What's Cool In Road Cycling

GIRO Stg 9: Fast Freddy Derails Fassa!

There was rejoicing amongst those who were starting to get a bit fed up with the Alessandro Petacchi parade at the Giro. The USA’s Fred Rodriguez (Acqua & Sapone) halted the winning run today with a finely taken sprint win.

Fred unexpectedly emerged out of the mass of wheels hammering at the front, and when Petacchi made his burst for the line, he’d left things a fraction to late. Rodriguez held on for his first win of the season. It was Fred’s first time on top of the Giro stage winner’s rostrum, but it notched him his 30th career win.

The race announcer was really going for it big style, repeating the words: “Fred Rodriguez, Acqua e Sapone” over and over (about 40 times), and Fred really enjoyed his moment with the podium girls and the obligatory champagne. He got a huge cheer, but not quite as big as Cunego got when he pulled on another maglia rosa.

Robbie McEwen had got prime position, sitting on Petacchi’s wheel but he didn’t have it today and got bumped down to 4th place by Furlan. And just to clarify, Petacchi’s a sprint God, and we all acknowledge that here at Pez, but it’s nice to see someone else on the podium.

Very little got the pulse racing early on. In fact, the riders barely got racing either, noodling along at a distinctly ‘piano’ 27.6 km/h. As it was a short stage guaranteed to get the sprinters’ teams hammering along at the end, the bunch just took things rrreeeeaaall easy from the flag.

The pace quickened later on following Damiano Cunego’s puncture – at that point things were so mellow he could have walked back to the peloton. A few kms later, eventually, Rafaelle Illiano (Colombia Selle Italia) got things going, and was joined by De Nardi’s Alessandro Vanotti.

They managed to get to 2 minutes clear, but Fassa Bortolo were being their usual big, bad, blue-and-white selves and didn’t let them get too far.

There was a monster crash at the back of the field with about 30 minutes of racing left, and caused a huge number of splits. A lot of riders seemed pretty bashed up. Unfortunately, Pez diarist Massimo Strazzer was caught up in it, and seemed to be suffering as he was getting a push from a Saunier Duval mate. Hopefully, things weren’t too bad, and we might get Massimo’s take on it later on.

Freddy Gonzalez (Colombia Selle Italia) was involved in a big crash and was taken away in an ambulance, covered in blood from a head knock – no word on his condition yet, but it seems like he’s going to be OK.

A lot of riders were tailed off and got lapped when the bunch sped onto the 12 km finishing circuit.

No change at the top of the overall, so tomorrow’s rest day gives the riders a chance to lick their wounds after the first 10 days, and time to figure out the tactics for the mountains to come. Updated times to come.

Giro d’ Italia Stage 9 Results
Policoro – Carovigno 142 km

1 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Acqua & Sapone 4hrs 4′ 38″
2 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
3 Angelo Furlan (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi
4 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto
5 Jan Svorada (Cze) Lampre
6 Andris Nauduzs (Lat) Domina Vacanze
7 Marco Zanotti (Ita) Vini Caldirola
8 Robert Forster (Ger) Gerolsteiner
9 Simone Cadamuro (Ita) De Nardi
10 Alexandre Usov (Blr) Phonak all same time

Giro d’ Italia Overall Classification after Stage 9

1 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Saeco 41hrs 59′ 15″
2 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco + 10”
3 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi + 28”
4 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago + 31”
5 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Margres + 52”
6 Serguei Gontchar (Ukr) De Nardi + 1’ 08”
7 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Fassa Bortolo + 1’ 10”
8 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola + 1’ 15”
9 Andrea Noe’ (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi + 1’ 17”
10 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Saeco + 1’ 29”

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