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Giro ’11 Stage 2: Ale Gets The Cheese!

Race Report: Petacchi pips Cavendish in an all out mad dash on day two. The 244 km mostly flat, easterly course from Alba to Parma looked set to be a sprinters’ affair, and fans were not disappointed as the final 500m served up speed, daring, and controversy in the center of Parma.

A tip of the cap has to go to Sebastien Lang of Lotto, who went away solo near the beginning and built up a lead of up to 18 whopping minutes, spending ѕ of the race out front on his own. Nice ride, Seb!

With 27k to go, it was clear the group was collectively pondering their lead out schedules, although the pace didn’t seem too terribly high.

Marco Pinotti himself, resplendent in the maglia rosa even came to the front to take a turn for odds-on winner Cav.

The little climb at 26 k to go spelled the end for the break of Sebastien Lang, but the somewhat lax chase allowed the immediate counter, led first by the Leo Giordani of Farnese, and that move was quickly followed by the pair of Vacansoleil’s Backelandts and Lotto’s Golas. The field remained spread across the road, apparently unfazed by the trio now away and working together. So much so that another 5 riders bridged to lend a hand, making the break total 8 riders. That could have been a dangerous number, but it seemed some riders were there just for the ride as there was some prodding and gesticulating from the others to share the work a little more evenly.

HTC-Highroad’s Marco Pinotti started the day in Pink…at the end of the day he’d relinquish the jersey to his teammate, Cavendish.

The break was: Jan Bakelants (OLO), Leonardo Giordani (FAR), Michal Golas (VCD), Jerome Pineau (QST), Eduard Vorganov (KAT), Ruggero Marzoli (ASA) und Daniele Righi (LAM).

Regardless, certain riders in the break were driving and the break edged out to 16 seconds. Behind, the group recognized the potential danger and the arrow head got a bit sharper as the chase whipped up in earnest. They were definitely reeling the break in but not too quickly, but up front an accord had been reached as every rider in the break was pulling through and contributing.

Nope, not much going on here.

Your usual suspect teams of Garmin-Cervelo and HTC were at the front doing the bulk of the chasing.

Vorganov of Katusha was shown the door from the breakaway after touching wheels and ejecting himself sideways in a clearly unplanned high speed dismount. The break thusly numbered 7.

The rhythm of the break was disturbed and then by the 8k to go mark, the rest of the break was swept up, with the sprinter’s teams now in full control of the group. Some bunching up led to some leadership roles being swapped. Vacansoleil took a turn around 3k to go. Prior to that Saxo Bank showed some organization and drove the pace. But ever near the front were the usual suspects of Petachhi, Cavendish, and Farrar.

With no true strength in numbers at the front, no major leadout trains were formed, but the pace was high and the front of the group was single file. Riders about 10 wheels back started jockeying up the small cobbled areas that had the elbows bouncing.

A happy Ale-Jet.

Garmin seemed to have taken the lead with 1km to go with 3 riders towing up Farrar. McEwen was lurking closely. Lampre moved Petacchi up to the left of Farrar whose Garmin team all of a sudden went from being totally in control to totally folding up. Cavendish popped out of the left side behind Renshaw to pull nose to nose with the attacking Petacchi, but the little Manxman didn’t have the goods in the end and lost by a half a wheel.

Cavendish was up in arms over the line as it was up to debate whether Petacchi came off his line not once – but twice fading both gently left and right, forcing Cav to also switch his line. The race judges didn’t seem to take fault with the Italian’s sprint despite the gesticulations of Cavendish. Cav shouldn’t be too out of sorts however, as his efforts did earn him the pink jersey to wear tomorrow… a warm consolation for sure.

Alessandro Petacchi was overjoyed with the win, really.

An Italian wins day one of the Giro d’Italia – keep it dialed to PEZ for more of Ed’s Roadside adventures.

Cav was an angry runner-up, but he’ll at least have a Maglia Rosa to make the evening a little more pleasant.

Results: Giro d’Italia Stage 2
1 PETACCHI Alessandro ITA LAM 5:45:40 0:00 20″
2 CAVENDISH Mark GBR THR 5:45:40 0:00 12″
3 BELLETTI Manuel ITA COG 5:45:40 0:00 8″
4 FERRARI Roberto ITA AND 5:45:40 0:00
5 BOZIC Borut SLO VCD 5:45:40 0:00
6 APPOLLONIO Davide ITA SKY 5:45:40 0:00
7 FARRAR Tyler USA GRM 5:45:40 0:00
8 MCEWEN Robert AUS RSH 5:45:40 0:00
9 WEYLANDT Wouter BEL LEO 5:45:40 0:00 4″
10 MONTAGUTI Matteo ITA ALM 5:45:40 0:00

Giro d’Italia GC After Stage 2
1 CAVENDISH Mark GBR THR 6:06:27 0:00
2 SIVTSOV Kanstantsin BLR THR 6:06:39 0:12
3 LEWIS Craig USA THR 6:06:39 0:12
4 PINOTTI Marco ITA THR 6:06:39 0:12
5 BAK Lars Ytting DEN THR 6:06:39 0:12
6 PETACCHI Alessandro ITA LAM 6:06:43 0:16
7 MCEWEN Robert AUS RSH 6:06:49 0:22
8 BEPPU Fumiyuki JPN RSH 6:06:49 0:22
9 POPOVYCH Yaroslav UKR RSH 6:06:49 0:22
10 MACHADO Tiago POR RSH 6:06:49 0:22

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