Cavendish wins opening Giro stage in sprint finish

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By ANDREW DAMPF, Associated Press

NAPLES, Italy (AP) — British standout Mark Cavendish won the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia on Saturday in a sprint marred by a crash shortly before the finish.

The main pack was split into two groups when riders went down with just more than a mile to go in the 81-mile leg.

Cavendish rides for the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team and completed the circuit in downtown Naples in 2 hours, 58 minutes, 38 seconds. Elia Viviani, an Italian with Cannondale, was second. Nacer Bouhanni, a Frenchman with FDJ, was third.

It was the 11th Giro stage win of Cavendish's career and his 98th victory overall. He'll wear the overall leader's pink jersey in Sunday's second stage, a team time trial on the nearby island of Ischia.

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