On a summery Thursday afternoon in Riese Pio X, 33 year-old La Spezia speedster Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) avoided a final corner crash to claim his fourth victory in the 18th stage of the Giro d’Italia.
Largely unaided up to the line, Petacchi, seemingly unperturbed after what happened in front of him, closed the gap to Quick Step's Matteo Tosatto with casual aplomb, launching himself down the finishing straight with nearly 600 meters remaining and charged to the line largely unchallenged.
Saunier Duval's climbing king Gilberto Simoni has prevailed again on the wickedly steep slopes of the Monte Zoncolan.
"To have won here on Monte Zoncolan means an enormous amount to me, more than being on the podium," the two-time Giro winner panted at the finish line on Wednesday. "It was important to win a stage, more so that it was the Zoncolan, which is the most beautiful.”
Armed with the cunning – and innate sense of timing – that come from 11 years as a professional, 33 year-old Stefano Garzelli, just as he did three days before in Bergamo, gave a textbook display of controlled aggression Tuesday in Lienz, Austria. The reward? His second victory of the 2007 Giro.
High up the savage slopes of the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo, 23-year-old young gun Riccardo Riccò came of age with a brilliant victory in the 15th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Sunday.
In a show of strength, unity and sportsmanship, the Saunier Duval duo of Riccò and Leonardo Piepoli out-foxed and out-climbed all others on the queen stage of the race in the Italian Dolomites. With arms aloft, Riccò crossed the line just ahead of maglia verde Piepoli, followed by Ivan Parra (Cofidis), 10 seconds adrift, and Mexican Julio Pérez (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare), a further 32 seconds behind.
If Danilo Di Luca expects to ride into Milan a week from Sunday wearing the maglia rosa on the final stage of the Giro d’Italia he’s going to have to fight for it before that. Had there been any doubt about that, it was certainly erased during Saturday’s 192-kilometer ride from Cantu to Bergamo.
In one of the most exciting stages in modern Giro history, Acqua & Sapone's Stefano Garzelli took the fourteenth stage in emphatic fashion Saturday in Bergamo, barely edging out Saunier Duval's Gilberto Simoni and world road champ Paolo Bettini of Quick Step-Innergetic.
Till this 13 kilometer uphill race of truth, surprises have been few at this 90th Giro d'Italia. But Marzio Bruseghin's performance Friday was exactly that.
With nowhere to hide on the slopes leading to the Santuario Di Oropa, 32 year-old Bruseghin defied the odds to win the thirteenth stage and stun everyone including himself with a superlative ride against the clock.
[nid:38705]Liquigas leader Danilo Di Luca has emerged unscathed and on top in the Giro's first big day in the mountains, taking the stage in Briançon and the maglia rosa to boot.
Only five riders finished within 20 seconds of Di Luca, and only two-time Giro champion Gilberto Simoni was able to match him stroke for stroke on the savage slopes of the Col d'Izoard.
This is the Alessandro Petacchi we all remember, the world-class sprinter delivered to the line by a well-orchestrated machine of a lead-out team and fending off a field of the world’s best over the last meters of a stage. It’s enough to make a guy forget the last 12 months.
In a Giro d’Italia that’s being hyped as a showdown between the young guns, a pair of grizzled veterans stole the spotlight in Tuesday’s grueling 250km climbing stage sun-baked mountains above Genova.
Leonardo Piepoli and Andrea Noè, two unsung workhorses in an age of millionaire GC captains, clawed their way to the podium at the end of an explosive battle that saw the end of Marco Pinotti’s pink jersey run.
In a nation that’s produces sprinters like Texas churns out linebackers, Danilo Napolitano hardly rated on the power rankings in the Italian sprinter hierarchy.
All that changed Monday for the 26-year-old Sicilian when he bullied his way past Robbie McEwen (Predictor-Lotto) and Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) to win the 177km ninth stage by a whisker.