Giro d’Italia stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson>>

Alessandro Petacchi (LPR Brakes) has won the second stage of the 2009 Giro d’Italia this afternoon, denying Mark Cavendish (Columbia) his first chance of solo stage victory.

Having sat on Cavendish’s wheel on the run-in to the line, Petacchi came around the Manxman in the final few hundred metres of the stage. For once, Cavendish simply couldn’t accelerate to catch him, giving the Italian his first taste of Giro glory since his last stage win in 2005.

Ben Swift (Katusha) came in third, giving Britain two places on the podium and the exciting prospect of another Brit able to contest bunch finishes at this level of competition.

It was a nervous finale around the winding streets of Trieste which saw the bunch fragmented as riders were held up on the narrow roads. Cavendish’s Columbia team rallied to bring their man to the front, with Mark Renshaw giving Cavendish the perfect tow to the line – or so it appeared.

However, Petacchi read the race perfectly and he jumped around Cavendish, even allowing himself space to look around and see his pink-clad sprint rival shout an exclamation of disappointment.

All was not lost. Thanks to his time advantage from Columbia’s victory in yesterday’s team time trial, Cavendish holds on to the race lead and the maglia rosa for another day.

Several of the overall contenders suffered mishaps during the stage. Levi Leipheimer (Astana) punctured on a descent at 65km, but managed to get back up to the group. He eventually lost 13 secs, as did Italian favourite Ivan Basso (Liquigas).

With so little time splitting the top 20 in the overall classification, the stage’s intermediate sprints were hotly contested as the sprinters attempted to gain vital bonus seconds over their rivals.

Cavendish had his eye on Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream), who started the stage only six seconds adrift of the race leader and therefore in reach of grabbing the pink jersey. In the event, Cavendish’s pole position remained safe.

It helped that Leonardo Scarselli (ISD) spent much of the day out on a lone break, and therefore scooped up the top points and time bonuses before the sprinters came through.

Scarselli’s solo effort was inevitably doomed as the bunch – propelled by the sprinters’ teams – reeled him as the race hit Trieste. Still, it gave Scarselli’s ISD squad a nice bit of early TV coverage.

After the media scrum surrounding him in Venice, Lance Armstrong (Astana) looked content to roll along anonymously in the bunch in his first ever experience of a road stage in the Giro. However, his rivals will do well to note that the Texan has moved into the top ten overall…

Tomorrow the race heads from Grado to Valdobbiadene on a 198km stage.

Stage two: Jesolo-Trieste, 156km
1. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) LPR Brakes in 3-43-07

2. Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia-Highroad
3. Ben Swift (GB) Katusha
4. Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step
5. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Slipstream
6. Oscar Gatto (Ita) ISD
7. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre
8. Davide Vigano (Ita) Fuji-Servetto
9. Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre
10. Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick Step all at same time.
42. Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana
44. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at same time
55. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Cervelo at 13secs
69. Daniel Lloyd (GB) Cervelo
85. Ian Stannard (GB) ISD
91. Chris Froome (GB) Barloworld
136. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 1-01
159. Charly Wegelius (GB) Silence-Lotto at 1-04

General classification after stage two
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia-Highroad in 4-04-43

2. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Columbia-Highroad at 14secs
3. Michael Rogers (Aus) Columbia-Highroad
4. Thomas Lovkvist (Swe) Columbia-Highroad
5. Edvald Boassen-Hagen (Nor) Columbia-Highroad at same time
6. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Slipstream at 16secs
7. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) LPR Brakes at same time
8. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Slipstream at 20 secs
9. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at same time
10. Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana at 27secs
42. Ian Stannard (GB) ISD
53. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Cervelo
59. Chris Froome (GB) Barloworld
90. Ben Swift (GB) Katusha
97. Daniel Lloyd (GB) Cervelo
161. Charly Wegelius (GB) Silence-Lotto
170. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Slipstream

Giro d'Italia 2009Petacchi takes stage two, leaving Cavendish to reflect on a missed opportunity

Photos by Graham Watson

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.

Sunday, May 10. Clue number two:
The fastest bib-shorts in town
Today’s jersey is on the Parker International website.

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

Giro d’Italia 2009 links

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

Photo galleries
Stage two photo gallery
Stage one photo gallery

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

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