The best form of defence is often to attack and Danilo Di Luca showed he is not scared of any of his rivals in the Giro d?Italia during today’s stage 10.

The three-week race has still to reach the half way point and the decisive 60.6km time trial in the Cinque Terre, but Di Luca threw caution to the wind and attacked on the descent of the late Pra Martino climb.

Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas), Carlos Sastre (Cervelo) and Denis Menchov (Rabobank) joined him but then he powered away again on the short climb near the Pinerolo cemetery to win alone in the pink jersey and take the 20-second stage winner?s time bonus.

Pellizotti, Sastre and Menchov only lost ten seconds, but Ivan Basso (Liquigas), Levi Leipheimer (Astana) and Michael Rogers (Columbia), lost 29 second.

Menchov is now second at 1-20, Rogers is third at 1-33, Leipheimer is fourth at 1-40 and Basso is fifth at 2-03. Thomas Lovkvist (Columbia) lost 1-39 and slipped to eighth overall. With a far more solid lead, Di Luca is hoping he can keep the maglia Rosa even after Thursday?s time trial.

?The gaps are more important now. This morning I had 13 seconds, now it?s more than a minute. We?ll see if I can keep the pink jersey after the time trial,? Di Luca said, confident as ever.

He quickly refuted the idea that he is going too deep, too often and too early in the Giro.

?The other guys could be a threat later and emerge later but I don?t think they?ve been holding back either. They gave everything at Alpe di Suisi just like I did,? he said.

?I?m as strong as in 2007 but this year I?m two years older. That doesn?t mean I feel older but that I?m wiser. I?ve two more years of experience. Things are going well so far. I?m not worried about fading because all of my rivals could fade too. There isn?t a final week in the Dolomites and climbs like the Zoncolan climb. This year the Giro is different and it?s an important factor.?

?Today was different because there wasn?t a decisive climb. We were all together on the big climbs; it was the descent that made the difference. I raced it like a classic.?

Di Luca predicted that Wednesday?s stage to Arenzano will end in a sprint or be decided by breakaway as the overall contenders save their energy for Thursday?s time trial.

?I think the time trial will be a good fight between Leipheimer, Lovkvist, Rogers and Menchov,? he predicted.

?And let’s not forget Armstrong. He pulled for most of the first climb today and it was the toughest of the stages. He?s looking better and better.?

?I?m hoping to defend the pink jersey because the time trial isn?t for specialists. If it were a flat 50km time trial, I?d lose five minutes. Hopefully it will be a lot less on Thursday.?


Giro d’Italia 2009 links

Stage reports

Stage 10: Di Luca lays down the gauntlet

Giro rest day review (May 18)

Stage nine: Cavendish blitzes rivals to win in Milan

Stage eight: Siutsou makes it two in a row for Columbia-Highroad

Stage seven: Boasson Hagen takes treacherous stage

Stage six: Scarponi wins longest stage with big break

Stage five: Menchov wins mountain battle as Di Luca grabs the pink jersey

Stage four: Di Luca denies Soler on the line; Lovkvist takes pink jersey

Stage three: Cavendish loses pink jersey after being caught behind late crash

Stage two: Petacchi denies Cavendish the stage win

Stage one: Cavendish in pink as Columbia prove their point to Garmin

Photo galleries

Stage 10 photo gallery

Stage nine photo gallery

Stage eight photo gallery

Stage seven photo gallery

Stage six photo gallery

Stage five photo gallery

Stage four photo gallery

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one photo gallery

Desktop wallpaper photos

News

Wiggins loses time in the Giro (stage 10)

Armstrong and Basso say sorry for Giro protest

How are the Giro favourites doing?

Cavendish says ‘I’m addicted to winning’

Riders stage go-slow protest during Giro stage in Milan

Cavendish cool before Milan sprint

No sympathy for Armstrong from Giro boss

Boasson Hagen celebrates his birthday early

Cavendish overjoyed for Boasson Hagen

Armstrong ‘livid’ at dangerous Giro stage

Astana riders wear faded kit in protest over unpaid wages

Armstrong sees Leipheimer in pink

Giro news round-up: 14 May

Wiggins: ‘I can’t keep smashing away on the climbs’

Wiggins eyes top 20 finish overall

Armstrong after Giro stage 5: ‘That was hard’

Cavendish looking for Giro revenge

Armstrong happy with stage four performance

Lovkvist will fight to keep Giro lead

Giro could be last race for Armstrong’s team

Vande Velde crashes out of Giro

Petacchi claims he didn’t know of Cavendish crash

Cavendish struggles to find consolation in pink jersey

Petacchi: I’ve been working out how to beat Cav

I’m wearing pink on behalf of the team, says Cavendish

Wiggins ready to win Giro team time trial

Friday, May 8: Giro news round-up

Cavendish out to topple Garmin in Giro team time trial

Team time trial start times

Cycling Weekly’s Giro d’Italia top ten prediction

Brits in Venice for Giro presentation

Armstrong overshadows overall favourites at Giro presentation

Armstrong confident of finding new sponsor for Astana

Armstrong working to save Astana team

Wiggins in top form for Giro

Garmin Slipstream kitted out for Giro opener

Dan Lloyd gets late Giro call-up

Armstrong’s special Giro bikes unveiled

Daniel Lloyd overlooked for Giro ride

Cummings and Thomas not selected for Giro d’Italia

Cavendish tests Giro form at Tour of Romandie

David Millar confirms he’s riding in 2009 Giro

Bennati to take on Cavendish in Giro 2009 sprints

2009 Giro d’Italia to start in Venice

Evans and Silence-Lotto disagree on Giro 2009 ride

Armstrong to ride 2009 Giro

Tuttosport reveals 2009 Giro d’Italia route

Dolce & Gabbana design new Giro jersey

2009 Giro d’Italia guide and features

Find the pink jersey competition

Giro d’Italia 2009: The Big Preview

British riders to have led the grand tours

CW’s Giro top ten prediction

Brits in the Giro 2009

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

CW Classic: the 1987 Giro d’Italia


2008 Giro d’Italia archive

Giro d’Italia 2008 coverage index – race reports, photos, results

From rule Britannia to cruel Britannia

Giro 2008: The final word on this year’s race

Brits at the 2008 Giro: photo special

Five days to go, what’s in store?

Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 27)

Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 19)

Giro d’Italia 2008 preview

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