Giro d'Italia: Sørensen comes back from injury, Sastre focused on final week
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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Giro d'Italia: Sørensen comes back from injury, Sastre focused on final week

by Steve Jones at 1:59 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Quitters will never win

Chris Anker SorensonToday's eighth stage saw Chris Anker Sørensen (Saxo Bank) take a bold win atop the Monte Terminillo in Giro d'Italia's first mountain stage.  He was part of an escape that got away 75 kilometers into the stage, and dropped Simone Stortoni (Colnago-CSF Inox) on the climb to the finish.  This was more than a stage win to the young Dane, since his Giro d'Italia participation was put in doubt in late March at the Vuelta a Catalunya.

He was set to go into the Giro as Saxo Bank's overall leader, in what would have been his first time to lead the team in a Grand Tour.  But stage six of the Spanish race was unkind to the 25 year old, and he was forced to abandon the race after breaking his collarbone in a crash.

“According to the doctors I can probably expect a month long break," he said after the incident.  "Therefore, I also realize that my classification dreams in the Giro [d'Italia] are no longer an option. I'm still hopeful that I will be able to compete in the race and use it to build up my fitness, and perhaps go for some stages.”

For Sørensen, this was his biggest victory since winning stage seven of the 2008 Dauphiné Libéré, but was also confirmation that keeping focus despite adversity will lead him to success.

The favorites for the general classification stayed unchanged following today's stage.  Michele Scarponi (Androni-Diquigiovanni) started things off on the Monte Terminillo, but just managed to thin out the tired group down to the overall favorites.  Britain’s David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) was the biggest loser of the day, coming in with a big group 17’55” down, slipping from 3rd to 33rd overall.  Vladimir Karpets (Katusha) also lost time dropping from 4th to 7th.  He finished 2 minutes down in the same group as Carlos Sastre (Cervelo TestTeam), who didn't recover well from his crash yesterday.

"I gave everything I could to be near the front and lose as little time as possible, but for me the really hard falls [from crashes] and problems from the beginning of the Giro have made it so I've been dragging since the start of the race," Sastre said after finishing the stage.

Still, Sastre remains positive about a Giro d'Italia that is packed with mountains in the last week.  While the overall is out of reach, he will have plenty of opportunities for stage wins: "Now we have two stages that are more or less flat - two long routes where I hope I can have a chance to recover from the ailments that I have had for days.  I can then approach the last part of this Giro with more enthusiasm."

Monday's 187 kilometer stage from Frosinone to Cava de’ Tirreni could again see an escape have success after a difficult weekend of racing.  The sprinter’s teams will try to control the race, but the road will decide whether they have the power to keep the peloton together.


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