Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Franco Pellizotti Rules The Blockhaus

Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) moved himself into a position to make the final podium by winning stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia. On the 83 kilometre stage from Chieti to the mountain-top finish of the Blockhaus, he stormed away from the group of favourites, leaving Carlos Sastre behind on the relentless climb. His teammate Ivan Basso also moved ahead of Satre in the overall classification.

Stefano Garzelli out-sprinted Danilo Di Luca for second place, 42 seconds behind Pellizotti, while race leader Denis Menchov followed six seconds later in fourth.

Menchov remains in the race lead, holding a 26-second advantage over Di Luca and 2:00 ahead of Pellizotti.

Pellizotti attacked on the lower slopes of the 23.5-kilometre Blockhaus climb and steadily built a 50-second lead over a four-man chase group containing local favourite Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini), maglia rosa Denis Menchov (Rabobank), teammate Ivan Basso and mountain classification leader Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffe Mokambo).

An acceleration by Di Luca in the closing kilometres dropped Basso and Garzelli, but Garzelli was able to recover and regain contact with Di Luca and Menchov. Di Luca and Garzelli managed to open a slight gap over Menchov as they sprinted for second place honours.

The shortest of Giro d'Italia road stages began with a 10-rider break containing Ruggero Marzoli and Giuseppe Palumbo (Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo), FĂ©lix Cardenas (Barloworld), Thomas Voeckler (BBox Bouygues Telecom), Giovanni Visconti (ISD), Matteo Bono (Lampre - N.G.C.), Riccardo Chiarini (LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini), Mauro Facci (Quick Step), Gonzalo Rabunal and Delio Ferandez (Xacobeo Galicia).

The escapees reached the 23.5-kilometre ascent of the Blockhaus with a 2:00 advantage over the peloton and quickly splintered under the impetus of Voeckler and Cardenas. The Colombian soon found himself alone at the head of the race before being absorbed by the GC favourites with approximately 15 kilometres remaining to the summit finish.


1 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas 2.21.06
2 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo 0.42
3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini 0.43
4 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 0.48
5 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas 0.57
6 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C. 1.54
7 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas 1.55
8 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Columbia - Highroad 1.59
9 Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana
10 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervelo Test Team

General classification after stage 17

1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 72.28.24
2 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini 0.26
3 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas 2.00
4 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas 3.28
5 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervelo Test Team 3.30
6 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 4.32
7 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Columbia - Highroad 7.05
8 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo 8.04

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