Giro d’Italia 2009 stage 17 photo gallery, by Graham Watson>>

Franco Pellizotti won the iconic stage of this year?s Giro d?Italia at Blockhaus to stake his claim for a place on the podium in Rome on Sunday.

The Liquigas rider climbed up to third overall as Carlos Sastre (Cervelo) failed to match the moves when they happened.

Further down the mountain Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes) tried to shrug off the race leader Denis Menchov, but the Russian held firm until the finishing straight. The Rabobank rider just has to negotiate Friday?s stage to Vesuvius and the Giro d?Italia is his.

Di Luca was pipped to second place by Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone), but took third place to get the time bonus, and opened up a little gap over Menchov to cut his overall lead from 39 seconds to 26.

But Di Luca knows he will have to take much more time than that on Friday if he?s to have any chance of winning this Giro because Menchov will be the favourite in the final time trial in Rome.

Sastre and Levi Leipheimer (Astana) all lost time in the short, explosive stage, which was a stark contrast to Monday?s epic, but did more to shake up the overall picture.

The 83-kilometre stage got off to a flying start, with a ten-man move going clear on the flat roads before the climb.

Ruggero Marzoli and Giuseppe Palumbo (Acqua & Sapone), Felix Cardenas (Barloworld), Thomas Voeckler (BBOX Bouygues Telecom), Giovanni Visconti (ISD), Matteo Bono (Lampre), Riccardo Chiarini (LPR Brakes), Mauro Facci (Quick Step), Gonzalo Rabunal and Delio Fernandez (Xacobeo Galicia) got away but as the climb began to bite, they broke up.

The real action was saved for the final third of the climb. Liquigas played their first card when Sylvester Szymd attacked. Shortly afterwards Pellizotti followed and went clear by himself.

Lance Armstrong also attacked, leaving his Astana team-mate Levi Leipheimer to fend for himself. It was the final confirmation that Leipheimer?s podium chances were over.

Pellizotti pressed on and behind him Di Luca attacked, followed by Menchov and Stefano Garzelli.

At the finish Di Luca was denied second place, but the small gap he opened may give him a glimmer of hope that Menchov may crack if placed under enough pressure on Friday.

Ivan Basso climbed up to fourth place as Sastre slipped to fifth. Leipheimer stayed sixth but lost more time.

Stage 17: Chieti ? Blockhaus, 83km
1. Franco Pellizotti (Italy) Liquigas in 2-21-06

2. Stefano Garzelli (Italy) Acqua & Sapone at 42sec
3. Danilo Di Luca (Italy) LPR Brakes at 43sec
4. Denis Menchov (Russia) Rabobank at 48sec
5. Ivan Basso (Italy) Liquigas at 57sec
6. Marzio Bruseghin (Italy) Lampre at 1-54
7. Sylvester Szmyd (Poland) Liquigas at 1-55
8. Michael Rogers (Australia) Columbia-Highroad at 1-59
9. Carlos Sastre (Spain) Cervelo
10. Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana at same time
11. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana at same time
90. Charly Wegelius (GB) Silence-Lotto at 11-53
96. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 11-53
106. Daniel Lloyd (GB) Cervelo at 16-45
135. Ian Stannard (GB) ISD at 16-45
138. Ben Swift (GB) Katusha at 16-45
161. Chris Froome (GB) Barloworld at 16-45
167. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Cervelo at 16-45

Overall classification after stage 17
1. Denis Menchov (Russia) Rabobank in 72-28-24

2. Danilo Di Luca (Italy) LPR Brakes at 26sec
3. Franco Pellizotti (Italy) Liquigas at 2-00
4. Ivan Basso (Italy) Liquigas at 3-28
5. Carlos Sastre (Spain) Cervelo at 3-30
6. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana at 4-32
7. Michael Rogers (Australia) Columbia-Highroad at 7-05
8. Stefano Garzelli (Italy) Acqua & Sapone at 8-03
9. Tadej Valjavec (Slovakia) Ag2r at 9-58
10. Marzio Bruseghin (Italy) Lampre at 10-33
12. Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana at 12-17
33. Chris Froome (GB) Barloworld at 57-28
64. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 1-55-11
95. Charly Wegelius (GB) Silence-Lotto at 2-36-31
122. Daniel Lloyd (GB) Cervelo at 3-05-16
129. Ben Swift (GB) Katusha at 3-11-28
159. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Cervelo at 3-47-24
161. Ian Stannard (GB) ISD at 3-48-11

Giro d'Italia 2009Danilo Di Luca, Denis Menchov, Ivan Basso and Lance Armstrong

Giro d'Italia 2009Franco Pellizotti on his way to a solo stage win

Giro d'Italia 2009Lance Armstrong came tenth today, one ahead of team-mate Levi Leipheimer

Find the pink jersey competition

Find the jerseys throughout the Giro and you could win a £400 Parker International voucher.

Giro d'Italia 200918 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.

Wednesday, May 27. Clue number 14:
Ogio, ogio, oi, oi oi. Go for a trip with this iconic rolling bag
Today’s jersey is hidden on

Full details of CW’s find the pink jersey competition>>

Giro d’Italia 2009 links

Stage reports
Giro rest day review (May 26)
Stage 16: Sastre wins stage to Monte Petrano
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 17 photo gallery
Stage 16 photo gallery
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

Di Luca out to topple Menchov on the Blockhaus
Bruyneel tips Menchov to win Giro
Giro Britannia: A long, hot slog in Italy
Leipheimer: Lance had to wait for me today (Stage 16)
Millar climbs off and heads home from Giro
Basso discovers he has few friends at the Giro (stage 15)
Froome agonisingly close to stage victory (stage 14)
Cavendish quits the Giro d’Italia
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)
Lance and Levi: Ready for Giro time trial
Cavendish: ‘Today brought back memories of San Remo’ (stage 11)
Is Di Luca trying too hard, too soon?
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

Follow Cycling Weekly on Twitter>>