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93rd Giro d'Italia - Stage 5
By Staff
Date: 5/13/2010
93rd Giro d'Italia - Stage 5

 93rd Giro d'Italia - Stage 5
A brave trio defies the sprinters who arrive TOO late to take the glory away from our optimists after 132 km on the attack!

© 210 Gazzetta dello Sport

The breakaway of four races through the San Georgio Lomeillina Village
Photo ©  2010 Fabio

Stage 5  Novara - Novi Liguire, 168 km
Jerome Pineau took the stage out of a breakaway group of three riders that defied the sprinters finishing 4 seconds ahead of the sprinters teams who led the peloton to the line too late.  Pineau of  Quick Step, led compatriot Julien Fouchard and Bbox's Japanese rider Yukiya Arashiro to the finish.

Tyler Farrar and Greg Henderson were the the first to the fast men to finish after our brave trio.

Nothing new on the G.C. side of the matter, with Vincenzo Nibali still in the Maglia Rosa leading fellow Italian and teammate Ivan Basso by 13", with Agnoli in third at 20", and Voss/Greipel pairing coming next at 26 seconds.

raphic © 210 Gazzetta dello Sport

The  three riders were part of a 4 man group that included mountain king Paul Vos of Milram. The quartet attacked the peloton with 132 km to go and built up a maximum gap of over 5 minutes after 47 km on the road. Behind Lampre/Farnese Vini led the chase followed by Liquigas/Doimo and Garmin/Transitions. Lampre was on the chase early to deliver their sprint hero, Ale-Jet Petacchi to the sprint to add to his 22 Giro victory count.

The blu & Fucsia crew proved effective in the task at hand bringing the gap down to 3:10 as they went over the Cat. 3 Avolasca. KOM; but got little help in conducting the chase. With 40 km to go, Arashiro, Voss, Fouchard and Pineau still working well together held on to 3:38 as the approached the entry into the final circuits in Novi Ligure. With 35 km to the finish the quartet continued to maintain their gap at just over 3 minutes... but..

Another view of the escapees...    Photo ©  2010 Fabio

The chase was about to kick up in pace as HTC/Columbia came to the front with Garmin and Lampre closing in on our optimists at 2:50 as we engtered the final 30 kilometers... however, the quartet was not impressed, nor had they lost sight of their goal and continued to press on...

Picking up the race live with 25 km to go, Fabio will provides the live commentary... Vos having accomplished his mission to collect the climbers points to secure his lead as this editions first king of the mountains, Voss sat up and returned to the peloton. The three up front were undaunted by the loss and continued to attack the road ahead. Four Lampre riders lead the chase.

20 km to go - HTC has come to front. Garzelli holding up his hand up, a bad time to flat as the chase gets pumped up.

13.6 km to go, the gap is 01'23" Some ten riders are losing contact to the main field.

A dozen kilometers left. Riders from Garmin and Team Columbia drive the chase, but also a few Rabo-boys are rushing towards the front of the gruppo. The gap hovers around the minute. The leading trio is not giving up the fight at all.

The fast (now riding at 60-70 km/h) peloton, with Lampre no longer in the front spots, went under the 10-to-go banner. They brought the time distance to the breakaway under the minute.

7 km to go for Arashiro and his two fellow escapees. They managed to keep their lead around the minute, regardless of the efforts from Team Columbia and the other sprinter's teams. So don't take a massive sprint finish for granted.

Now it's 5.5 km. left. The three guys keep taking turns. The flying peloton (60 kph) is not making a lot of gains on them. Quite the opposite. The last update says the gap is a good 55 seconds.

last update says the gap is a good 55 seconds. What a difference a thousand meters can make. With 4.5 to go for the leaders, the gap dramatically dropped to 29 seconds!!!

Chasers picked up the pace again, resulting in a further 30 riders getting dropped. Strong headwinds are not playing into the escapees' hands either. Arashiro comes to the front and takes a long pull seemingly doubling his effort.

The unstoppable chase machine, now led by a Team Sky trio, just went under the three-to-go banner, taking the time distance further down to a mere 20 seconds.  Sky are riding like it was a TTT as the stage enters the last mile.

Arashiro attacks! A last try by the Japanese as we're in final kilometer. It could be a vain effort though, the peloton are spread across the road and closing in.

700 meters for Arashiro., Only Pineau tried to resist. All resistances proved futile. Arashiro caught...  But not Pineau ... he passes the Japanese rider... AND WINS!!!


The other Frenchman took second, And the Japanese had to settle with the "bronze medal"

Tyler Farrar leads the big losers of the day home. And today the big losers were the sprinters and their teams. The pursuers failed to catch the leading trio by very few seconds. But that's it. Pineau got back to victory ... after six years. And all the fastest wheels around came out of the stage empty-handed. Period. Pineau also took the Maglia Rossa jersey of points leader for his effort this afternoon.

 A chase too late...
Some polemics between the sprinter's teams came after the finish, with a Lampre team manager complaining about the lack of support his team got in the chase, at least until the last 20-30 kilometers. It didn't take long for Valerio Piva to respond: the HTC-Columbia's DS said that in fact he had sent some men to the front about 50 km. from the finish, with the gap just slightly over three minutes.

In Piva's opinion the chase was real and strong, but ... the three fugitives just went really fast. So instead of blaming the sprinter's teams, he would give credit to the top three finishers, that were great today.

Former riders like Silvio Martinello and Michele Bartoli seemed to agree with Piva, and ex-sprinter Martinello also pointed out the fact that many riders got dropped from the bunch late in the stage as a proof of the true intentions of the pursuers, of the seriousness of the chase.

Alessandro Petacchi wasn't happy at the other sprinter teams' behaviour either. "We (Lampre) did everything we could in order to bring the escapees back. We chased more than all others did, as we were confident in the peloton's chances to catch the breakaway. Maybe also the other sprinter's teams should have been more confident. The peloton knew in advance of the tailwind in the last piece of the stage, and was aware that it would help the fugitives, so I think they should have moved earlier".

 Comments from the stage winner now & New Points leader
Jerome Pineau was born on January 02, 1980. Exactly thirty years after the Heron closed his wings. So how could the Gods of Cycling choose a better winner in a ride paying homage to Italy's greatest sportsman ever?

"Well, I knew of the date coincidence, and when I saw all those Coppi banners on the second hill of the day, the "Passo Coppi" and realized that my legs were okay, I tought it was a sign of destiny" the stage winner said, adding that "In the last five kilometers all I could hear was (team manager) Bramati yelling from the team car! This is the nicest win of my career. I resolved to come to the Giro only three weeks ago."

" I told Luca (Bramati) that this could be the ideal race for me to get back confidence in my chances. And here I am. Quick Step has won two stages out of five in this Giro, we can be satisfied".

Stage 5 Results (top 8)
1. Jerome Pineau (Fra) Quick Step
2. Julien Fouchard (Fra)  Cofidis
3. Yukiya Arashiro (Jap) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
4. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin/Transitions - 0:04
5. Greg Henderson (NZl) Team SKY - 0:04
6. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre/Farnese Vini - 0:04
 7. Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank - 0:04
8. Andrč Greipel (Ger)  HTC/Columbia - 0:04
9. Sebastien Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank - 0:04
10 William Bonnet (Fra)  Bouygues Telecom - 0:04
Full results and photos to come...

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