McEwen Wins Stage 5 of Giro
Robbie McEwen (Lotto) has won Stage 5 of the Giro d'Italia. The Australian beat Olaf Pollack (Gerolsteiner) and Marco Zanotti (Vini Caldirola) to take the flat, 177-km run from Civitella In Val Di Chiana to Spoleto in 04:24:57. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) remains the maglia rosa.
The stage began at a modest pace. Not until after the Intergiro (104 km), did the riders race aggressively. A side wind forced a split that formed a 14-rider break. Saeco pegged it at 1:20.
At 132 km, Bo Hamburger (Acqua e Sapone), Markus Backstedt (Alessio), Manuele Mori (Saunier Duval), Michael Albasini (Phonak), Thomas Ziegler (Gerolsteiner), and Dean Podgornik (Tenax) dropped their companions. The sextet forged a 1:30 lead over the Fassa Bortolo-led peloton with 30 km left.
Lampre joined Fassa Bortolo, and the bunch reeled in the break with 15 km left. Five km later, Brad McGee (La Francaise des Jeux.com) attacked and took Alexandre Moos (Phonak) and Ruggero Marzoli (Acqua e Sapone) with him. The bunch was having none of it, however, and caught the three easily.
Fassa Bortolo set up its pace line for Petacchi, but Petacchi got boxed in with 500 m left. McEwen powered past Marco Zanotti (Vini Caldirola) into the lead and held off Pollack for the win.
In the overall, Simoni leads teammate Damiano Cunego by 0:13 and Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) by 0:21. Stage 6 should not shake up the GC. It will be a rolling, 164-km run from Spoleto to Valmontone that will probably end in a bunch sprint. Who will win it? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!
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