General classification after bonus seconds: 1. Cavendish, 2. Viviani +8, 3. Bouhanni +12.
Naples - Naples
Giro d'Italia - 4 May 2013
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Result: 1. Cavendish, 2. Viviani, 3. Bouhanni, 4. Nizzolo, 5. Goss.
Mark Cavendish will be in pink after winning the opening stage and taking 12 bonus seconds.
Goss looked in control but the Australian tired and Cavendish zipped past Viviani to take the win, with Bouhanni on his wheel.
Cavendish comes from far to take the victory! He did it alone after that crash - but what a win for the Manxman.
Bouhanni is there too, but GreenEdge have the edge with three men. Cavendish is boxed in.
Cannondale and GreenEdge both have three riders on the front. Cavendish is in 8th position. Oh, crash! There's a split in the peloton - only 15 are out in front it seems. Carlos Betancur of Ag2R is one of those down.
Now it's Cannondale on the front for their man Viviani.
One GreenEdge rider pulls clear of the pack, but he's reeled in - and gets a pat from one of the Lampre riders. That may have been a case of over-eagerness more than any asserted effort to attack. After all, the Australian team want this one for Goss.
A Lampre rider is on the front, paving the way for Ferrari - the bete noir of Cavendish. It's rather nervous.
Now GreenEdge come to the front working for Matt Goss. OPQS have disappeared.
The pack cross the line for the last time before the big finale. The bell sounds for the last lap. It's about to get serious.
Mark Cavendish, who has a house in Italy, told Eurosport: "I've won before in the opening stage of the Giro and I'd like to win again today - especially here in Naples. It's a special race for me."
RadioShack's sprinter is the Italian youngster Giacomo Nizzolo after Daniele Bennati left to join Saxo Bank. Italy have a fair few promising sprinters who could cause an upset today: Modolo, Viviani, Fellini, Gavazzi, Sabatini and Ferrari to name but a handful. But are they good enough to beat Messrs Cavendish, Goss, Degenkolb and Bouhanni?
Two more laps to go for the riders in this opening stage of the Giro d'Italia. RadioShack have three men on the front now alongside Sky, Lampre and OPQS. Argos are keeping their wick dry after some early pace setting for John Degenkolb.
Remember, there are time bonuses of 20, 12 and 8 seconds tonight for the top three - so whoever wins the stage will be in the maglia rosa tonight.
Cameron Wurf has been caught. Still Team Sky and OPQS front the peloton, split by a pink and blue line of Lampre-Merida riders.
Sky, Lampre and OPQS are all close to the front as Wurf crosses the line again. Three more laps to go. The lead is down to 21 seconds - and it's an intermediate sprint here, which sees the points picked up by riders from Vacansoleil and RadioShack, with Mark Cavendish taking fourth as a precaution.
Water stop for many riders, who take on bidons from the side of the road. Will probably be the last time they take on liquids before the finish. Johan Le Bon of FDJ rides into the curb and goes down with an Euskaltel rider, Miguel Minguez I think, but it's nothing serious.
The Omega Pharma rider who went down was Jerome Pineau - but he's back on his bike now. Wurf is now within 24 seconds of the peloton.
Colombian Rigoberto Uran, the white jersey from last year, needs a bike change after picking up a puncture for Team Sky. On a tight U-bend one of the leading Omega Pharma riders has hit the deck and rolled into the barriers. Luckily the pace wasn't too quick.
You can now see the peloton behind Wurf in the distance on the finishing straight. The Australian crosses the finish line to complete the forth of eight of these smaller 8km circuit loops following the initial four longer undulating circuits, over which he secured the blue mountains jersey. His advantage is now 33 seconds so this will probably be his last solo ride through the finish area.
It's beginning to get fiesty on the front of the pack as we enter the last hour of racing. The pace has increased considerably.
The pack cross the line for the seventh time. We have five more of these 8km laps. Wurf has 48 seconds.
The gap has dropped to under a minute now for Wurf.
The peloton sweeps through the finish area once again - just six more laps to go now. The gap is 1:35 for Cameron Wurf, the former Olympic rower who will be wearing the blue mountains jersey tonight.
The quiet before the storm... It's a question of when, not if, Wurf gets caught now. So who is Cameron Wurf? The 29-year-old Australian re-joined Cannondale this season ater a year at Pro Continental outfit Champion System. He came fifth in the 2011 Tour of Turkey, but has no major UCI wins to his name. He did represent Australia at lightweight rowing in the 2004 Olympics - which is quite a fact.
The peloton pass over the finish line for the fifth time 1:40 down on lone leader Cameron Wurf of Cannondale. Wiggins is riding alongside team-mate Xabier Zandio. Gone are the sideburns - and he's also shaved his head for the race. Seven more laps of 8km.
Now Sky are coming to the front to avoid any splits in the peloton. Bradley Wiggins is riding alongside the maglia rosa, Ryder Hesjedal, on the front, both men with two team-mates protecting them. Wurf still has 1:45.
So, who are the favourites for today's stage? Mark Cavendish will top everyone's list, with a team dedicated to delivering him to the line. John Degenkolb of Argos Shimano has a kick on him and will fancy his chances. Matt Goss of Orica-GreenEdge has beaten Cav in the past, while Italians Daniele Bennati (Saxo), Sacha Modolo (Bardiani), Roberto Ferrari (Lampre), Francesco Chicchi (Vini Fantini) and Elia Viviani (Cannondale) could be in the mix. Don't forget Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) either.
Omega Pharma-Quick Step, the Belgian team of Mark Cavendish, have all their men on the front of the peloton. Wurf still has two minutes over the pack, however. Argos and Astana are near the front too, while the Sky team of Bradley Wiggins are nowhere to be seen, keeping their man out of trouble.
Emanuele Sella is gesticulating alongside his Androni Giocattoli team car. Probably complaining that the parcours is too flat.
Wurf is riding well out in front alone but you wouldn't give him any chance staying out once the teams of the sprinters start driving the pace.
Hesjedal is remonstrating with a Blanco rider. He's not happy about something.
Wurf still has 2:15 over the peloton, with the chasing group - his initial fellow escapees - about to be swept up by the peloton. They only have 15 seconds or so.
Pink jersey Ryder Hesjedal is towards the back of the peloton on this cobbled section of the climb. The Canadian probably just went back to speak to his Garmin team car, mind.
Wurf is on that climb for the fourth and final time. No points available this time.
BIG CRASH: There's a large pile up in the peloton as it approaches the finish line for the third time. Euskaltel's Pablo Urtasan is the worst affected. The Spaniard stays down for a long time but eventually gets back on his bike. Lampre's Daniele Pietropolli was also held up.
Lone leaders Cameron Wurf (Cannondale) crosses the line 2:10 ahead of the peloton. The Australian now has a huge 1:22 over the escapees, who seem to have given up on the chase and seem resigned to being swept up by the peloton. Wurf attacked on the last climb. We now have one more lap of this hilly circuit before eight shorter, flat laps.
Our blogger Blazin' Saddles did a preview of sorts for the Giro, running through the main protagonists for each competition and asking what they will do, and what they won't do. It's a fun read...
Murilo Antonio Fischer (FDJ) and Rafal Majka (Saxo Bank) both need bike changes. Out in front, Wurf is still riding solo ahead of his fellow escapees. The gap back to the pack is two minutes.
Wurf attacks to take maximum points over the summit of the second Cat.4 climb, with Bonnafond in second and Keizer third. That means Wurf is on 5pts with Visconti, 4pts and Bonnafond on 3pts and Keizer on 1pt. So, Cameron Wurf (Cannondale) will wear the first blue mountains jersey of the race.
One of the riders affected in that clash was Britain's Alex Dowsett (Movistar), who needs a bike change 40km into his first ever Grand Tour.
Yaroslav Popovych must have gone down in a crash as well - he has some nasty road rash on his left thigh/hip. Pichon, the man who crashed first of all, is receiving treatment on his nose or mouth, which he bloodied in his fall. And just as I write, six or so riders clash in the peloton and hit the deck - but the pace was not huge.
Wurf is having words with Bonnafond in the break - probably complaining about his attack. With that Cat.4 climb coming up again, the Australian is no doubt telling the Frenchman to cool it and not go off on a solo attempt this time round - to avoid disruption in the group.
Argos and Omega Pharma combine on the front of the pack - both of them working for their men Degenkolb and Cavendish. The pack passes by the finish line on the Naples sea-front for the second time, 1:44 down on the seven leaders.
Now Argos-Shimano have come to the front of the pack to take up the chase. They'll be hoping for a win for their man John Degenkolb, who picked up five stage victories in last year's Vuelta.
CRASH: The first tumble of the Giro - and Frenchman Laurent Pichon (FDJ) hits the deck at top speed. It's not entirely onvious what happened - either a touch of wheels or he slipped on the white paint of a zebra crossing. His bike ends up on the left-hand side of the road and he's on the right - and quite road rashed to boot. Not the ideal start, but he's back on his bike and gingerly riding back onto the peloton.
Omega Pharma-Quick Step lead the peloton across the summit of the Cat.4 climb 2:17 down on the leaders. Wurf and Visconti are still out ahead, but it looks like they're sitting up to wait for the other escapees. Confirmation of the points over the top: 1. Visconti 3pts, 2. Wurf 2pts, 3. Bonnafond 1pt.
Bonnafond is struggling somewhat up this Cat.4 climb, which has come 23km into the opening stage. Already his shoulders are swaying but he should hold on to take the points - just. No! He's pegged back inside the last 100m with Visconti taking the points ahead of Wurf. Bonnafond trickles over in third place - and not only will he be knackered, he'll have to try and fit back with the break he just jumped.
ATTACK: Bonnafond takes his fellow escapees by surprise with a big dig. The Frenchman clearly wants to get those Cat.4 mountain points so he can don the blue jersey tonight.
The two leaders - Wurf and Visconti - have been reeled back in by the break so we have seven men out in front with a 2:15 gap over the pack.
Ryder Hesjedal looks pretty slick in the special Paul Smith-designed maglia rosa. The shirt is quite a beauty, while there are pink sashes across the bottom of his shorts. He's also in a pink helmet and has a healthy tan.
Coming into a tight bend, Visconti is forced to change his line because of a rogue dog. Luckily the mutt kept close to the barriers so there was no damage done. Hopefully it'll be picked up by the scruffs before the peloton come past. The pack is being led by Omega Pharma-Quick Step and come through the finish area 1:40 down on the two leaders.
The chasing riders from the break are Guillaume Bonnafond (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Marco Canola (Bardiani Valvole), Ricardo Mestre (Euskaltel), Brian Bulgac (Lotto-Belisol) and Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil-DCM). They are abot 10 seconds back, with the peloton at 1:50 as they pass through the finish area for the first time.
On the first climb, two of the escapees have edged ahead of the break - Cameron Wurf (Cannondale) and Giovanni Visconti (Movistar). They have about 10 seconds over the chasers.
The seven leaders have 50 seconds over the peloton on this opening lap.
Owing to the recalling of Katusha into the WorldTour on appeal at the start of the season, there are 23 teams - and no the usual 22 - taking part in the Giro. This is because the organisers had already chosen their 4 wildcard entries and could not renege on their decision. The wildcard teams are: Androni Giocattoli, Bardiani Valvole, Vini Fantini and Colombia-Coldeportes.
There's a lot to play for today: with two Cat.4 climbs on the cards, someone will be in the blue climbers jersey tonight. There is also an intermediate sprint with points and bonus seconds - which will have a bearing in both the red points jersey and the overall pink jersey. But whoever wins the stage will be pretty take the Paul Smith-designed maglia rosa from the shoulders of Ryder Hesjedal.
Today's 130km stage starts with four laps of the slightly undulating 16.4km Posillipo circuit before eight laps of a flat 8km circuit around Naples. Just five kilometres down and already we have a puncture - for Angel Vicioso of Katusha. Seven riders have ridden off the front - their names coming right up.
Garmin-Sharp's Ryder Hesjedal, the defending champion from Canada, starts the race in the pink jersey. It's the first time a defending champion has been given the honour of wearing the maglia rosa from the outset.
The attacks are coming in thick and fast, with riders from Lotto-Belisol, Euskaltel, Ag2R-La Mondiale and Vacansoleil all on the front.
They're off! Race organiser Michele Acquarone waves the flag and the 2013 Giro d'Italia is officially underway, with the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team of Mark Cavendish right on the front from the outset. They will be targeting a win - and the pink jersey - for the former world champion today.
It's a hot and sunny day in Naples with the temperature a balmy 30 degrees centigrade as the 207 rirders from 23 teams roll through the neutral zone in Naples.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the opening stage of the 2013 Giro d'Italia. The 96th edition of La Corsa Rosa starts with a short 130km stage in and around Naples, which should result in a bunch sprint.