Giro d'Italia: Sørensen wins alone in the mists of Monte Terminillo
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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Giro d'Italia: Sørensen wins alone in the mists of Monte Terminillo

by Ben Atkins at 11:32 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Race Reports and Results
Dane comes back strong after broken collarbone

Chris Anker SorensonChris Anker Sørensen (Saxo Bank) won the eighth stage of the Giro d’Italia between Chiancino Terme and Monte Terminillo. The Dane had of a breakaway group and managed to hold off the race favourites on the long, steep climb to the finish. Simone Stortoni (Colnago-CSF Inox), also a member of the breakaway, managed to hold to finish second with Xavier Tondo (Cervélo TestTeam) escaping the peloton to finish third.

After the fireworks and epic conditions of yesterday’s stage it took a long time for any action to take place today. The peloton split into two pieces after around 60km but quickly reformed again, in time for the main breakaway of the day to escape.

A group of 17 riders was allowed to get away after 75km, consisting of: Sørensen, Stortoni, Thomas Voeckler and Johann Tschopp (both Bbox Bouyges Telecom), Carlos Ochoa and Jackson Rodriguez (both Androni Giocattoli), Chris Froome and Steve Cummings (both Team Sky), Anthony Ravard and Sebastien Hinault (both AG2R-La Mondiale), Rigoberto Uran (Caisse d’Epargne), David Moncoutié (Cofidis), Matthias Brandle (Footon-Servetto), Steven Krujiswijk (Rabobank), Evegeni Petrov (Katusha), Addy Engels (Quick Step) and Cayetano Sarmiento (Acqua & Sapone).

The Lampre-Farnese Vini led peloton was happy to allow the 17 riders to pull out a lead of over 3 minutes in the next 40km. The lead fluctuated between 2 and 3 minutes in the following 50km, and as the front group arrived at the foot of the climb to Monte Terminillo it stood at 2’20”.

On the lower slopes of the climb the leading group began to put in small attacks, with Kruijswijk the first to try his luck. Meanwhile back in the peloton, perhaps sensing a quiet day for the top overall men, Charly Wegelius (OmegaPharma-Lotto) jumped from the front of the peloton. A big surge from Sørensen managed to split the breakaway group, which was followed by an attack from Stortoni that saw the Italian get away. Sörensen managed to catch Stortoni and the two of them worked together to distance the others.

The peloton behind was being led by the Androni Giocattoli team on behalf of team captain Michele Scarponi. Race leader Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) was sitting quite comfortably on Scarponi’s wheel but was visibly without teammates. As the Kazakh dropped back slightly to take a look at the trio of Liquigas riders sitting behind him Scarponi put in a surge; he failed to drop Vinokourov but the peloton was quickly reduced to just a few of the overall favourites.

Missing from this select group were third place overall David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) and Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam).

At the head of the race Sørensen attacked and dropped Stortoni with 6km to go, and set off alone in search of stage victory. Behind him in the main group a succession of attacks from Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Farnese Vini) and Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) failed to distance the others. Both Vinokourov and second placed Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) pulling them back each time, but after yesterday’s mythical stage the attacks looked tired.

With his team leader Sastre dropped once more, Cervélo’s Xavier Tondo escaped from the group of favourites, and with the Spaniard more than 7 minutes behind he was allowed to go. Cyclocross specialist John Gadret (AG2R-La Mondiale) was the next to try to escape, he was repeatedly pulled back by the others but eventually escaped.

As Sørenson approached the finish the mist intensified, and with the Saxo Bank mechanic yelling encouragement while standing with his head through the team car’s sunroof behind him he took the victory. Stortoni managed to hold on to his second place on the road but Tondo overtook Petrov in the closing stages. Gadret held on to take fifth just ahead of Cunego who led the overall favourites home.

With most of the overall favourites visibly tired and unable to escape Vinokourov, the Kazakh retains his overall lead. The big loser on the day was Britain’s David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) who came in with a big group 17’55” down, he slipped from 3rd to 33rd overall. Vladimir Karpets (Katusha) and also lost time, finishing 2 minutes down with Sastre, dropping from 4th to 7th.

Result stage 8
1. Chris Anker Sørensen (Den) Saxo Bank
2. Simone Stortoni (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox
3. Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam
4. Evgeni Petrov (Rus) Team Katusha
5. John Gadret (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
6. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
8. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Astana
9. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing
10. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo

Standings after stage 8
1. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Astana
2. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing @ 1’12”
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo @ 1’33”
4. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo @ 1’51”
5. Marco Pinotti (Ita) HTC-Columbia @ 2’17”


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