Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Di Luca charges To Giro Stage Win

Danilo Di Luca soloed to victory in the Giro d'Italia's longest stage, covering 262 kilometres from Cuneo to Pinerolo, putting some breathing room between himself and his GC rivals. Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) crossed the line 10 seconds later accompanied by Denis Menchov (Rabobank) and Carlos Sastre (Cervelo TestTeam).

The maglia rosa holder was part of an elite chase group which caught race protagonists Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo) and ISD teammates Giovanni Visconti and Andriy Grivko on the ascent of the Pra Martino, stage 10's final categorized climb. Pellizotti put in a powerful attack to crest the summit first with only 11.5 kilometres remaining in the stage. Di Luca pulled out all the stops on the twisting descent into Pinerlolo, making contact with Pellizotti and bringing Menchov, Sastre and David Arroyo (Caisse d'Epargne ) with him to form a leading quintet.

Di Luca attacked the leading group on a short, power climb with three kilometres to go and his four companions had no response. Di Luca time trialled to the finish line sending a statement to his rivals that he's in control of the centennial Giro d'Italia.

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