Scarponi again, as Menchov stays in control
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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Scarponi again, as Menchov stays in control

by Steve Jones at 12:30 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Race Reports and Results

Michele Scarponi (Serramenti Pvc Diquigiovanni) won his second stage of this year's Giro d'Italia today, a 182km ride from Sulmona to Benevento. The Italian took the sprint from a seven-man breakaway with Felix Rafael Cardenas (Barloworld) coming in second piping Danny Pate (Garmin-Slipstream) on the line.

There was no change in the general classification today as Denis Menchov's Rabobank team led the main peloton into the finish with Ciclamino Jersey Danilo Di Luca tucked in behind - just 26 seconds separate the pair.

How the race unfolded

A large break of more than 20 riders got clear around the 50km mark of the race. The main peloton seemed content to let the break stay out front and keep the gap to within six minutes, but once the race started to get closer to the finish they began to reel them in. Under the 20km banner the attacks started to come out of the move, and the break still have 2:35 in hand with 15km left to race.

Dmytro Grabovskyy (ISD) initiated the move that split the break, with Jason McCartney (Team Saxo Bank) hammering at the front to make sure it would stick. The rest of the lead group included McCartney's teammate Lars Bak, Michele Scarponi, Danny Pate (Garmin-Slipstream), Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre), and Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step). On the way into the line the attacks continued to fly off the front, but none of them had the right mix to stay away. In the finale it was an experienced Scarponi that put himself in the winning spot launching himself off of Pate's wheel for his second win of the race.

Tomorrow's stage from Avellino to Vesuvio has the last of the climbs that could impact the general classification. With just 26 seconds over Danilo Di Luca, Menchov seems content to go into the final time trail in Rome with his advantage. There is no doubt that Di Luca will try to attack the Russian to narrow the gap, but yesterday was the only small chink in the armor that has been seen on the race leader. Even if Di Luca can't make a dent tomorrow, his powerful accelerations might help him make up time on Sunday's twists and turns through Rome.

1. Michele Scarponi ( Serramenti Pvc Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli)
2. Felix Rafael Cardenas (Barloworld)
3. Danny Pate (Garmin-Slipstream)
4. Lars Ytting Bak (Team Saxo Bank)
5. Dmytro Grabovskyy (ISD)

1. Denis Menchov (RUS) Rabobank at 76hrs 40min 02sec
2. Danilo Di Luca (ITA) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini at 26sec
3. Franco Pellizotti (ITA) Liquigas at 2min
4. Ivan Basso (ITA) Liquigas at 3min28sec
5. Carlos Sastre (SPA) Cervelo Test Team at 3min30
6. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana at 4min32sec
7. Michael Rogers (AUS) Team Columbia - Highroad at 7min5sec
8. Stefano Garzelli (ITA) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo at 8min4sec


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