Giro d'Italia

Andrew Hood’s Giro notebook: Pinotti-Cav’ swap pink; Lang’s long day

PARMA, Italy (VN) – Marco Pinotti (HTC-Highroad) was back in his normal team kit after stepping off the team bus following Sunday’s bunch sprint into Parma. The veteran Italian said he enjoyed his lone day in pink. Pinotti spends a day in the leader's jersey. “It was a great…

PARMA, Italy (VN) – Marco Pinotti (HTC-Highroad) was back in his normal team kit after stepping off the team bus following Sunday’s bunch sprint into Parma. The veteran Italian said he enjoyed his lone day in pink.

2011 Giro d'Italia stage 2
Pinotti spends a day in the leader's jersey.

“It was a great day to have the pink jersey. To hear people yell my name, to be riding with the team supporting me. It’s something I will remember all my life,” Pinotti said after the stage. “I knew that I would only have the jersey for one day. What’s most important is that the team won the team time trial and we could keep the jersey. Now we will work to get Mark a victory in the sprints.”

Pinotti opted not to don the full-on, head-to-toe pink outfit favored by some of the race leaders. A pink helmet and gloves was as far as the trained engineer would go.

Cav takes over pink

Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) slipped on the pink jersey after finishing second in the stage to Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre). With a 20-second time bonus, Cavendish took the jersey from Pinotti, who now joins three other HTC riders as 12 seconds back. Petacchi climbed to sixth at 16 seconds back.

Despite the finish-line polemics, Cavendish said he was honored to reclaim the Giro’s leader’s jersey.

“It hasn’t overshadowed the jersey,” Cavendish said. “To wear the pink jersey is an incredible emotion. To wear it in a special year for Italy is even more beautiful, especially after all the work the team did today. We worked solo until Garmin helped in the end, so to keep the jersey on the team is a tremendous honor. They were like motorbikes yesterday and they were like even bigger motorbikes today.”

Cavendish said he would try to defend the jersey going into next weekend’s early mountain stages, but suggested there could be a leadership change as soon as tomorrow’s stage.

“We’ll have to see. I hope to keep it another couple of days. If I don’t, I don’t. Tomorrow’s stage is already difficult,” he said. “We have riders who can achieve something good for 21 days of this Giro. So far, it’s already been a successful Giro and we hope it will continue to be.”

Lang’s green after longest ride

Sebastian Lang (Omega Pharma-Lotto) earned a trip to the podium after winning the King of the Mountain jersey in his long, one-man breakaway effort. He tore off the front early and looked back to find no one following him. In that situation, riders just keep on plugging away.

Lang – which means “long” in German — opened up a 20-minute gap before the sprinter teams started a chase in earnest. His chances of staying clear were almost zero, but he hung on to win the day’s lone rated climb at 210km. He’ll wear the distinctive green climber’s jersey in Monday’s stage

19 TTTs

Saturday’s TTT was the 19th time the Giro d’Italia has contested a team race against the clock in race history. The first was back in 1937 on a 60km course with an average speed of 43.902kph.There were three more TTTs in the 1950s and revived again in the 1980s, which saw a TTT race every year of that decade.

The discipline returned in 2006 and there’s been one every year since. The latest winners have been CSC (2006), Liquigas (2007), Garmin-Chipotle (2008), Team Columbia (2009), Liquigas-Doimo (2010) and HTC-Highroad (2011). The longest TTT in Giro history was 70km in 1983 and the shortest was 12km in 1956. The fastest was in 2006 when CSC averaged 56.860kph.

The jerseys

• Pink: Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) took over the pink jersey from teammate Marco Pinotti and holds a 12-second lead to four of his HTC teammates. American Craig Lewis is third overall at 12 seconds back.

• White: Bjorn Selander (RadioShack) finished safely in the bunch to defend his white jersey that he won in the team time trial when RadioShack rode to second.

• Red: Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) claimed the points jersey lead with 25 points with victory in the stage. Cavendish is second with 20 and Manuel Belletti (Colnago-CSF Inox) third with 16.

• Green: Sebastian Lang (Omega Pharma-Lotto) claimed the green King of the Mountains jersey out of a solo breakaway, taking three first-place points over the day’s lone rated climb at 210km to go.

Medical report

Chris Barton (BMC) crashed “senza conseguenze” at 112km. Thomas Rohregger (Leopard-Trek), Vasil Kiryienka (Movistar) and Jussi Veikkanen (Omega Pharma-Lotto) also crashed without serious injury at 205km. Eduard Vorganov (Katusha) crashed hard out of the day’s breakaway at 234km and suffered cuts and bruises, but was able to finish the race.