It was a second stage win in this year's race for the world champion with the Team Sky sprinter beating Matt Goss and Daniele Bennati to the line at the end of the first road stage in Italy.
Modena - Fano
Giro d'Italia - 10 May 2012
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Britain's Mark Cavendish wins stage five of the Giro d'Italia in Fano.
Under the Flamme Rouge, we will have a bunch gallop. Will it be a a 32nd Grand Tour stage win for the 26-year-old Manxman?
Adam Hansen goes for a solo bid but it is shortlived. Cavendish's Team Sky train are at the front and controlling proceedings.
Juan Jose Haedo, Arnaud Demare, Mark Renshaw, Andrea Guardini, Theo Bos, Francesco Chicchi, Roberto Ferrari, Sascha Modolo, Daniele Bennati and Alexander Kristoff will also look to mix things up.
So if it comes to a sprint the big favourites must be stage two winner and world champion Mark Cavendish, stage three winner Matthew Goss and Garmin's Tyler Farrar who can take the overall lead with a first or second place finish. But the American is in a group with Thor Hushovd that is 40 seconds behind the main peloton.
De Marchi has attacked on the descent as Mauro Santambrogio and Mathias Frank (BMC) take a tumble in the main bunch. Kaisen, Bulgac and De Negri have been caught by the Liquigas-led peloton.
Lucas Sebastian Haedo (SAX) and Taylor Phinney (BMC) take a tumble in the peloton after a brief lapse of concentration. Both are back on their bikes.
The climber's jersey of Alfredo Balloni (FAR) is under no danger on the cat-four Gabicce Monte (2.0 km 4.8%, max. 9.0%) as De Negri crosses first ahead of Bulgac and De Marchi with the peloton now just 1:15 back. Kaisen has lost contact with his fellow escapees.
Kaisen is the new leader of that ranking after taking second ahead of Bulgac and De Marchi.
The intermediate sprint in Misano Adriatico saw Pier Paolo De Negri take the honours.
The peloton seem to have this in control with the lead now just four minutes.
The lead still holding strong with Garmin getting little help from the other sprinters' teams on the front of the peloton.
A reminder of where the escapees are on GC with their lead at 5:30 - 30 Brian Bulgac (LTB) +1:39; 113 Pier Paolo De Negri (FAR) +1:51; 163 Alessandro De Marchi (AND); 192 Olivier Kaisen (LTB) +8:38
Regardless of what happens, Garmin sporting director Allan Peiper says his team have already proved successful after a good start to the Giro.
But team-mate Tyler Farrar can take pink today if he's first or second in a bunch sprint via the time bonuses of 20 and 12 seconds respectively.
So who is maglia rosa Ramunas Navardauskas? Here's his own words: "I’m from Silale, a small village in Lithuania. I could have played football or cycling but I preferred cycling. In 2006 I spent a year at the UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle. I’m not sure what kind of rider I am yet; maybe the classics or on small climbs because I can survive on the climbs a bit."
The lead of the escapees is still hovering around the six minute mark. The average speed in the first three hours has been around 45 km/h.
Team Sky endured a disappointing team time trial, finishing ninth. The result meant that Geraint Thomas slipped to seventh, 21 seconds behind Navardauskas. Sports Director Steven de Jongh said: "We were in the mix there for places five to 10. We just couldn’t go 30 seconds faster. On the climb the guys put out a steady pace but it wasn’t quite fast enough. Then in the end some of the guys began to struggle a bit and couldn’t deliver a high speed so that’s where we lost a few more seconds."
Joaquim Rodriguez was the big winner yesterday after Katusha finished second, only five seconds behind Garmin. 'Purito' gained 17 seconds on overall rivals Roman Kreuziger (Astana), 21 seconds on Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) and 29 on Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD). Rodriguez is currently 10th on GC at 30 seconds.
Right after he crossed the finish line, Phinney thanked all his team-mates for their help. "I gave the maximum I had, but I had nothing to give, I am so thankful to my team-mates because without their great help and strong support I’m not even sure I could have done it to the finish and I look forward to pay them back during the rest of the Giro," Phinney said.
The BMC team of former race leader Taylor Phinney could only post the 10th best time in the TTT, 31 seconds off the pace, as Phinney dropped to fifth in the GC. The American was not helped by some unplanned cyclo-cross.
You can watch stage five live now on British Eurosport and on the Eurosport Player
Before the start of the stage, Davide Minardi donated the pink jersey worn by his father Giuseppe during the 1954 Giro d’Italia to the Giro for Ghisallo collection. It will be displayed in the Ghisallo Cycling Museum. Minardi won six stages of the Giro d’Italia during his career.
The finishing town of Fano is an ancient Roman city which is now a beach resort that hosts the oldest carnival in Italy dating back to the 14th century.
The last 10km are on flat roads with just three semi-curves and two easy roundabouts to cross. The finishing straight is 430m long and eight metres wide.
Other small climbs follow before a technical descent towards Pesaro. The final kilometers mostly on straight roads up to the finish in Fano.
After the first intermediate sprint in Misano Adriatico at 164.8km, the only mountain points of the stage will be awarded at Gabicce Monte after 174km, at an altitude of just 174m.
The stage has already passed through Bologna and now they are in Imola. The towns of Faenza, Forlì and Cesena are all on the route with just the occasional roundabout, speed bumps and paved sections to negotiate.
Bright sunshine and temperatures of 25 degrees centigrade for the riders. Similar weather is expected on the Adriatic coast in Fano.
The advantage is out over six minutes but it is a flat stage with not a single climb during the first 170km and on mostly straight roads so you would expect the bunch to be able to time their chase well.
The advantage of the leading quartet is out to 5:34.
Navardauskas said: “I was a bit nervous during the warm-up because it had technical corners, climbing in the middle and for nine guys to do it all together was not easy. I think it was really good for a team time trial, not too easy but not too dangerous. The team did a perfect ride. I was selected for the Giro especially for the team time trial. I had to do everything to help team. I think I did ok.”
Navardauskas heads the overall standings by 10 seconds from Garmin-Barracuda team-mate Tyler Farrar with South African Robbie Hunter third.
Lithuanian rider Ramunas Navardauskas is in pink today after Garmin-Barracuda won stage four of the Giro d'Italia, a team time trial in Verona yesterday.
In the overall standings: 30 Brian Bulgac (LTB) +1:39; 113 Pier Paolo De Negri (FAR) +1:51; 163 Alessandro De Marchi (AND); 192 Olivier Kaisen (LTB) +8:38
Alessandro de Marchi (Androni), Pier Paolo de Negri (Farnese Vini), Olivier Kaisen and Brian Bulgac (Lotto-Belisol) are in an early escape, they lead the peloton by three minutes.
The peloton is currently travelling south east to the Adriatic Sea. Bologna, Imola and Cesena are amongst the places visited before they reach the sea at Rimini.
This stage started in Modena, in the Emilia–Romagna region, a Renaissance city that has hosted nine Giro d'Italia stages including a 2008 start.
Welcome to stage five of the Giro, the first road stage in Italy which sees the riders travel 209km from Modena. I'm Lee Walker and I will be your guide to today's stage. You can follow me on Twitter @Lee_Eurosport