(AP) Alessandro Petacchi won a mass sprint to take the second stage of the Giro d'Italia, with Mark Cavendish finishing second to take the overall lead by 12 seconds. Petacchi captured the Giro's longest stage, completing the 151-mile ride from Alba to Parma, Italy, in 5 hours 45 minutes 40 seconds. Alberto Contador finished in the main pack, placing 29th.

Stage 2 - Results
1. Alessandro Petacchi - Lampre - ISD - 5:45:40
2. Mark Cavendish - HTC-Highroad
3. Manuel Belletti - Colnago - CSF Inox
4. Roberto Ferrari - Androni Giocattoli
5. Borut Bozic - Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
6. Davide Appollonio - Sky Procycling
7. Tyler Farrar - Team Garmin-Cervelo
8. Robbie McEwen - Team RadioShack
9. Wouter Weylandt - Leopard Trek
10. Matteo Montaguti - AG2R La Mondiale


General Classification After Stage 2
1. Mark Cavendish - HTC-Highroad - 6:06:27
2. Kanstantsin Sivtsov - HTC-Highroad - 0:00:12
3. Craig Lewis - HTC-Highroad
4. Marco Pinotti - HTC-Highroad
5. Lars Ytting Bak - HTC-Highroad
6. Alessandro Petacchi - Lampre - ISD - 0:00:16
7. Robbie McEwen - Team RadioShack - 0:00:22
8. Fumiyuki Beppu - Team RadioShack
9. Yaroslav Popovych - Team RadioShack
10. Tiago Machado - Team RadioShack

Full Results

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Further Reading...

"Petacchi takes first blood
By Yahoo Sports UK

Lampre's Alessandro Petacchi edged Mark Cavendish of HTC in a controversial finale to stage two of the Giro d'Italia.

The veteran Italian appeared to veer across Cavendish's line twice in the frantic closing moments of the 244-kilometre stage from Alba to Parma.

Despite the confusion, the Manxman almost managed to catch Petacchi but crossed the line a tyre's width behind his rival.

As the home favourite raised his hands aloft in celebration, a clearly angered Cavendish gesticulated widely in annoyance.

But after a short deliberation race organisers confirmed Petacchi's victory - his 22nd career Giro scalp to date." Read more from Yahoo Sports...

"Alessandro Petacchi wins stage 2 of the 2011 Giro d'Italia; Mark Cavendish takes overall lead
By VeloNews

Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) won stage two of the 2011 Giro d'Italia, a mostly flat 244km leg from Alba to Parma.

The stage was marked by a heroic solo break by Sebastian Lang (Omega Pharma-Lotto), who built a monstrous lead of nearly 20 minutes at one point - and collected a time-bonus "sprint" and the KOM along the way - before being retrieved with 26km to race.

The early catch saw a counterattack from Leonardo Giordani (Farnese). Jan Bakelandts (Omega Pharma) and Michal Golas (Vacansoleil) marked him, as did Ruggero Marzoli (Acqua e Sapone), Eduard Vorganov (Katusha), Jerome Pineau (Quick Step) and Daniele Righi (Lampre), and with 20km to go there was a small group off the front, hoping to steal a march on the sprinters."Read more from VeloNews...

Photo credit - CorVos