Giro d'Italia stage 10 photo gallery, by Graham Watson>>
Danilo Di Luca laid down the gauntlet to the time triallists by winning the long, albeit watered down, mountain stage in the Giro d?Italia.
Thursday?s 61-kilometre time trial is a not only long, but it?s hilly, and although it may not play directly into the hands of the likes of Denis Menchov, Michael Rogers, Ivan Basso and Levi Leipheimer, Di Luca knows he will be at a disadvantage.
So the LPR Brakes rider, who held a slender lead over Columbia?s Thomas Lovkvist and Rogers this morning, seized his moment to attack three kilometres out to win his second stage, gain ten more seconds and also add the time bonus.
Overall, the 2007 Giro champion now leads Denis Menchov by one minute and 20 seconds. The day?s big loser was Lovkvist, who slipped down the general classification.
This 10th stage was supposed to offer a taste of the Fausto Coppi era. Originally the Maddalena, Col de Vars and Col d?Izoard had been on the menu but the organisers changed the route to avoid France. The official reasons given were that there was snow, or landslides, or that there would be a clash between French and Italian radio frequencies, which would play havoc with the race communications. But the announcement was made at the time when Lance Armstrong was having his difficulty with the French anti-doping agency.
What remained was still a very long stage, with two major climbs, the Moncenisio and Sestriere, followed by the smaller, but steep Pra Martino towards the end.
It was a long day of attrition, with the only meaningful action coming in the final 15 kilometres. Before that Stefano Garzelli had been on the attack, but he was caught and passed first by Franco Pellizotti and then by the other overall favourites, on Pra Martino.
Di Luca waited until three kilometres to go before launching his attack to win in pink and extend his overall advantage.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) attacked on the first major climb of the day, the Moncenisio, and quickly gained a healthy lead. For a short time he was joined by a number of other riders, but as the climbs came, he stretched out on his own again.
Behind a brace of ISD riders, Andriy Grivko and Giovanni Visconti, gave chase. On the climb of Sestriere, another group containing Dario David Cioni (ISD), Jose Serpa (Serramenti), Felix Cardenas (Barloworld) and Britain?s Charly Wegelius (Silence-Lotto).
Garzelli crossed the top of Sestriere with a two-minute lead, and enough points to take the green king of the mountains jersey by rights from Danilo Di Luca.
With 25 kilometres to go, the four chasers were caught, and up ahead the two ISD riders, Grivko and Visconti, joined Garzelli. Grivko was quickly dropped as soon as they reached the Pra Martino climb. Visconti and Garzelli?s time in front was coming to an end.
Near the top, Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) counter-attacked from the bunch of favourites, which had shed Michael Rogers and Thomas Lovkvist (Columbia-Highroad) and Lance Armstrong (Astana).
Pellizotti was caught on the descent, and then, with three kilometres to go, Di Luca attacked alone to stamp his authority on the race.
It was LPR?s fourth stage win of the race, and stretched Di Luca?s spell in pink to seven days.
Whether he can defend it in the time trial on Thursday is another matter, but the way Di Luca is climbing and attacking at the opportune moments, he will still be a factor when the mountains resume.
THE GIRO STAGES SO FAR
2. Alessandro Petacchi (LPR Brakes)
3. Alessandro Petacchi (LPR Brakes)
4. Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes)
5. Denis Menchov (Rabobank)
6. Michele Scarponi (Serramenti)
7. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Columbia)
8. Kanstantsin Siutsou (Columbia)
9. Mark Cavendish (Columbia)
10. Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes)
Stage 10: Cuneo ? Pinerolo, 262km
1. Danilo Di Luca (Italy) LPR Brakes
2. Franco Pellizotti (Italy) Liquigas at 10sec
3. Denis Menchov (Russia) Rabobank
4. Carlos Sastre (Spain) Cervélo
5. David Arroyo (Spain) Caisse d?Epargne
6. Juan Mauricio Soler (Colombia) Barloworld
7. Ivan Basso (Italy) Liquigas
8. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana
9. Jackson Rodriguez (Venezuela) Serramenti
10. Michael Rogers (Australia) Columbia-Highroad
13. Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana at 29sec
45. Christopher Froome (GB) Barloworld at 3-29
88. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 12-34
93. Charly Wegelius (GB) Silence-Lotto at 16-54
101. Daniel Lloyd (GB) Cervelo at 24-49
102. Ben Swift (GB) Katusha at 24-49
122. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 26-06
136. Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia-Highroad at 35-12
171. Ian Stannard (GB) ISD at 35-12
186. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Cervelo at 35-12
Overall classification after stage 10
1. Danilo Di Luca (Italy) LPR Brakes
2. Denis Menchov (Russia) Rabobank at 1-20
3. Michael Rogers (Australia) Columbia-Highroad at 1-33
4. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana at 1-40
5. Franco Pellizotti (Italy) Liquigas at 1-53
6. Carlos Sastre (Spain) Cervelo at 1-54
7. Ivan Basso (Italy) Liquigas at 2-03
8. Thomas Lovkvist (Sweden) Columbia-Highroad at 2-12
9. David Arroyo (Spain) Caisse d'Epargne at 2-35
10. Gilberto Simoni (Italy) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni at 2-58
18. Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana at 5-28
31. Christopher Froome (GB) Barloworld at 9-49
42. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 17-39
69. Charly Wegelius (GB) Silence-Lotto at 43-28
116. Ben Swift (GB) Katusha at 1-19-51
121. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 1-23-45
135. Daniel Lloyd (GB) Cervelo at 1-35-00
160. Ian Stannard (GB) ISD at 1-47-47
161. Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia-Highroad at 1-47-59
183. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Cervelo at 1-57-44
Stefano Garzelli's lone attack saw him scoop up more mountains points
See that, you're going up there in a minute
Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and Yaroslav Popovych
Danilo Di Luca launches the attack that would see him win the stage and increase his lead in the overall standing
Di Luca does it - another win for the man in pink
|Find the pink jersey competition|
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.
There's no jersey for today's Giro stage - the competition resumes tomorrow!
Full details of CW's find the pink jersey competition>>
|Giro d'Italia 2009 links|
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
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
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1