90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 11Photos
Photos from the dramatic finish to stage 11 in
Pinerolo. Recapping the finish with a few comments from Team CSC and Saunier
Duval about stage 12.
Veteran Andrea Noe of Liquigas race leader, finished well to ride another day in
pink. Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Recapping the finish: 4km to go, The Tinkoff move
we were waiting for came at last. Its Mikhail Ignatiev that after a first
failed attempt, managed to gain some 20-25 metres over the field. His move is
going nowhere, but he would get his daily amount of TV exposure. Much
less than what the Tinkoff guys were used to, but still better than nothing.
The Tinkoff guys was quickly swallowed by the field. and now its all
about the "battle of the elbows". And notably the battle over Petacchi's wheel
between Napolitano and McEwen. Robbie's fellow Aussie Lancaster will be the
last leadoutman for Alejet
Robbie's fellow Aussie Lancaster will be the last leadoutman for Alejet.
Dean tries to anticipate the sprint. But he can't go far. So its a bunch sprint.
With three protagonists: Petacchi. McEwen and Balducci
The three guys made it to the line together, and none of them raised his
hands! Photo finish needed we think! As unfortunately there was another massive
pileup over the line, with some 20 guys caught up in it.
Ale Jet Petacchi wins his third victory of this years Giro.
Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti.
OKAY ITS OFFICIAL NOW: ALESSANDRO PETACCHI WON THE
Gabriele Balducci second, Robbie McEwen third, Thor Hushvod fourth.
And after the first 12 - 15 riders, there was a "festival" of cyclists
slipping over the wet roads ... one Tinkoff rider fell first, and fell in
front of Paolo Bettini, that couldn't avoid hitting the tarmac again. also
Yaroslav Popovych fell, and so did one Euskaltel rider, who's the one bearing
the worst consequences.
Riders fall and slide across the finish as Alessandro Petacchi celebrates his
22nd Giro Victory. Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Yet another spectacular and dramatic massive fall in this Giro. Which Chechu
Rubiera commented as follows: "I've never seen something like that before!" We
can just be glad that the overwhelming majoritiy of the riders involved came
out unhurt. The damage could have been much worse.
This dramatic event might have overshadowed a bit Alessandro Petacchi's
22nd Giro stage victory. But after getting an excellent leadout from
Lancaster, Alejet put forth a superb sprint and took a deserved victory. Not
an easy one, as he got stiff opposition from both Gabriele Balducci and Robbie
McEwen. But the Italian prevailed in the end.
Andrea Noè also "slipped across the line" but retained the jersey. Liquigas
adds another Maglia Rosa to this years collection at the 90th Giro as Andrea
Noe accepts his second leaders jersey on the podium.
Paolo Bettini, one of the first to fall, waits to risk moving after sliding
across the finish. Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti.
The final sprint was something in between cycling (Petacchi, McEwen,
Balducci and the other top place finishers) and bobsleds (Bettini, Popovych,
Noé and some other riders amongst whom Euskaltel's Gonzalez, who sustained the
worst consequences and ended up into an ambulance).
Paolo Bettini thankfully avoided hitting his back again. He might well be
at the start tomorrow. Robbie McEwen will not be in the saddle instead. While
Alessandro Petacchi, besides thanking his teammates and confessed how glad he
was that he didn't fall today (he got injured and had to drop out of the Giro
on similarly wet roads the past year ...) confessed that he'll make a decision
about weather to continue or not later today.
Team CSC Comments
Big Crash in the Main Peloton
Not surprisingly the 198-kilometer 11th stage from Serravalle to Pinerolo
was decided in a bunch sprint after which Milram's Alessandro Pettachi was able
to claim his third victory in this year's Giro. The main peloton suffered a
major crash just as they were about to hit the finish line, where several riders
went sliding on the rainy wet asphalt.
”Luckily none of our guys were in the crash and got through the hot and long
stage fine. Tomorrow is a big mountain stage and I know that Andy is very keen
to do well again. He was amazing yesterday and I have a feeling he'll be able to
keep up with the very best again,” said Alain Gallopin
after the stage.
Red Birds Army Ready for Stage 12
At the very end, there was yet another spectacular massive fall involving
Saunier Duval/Prodir´s Riccardo Riccò. The young gun from Modena slightly
scraped his backside and sustained minor bruises, which won´t prevent him from
standing on his bike at the start line tomorrow. The race was marked by French
Mickaël Buffaz (Cofidis)´s day-long move, which could only be neutralized 10
kilometres before the finish line. Tomorrow, riders will be facing the mountains
again in 163-kilometre-long stage 12, from Scalenghe to Briançon, featuring this
Giro´s "Cima Coppi," Colle dell´Agnello (2,744 metres high, at Km. 102.4), and
also the Col d´Izoard (almost 21 kilometres before the finish).
Gilberto Simoni: “Tomorrow´s stage is a
very important race, and we'll try and make the headlines. We've got quite a few
men who could make it: Piepoli, who's perfectly capable of clinching two stage
wins, as he did last year; Riccò, who's shown he's in perfect shape; and even
Mayo, whose 15th place yesterday proves he's getting stronger. As for me, I'd
like to take a stage, but the Giro isn't just the first stages, and it's wise to
think of the GC above all”..
Riccardo Riccò: “The race tomorrow will
be a different war, one that can shake the GC as it stands. As we did two days
ago, we'll struggle for victory, and maybe this time it's my turn. However,
tomorrow we'll all ride for Simoni so if I attack, it'll be because my captain
has given me the green light”.
Iban Mayo: “I´m getting stronger, but from now
until the end of this Giro, I know my role is to help Simoni, who seemed to me
to be in one of his best days yesterday. So far, this edition of the Giro hasn't
revealed an absolute leader. Thus, it's teams that can make a real difference.
Piepoli has been fantastic, and Riccò has done what we expected him to do. The
third week will be my turn, you'll see”.
Getting ready for the mountains in the Volta a Catalunya
Australian rider Allan Davis (Discovery Channel) has finally got his first win
this season in Tàrrega, after 4 hours and 29 minutes of racing in 182-kilometre
stage 3 of the 87th Volta a Catalunya, besting compatriot Baden Cooke (Unibet.com)
and stand-out Italian sprinter Daniele Bennati (Lampre-Fondital).
All the members of the SAUNIER DUVAL-PRODIR´s yellow squad were part
of the leading bunch. Very early in the day, at Km. 3, José Antonio López (Andalucía-Cajasur),
Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis), Paolo Bossoni (Lampre-Fondital), Julián Sánchez
Pimienta (Relax-GAM), and Javier Cherro (Fuerteventura-Canarias) produced a
breakaway that Anthony Geslin (Bouygues Telecom) joined 10 kilometres further
down the road.
The breakaways were caught in the final kilometre.
Tomorrow´s race is the Volta´s queen stage: 203 kilometres from Tàrrega to
Vallnord-Arinsal, in Andorra. Before reaching the finish line, riders will have
to climb five GPM ascents: Alt Solsonés (cat. 2, at Km. 38), Coll de Jou (cat.
1, at Km. 83), Coll de Port (cat. 1, at Km. 109), Alt de la Comella (cat. 1, at
Km. 183), and Alt de la Massana (cat. 2, at Km. 192).