| The longest stage of the Giro turned out to be just another transitional one. Under the escort of team Telekom, protecting the Maglia Rosa of Jens Heppner, the peloton kept most of its aggressive spirit hidden, even though the pace was a brisk one.
And today was yet another opportunity for a group of fugitives to go ahead and try their luck. But who would of thought of three sprinters attacking the peloton. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa), Fabrizio Guidi (Coast) and Massimo Strazzer (Phonak) were the instigators for the day, going up the road and having a maxium lead hovering at 4'30" with 45kms. But once team Telekom had done enough of the pace making, other teams went to the front to bring back the break. Lampre, Saeco, Gerolstiner and Rabobank sent troops to the front to drive hard, while Guidi decided to leave his two companions and try a solo effort, just like Rik Vebrugghe (Lotto) had done yesterday. Today though, the break was not going to succeed and the peloton was "compatto" with 4kms to go.
Enter the Kelme team, who had both a bad and good day. Bad because Santi Perez crashed and had to go to hospital for a checkup. And good, or better yet, excellent, because Aitor Gonazalez won the stage, attacking on the last kilometer and holding on to his 4 second gap over the peloton.
Tomorrow will be a wierd day at the Giro de Italia, with the expected release of Steffano Garzelli's second test results. Lets hope the racing will go on.
Total coverage of tomorrow's stage, right here