Ventoso Wins Stage 9 of Giro
Today, another crash-marred sprint occurred at the Giro d'Italia.
Today, another crash-marred sprint occurred at the Giro d'Italia 2012. Francisco Ventoso (Movistar) took this one when Mark Cavendish (Sky), Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEdge), and other riders went down on the stage's last turn (Watch video highlights - U.S. only). Ventoso won Stage 9, a flat, 166-km run from San Georgio nel Sannio to Frosinone, in 3:39:15. Fabio Felline (Androni Giacottoli-Venezuela) and Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack-Nissan) finished second and third, respectively. Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) remains the maglia rosa.
The break of the day formed at 21 km, when Pierre Cazaux (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Brian Bulgac (Lotto-Belisol), and Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil-DCM) escaped. The bunch kept the break on a short leash, and the trio's advantage never reached 5 minutes. When the sprinters' teams went to the front, the break's lead began to fall.
With 32 km left, Keizer dropped his companions. The Dutchman was on a fool's errand. Fourteen km later, the peloton was 0:17 behind him. One km after that, the peloton was together.
Sky upped the tempo. With 5 km remaining, Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) attacked, and the peloton, led by Liquigas-Cannondale and Garmin-Barracuda, rode him down. Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) countered but was reeled in, and Adam Hansen (Garmin-Barracuda) took a dig.
As the race reached the final km, Orica-GreenEdge took command on behalf of Matthew Goss. On the last turn, Pozzato piled into the Australian from behind. The pair and Tomasz Marczynski (Vacansoleil-DCM) hit the deck, and Cavendish and Lucas Haedo (Saxo Bank) went down trying avoid the spill. Ventoso avoided the crash and charged down the left side of the road to win.
Pozzato, who abandoned with a broken right hand, was remorseful about the accident that he caused. "It was my fault," the Italian said. "I was scared when Goss turned into the last bend and I touched the brakes. I apologise for causing the crash. "I hope that Goss, who's a friend, and the other riders have no serious injuries. I hurt my side and I can't move one of my wrists..." As things turned out, Pozzato was the only rider who was badly hurt.
In the overall, Hesjedal leads Rodriguez by 0:09 and Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) by 0:15. Stage 9 will be a rolling, 186-km ride from Civitavecchia to Assisi with an uphill finish. Will Hesjedal keep his pink jersey? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!