One of Ireland's most outstanding riders so far in 2002, Dermott Nally, strikes again: the U23 from the Emerald Isle clinched his third Italian win in a couple of weeks as he took the second leg of the "Giro d'Abruzzo" stage-race.
21-year-old Nally, riding for the Tuscan "Maltinti Lampadari" team and living in Empoli near Florence, outsprinted breakaway companions Alexander Kuchinski (from Belarus) and Giuseppe Romano (Italy) to win the stage both starting and finishing in San Vito Chietino, whose undulating route was appropriate for breakaways. It was Nally himself who launched the decisive attack at the km. 108 mark.
23-year-old Piedmontese rider Guido Balbis (Team Olio Vezza-Brunero-Boeris), winner of stage 1, retained the Overall Lead, although he din't have an easy time as he and his teammates he had to chase the Irish GC threat, and could save his first place only thanks to a powerful cunter-attack in he last 2.5 km.. One more good performance by another foreign sensation: the likely "heir" of Julio Alberto Pérez Cuapio, namely Mexico's Antonio Adalpe Chavez, who was the only one able to stay on Balbis' wheels during the Italian's solo chasing of the leaders in the very final part of the stage.
On Saturday's early morning, the "Vampires" of the FCI (Italian Cycling federation) got to the riders' hotels and conducted blood tests on 76 contenders belonging to 19 different teams. And unfortunately a 21-year-old participant from the Apulia region of Italy wasn't allowed to take the startline, as his ematocrit level was above 50%.
The race ends on Sunday with an interesting 146-km. stage featured by another undulating route, and an uphill finish to the Tollo town.