Petacchi confirms his form while Cavendish keeps the Maglia Rosa
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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Petacchi confirms his form while Cavendish keeps the Maglia Rosa

by Steve Jones at 1:26 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Race Reports and Results

On a day when all eyes were on the seemingly unbeatable Mark Cavendish (Columbia - High Road) wearing his prized maglia rosa, pure emotion saw Alessandro Petacchi (LPR Brakes - Farense Vini) cross the line first earning the Ciclamino sprinters jersey ahead of Cavendish to celebrate his 20th Giro d'Italia stage win. The other surprise was Cav's compatriot Ben Swift (Team Katusha) taking third on the day.

Petacchi's throne as top sprinter was taken away suddenly when he tested positive for higher than allowed levels of his asthma medication. That meant that the big sprinter would be stripped of his five stage wins in that year's Giro d'Italia - this would have been win 25. It was a controversial decision which had the cycling world wondering if the classy Italian would have the grit to come back strong and rise to the occasion. He answered that question today.

An elated Petacchi told the press afterwards, "It's been three days that I've been thinking how to beat Cavendish and I did it just how I imagined."

At 35-years-old, the proud father said it was his son's first birthday, and now it looks like the Italian's career has been born again as he climbs his way back onto the top step of the podium in a race that included the best the sport has to offer.

"A kiss to my baby at home," Petacchi concluded.

Italian Leonardo Scarselli (ISD) started the racing off with a daring attack just 9k into the 156km race from Jesolo to Trieste, but ended up being caught on the closing circuits.

Belgian Philippe Gilbert along with Italians Filippo Pozzato and Enrico Gasparotto made a bid for the win with 4.5km left, but with only so any chances for the sprinters in the year's Giro, the trio wasn't able to stay clear.

The ride into the finish was marred by crashes, the worst of it was dealt to German Matthias Russ (Team Milram), who was unable to finish the stage and whisked off the hospital in an ambulance.

The nervous run up to the line saw race favorite Ivan Basso lose 13 seconds along with the American Levi Leipheimer. The beneficiaries of the chaos were GC contenders Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes - Farense Vini), Denis Menchov (Rabobank), Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam), Michael Rogers (Columbia), Christian Vande Velde (Garmin - Slipstream), Damiano Cunego (Lampre - NGC), as well as former winners Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) and Gilberto Simoni (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli).

With his win today Petacchi is in seventh overall, just 16 seconds back and Mark Cavendish retains the pink jersey with 14 seconds in hand over three of his teammates. Tyler Farrar (Garmin - Slipstream) is also 16 seconds off of wearing pink.

Tomorrows stage will take the riders 198km from Grado to Valdobbiadene, and despite a few lumps on the run-in, with the mountains looming on the horizon it should be a day for the sprinters.

Results from the second stage, a 156km run from Jesolo to Trieste:

1. Alessandro Petacchi (ITA/LPR) 156.0 km in 3hr 43min 07sec
2. Mark Cavendish (GBR/THR) at 0:00.
3. Ben Swift (GBR/KAT) 0:00.
4. Allan Davis (AUS/QST) 0:00.
5. Tyler Farrar (USA/GRM) 0:00.
6. Oscar Gatto (ITA/ISD) 0:00.
7. Francesco Gavazzi (ITA/LAM) 0:00.
8. Davide Vigano (ITA/FUJ) 0:00.
9. Manuele Mori (ITA/LAM) 0:00.
10. Dries Devenyns (BEL/QST) 0:00.
11. Thomas Fothen (GER/MRM) 0:00.
12. Paolo Longo (ITA/BAR) 0:00.
13. Jackson Rodriguez (VEN/SDA) 0:00.
14. Steve Chainel (FRA/BTL) 0:00.
15. Mauricio Ardila (COL/RAB) 0:00.
16. Stefano Garzelli (ITA/ASA) 0:00.
17. Philip Deignan (IRL/CTT) 0:00.
18. Jens Voigt (GER/SAX) 0:00.
19. Thomas Rohregger (AUT/MRM) 0:00.
20. Tadej Valjavec (SLO/A2R) 0:00.

30. Denis Menchov (RUS/RAB) 0:00.
42. Lance Armstrong (USA/AST) 0:00.
97. Levi Leipheimer (USA/AST) 0:13.

1. Mark Cavendish (GBR/THR) 4:04.43.
2. Mark Renshaw (AUS/THR) at 0:14.
3. Michael Rogers (AUS/THR) 0:14.
4. Thomas Lövkvist (SWE/THR) 0:14.
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/THR) 0:14.
6. Tyler Farrar (USA/GRM) 0:16.
7. Alessandro Petacchi (ITA/LPR) 0:16.
8. Christian Vande Velde (USA/GRM) 0:20.
9. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/GRM) 0:20.
10. Lance Armstrong (USA/AST) 0:27.
11. Jose Luis Rubiera (ESP/AST) 0:27.
12. Marco Pinotti (ITA/THR) 0:27.
13. Tom Danielson (USA/GRM) 0:33.
14. Danilo Di Luca (ITA/LPR) 0:36.
15. Riccardo Chiarini (ITA/LPR) 0:36.
16. Yaroslav Popovych (UKR/AST) 0:40.
17. Janez Brajkovic (SLO/AST) 0:40.
18. Levi Leipheimer (USA/AST) 0:40.
19. Oscar Gatto (ITA/ISD) 0:41.
20. Dmytro Grabovskyy (UKR/ISD) 0:41.



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