Posts tagged ‘Giro d’Italia 2009’
Following his victory in the Giro d’Italia Denis Menchov has moved to the top of the UCI’s World Calendar rankings, relegating former leader Heinrich Haussler to third, while Allan Davis moves up to second. Menchov had been previously unclassified in the rankings.
Danilo Di Luca is another big mover on the standings thanks to his second place overall in the Giro. He moves 120 places, from 127th to seventh, while Stefano Garzelli moved up 18 places to enter the top 10.
With four stage victories in the Giro, Cervélo TestTeam now leads the teams standings, followed by Caisse d’Epargne and Quick Step. Following its national tour, Italy is currently the most dominant nation, with Spain and Australia sitting second and third respectively.
Rankings as of June 1, 2009
Individual 1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 218 pts 2 Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step 205 3 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Cervélo Test Team 197 4 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli 194 5 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne 188 6 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 188 7 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Lpr Brakes Farnese Vini 188 8 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Silence-Lotto 187 9 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffè Mokambo 170 10 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne 169 Teams 1 Cervélo Test Team 608 pts 2 Caisse D'Epargne 571 3 Quick Step 558 4 Team Columbia - High Road 531 5 Team Katusha 500 Nations 1 Italy 847 pts 2 Spain 823 3 Australia 612 4 Belgium 503 5 Russian Federation 479
Three days from Rome and on an overcast Thursday afternoon where scores of white sheep clouds smothered the percorso in hazy shades of blue-grey, an escape found success at the 92nd Giro d’Italia as the favourites for the overall title rested their legs as best as they could.
Given the road that lies ahead, where on Friday, after a 164-kilometre slog around the ankle of Italy’s boot, the riders finish atop Mount Vesuvius – most likely in ones, twos and threes – the eighteenth stage was a clearly a case of polarised objectives for the 171 remaining soldiers left in this Centenary Giro.
On one hand, there was a bunch of blokes who knew they had no more than two opportunities left to win a stage in a race where, so far, only six teams have tasted the overly sweet spumante that accompanies victory. When sixth stage victor Michele Scarponi of Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni took his second win Friday in Benevento following another 100 kilometre-plus breakaway, still only six teams have tasted success.
Though surely, after two incredibly arduous escapes in a Grand Tour raced at the highest level, it’s lopped off a year or two off the 29-year-old’s life?
“Haha!” Scarponi first laughed with the shrill of a school-kid – one who has just heard the 3 p.m. afternoon bell ring, allowing him to run home and ride his bike with his friends.
If you tried saying his name ten times over, you might find your tongue twisted. But if there’s one rider to remember for the future, it’s Friday’s winner of the Giro’s seventh stage to Chiavenna, Edvald Boasson Hagen.
The 21-year-old – who is two days short of his 22nd birthday – Norweigan’s physical features and pathway to success bears an strong resemblance to that of his countryman, Thor Hushovd, 10 years his senior.
In height, they’re within two centimetres of each other, though Hushovd has a few kilos on him. Both have been national road and time trial champions, their natural strength soon translating to field sprints and Belgian Classics-style road races. And while Hushovd’s palmarès is littered with many more victories of note, Boasson Hagen’s April victory in Gent-Wevelgem this season – coming seven years earlier than Hushovd – demonstrated he’s got the goods to emulate – perhaps even surpass – “The God of Thunder”.
On a freddo (cold) day and wet, winding, pericoloso (dangerous) descent, Boasson Hagen and four others took massive risks to bridge to lone leader Alessandro Bertolini of Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni, who had won this way before.
Out of the lead quintet, he was the least experienced and there were two other sprinters to speak of. But this 1.81 metre-tall blond played the last kilometres like a wily, seasoned pro, covering all the moves to ensure victory would come down to a sprint.
Regardless, he must have known he was the strongest – he won by a mile.
1 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Columbia - Highroad 5.56.53 (40.685km/h) 2 Robert Hunter (RSA) Barloworld 3 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Team Katusha 4 Davide Viganò (Ita) Fuji-Servetto 5 Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli 6 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) ISD 0.31 7 Matthew Goss (Aus) Team Saxo Bank 0.40 8 Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step 9 Robert Forster (Ger) Team Milram 10 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Katusha
With the gorgeous seaside town of Trieste providing the backdrop to the 156-kilometre opening road stage of the 2009 Giro d’Italia, LPR’s Alessandro Petacchi – once considered the top sprinter in the world – beat the man who many consider to be the best sprinter in the world.
On the long, wide-open, Riva III Novembre boulevard, it was vintage Petacchi: the 35-year-old from La Spezia choosing to jump a massive 300 metres from the line, arms bent, torso still, chin almost touching the stem, and powering his massive 11-cog down the right-side barriers. Cavendish tried to overtake him, but it was useless: Petacchi 1, Cavendish 0.
“Today [Sunday] was the first real win of the year,” said Petacchi, whose victory punch – his 24th at the Giro – would have delivered a knockout blow, had he been in the ring with the Anglophone.
Speaking of Anglophones, a trio of English speakers rounded out Stage 2’s top five, British rider Ben Swift (Katusha), Aussie Allan Davis (Quick Step) and American Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) third to fifth, respectively.
“Sprints at the Giro, Tour de France and Vuelta are totally different,” said Petacchi. “I didn’t know much about Cavendish; I saw him win Qatar, I saw him win in Milano-Sanremo, but again, Sanremo is very different to stage races. I wanted to see if he was that fast.
“I started my sprint really far out,” he continued, describing the finale. “I took a risk doing so but I knew [long sprints] don’t suit his characteristics. Sure, I won easily, but it’s not certain that tomorrow or the next time will be the same.”
Said fifth-placed Farrar, “To be honest, I was just thinking about winning the stage; today, winning and taking the pink jersey were going to be one and the same thing.
“Unfortunately I didn’t quite have the right positioning. It was very wide between about four and two kilometres to go, then there were a few bends and your finishing position was pretty much the position in which you went into those bends. And it was chaotic even before that, coming off the climb. I think that’s perhaps why Columbia went too early, just as we hit the front too early with around three kilometres to go.”
It may have been Petacchi‘s 164th career win, but it’s been a long time coming.
“I wasn’t happy watching the Giro on TV last year,” he said, referring to his suspension last year by the Court of Arbitration for Sport for testing non-negative to asthma medication Salbutamol (which Petacchi has clearance to use), resulting in him being fired from his previous team, Milram. “So to win the first stage at the Giro [after my suspension] is very important to me. I’m really happy to be back.”
1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini 3.43.07 (41.951 km/h) 2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Columbia - Highroad 3 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Katusha 4 Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step 5 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Slipstream
Fourteen of the 18 licensed ProTour teams and six Professional Continental teams have been invited by organizers RCS Sport to this year’s centennial Giro d’Italia from May 9 to 31.
2009 Giro d’Italia teams:
Katusha (Rus), Astana (Kaz), Caisse d’Epargne (Spa), Quick Step (Bel), Rabobank (Ned), Team Columbia (USA), LPR Brakes Farnese Vini (Irl), AG2R – La Mondiale (Fra), Team Milram (Ger), Garmin-Slipstream (USA), BBox Bouygues Telecom (Fra), Acqua & Sapone – Caffè Mokambo (Ita), Lampre-N.G.C. (Ita), Liquigas (Ita), Cervélo Test Team (Swi), Saxo Bank – IT Factory (Den), Silence-Lotto (Bel), ISD (Ita), Xacobeo Galicia (Spa), Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli (Ven),