Petacchi Wins Stage 15 of Giro
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) has won his eighth stage of this year's Giro. The Italian speedster bested Robbie McEwen (Lotto) and Olaf Pollack (Gerolsteiner) to win the flat, 234-km run from Porec to San Vendemiano in 5:59:52. Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) remains the maglia rosa.
At 34 km, the racing started. Mario Scirea (Domina Vacanze) attacked, and Daniele Righi (Lampre) joined him. Eventually, Giancarlo Ginestri (Tenax) and Russell Van Hout (Colombia-Selle Italia) joined them, and the escapees forged a 10:20 lead by 73 km.
Fassa Bortolo began to chase. With 12 km left, the bunch overhauled the break. Fassa Bortolo took over the finale, fending off a challenge by Acqua e Sapone in doing so. In the last km, Alberto Loddo (Saunier Duval) took a flyer, but he never had a chance. Petacchi pounded up the middle of the road for the win.
In the overall, Popovych leads Sergei Gontchar (De Nardi) by 0:03 and Brad McGee (La Francaise des Jeux.com) by 0:12. Stage 16 will change most, if not all, of this state of affairs. The mountainous, 217-km ride from San Vendemiano to Falzes will feature four difficult ascents before plummeting to the finish. Who will prevail? Popovych? Gilberto Simoni or Damiano Cunego (both from Saeco)? Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola)? A no-hope climber? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!
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