Petacchi grabs pink with second consecutive stage win
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Monday, May 11, 2009

Petacchi grabs pink with second consecutive stage win

by VeloNation Press at 5:09 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Race Reports and Results

Sprinter Alessandro Petacchi put an exclamation point in the history books today by taking another stage win in today's 198km race from Grado to Valdobbiadene, securing the classy Italian a ride tomorrow in the Maglia Rosa. American hopeful Tyler Farrar (Garmin - Slipstream) came in second earning himself the Maglia Bianca jersey (best young rider), and Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre - NGC) finished in third.

"I think I showed I'm in great form for this Giro," Petacchi said to reporters.

Yesterday was his son's first birthday, but today's stage he said goes to his team.

"I'm used to having teammates who defend. They have demonstrated it again with hard work. This pink jersey is thanks to the great work of my team."

The race centered around a group of five riders that got away shortly after the start of the stage. The group included Björn Schröder (Milram), Giuseppe Palumbo (Acqua e Sapone), Mauro Facci (Quick-Step), Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha), and Yuriy Krivtsov (AG2R). The group was able to build up a lead that hovered around seven minutes, but with the mountains on the horizon the sprinters teams were not about to let this opportunity go to waste. The break was caught with less than 40km to go.

The biggest disappointment for the day happened with 60km when Garmin - Slipstream riders Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie hit the pavement. Zabriskie was able to continue, but after being unable to ride off the pain, Vande velde abandoned the race and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

With just 10 kilometres to go there was a crash near the front of the peloton that took the pink jersey Mark Cavendish (Columbia - High Road) out of the hunt for the stage win. Rabobank's Denis Menchov lost 24 seconds while Garmin's Tom Danielson came in 2 minutes and 50 seconds down.

Tomorrows 162km ride from Padova to San Martino di Castrozza will take the race into the mountains leaving the Maglia Rosa up for grabs. The Giro organizers decided to mix up the formula in the centennial edition and bring the mountains in earlier.

With losing their GC contender today you might see someone like Garmin's Danielson, who came in a few minutes down, try to sneak away for the stage win to finally get them out of the bridesmaid spot. While the teams with GC riders won't let a guy like Daneilson get a big gap, he might have just enough cushion to pull off a win if he's on form and times it well.


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