Bertagnolli gifted Giro stage win by Cervelo mix up

Bertagnolli Giro 2009 stage 15

Giro d'Italia 2009 stage 15 photo gallery, by Graham Watson>>

Leonardo Bertagnolli (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni) won the 15th stage of the Giro d'Italia today after the previously well-drilled Cervelo Test Team made a complete mess of their tactics.

Bertagnolli was left to ride alone to the finish in Faenza after his breakaway companion Serge Pauwels was ordered to sit up and wait to help his team leader Carlos Sastre.

But embarrassingly for the Swiss team, there was no need for him to wait as Sastre's group was steadily closing in on Ivan Basso who had escaped earlier in the stage. The Italian lies 11 seconds behind Sastre on general classification and it was him that Cervelo were concerned about.

Knowing he was being asked to throw away the stage, Pauwels was at first reluctant to let Bertagnolli ride away. After much discussion with his DS in the team car the Belgian sat up and with just 15 kilometres to go to hold on to a one minute lead over a chasing group of three, Bertagnolli was essentially gifted the stage.

Basso was then brought back by the pink jersey group, that contained Sastre, at the bottom of the day's final descent off the Monte Trebbio, but by the time Cervelo had realised their mistake it was too late.

All Pauwels could then do was ride with the three riders he'd successfully escaped from - Marco Pinotti (Columbia-Highroad), Lars Bak (Saxo Bank), and Marco Marzano (Lampre) - and contest the sprint for second. A sprint he comfortably won.

The Belgian toed the company line when quizzed on the fiasco; ?I was pretty sure to win the stage, but the objective for us at the Giro is to win the Giro with Sastre," he said. "So the directeur sportif told me to wait for him.?

?I followed Bertagnolli down the descent but then I sat up. I?m not disappointed because I?ve got to do what the team tells me to do.?

For Bertagnolli the win came as justification for leaving the troubled Amica Chips team just before this year's Giro.

The Italian's last big win was at the Clasica San Sebastian in 2007, he was subsequently dropped from Liquigas after a disappointing 2008.

This year he has reportedly been paying for his own dope tests to be carried out in order to build up his biological passport, as the Amica Chips team were not taking part in the UCI-instigated scheme.


Having been criticised by Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes) after yesterday's stage, Liquigas went on the attack today.

Ivan Basso was the only GC contender to seriously threaten Denis Menchov (Rabobank) today, but the Italian is obviously riding at a level far below that of 2006 when he won this race at a canter.

Having built up a lead of one minute over the top of the Monte Trebbio, Basso was caught by the bottom of the tight, twisty descent that many thought would trouble Menchov.

He may not be the world's greatest descender, but the Russian looked comfortable all day today, responding easily to Di Luca's punchy attack at the top of the final climb, and staying out of trouble on the way down. But although he looked in control as he neutralised Di Luca, Menchov could start to feel the effects of such efforts if he doesn't start to get more help from his Rabobank team mates.

There are three big stages to come this week, and Menchov can't do it all by himself.


Lance Armstrong's return to professional cycling was an unmitigated success at the beginning of the year, as first the Tour Down Under and then the Tour of California welcomed him with open arms.

Now the seven-times Tour de France winner's plans seem to be coming unstuck.

Having already fallen out with the race organiser Angelo Zomegnan, for his part in last Sunday's rider protest, the American is now embroiled in a battle with the press on the race - he's not talking to them, and they're not quoting his Twitter feed. To make matters worse he's losing yet more time on the favourites.

Today he trailed in a minute behind the pink jersey group with team mate Yaroslav Popovych and an ever-more desperate-looking Damiano Cunego.

True, Armstrong's Giro form was severely compromised by his broken collarbone, but as he slips down the results sheet he may start to struggle to make the impact he wants for his Livestrong campaign if no one reports on him.

When he was winning the Tour de France over and over, he could get away with it. Now it's starting to look a little embarrassing.

And as he attempts to save the Astana team from total collapse, what company will want to throw millions of dollars in sponsorship at a man who deals with any form of criticism by simply shutting up shop.

This is, after all, the man who said in an interview with Vanity Fair last year; "We?re going to be completely transparent and open with the press. This is for the world to see."

Stage 15: Forli - Faenza, 161km
1. Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni 159km in 4-18.34hrs

2. Serge Pauwels (Bel) Cervelo Test Team at 54 seconds

3. Marco Pinotti (Ita) Columbia-Highroad

4. Lars Bak (Den) Saxo Bank all at same time

5. Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre at 56 seconds

6. Sndriy Grivko (Ukr) ISD at 1-27 minutes

7. Mauro Facci (Ita) Quick Step at 1-49 minutes

8. Tadej Valjavec (Slo) Ag2r at 1-51 minutes

9. Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Xacobeo at same time

10. Kevin Seeldrayers (Bel) Quick Step at 1-56 minutes

Overall classification after stage 15
1. Denis Menchov (Russia) Rabobank

2. Danilo Di Luca (Italy) LPR Brakes at 34sec

3. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana at 43sec

4. Franco Pellizotti (Italy) Liquigas at 2-00

5. Carlos Sastre (Spain) Cervelo at 2-52

6. Ivan Basso (Italy) Liquigas at 3-03

7. Michael Rogers (Australia) Columbia-Highroad at 3-05

8. Marzo Bruseghin (Italy) Lampre at 5-26

9. David Arroyo (Spain) Caisse d'Epargne at 6-01

10. Thomas Lovkvist (Sweden) Columbia-Highroad at 6-26

Giro d'Italia 2009

Bradley Wiggins cools off with some ice from the Garmin team car

Giro d'Italia 2009

Denis Menchov looked comfortable all day

Giro d'Italia 2009

Ivan Basso and Stefano Garzelli go on the attack

Giro d'Italia 2009

Carlos Sastre leads the charge

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Giro d'Italia 2009

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Giro d'Italia 2009 links

Stage reports

Stage 15: Bertagnolli gifted stage win by Cervelo mix-up

Stage 14: Gerrans solos to win

Stage 13: Cavendish takes his third Giro win and prepares to head home

Stage 12: Menchov storms to Giro TT win and race lead

Stage 11: Cavendish romps to second Giro stage win

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 15 photo gallery

Stage 14 photo gallery

Stage 13 photo gallery

Stage 12 photo gallery

Stage 11 photo gallery

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


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Froome agonisingly close to stage victory (stage 14)

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Cheeky Cipo sneaks a ride in the Giro

Cavendish: His most important Giro win yet (stage 13)

Comment: Lance vs the press, some things never change

Menchov's first pink jersey (Stage 12)

Wiggins: 'I went too hard at the start' (Stage 12 TT)

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Cavendish: 'Today brought back memories of San Remo' (stage 11)

Is Di Luca trying too hard, too soon?

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Armstrong and Basso say sorry for Giro protest

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Cavendish says 'I'm addicted to winning'

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Astana riders wear faded kit in protest over unpaid wages

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Team time trial start times

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2009 Giro d'Italia to start in Venice

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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

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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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