Petacchi Wins Stage 9 of Giro
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) was won Stage 9 of the Giro. The Italian speedster bested Paolo Bettini (Quick Step) and Aurelien Clerc (Phonak) to win the 140-km run from Firenze to Ravenna in 3:15:32. Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas) remains the maglia rosa.
The stage was ridden in warm, sunny conditions. At one km, Sven Krauss (Gerolsteiner), Mads Christensen (Quick Step), and Eric Baumann (T-Mobile) went off of the front. The peloton kept them on a short leash, and the trio led the field by 3:34 at 36 km.
Baumann was dropped on the Muraglione, and Christensen ran into the back of a car on the descent. He was able to rejoin Krauss, however.
Fassa Bortolo rode tempo, and the bunch reeled in the break gradually. With 19 km left, Krauss and Christensen were back in the peloton. The battle for position began, and Fassa Bortolo won it with three km left. With 200 m to go, Petacchi took the lead and was not to be caught.
In the overall, Di Luca leads Ivan Basso (CSC) by 0:09 and Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel) by 0:35. Stage 10 should not change this state of affairs. The flat, 212-km run from Ravenna to Rossano Veneto should end in a bunch sprint. Who will take it? Petacchi? Robbie McEwen (Davitamon)? Erik Zabel (T-Mobile)? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!