After Daniele Bennati, also Mr. Alessandro Petacchi
managed to add
his name to the Tour of Sardinia's stage winners list. The LPR-Farnese
sprinter clinched Saturday's windy final leg, from Carbonia to Cagliari
over 149 kilometres, ahead of the same Bennati (Liquigas) and young Manuel
Belletti (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli), with dual
stage winner Mirco Lorenzetto in fourth place. It was AleJet's second
victory of the season, the first one coming at GP Costa Etruschi exactly
three weeks ago.
Bennati may have lost the battle to his chief rival today, but
certainly not the war: the Tuscan became overall champion of the event
ahead of stage three winner Oscar Gatto (ISD) and rainbow jersey holder
Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-N.G.C.). Needless to say, it was his first ever
GC triumph in a stage race.
Alessandro Ale Jet Petacchi wins in Cagliari - with rival
Daniele Bennati on his wheel.
The Liqui-guy unsurprisingly finished atop the points classification
too while Poland's Przemyslaw Niemec was crowned King of the Mountains and
the aforementioned Oscar Gatto seized the best young rider's title.
The final journey through the island's streets was first animated by
the five-man breakaway of Francesco Masciarelli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè
Mokambo), Michele Scarponi (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni
Giocattoli), Giovanni Visconti (ISD), Massimo Giunti (Miche-Silver Cross),
and Przemyslaw Niemiec (Miche-Silver Cross) as only non-Italian. They
launched their attack at km 25 after a previous move by Visconti's
team-mate Andriy Grivko met no success, and gained up to 03'08" on the
field by km. 67; but ended up being caught (at km. 103) by the pack, that
broke into different echelons because of the wind as the finishing line
was getting closer.
The 38 frontrunners - amongst them all top fastmen but Mattia Gavazzi -
were leading a chase group of twenty-five by 45 seconds with half a dozen
kilometres left. But also the lead group splintered, with Alessandro
Ballan, Mirco Lorenzetto and Ukraine's Volodymyr Zagorodny (Lampre-N.G.C.),
Daniele Bennati (Liquigas), Michele Scarponi (Diquigiovanni), Lorenzo
Bernucci, Alberto Ongarato and AleJetPetacchi (LPR-Farnese Vini) as well
as Michal Golas (Pol - Amica Chips-Knauff), Giovanni Visconti (ISD) and
Andrea Moletta (Miche-Silver Cross) as the only leaders for some time.
The peloton on the first climbs of the day on the hilly parcours.
Efforts from the pursuers got their proper reward and the groups got
together again. Much less successful was some late solo attempt by Paolo
Tiralongo, who was quickly swallowed up into the field. It was written in
the stars: the time for the first duel of Petacchi and Bennati had finally
come. And you all know how it finished...
What had AleJet to say after getting back to (a well-needed)
success? The following: "If I have to lose a sprint, then I like it to
happen at the line, and not because I can't contest it, or due to
some mistakes. I think I did a good sprint today, better than at
Donoratico, also because the cobbled street and the hedwind made it
harder. But the team was just sensational. Sure also this stage was tough,
first because of the challenging parcours in its early part, later due to
the strong winds, so strong that at some point just about ten of us
remained up front. I had some hard times the past days, because of both
the route and the fact that I've raced so little this year, but things got
better lately, and I'm happy about that. The more I race, the better I fel".
And again: "of course there's a bit of rivalry between me and Bennati.
He's an excellent rider; he's still young, but showed how much he has
improved. It's an honour for me to beat him, and viceversa; but instead of
hyping such rivalry the (Italian) media should be glad to have two
strong Italian sprinters that can beat foreign stars like Cavendish,
Nearing the line, from the left: Vorarlberg's Daniel Usiol, Mirko
Lorenzetto, Ale-Jet Petacchi, Daniele Bennati and Manuel Beletti.
On with Daniele Bennati's comments: "Sure there's s some kind of
rivalry between us. But it's not a war. My rivals are very good riders and
I must respect them all. I'm not the "stage race type", you know, and this
contest was not that easy, so I really didn't think that I could win the
overall. Success came as a pleasant surprise to me. Still, I had to work
hard a lot today in order to maintain the jersey, so hard that I couldn't
be a real match to Petacchi in the sprint. My team-mates struggled and
worked a lot too, I'm extremely thankful to them. Now I'm going to race
the Eroica the next Saturday: I checked the finale part of the route, and
it's basically on my home roads. I think that, with such good form, I can
have something to say in that race".
We wrap up our Tour of Sardinia 2009 coverage with the hope that we
wouldn't have to wait another twelve years in order to have a new edition
of the event, and with a few words from Alessandro Ballan: "My
current condition is fine: I tried to come up with something today, along
with my team-mates, but we couldn't keep things from coming down to a
sprint finish, and Petacchi from showing that he still is the boss here".
click the image above for bigger profile.
Alessandro slips into the points leaders jersey.
Stage 5 (Carbonia to Cagliari, 149 km) - Top 10
1. PETACCHI, Alessandro (ITA - LPR-FARNESE VINI) - 03h33'00"
2. BENNATI, Daniele (ITA - LIQUIGAS) - s.t.
3. BELLETTI, Manuel (ITA - DIQUIGIOVANNI-ANDRONI) - s.t.
4. LORENZETTO, Mirco (ITA - LAMPRE-N.G.C.) - s.t.
5. MUSIOL, Daniel (GER - VORARLBERG-CORRATEC) - s.t.
6. KHALILOV, Mykhaylo (UKR - FLAMINIA-BOSSINI) - s.t.
7. RICCIO, Bernardo (ITA - FLAMINIA-BOSSINI) - s.t.
8. BOLE, Grega (SLO - AMICA CHIPS-KNAUF) - s.t.
9. MUTO, Pasquale (SMR) 1980 MIE MICHE-SILVER CROSS) - s.t.
10. RICHEZE, Mauro Abel (ARG - CSF GROUP-NAVIGARE) - s.t.
Daniele Bennati rides to the podium after the finish.
Tour of Sardinia: Final GC - Top 20 Places
1. BENNATI, Daniele (ITA - LIQUIGAS) - 20h14'17"
2. GATTO, Oscar (ITA - ISD) - at 12"
3. BALLAN, Alessandro (ITA - LAMPRE N.G.C.) - at 16"
4. DEL NERO MONTES, Jesus (SPA - FUJI-SERVETTO) - at 18"
5. VISCONTI, Giovanni (ITA - ISD) - at 18"
6. BOLE, Grega (SLO - AMICA CHIPS-KNAUF) - at 22"
7. GOLAS, Michal (POL - AMICA CHIPS-KNAUF) - at 22"
8. BERNUCCI, Lorenzo (ITA - LPR-FARNESE VINI) - at 27"
9. MUTO, Pasquale (ITA - MICHE-SILVER CROSS) - at 28"
10. GARCIA RENA, Rodrigo (SPA - MICHE-SILVER CROSS) - at 28"
11. GIUNTI, Massimo (ITA - MICHE-SILVER CROSS) - at 28"
12. CAMUSSA, Piergiorgio (ITA - TEAM PIEMONTE) - at 28"
13. FINETTO, Mauro (ITA - CSF GROUP-NAVIGARE) - at 28"
14. PIETROPOLLI, Daniele (ITA - LPR-FARNESE VINI) - at 28"
15. SCARPONI, Michele (ITA - DIQUIGIOVANNI-ANDRONI) - at 28"
16. NIEMIEC, Przemyslaw (POL - MICHE-SILVER CROSS) - at 28"
17. CIONI, Dario David (ITA - ISD) - at 28"
18. MASCIARELLI, Francesco (ITA - ACQUA & SAPONE) - at 28"
19. AGNOLI, Valerio (ITA - LIQUIGAS) - at 01'52"
20. LORENZETTO, Mirco (ITA - LAMPRE N.G.C.) - at 01'57"
Points: 1. BENNATI, Daniele (ITA - LIQUIGAS)
KOM: 1. NIEMIEC, Przemyslaw (POL - MICHE-SILVER CROSS)
Young Riders: 1. GATTO, Oscar (ITA - ISD)
Tour of Sardinia: All Winners
1958 Antonin Rolland (Fra)
1959 Rik Van Looy (Bel)
1960 Jop De Roo (Bel)
1961 Emile Daems (Bel)
1962 Rik Van Looy (Bel)
1963 Arnaldo Pambianco (Ita)
1964 Vittorio Adorni (Ita)
1965 Rik Van Looy (Bel)
1966 Jacques Anquetil (Fra)
1967 Luciano Armani (Ita)
1968 Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1969 Claudio Michelotto (Ita)
1970 Patrick Sercu (Bel)
1971 Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1972 Marino Basso (Ita)
1973 Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1974 Rik Van Linden (Bel)
1975 Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1976 Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel)
1977 Freddy Maertens (Bel)
1978 Knut Knudsen (Nor)
1979 not held
1980 Gregor Braun (Ger)
1981 not held
1982 Giuseppe Saronni (Ita)
1983 Gregor Braun (Ger)
1984-1995 not held
1996 Gabriele Colombo (Ita)
1997 Roberto Petito (Ita)
2009 Daniele Bennati (Ita)
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