After the hardships of yesterday's stage, the sprinters were licking their fingers before the start. In the end, however, it didn't take a photo of the finish to identify the winner of the 189-kilometer stage from Bucchianico to Porto Sant'Elpidio. Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) prevailed in a final marked by a fall in the last kilometer from his starter Alessandro Petacchi. Third place went to Peter Sagan (Cannondale).
It was also Sagan's team that put their stamp on the race from the start. This was mainly due to the fact that Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano), one of the strongest sprinters in the field, had problems keeping up with the field on the first climb of the day. As the stage progressed, the man from Arnstadt managed to get within half a minute of the lead, but then the Omega Pharma-QuickStep and Lotto Belisol teams also took the lead at the front of the field.
The joint speed work also meant the failure of a four-man lead group, in which Cesare Benedetti was once again a driver from the Raublinger second division NetApp-Endura. Cavendish was launched perfectly in the last kilometer when a crash stopped the remaining sprinters around André Greipel (Lotto Belisol).
There was no change at the top of the overall score. The Spaniard Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) continues to lead here.
1. Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) 4:16:15
2. Alessandro Petacchi (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) 0:00:00
3. Peter Sagan (Cannondale) 0:00:00
4. Arnaud Demare (FDJ.fr) 0:00:00
5. Tony Hurel (Europcar) 0:00:00
1. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) 25:17:51
2. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 0:02:08
3. Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff saxo) 0:02:15
4. Julian David Arredondo (Trek Factory Racing) 0:02:39
5. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2R-La Mondiale) 0:02:40