What's Cool In Road Cycling

Giro Stage 2: Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!

It’s business as usual for the massive Aussie contingent on the Corsa Rosa. Mixing it up at the front, and keeping Ale-Jet grounded, there will be a celebratory glass of the local brew for Lotto-Domo at dinner tonight.

Robbie McEwen lead home 2 other Australians in the top 8 this afternoon, and swapped the rather fetching ‘maglia ciclamino’ for something altogether more pink after a super win over Alessandro Petacchi.

It was a far from clean-cut finish to a slow-starting stage, with riders sprinting all over the road. Jaan Kirsipuu was right up there before fading, and it was every man for himself as the sprinters flew left and right to get by him.

There was a lot of heated debate over Kirsipuu’s activities in the finale, but McEwen dismissed this saying it was a “Sprint correcto!” Kirsipuu looked like he’d shut the door on Cooke and Petacchi, but McEwen wasn’t complaining and motored past. Petacchi was closing fast but could only get 4th.

Even Ivan Quaranta was up there after getting dropped (surprise!) on the rise coming into the last 10kms. Possibly another factor in the finish today was that Fassa Bortolo didn’t seem to get their train to full speed – they seemed happy to let CSC, T-Mobile and Lotto mix their men into the front.

Standard Start
There was the standard long breakaway early on. Today’s heroes were: Roy Sentjens of Rabobank; Freddy Bichot (Francaise des Jeux); T-Mobile’s Bram Schmitz; Phillipe Schnyder and Moreno Di Biase from Colombia-Selle Italia; and Gerolsteiner’s Sven Krauss back after his similar escapade yesterday. Their day out in the sun lasted about 130kms.

Alberto Lopez de Munain took a horrid fall, clipping wheels with a Saunier Duval rider. The right side of his face and body took the full brunt of the impact, and he was prone for a long time before he started to move a little, and was moved into the ambulance.

My Italian isn’t too hot, but it sounded like he may have a broken collarbone, skull fractures and facial damage – hopefully I got this wrong. The Italian commentators were mentioning the unfortunate and long-lamented Serse Coppi in the same breath. Fausto’s brother died of injuries sustained in a similar fall in the mid-50s. Hopefully, things will not be so serious for the Euskaltel rider.

Meanwhile, the ‘kangaroos’ continue to jump all over the Giro, with another stage win, and another Maglia Rosa. In this form, you’d put money on McEwen to edge Petacchi next time they sprint for the line.

Robbic Mac looked well-chuffed with himself on the podium, resplendent in his Australian national champs jersey, before getting the maglia rosa and then the ciclamino again – all those clothes ….. is he to the cycling tricot as Imelda Marcos was to footwear?

McEwen said: “I think Kirsipuu had to go from a long way out because he was on the front, so I could wait, and then I went from 150 m. It’s still a complicated sprint when you do 4kms in a straight line. Even if you do 65 kms an hour, someone can still come from behind you to the placings,” before dedicating the win to his little boy, Ewen.

“I’ll try again tomorrow but it is a more difficult finish, so it could be something for Bettini again! There’s a long climb 5 kms from the line … I’ll try to follow and enjoy my day in the Maglia Rosa.”

Stay tuned for more comments from our Italian Bureau chief, Michele Tomasi!

Giro d’Italia Stage 2 Catanzaro Lido – Santa Maria del Cedro, 182 km

1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Domo 4hrs 34’ 47”
2 Isaac Galvez (Spa) Illes Balears
3 Robert Forster (Ger) Gerolsteiner
4 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
5 Baden Cooke (Aus) Francaise des Jeux
6 Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Saunier Duval
7 Stuart O’ Grady (Aus) Cofidis
8 Steven De Jongh (Hol) Rabobank
9 Paride Grillo (Ita) Ceramica Panaria
10 Uros Murn (Slo) Phonak All same time

Overall Classification After Stage 2

1. McEwen 9hrs 45’ 14”
2. Bettini + 18”
3. Petacchi+ 22”
4. Galvez Lopezsame
5. Savoldelli+ 30”

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