Mark Cavendish lost the pink jersey and leadership of the Giro d?Italia after being caught behind a crash just over 10 kilometres from the end of Monday?s third stage.
Alessandro Petacchi of LPR Brakes won for the second day in a row to take the pink jersey from the British rider.
The British Columbia-Highroad rider was in a small chase group with his team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen but after a fruitless chase he cracked as a result of the pursuit and sat up on a small hill inside the final three kilometres.
Up ahead LPR Brakes did not wait for anyone and had things under control before Marzio Bruseghin of Lampre tried to attack. This was his home stage and he got a huge cheer but he did not last for long. Then Giovanni Visconti of ISD had a go as he approached the final kilometre. He stayed in front until the final few hundred metres before the sprinters took over.
Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) surged first but Petacchi, in his purple points competition leader?s jersey, was the strongest in the uphill sprint, holding off Tyler Farrar of Garmin and Francesco Gavazzi of Lampre.
Cavendish finished in a chase group, 1-25 behind Petacchi. He was both angry and bitterly disappointed at the finish. He refused to speak and rode off to the team bus. He later said: ” I’ve hurt my wrist but I think nothing is broken. I hope the team can reclaim the maglia rosa in the next days.”
Until those dramatic final ten kilometres, it was a Giro d?Italia stage in the old tradition, with the peloton taking it easy for much of the day, while five breakaway riders slogged away at the front.
Giuseppe Palumbo (Acqua & Sapone), Yurij Krivtsov (AG2R), Mauro Facci (Quick Step), Bjorn Schroder (Milram) and Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha) attacked early on but were caught with about 25 kilometres to go as they were on the first of two big finishing loops around Valdobbiadene.
Liquigas set the pace on the little hills on the finishing circuit to keep things under control.
With just over 10 kilometres to go, there was an attack from Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) and Davide Malacarne (Quick Step), who were then joined by Andriy Grivko (ISD), followed by Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank). Levi Leipheimer (Astana) also attacked the peloton.
Just as all that was happening, a crash in the centre of the bunch brought half the peloton to a standstill. It was an innocuous crash on a straight but narrow section of road. However, it split the bunch to pieces.
Up ahead, a little group including Levi Leipheimer (Astana) found itself clear. Behind, the bunch was in bits. The notable riders to miss out on the front portion of the bunch were the pink jersey holder Cavendish and overall contender Denis Menchov of Rabobank.
Cavendish had Boasson Hagen with him in the small chasing group, but with four kilometres to go, they were still off the back. It was a tall order because not only would Cavendish have to regain contact with the bunch, he?d also have to make his way right to the front of the in time to contest the sprint. In the end, Cavendish sat up on the hill three kilometres from home and came in with the next big group.
Tomorrow?s stage features the first uphill finish of the race, as they head to San Martino di Castrozza in the Dolomites. It?s not a hard mountain stage, but the bunch will split up in the final 40 kilometres and anyone who is not going well could lose significant time on the final climb.
Stage three: Grado?Valdobbiadene, 198km
1. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) LPR Brakes in 4-45-27
2. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Slipstream
3. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre
4. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quick Step
5. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre
6. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Silence-Lotto
7. Oscar Gatto (Ita) ISD
8. Michael Rogers (Aus) Columbia-Highroad
9. Anders Lund (Den) Saxo Bank
10. Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone all same time.
37. Chris Froome (GB) Barloworld at same time
80. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 1-25
85. Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia-Highroad at 1-25
108. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 1-25
134. Charly Wegelius (GB) Silence-Lotto at 2-50
138. Ben Swift (GB) Katusha at 2-50
151. Daniel Lloyd (GB) Cervelo at 4-11
164. Ian Stannard (GB) ISD at 5-42
189. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Cervelo at 10-49
General classification after stage three
1. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) LPR Brakes in 8-50-06
2. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Slipstream at 8secs
3. Michael Rogers (Aus) Columbia-Highroad at 18secs
4. Thomas Lovkvist (Swe) Columbia-Highroad at 18secs
5. Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana 31secs
6. Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR Brakes at 40secs
7. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Astana at 44secs
8. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana at 44secs
9. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) ISD at 45secs
10. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre at 52secs
24. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas at 1-11
31. Chris Froome (GB) Barloworld at 1-25
32. Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia-Highroad at 1-29
50. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 1-49
122. Ben Swift (GB) Katusha at 4-34
129. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 5-00
137. Charly Wegelius (GB) Silence-Lotto at 5-34
140. Daniel Lloyd (GB) Cervelo at 6-00
146. Ian Stannard (GB) ISD at 6-50
174. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Cervelo at 12-09
Christian Vande Velde crashed heavily and later ended up going to hospital, his 2009 Giro finished
After being caught up in a crash 10km from the line, Cavendish struggled to get back to the lead group
Alessandro Petacchi claims his second 2009 Giro win, and the pink jersey
|Find the pink jersey competition|
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Find the jerseys throughout the Giro and you would win a £400 Parker International voucher.
18 pink jerseys will be hidden around the Cycling Weekly and Parker International websites over the course of the three week race – all you have to do is decipher the clues at the end of the stage reports to find them.
Monday, May 11. Clue number three:
Find the jersey in the CW profile of a female rider who competes in BMX and on the track
Today’s jersey is on www.cyclingweekly.com
|Giro d’Italia 2009 links|
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
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