Friday, May 15, 2009

Boasson Hagen wins wet Chiavenna sprint

Edvald Boasson Hagen captured the wet and wild sprint at the end of the Giro d'Italia's stage back into Italy Friday. The team Columbia Norwegian snatched the win over escape companions Robert Hunter (Barloworld) and Pavel Brutt (Katusha) following 244 kilometres, starting in Innsbruck, Austria, and ending with a technical and wet descent off the Passo Maloja.

The Passo Maloja helped form the final escape move of five with Alessandro Bertolini (Diquigiovanni). Boasson Hagen, Hunter, Brutt and Davide Viganò (Fuji-Servetto) joined the Italian on the 36-kilometre descent.

Boasson Hagen, 21, won this year's Gent-Wevelgem Classic.

An early escape of four – Bartosz Huzarski (ISD), Mauro Facci (Quick Step), Sergey Klimov (Katusha) and Vladimir Isaichev (Xacobeo Galicia) – stayed away for just over 200 kilometres. Their move started at kilometre zero and ended right before the top of Passo Maloja.

Italian Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini) stayed well protected in the main group to keep his race leader's maglia rosa. He leads with five seconds over Swede Thomas Lövkvist (Columbia-Highroad) after six days of racing.

The lead of di Luca will come under fire Thursday, stage 12, when the riders face a 60.6-kilometre time trial in Cinque Terre. The time trial could suit Australia's Michael Rogers (Columbia-Highroad), third at 36 seconds, or Levi Leipheimer (Astana), fourth at 43 seconds.

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