Cadel v Cav

Apologies to the winner, Ramunas Navardauskas, but yesterday’s stage was a bit nothingy. There was a big break (not a Big Break – that would be unacceptable) and Navardauskas showed great strength to win from it, but nothing much happened in the general classification.

That will almost certainly be the case again today, but we will see some developments in the points competition. A sprint finish is likely and another one is possible tomorrow. Mark Cavendish will therefore hope to cash in.

Oddly, Cavendish’s main rival for the maglia rosso passione (it’ll never catch on) is Cadel Evans. This often happens in the Giro, because equal points are awarded for all stages, whereas in the Tour, they’re weighted towards those with sprint finishes. This means the battle for the jersey can take place between two riders who barely see each other.

Last year, Joaquim Rodriguez pretty much won the points competition by accident (by a single point) while attempting to win the general classification. This must have been particularly galling for Cav who needs to tick off the Giro in order to have the full set of all three Grand Tours.

Cavendish currently lies third. Evans is first and Elia Viviani is second. I think Viviani may have got in a break on one stage as well as picking up points in sprint finishes. There are always sprint points available at certain points en route, but they invariably get hoovered up long before Cavendish arrives at them.

The cruel part is that Cavendish could easily win the next two stages and the final one as well and yet still finish behind Evans as there are plenty of mountain stages to come. Well, no-one said that the quest for the maglia rosso passione was easy – unless you’re not actually going for it, in which case it is.