain by five team-mates

Prior to the Cat. 2 Portella Mandrazzi, the 174km stage from Catania had been low on drama as the riders hugged the scenic east coast of Sicily and a break of five riders opened up a maximum gap of four and a half minutes.

Two familiar faces featured in the move in the form of team-mates Mattia Bais and Filippo Tagliani, the Drone Hopper-Androni Giacattoli duo who also featured in breakaways in the two road stages in Hungary. They were joined by fellow Italians Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane) and Mirco Maestro (Eolo-Kometa) as well as Finland’s Jaakko Hanninen (Ag2R-Citroen).

Tagliani kicked clear to win the intermediate sprint at Francavilla to extend his run of wins to five from five ahead of the 20km climb where, two years previously, Demare’s Groupama-FDJ team piled on the pressure to distance sprint rival Gaviria in an almost carbon copy of Wednesday’s stage.

And it was a case of history repeating itself as a similar tactic was employed – but this time at Demare’s expense. Before the Frenchman was tailed off, the elastic snapped for both Australia’s Ewan and Britain’s Cavendish, who saw his hopes of a 17th stage win on the Giro slowly evaporate in the Sicilian heat.

‘Oh wow’ – Ewan dropped on Portella Mandrazzi climb

While Demare was within striking distance going over the summit with around 100km remaining, Cavendish found himself over two minutes behind while Ewan was almost four minutes in arrears. Both chase groups battled on before calling it a day with around 40km remaining.

At this point the breakaway had long since been consigned to the scrapheap – the upping of the tempo on the long descent off the back of the climb bringing the counter back to zero.

Sniffing out an opportunity, Nizzolo’s Israel-Premier Tech team helped with the pacing along with Van der Poel’s Alpecin Fenix and Gaviria’s UAE team – and they were soon joined by Demare’s Groupama-FDJ once the Frenchman rejoined the peloton ahead of the finale.

The absence of his regular lead-out man Jacopo Guarnieri was no deterrent to Demare, who surged clear in Vincenzo Nibali’s hometown of Messina to return to winning ways – thanks, in part, to Gaviria’s gearing issue.

“I’m really disappointed because I had good legs and I felt strong after the climb,” said Gaviria, who wouldn’t elaborate on the mechanical issue which held him back after he had lost the wheel of his leadout man Max Richeze.

Despite their heavy presence on the front of the pack during the stage, Alpecin-Fenix did not contest the bunch sprint with Van der Poel content to keep his power dry for future opportunities on mainland Italy. This despite the withdrawal on Tuesday of the team’s designated sprinter, Jakub Mareczko.

Thursday’s 192km Stage 6 from Palmi to Scalea will give the likes of Cavendish and Ewan an immediate opportunity to bounce back in what is expected to be another sprint finish.

– – –

Stream the Giro d’Italia live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk

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Giro d’Italia Stage 5 as it happened – Cavendish and Ewan distanced as Demare takes win

8 HOURS AGO

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Giro d’Italia 2022 Stage 5 – Route map, how to watch as Cavendish chases second win

11 HOURS AGO

Cavendish and Ewan dropped by ferocious peloton pace

Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) were among the big names dropped on the only serious climb on Stage 5 at the Giro d’Italia – with the pair left with too much to do to get back in contention for the sprint.

An otherwise flat stage in Sicily was interrupted by the Cat. 2 Portella Mandrazzi climb, with pre-stage favourites Cavendish and Ewan among those distanced as the pace was ramped up by Alpecin-Fenix.

Alpecin-Fenix are all in for Mathieu van der Poel in the sprints after losing their main sprinter Jakub Mareczko on Tuesday. Given the Belgian’s all-round prowess, they tried to distance the fast men as the race went uphill.

Giro d’Italia

Giro d’Italia Stage 5 LIVE – Cavendish, Ewan and Demare distanced on climb

5 HOURS AGO

The attack came halfway up the climb and although Cavendish quickly slipped off the peloton, five Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team-mates immediately came to his aid and fanned across the road to protect him.

“That pace setting has had an immediate effect on Cavendish. But look how well surrounded he is,” said Rob McEwen, winner of 12 stages at the Giro, on Eurosport commentary.

“They knew this was going to be the case. They were probably surprised that it took this long on the climb for someone to take it up and try to get rid of him.

“I think they [Alpecin-Fenix] really did wait a long time – on a 19km climb, they waited until 10km of climbing.

“It would have already started to have an effect on the legs of Cavendish, but waiting this long to open a gap? He [Cavendish] has plenty of team-mates there and they are up for the chase.”

‘Oh wow’ – Ewan dropped on Portella Mandrazzi climb

Ewan cut a far more lonely figure as just one team-mate stayed with him, with the Australian leaking more time than Cavendish.

“Lotto do it a little bit differently to Quick-Step, who are happy to stay immediately with Cavendish,” continued McEwen.

“I think Caleb says to the guys ‘see you at the top of the climb, get there and we’ll get together’. So if they need to, they will even pause at the top, stop completely, clip out and wait until Caleb gets there. But he’s a very long way behind Mark Cavendish at this point, which is a surprise.”

The Cavendish group was around three minutes back at the summit, just shy of 100km from the finish, with the Ewan collective another two minutes adrift. And so the chase began.

With 60km remaining, fancied Frenchman Arnaud Demare returned to the main pack as his Groupama-FDJ colleagues immediately set about driving on the pace to prevent Cavendish and Ewan latching back on.

With Groupama continuing to drive on the pace, Cavendish and his crew gave up the chase with 50km to go. Ewan’s Lotto Soudal crew quickly followed.

– – –

Stream the Giro d’Italia live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.

Giro d’Italia

Giro d’Italia 2022 Stage 5 – Route map, how to watch as Cavendish chases second win

8 HOURS AGO

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Giro d’Italia Stage 4 as it happened – Van der Poel loses pink after Kamna wins on Etna

YESTERDAY AT 07:58

Cavendish and Ewan dropped by ferocious peloton pace

Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) were among the big names dropped on the only serious climb on Stage 5 at the Giro d’Italia – with the pair left with too much to do to get back in contention for the sprint.

An otherwise flat stage in Sicily was interrupted by the Cat. 2 Portella Mandrazzi climb, with pre-stage favourites Cavendish and Ewan among those distanced as the pace was ramped up by Alpecin-Fenix.

Alpecin-Fenix are all in for Mathieu van der Poel in the sprints after losing their main sprinter Jakub Mareczko on Tuesday. Given the Belgian’s all-round prowess, they tried to distance the fast men as the race went uphill.

Giro d’Italia

Giro d’Italia Stage 5 as it happened – Cavendish and Ewan distanced as Demare takes win

6 HOURS AGO

The attack came halfway up the climb and although Cavendish quickly slipped off the peloton, five Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team-mates immediately came to his aid and fanned across the road to protect him.

“That pace setting has had an immediate effect on Cavendish. But look how well surrounded he is,” said Rob McEwen, winner of 12 stages at the Giro, on Eurosport commentary.

“They knew this was going to be the case. They were probably surprised that it took this long on the climb for someone to take it up and try to get rid of him.

“I think they [Alpecin-Fenix] really did wait a long time – on a 19km climb, they waited until 10km of climbing.

“It would have already started to have an effect on the legs of Cavendish, but waiting this long to open a gap? He [Cavendish] has plenty of team-mates there and they are up for the chase.”

‘Oh wow’ – Ewan dropped on Portella Mandrazzi climb

Ewan cut a far more lonely figure as just one team-mate stayed with him, with the Australian leaking more time than Cavendish.

“Lotto do it a little bit differently to Quick-Step, who are happy to stay immediately with Cavendish,” continued McEwen.

“I think Caleb says to the guys ‘see you at the top of the climb, get there and we’ll get together’. So if they need to, they will even pause at the top, stop completely, clip out and wait until Caleb gets there. But he’s a very long way behind Mark Cavendish at this point, which is a surprise.”

The Cavendish group was around three minutes back at the summit, just shy of 100km from the finish, with the Ewan collective another two minutes adrift. And so the chase began.

With 60km remaining, fancied Frenchman Arnaud Demare returned to the main pack as his Groupama-FDJ colleagues immediately set about driving on the pace to prevent Cavendish and Ewan latching back on.

With Groupama continuing to drive on the pace, Cavendish and his crew gave up the chase with 50km to go. Ewan’s Lotto Soudal crew quickly followed.

– – –

Stream the Giro d’Italia live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.

Giro d’Italia

Giro d’Italia 2022 Stage 5 – Route map, how to watch as Cavendish chases second win

8 HOURS AGO

Giro d’Italia

Giro d’Italia Stage 4 as it happened – Van der Poel loses pink after Kamna wins on Etna

YESTERDAY AT 07:58

Cavendish and Ewan dropped by ferocious peloton pace

Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) were among the big names dropped on the only serious climb on Stage 5 at the Giro d’Italia – with the pair left with too much to do to get back in contention for the sprint.

An otherwise flat stage in Sicily was interrupted by the Cat. 2 Portella Mandrazzi climb, with pre-stage favourites Cavendish and Ewan among those distanced as the pace was ramped up by Alpecin-Fenix.

Alpecin-Fenix are all in for Mathieu van der Poel in the sprints after losing their main sprinter Jakub Mareczko on Tuesday. Given the Belgian’s all-round prowess, they tried to distance the fast men as the race went uphill.

Giro d’Italia

Groupama-FDJ propel Demare to thrilling victory on Stage 5 as Cavendish dropped

3 HOURS AGO

The attack came halfway up the climb and although Cavendish quickly slipped off the peloton, five Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team-mates immediately came to his aid and fanned across the road to protect him.

“That pace setting has had an immediate effect on Cavendish. But look how well surrounded he is,” said Rob McEwen, winner of 12 stages at the Giro, on Eurosport commentary.

“They knew this was going to be the case. They were probably surprised that it took this long on the climb for someone to take it up and try to get rid of him.

“I think they [Alpecin-Fenix] really did wait a long time – on a 19km climb, they waited until 10km of climbing.

“It would have already started to have an effect on the legs of Cavendish, but waiting this long to open a gap? He [Cavendish] has plenty of team-mates there and they are up for the chase.”

‘Oh wow’ – Ewan dropped on Portella Mandrazzi climb

Ewan cut a far more lonely figure as just one team-mate stayed with him, with the Australian leaking more time than Cavendish.

“Lotto do it a little bit differently to Quick-Step, who are happy to stay immediately with Cavendish,” continued McEwen.

“I think Caleb says to the guys ‘see you at the top of the climb, get there and we’ll get together’. So if they need to, they will even pause at the top, stop completely, clip out and wait until Caleb gets there. But he’s a very long way behind Mark Cavendish at this point, which is a surprise.”

The Cavendish group was around three minutes back at the summit, just shy of 100km from the finish, with the Ewan collective another two minutes adrift. And so the chase began.

With 60km remaining, fancied Frenchman Arnaud Demare returned to the main pack as his Groupama-FDJ colleagues immediately set about driving on the pace to prevent Cavendish and Ewan latching back on.

With Groupama continuing to drive on the pace, Cavendish and his crew gave up the chase with 50km to go. Ewan’s Lotto Soudal crew quickly followed.

– – –

Stream the Giro d’Italia live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.

Giro d’Italia

Giro d’Italia Stage 5 as it happened – Cavendish and Ewan distanced as Demare takes win

8 HOURS AGO

Giro d’Italia

Giro d’Italia 2022 Stage 5 – Route map, how to watch as Cavendish chases second win

11 HOURS AGO

How many stages can Cavendish win at the Giro?

Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step – Alpha Vinyl) added a 16th stage win at the Giro d’Italia to his palmares after sprinting to success on Stage 3 of the Italian Grand Tour, but how many more could he win this year?

The Manx Missile held off Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) and Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) – who finished second and third respectively – after a 201km ride from Kaposvar to Balatonfured.

Cavendish’s participation at the Giro has largely been seen as a signal that the 36-year-old will not be making a 14th appearance at the Tour de France. However, an impressive showing in Italy could see Cavendish emerge as Quick-Step’s pre-eminent sprinter and force team manager Patrick Lefevere to reassess his plan for the Tour, which – the consensus states – currently has Fabio Jakobsen as Quick-Step’s lead sprinter.

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Contador expects ‘irretrievable gaps’ on Etna as Giro GC battle hots up

4 HOURS AGO

There are five stages left that present opportunities for the sprinters – and for Cavendish to apply further weight to the growing argument that he should be Tour-bound.

How many stages could Cavendish win at the 2022 Giro d’Italia?

Could and will are two different things.

However, there are – or were – seven stages at the 2022 Giro d’Italia that will more than likely culminate in sprint finishes. Two – the first and third – have already come and gone. Therefore, Cavendish has five opportunities to add to his haul.

How many sprint stages are left in this year’s Giro?

Stages 5, 6, 11, 13 and 18 represent opportunities – to varying degrees – for sprinters to add to their palmares. Here are the stage profiles:

Stage 5 | Catania – Messina (174km)

The second of the Giro’s two stages in Sicily could culminate in a sprint. The Portella Mandrazzi – situated 75km into the 174km ride – presents an opportunity for a breakaway win. However, should Cavendish, Caleb Ewan (Lotto–Soudal) et al get across with the main bunch then this stage will likely finish in a bunch sprint.

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Stage 6 | Palmi – Scalea (192km)

The official site terms this stage “undemanding”, adding that it finishes on “wide, straight and well-paved roads”. It looks likely to end with a bunch sprint for the fastest men – so, expect Cavendish, Ewan, Gaviria etc to battle this one out.
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Stage 11 | Santarcangelo di Romagna – Reggio Emilia (203km)

Pan-flat with just 480m of elevation over 203km and a 350m-long home straight on a seven-metre-wide tarmacked road. A nailed-on bunch sprint.

https://i.eurosport.com/2022/05/09/3369710.jpg

Stage 13 | Sanremo – Cuneo (150km)

Ewan has already confirmed that he will quit the Giro d’Italia early to focus on the Tour de France. This, then, will likely be the last stage he contests after saying he would leave the race “before the start of the tough last week.” The Colle di Nava comes roughly a third of the way into the stage, and the sprinters will likely therefore be ready at the end of the day to contest the win.
https://i.eurosport.com/2022/05/09/3369713.jpg

Stage 18 | Borgo Valsugana – Treviso (152km)

The final sprint opportunity of the 2022 race is reward for those sprinters who braved an arduous few days in the mountains that preceded it. But who will be left to contest it? More on that below.

https://i.eurosport.com/2022/05/09/3369720.jpg

‘So controlled’ – A breakdown of Mark Cavendish’s breathtaking Stage 3 win

Who are Cavendish’s main contenders for sprint stages?

Now that the opportunities have been presented, who are the main threats to Cavendish’s hopes?

As detailed by Felix Lowe in the pre-race Giro d’Italia 2022 sprinters guide, Ewan, alongside Cavendish is, on paper at least, the favourite for the maglia ciclamino – and, thus, likely to offer the biggest threat to the Manx Missile’s hopes of adding further stage wins.

Ewan has five stage wins to his name at the Giro, and is the fastest man at the race. He finished eighth on Stage 3 and has won five stages previously at the Giro, in 2017, 2019 and 2021. The Australian is a notorious slow starter at Grand Tours, claiming just one of his 11 wins before the fifth stage. He has only finished two of his eight Grand Tours, though, and has never completed a Giro. Cavendish, for context, has finished three of his five Giros, and 11 of the 20 Grand Tours he has started. So, should he make it to Stage 18, Cavendish may count himself as out-right favourite for the win.

There, however, are other threats within the peloton to Cavendish’s hopes of adding to his 16 Giro stage wins. Demare – winner of the ciclamino in 2020 – and Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates), who won it in 2017, are the other ‘pure’ sprinters in the field. Demare and Gaviria both have five stage wins to their name, winning four of those at the 2020 and 2017 race respectively. Both Demare and Gaviria have finished two of their four trips to the Giro.

Israel Premier Tech’s Giacomo Nizzolo, who collected back-to-back red jerseys in the pre-ciclamino days of 2015 and 2016, was also on the start list, but has only ever won one Giro stage: Stage 13 of the 2021 race.

Other riders capable of stage wins at this year’s race include Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost), Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) and Cees Bol (Team DSM).

For a full breakdown of the Giro d’Italia 2022 sprinters guide click here.

So…

To find out the answer to how many stages Cavendish can win, stream the Giro d’Italia live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.

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Giro d’Italia 2022 Stage 4 – Route map, how to watch first mountain stage as race hits Sicily

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Giro talking points: How long can MVDP keep it up? Why Cav has to go to Tour

An enforced break to get the riders and race infrastructure all the way from Hungary to Sicily – a mere 2,000 kilometres by car – gives the cycling media a moment to pause and reflect on the events of the opening three days of the 105th edition of the Giro d’Italia.

If the race has largely kept to script, it has also thrown up no shortage of talking points. Here are 10 of them dissected by Felix Lowe before the race resumes with its first summit finish on Tuesday.

Van der Pink – but for how much longer?

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2 HOURS AGO

We’re beginning to run out of superlatives for Mathieu van der Poel. The manner in which the Dutchman dug deep on that final five-kilometre climb to Visegrad – not merely to stay in contention, but to power past his rivals and hold off the impressive Biniam Girmay – was yet another display of his superstardom.

The sight of a post-victory Van der Poel sprawled across the ground is hardly something new – it’s the way his body reacts to the vast majority of his wins. But he looks like this – that’s to say, like a man on the cusp of extinction – because the superhuman effort he puts in often comes in stages he has no real right in winning. He plummets such depths to reach highs that should be beyond him, but aren’t by virtue of his astonishing ability to suffer more for his art than anyone around him.

One day later, Van der Poel came just three seconds from winning the time trial in Budapest. In Stage 3, he then went all in for Alpecin-Fenix teammate Jakub Mareczko when, to be fair, he would have probably fared far higher than the Italian’s fifth place were the roles reversed.

Van der Poel will now head to Sicily with the maglia rosa on his shoulders as only the second rider in history to wear the leader’s jersey at his first two Grand Tours (the other rider being, funnily enough, Fernando Gaviria: a solid enough sprinter on his day, but a rider very much operating several stratospheres lower than the 27-year-old Van der Poel does today).

‘Glorious chaos!’ – Van der Poel grabs stunning victory on Stage 1 of Giro

Can Van der Poel hold on to the pink jersey until the race hits mainland Italy on Thursday? You would think it unlikely, especially with the prospect of the challenging finish on Mount Etna on Tuesday. A lot, of course, will depend on how the big GC favourites decide to tackle the first summit finish of the race.

But as we saw in last year’s Tour – Van der Poel won’t give up the jersey easily. He’s already spoken of his desire to keep it beyond Etna – and he’s a rider capable of putting his body through the mill not just when there’s a victory at stake, but survival to ensure.

Cavendish must go to the Tour

For many, Mark Cavendish’s return to the Giro for the first time in nine years was a sign that there would be no fourteenth Tour this July. But with every win he picks up – and his latest was Quick-Step’s first in the Giro in four years – it’s going to get harder and harder to overlook the 36-year-old for the world’s biggest bike race.

On Sunday’s stage to Balatonfured, Cavendish may well have enjoyed a near-flawless leadout (we’re looking at you, Mauro Schmid…) but when he struck out with 300m remaining, he still had everything to do. By holding off Arnaud Demare, Fernando Gaviria and Biniam Girmay, Cavendish showed that he still has more to give than his younger counterparts.

His celebrations afterwards underlined that his 16th Giro win meant as much as his first – and the way he sought out his teammates and enjoyed a special word with the likes of Michael Morkov and Davide Ballerini was a joy to watch. Cav’s later questioning of Schmid’s absence may have been viewed as an unnecessary dig – but it was also a display of Cav’s honesty and passion, two contributing factors to his continued success.

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Of course, a lot depends on the form of teammate Fabio Jakobsen. But the pressure will now be on the 25-year-old Dutchman to pick up wins in the Tour of Hungary next week – wins which, let’s be honest, won’t carry as much sway as Cavendish’s win in the same country this weekend.

Jakobsen will no doubt be seen on a podium again soon – but it won’t change the fact that Cavendish is performing on a higher plane right now, nor will it disguise the fact that Cav and Morkov are a winning combination that may prove impossible to overlook.

Surely the solution is a no-brainer: both Cavendish and Jakobsen must go to the Tour. Unleash Cav early on and let him get that record-breaking 35th stage win – then let him support his understudy, which he will no doubt do with the utter professionalism he exudes.

After all, with question marks over Julian Alaphilippe’s fitness and Remco Evenepoel’s Grand Tour pedigree, it’s not as if Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl will have a GC card to play in France. And with the upcoming Netflix documentary series ensuring that even more people will be watching the Tour than usual this year, it would be marketing folly by Quick-Step to deprive the race of what would be inescapably one of its great subplots.

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Biniam Girmay will win a stage in this Giro

There’s no shame in missing out to Mathieu van der Poel on your Grand Tour debut – and for all the disappointment of his second place, the 22-year-old Etirean at least took the white jersey as best young rider. It was in the maglia ciclamino two days later that Girmay contested the first bunch sprint of the race and came fourth. A better bike lunge may have seen him come second to Cavendish, who he may have pushed a little further had he not found himself boxed in by Demare and Gaviria on the home straight.

Whichever way you look at it, Girmay has shown enough class, might and main in his first two Grand Tour road stages to suggest that it’s a question of when, and not if, he goes on to win a stage in his debut Giro. It could come as early as Wednesday’s fifth stage to Messina or Thursday’s Stage 6 to Scalea, where bunch sprints are expected.

Should he miss out, such is Girmay’s arsenal and ability that he has what it takes to be competitive on the lumpier seventh and eighth stages to Potenza and Naples. In short, it would be a bewilderment should Girmay not win a stage this week, let alone at all.

‘It was a really hard finish but I’m happy’ – Girmay on second place on Giro Stage 1

Crashes and positioning holding Ewan back

Only one of Caleb Ewan’s 11 Grand Tour stage wins has come before the fifth stage and so it’s not exactly a new phenomenon for the Australian to come good a bit later on in a race. But the fact that Ewan has only finished two of his eight Grand Tours to date – and has suffered heavy early falls in his previous two outings – is cause for concern.

In Friday’s opening stage to Visegrad the 27-year-old mirrored his recent performances on the Poggio by staying in touch with the favourites on the decisive climb – and when the final sprint launched, he looked destined to win. That was until Girmay made his move and Van der Poel responded, leaving Ewan all of a sudden on the back foot and playing catch-up.

It was a careless mistake that saw him take his eyes off the road and clip Girmay’s back wheel in a incident not entirely dissimilar from the one which ended his Tour last July. The fall was heavy, but with a time trial following the next day, Ewan at least had time to recover before the next showdown. And yet in the race’s first bunch sprint, Ewan found himself coming from too deep and could only take eighth place.

Ewan’s finish speed is clearly still there, and he does have a dedicated train as Lotto Soudal. Coupled with his track record of pretty much always coming up with the goods at least once in a Grand Tour, evidence suggests that he will be back to winning ways before too long. But there’s no denying that these unnecessary crashes and positioning bungles are not making his job any easier – and the pressure only intensifies when you publicly state your intention to leave the race early and concentrate on your next goal.

Mathieu van der Poel sfida Biniam Girmay nella volata di Visegrad, dietro Caleb Ewan che cade – Giro d’Italia 2022

Image credit: Getty Images

Flawless start for Simon Yates

Gone are the days when Simon Yates needed to build up a big cushion in the mountains to keep the time trial specialists at bay; after Saturday’s showing, the 29-year-old has become something of a chrono specialist himself.

No one would have begrudged Tom Dumoulin the win in Budapest after all that the Dutchman has been through – but credit where credit’s due: Yates, and Van der Poel for that matter, were stronger over the short 9.2km test in the Hungarian capital.

But what a confidence boost it must have been for both the pretenders for pink. For Dumoulin, it was proof that he could mix it with the best again following his sabbatical from the sport, one and a half years after his last Grand Tour; for Yates, for whom time trials have often proved the thorn in his side, the stage win was a solid indication that he’s on the right track to bringing home, finally, the maglia rosa.

‘A little unexpected’ Simon Yates delighted with Time Trial win

That said, it was a double boon for Yates – for his three-second win over Van der Poel was enough to secure the stage, but fell short of the requisite margin to take the pink jersey off his shoulders. So, while Yates put time into all his big rivals, he will not start the Giro’s first mountain test with the pressure of defending the maglia rosa. His BikeExchange-Jayco team couldn’t have asked for more.

Etna the real litmus test for Tom Dumoulin

It has been far from plain sailing for the 2017 Giro champion since his move to Jumbo-Visma in 2020. After finishing seventh in support of Primoz Roglic in the Tour that year, a bad crash in the Vuelta started a new, difficult chapter in the Dutchman’s career. It’s only now, some 18 months and an enforced sabbatical on, that we are seeing Dumoulin back in the big time and riding with a smile on his face again.

It’s early days to draw any form conclusions. Indeed, Dumoulin in his pomp would have eaten Simon Yates for breakfast in a short 9.2km time trial with a punchy rise to the line. But the fact that the 31-year-old was in the mix for the stage win bodes well for the rest of the Giro.

A firmer test, however, will come on Wednesday with the race’s first summit finish. It’s doubtful that the Giro will be won on Etna’s volcanic slopes, but it could well be lost. If Dumoulin can finish alongside the pink jersey favourites, then the next phase of his rehabilitation will be complete.

‘A welcome return to Grand Tour racing’ Dumoulin moves into first place of Stage 2 Time Trial

Get used to Drone Hopper breakaways

Both road stages during the Hungarian grande partenza coaxed the same two Drone Hopper-Androni Giacattoli riders out of the peloton and into the break. On Friday, Mattia Bais and Filippo Tagliani were the only riders who bothered having a go, while on Sunday the same two were joined by compatriot Samuele Rivi of Eolo-Kometa.

As a result of their dual enterprise, Tagliani now leads the intermediate sprint classification while teammate Bais is ahead in the fuga classification. These two minor competitions are small beer compared to the pink, purple, blue and white jersey prizes, but it’s all grist to the mill for a second-tier team like Drone Hopper, whose myriad sponsors have enjoyed ample exposure – a fact which, however hard to get your head round, shouldn’t be underplayed.

With the race moving to Sicily and then mainland Italy it’s likely that the two other Italian wildcard teams, Eolo-Kometa and Bardiani-CSF-Faizane, will look to get in on the act a bit more. But Drone Hopper will continue doing what they do in the hope that one day it will pay more dividends than the meagre sponsorship trickledown and the minor classifications. It’s going to be a long three weeks for Signori Bais e Tagliani…

Kelderman and Kamna give Bora reasons to cheer

On paper their squad looked a bit like cycling’s equivalent of a team full of midfield playmakers but the events of the first few days suggest that Bora-Hansgrohe may have found the right balance after all.

From surging up the final climb to Visegrad to putting a very solid time trial for seventh place in Budapest, Wilco Kelderman looks in decent condition and full of confidence. Lying in fifth place, just 24 seconds down on Van der Poel, the Dutchman has underlined that it is he who will lead this Bora team, and not Jai Hindley (23rd place at 45”) or Emanuel Buchmann (45th at 1’08”).

Having come within a couple of days of winning the Giro in 2020, Kelderman ghosted his way to a career-best fifth place in last year’s Tour. There’s everything to suggest that, come Tuesday, he, and not Van der Poel or Dumoulin, will be the best placed Dutchman on GC.

The ebullient performances of Lennard Kamna, too, give Bora much reason to cheer. The German had a pop from distance on the final climb of the opening stage – before sinking like a stone and, perhaps cannily, dropping back on GC. He then showed his form by leading the time trial for a period on Saturday. Now almost two minutes down on GC, the 25-year-old may be able to muscle himself into a day’s break on Tuesday and contest the win on Etna.

Giro d’Italia Stage 1 highlights – Van der Poel storms to stunning victory in dramatic finish

Short time trial but same story for Lopez

Time trialling being a perpetual Achilles heel for Miguel Angel Lopez, it must have been music to the Colombian’s ears that this year’s Giro only features 26-odd kilometres against the clock. But even after a short test that culminated in a climb, Lopez finds himself 53 seconds off the pace and already behind many of his GC rivals.

It’s a similar story for Movistar duo Alejandro Valverde (+58”) and Ivan Sosa (+1’34”) and Frenchman Guillaume Martin of Cofidis (+1’04”) – although this trio, unlike Astana’s Lopez, are not prioritising the general classification. Superman will need to find some form if he wants to climb back into contention.

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Opinion: Cavendish still probably won't go to the Tour, but he's now closer than he was

Mark Cavendish is riding the Giro d’Italia because his team are not planning to take him to the Tour de France. Correction, they are not currently planning to take him to the Tour de France.

Because while Fabio Jakobsen might be the first-string sprinter in the eyes of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl management, that is not a status carved in stone tablet. It is at best an entry in a cell of a spreadsheet, as erasable as these words here.

And while Cavendish heads to Sicily to continue racing against (and beating) the very best sprinters in the world, on primetime TV, Jakobsen will this week be riding the second-string race that is the Tour de Hongrie, against the likes of Elia Viviani (Ineos Grenadiers) Jon Aberasturi (Trek Segafredo) and Olav Kooij (Jumbo Visma). Dylan Groenewegen (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) too, of course, but the Dutchman has not taken a WorldTour victory in more than two years.

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Lest we imagine otherwise, when it comes to his team selections, as well as the contracts he negotiates with his employees, Patrick Lefevere is not known for being a sentimental. That is the most straightforward explanation for why his teams have always won as much and as consistently as they have.

That, in turn is why he has maintained such a strong grip over the sporting direction of the Belgian outfit.

Cavendish’s success at the Tour last year was astonishing but it was not entirely possible to accurately measure the magnitude of his performances.

‘It’s number 16!’ – Mark Cavendish wins Stage 3 of the Giro

Any rider can only beat those others who show up, but it could be argued that, in no small part due to Caleb Ewan’s stage four crash, as well as a few other lucky breaks, he was not in a position to prove himself against the very best sprinters sprinting at their very best. From what Lefevere has seen of them both, it could be argued that there would be greater risk associated with taking Cavendish to the Tour de France this year, than Jakobsen.

With not only the fact of today’s victory but the remarkable manner of it, Cavendish’s must have quantifiably reduced, in the eyes of Lefevere, that risk. He was bold. He lit up the stage. Meanwhile, Caleb Ewan was nowhere; Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) and Arnaud Demare (Groupama FDJ) were both outpaced and outclassed. One victory from one opportunity on the biggest stage of the season so far.

In contrast Jakobsen could destroy the competition at the 2.1 rated Hungarian Tour, taking three or even four stages, and yet still see his star decline, relative to that of Cavendish.

It may not be enough to see him slip from the team’s No. 1 spot, but it could be sufficient to increase the pressure, or even make it a coin-flip between the pair.

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There is, undoubtedly, a heavy dose of Anglo-centric wishful thinking associated with this take. There is even more embedded when Robbie McEwen and Adam Blythe say similar, the latter being a close friend of Cavendish. None of us have anything against Jakobsen, who has a very special story of his own. We simply want to see Cavendish make it 35 Tour wins. We want him to make history. Again.

It is astonishing that it is still possible he could.

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