Cavendish crashes in stage 3 of Giro d'Italia

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A chaotic finish to the third stage of the Giro d'Italia saw both world champion Mark Cavendish and race leader Taylor Phinney involved in a high-speed pile up.

Calm before the storm

The 190 kilometres stage around Horsens had earlier seemed to be panning out perfectly again for Cavendish who was again kept at the head of affairs throughout by his team-mates.

However, with so many fresh teams coming into the final 14.5km lap and a long 1,500m finishing straight it was always promised to be a hectic finish.

But the start of the stage - and indeed the day as a whole - had been about remembering rider Wouter Weylandt who had tragically lost his life at this point in last year's edition, exactly 12 months on from winning the same stage.

A minute's silence was observed before the RadioShack-Nissan team symbolically led the peloton out on a course which looped first south and then north around Horsens.

It took 35km for a break to get away, with Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Barracuda), Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil-DCM), Reto Hollenstein (NetApp), Alfredo Balloni (Farnese Vini), Miguel Mínguez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Mads Christensen (Saxo Bank) the six riders in question.

But on what had the potential to be a tricky stage given the prospect of crosswinds and narrow roads, their advantage was pegged at 3:35 and started to come down in the final 50km.

Heading into the three 14.5km laps around the city which rounded off the stage the breakaway's lead was dwindling rapidly and the catch came with 30km remaining, though Danes Christensen and Lars Bak (Lotto-Belisol) both gave the home fans something to cheer as they chipped off the front.

However it was all back together for the final circuit as the sprinters' teams lined up at the front before the late drama in the final 300 metres.

The stage marked the last of three days in Denmark, with the race now transferring to Italy on Tuesday's rest day ahead of a 32.2km team time in Verona.


Stage 3 - Horsens 190 km

1 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 4:20:53
2 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank
3 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Barracuda
155 Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky Procycling
162 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling
166 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling
167 Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling
172 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling

General classification after stage 3

1 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team 9:24:31
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:09
3 Alex Rasmussen (Den) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:13
13 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling
47 Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling
64 Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky Procycling
184 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling