• Giro d'Italia, stage 21

Cavendish wins red jersey, Nibali Giro champion

ESPN staff
May 26, 2013
Mark Cavendish claimed his fifth stage victory © AP

Mark Cavendish has won the red points jersey after claiming victory on the 21st and final stage of the Giro d'Italia, with Vincenzo Nibali wrapping up the overall win.

It is the fifth stage victory for Cavendish during the event, and the Briton edged a sprint finish in Brescia on the 197-kilometre stage which began from Riese Pio X to finish a total of 11 points ahead of Nibali.

Nibali though safely finished in the peloton to secure the overall victory - his second Grand Tour win to add to his 2010 Veulta triumph - with the Italian finishing four minutes and 43 seconds ahead of Rigoberto Uran. Former Tour de France champion Cadel Evans finished third in the general classification.

Cavendish's victory means he has won the points battle in all three Grand Tours, and has put behind him the painful thoughts of a year ago as he lost out to Joaquim Rodriguez by a point.

With Cavendish once again demonstrating his powers in the sprint, there had been confusion as to when the final sprint was going to start.

Cavendish won the first intermediate sprint and carefully positioned himself in front when the confusion set in as to where and when the sprint line actually was.

Cavendish's efforts in the second and final intermediate sprint guaranteed him the red jersey, but the Brit wanted to end the Giro on a high and sprinted to the victory.

"I'm so so happy," he said. "It couldn't have been closer coming down to the last day. Everyone knew I was going to go for the intermediate sprints and I was lucky that there are some gentlemen in the peloton.

"We didn't know which lap we were sprinting for. But then we took control and didn't panic for the headwind finish."

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