The 2012 Giro d'Italia finished its 255 km run on Stage 11's flat surface, the longest such portion of the race. Roberto Ferrari captured the stage victory ahead of Francesco Chicchi and Thomas Vaitkus, the second- and third-place finisher, but more importantly ahead of fourth-place finisher Mark Cavendish, one of the top sprinters in the world.
Here is how the final kilometers played out, according to Podium Cafe:
But the Sky leadout, it failed to nail the final turn. But a few people did, notably Thomas Vaitkus, who was second wheel going into the turn and first coming out with a healthy gap. Nice riding by Vaitkus, who is most certainly not a sprinter but apparently studied the road book closely. Unfortunately, Ferrari went through the turn almost equally well and was able to jump by the Lithuanian and win the long long loooong sprint easily. Cavendish, who was gapped in the corner, seemed to struggle with the uphill drag to the line and finished fourth.
There was a crash toward the end of the race, but it didn't impact the standings all that much. In pursuit of the maglia rosa, Garmin-Barracuda's Ryder Hesjedal is still 17 seconds behind Joaquim Rodriguez's 47:16:39.
Here is how the top eight played out on Wednesday:
1. Roberto Ferrari, 6:49:05
2. Francesco Chicchi, --
3. Tomas Vaitkus, --
4. Mark Cavendish, --
5. Manuel Belletti, --
6. Giacomo Nizzolo, --
7. Daniel Schorn, --
8. Arnaud Demare, --
For more on the 2012 Giro d'Italia, stick with SB Nation Denver and visit cycling blog Podium Cafe.