McEwen Wins Stage 10 of Giro
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon) has won his third stage of the 2005 Giro d?Italia. McEwen took a bunch sprint to win Stage 10, a flat, 212-km run from Ravenna to Rossano Veneto, in 5:29:21. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) finished second, and Stuart O?Grady (Cofidis) took third. Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas) remains the maglia rosa.
Warm, sunny conditions greeted the riders. Probably because the first mountain stage will take place tomorrow, the pace was pedestrian. At 102 km, Rafaele Illiano (Selle Italia) made the day?s first attack. Fassa Bortolo kept him on a short leash, and Illiano?s lead maxed out at 2:00. With 30 km left, the bunch reeled him in.
Shortly after Illiano was absorbed, Basso and some other riders missed a traffic circle and went off of the course. The CSC team captain broke spokes in his front wheel and had a few anxious moments, but his teammates shepherded him back to the bunch.
On the first of three finishing circuits in Rossano Veneto, T-Mobile, Cofidis, Quick Step, and Fassa Bortolo waged their usual war for position. Fassa Bortolo won the war and put Petacchi in a position to win. However, with 50 m remaining, McEwen passed Petacchi on the right and threw his bike to take the day?s honors.
In the overall, Di Luca leads Basso by 0:09 and Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel) by 0:35. Stage 10 will probably change the standings. The 150-km ride from Marostica to Zoldo Alto will be the first Dolomite stage. The stage will feature four major ascents: Passo di Cereda (1,369 m at 93 km), Forcelle Aurine (1,299 m at 105 km), Passo Duran (1,601 m at 131 km), and the 12-km finishing climb (1,514 m). The stage will separate the contenders from the pretenders. Who will prevail? Basso? Defending champion Damiano Cunego and two-time champion Gilberto Simoni (both from Lampre)? Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel)? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!