Sprinters head for greener pastures
With only two stages remaining that are tailored for the sprinters (stages 16 and 18), many of the Giro’s fast men packed their bags Friday night to reload for the Tour de France and Olympic Games.
Mark Renshaw (Rabobank), J.J. Haedo (Saxo Bank), and Brett Lancaster and Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) were among the sprinters that did not start Saturday’s climbing stage. French sprinter Arnaud Demare (FDJ-BigMat) later abandoned during the stage.
Mark Cavendish (Sky) is still in the Giro, at least for now, living up to the promise he made Friday that he would not leave the race. Cavendish has won points jerseys at the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, and could complete the grand tour sweep if he can make it all the way to Milan in the red jersey.
“It wasn’t so hard in the climb today. It’s more difficult here at the finish line than during the stage,” Cavendish said when he was mobbed by journalists after finishing in the gruppetto. “I plan to stay in the Giro. I felt OK today. The Giro is a beautiful race and I want to try to get to Milan.”