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Giro d'Italia

Giro notes: Selander seeing Milano; medical report & more

Selander chats with director Viatcheslav Ekimov during Friday's stage. Photo: Graham Watson | grahamwatson.com MACUGNAGA, Italy (VN) – Bjorn Selander started the Giro d’Italia wearing the white jersey of the best young rider following RadioShack’s second-place performance in the opening team time trial stage. Flash forward…

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2011 Giro d'Italia stage 19, Selander and Ekimov
Selander chats with director Viatcheslav Ekimov during Friday's stage. Photo: Graham Watson | grahamwatson.com

MACUGNAGA, Italy (VN) – Bjorn Selander started the Giro d’Italia wearing the white jersey of the best young rider following RadioShack’s second-place performance in the opening team time trial stage. Flash forward nearly three weeks, and the grand tour rookie is almost home.

“I’ve gone through some rough patches here and there. It’s interesting to see where my body’s at after three weeks,” Selander said. “It’s been a learning experience.”

Selander defended his white jersey for the first two stages before ceding it to Roman Kreuziger (Astana) and starts Saturday’s penultimate stage in 127th.

“Stage 15 was a long race, a lot of climbing, that was my hardest moment. If you look at the results of that race, it was pure survival that day,” Selander said. “It’s not over yet. I am still trying to get into a breakaway.”

RadioShack bikes are sporting a special decal to remember Wouter Weylandt, who died in stage 3. Selander said the peloton is riding in unison to remember the Belgian.

“Most of the guys are racing for him. He’s still in our hearts and prayers,” he said.

First win for Tiralongo

Paolo Tiralongo was more than grateful to win Friday’s stage ahead of Alberto Contador.

“We are great friends. We have mutual respect,” Tiralongo said. “He helped me win. He told me it’s the moment to try. He’s a true champion and he’s very important to cycling.”

The victory was the first for Tiralongo, who turned pro in 2000 with Fassa Bortolo. He switched from Lampre to Astana in 2010 after team manager Giuseppe Martinelli was looking for some helpers for Contador.

“Today, a gregario won,” Tiralongo won. “It’s not often that a rider like me gets a chance. The team told me to try. I was in the breakaway yesterday but I didn’t have the strength to make it over the final climb. Today, I thought it was possible. I knew I was good and my form is getting better.”

Thanks to Tiralongo, Astana is securing its grip on the team classification. His breakaway performance widened the lead to rival Movistar to seven minutes and his victory Friday helped Astana to move 10:44 ahead going into Saturday’s stage.

Medical report

20km: crash involving Carlos Sastre (Geox), Craig Lewis (HTC-Highroad), Jos Van Amden (Rabobank), Tom Peterson (Garmin-Cervelo), Sergey Lagutin (Vacansoleil)

170km: crash involving Marco Pinotti and Lewis (HTC-Highroad), Carlos Ochoa (Androni), Luca Mazzati (Farnese Vini), Alexsandr Dyachenko (Astana), Tiago Machado (RadioShack) and Frederik Veuchelen (Vacansoleil) – Ochoa was treated for multiple contusions; Lewis and Pinotti transported to hospital; Pinotti suffered a fracture of the right hip bone and contusion of the right shoulder; Lewis suffered fracture to the left femur, fracture of the eighth and ninth ribs, contusion to right shoulder, contusion of right scapular, laceration to his right elbow. Both will stay overnight in hospital.

Race jury

Illegal feeds in final 20km – 200 Swiss franc fine and 20-second time penalty: David Arroyo (Movistar), Matteo Carrara and Sergey Lagutin (Vacansoleil)

Failure to respect instructions from jury – 200 Swiss franc fine: sport directors Movistar, Vacansoleil and Farnese Vini

Illegal supply of refreshments in peloton – 200 Swiss franc fine: sport director Farnese Vini