Cipollini Wins Second Consecutive Stage, Breaks Binda's Record
Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) has made Giro history.
Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) has made Giro history. The Lion King pipped Robbie McEwen (Lotto) and Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) to win Stage 9, a 160-km run from Arezzo to Montecatini, in 3:41:58. Cipollini's victory made him the sole holder of the Giro stage win record, which Alfredo Binda held at the beginning of the 2003 Giro. The Lion King's victories in Stages 8 and 9 give him 42 career Giro stage wins. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola) remains the maglia rosa.
From the start, the pace was fast. Numerous abortive attacks occurred. At 60 km, Fabio Sacchi (Saeco), Sandy Casar (La Francaise des Jeux.com), Gianni Faresin (Gerolsteiner), Thomas Brozyna (CCC), Vladimir Miholjevic (Alessio), and Marzio Bruseghin (Fassa Bortolo) got clear. With 35 km left, the sextet led the Domina Vacanze-led peloton by 1:50.
Fassa Bortolo, Lotto, and Formaggio Pinzolo Fiave joined Domina Vacanze. The bunch reeled in the break with 20 km left. With nine km remaining, Elio Aggiano (Formaggio Pinzolo Fiave) sallied off of the front, but the peloton was having none of it.
Domina Vacanze led the field to the finish. Petacchi elbowed his way to Cipollini's wheel, and Andris Naudusz (CCC) punched the Italian in the face. After the stage, the judges disqualified Naudusz and penalized Petacchi one minute.
With 500 m left, Naudusz crashed on the last turn and took down Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) and Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) and held up Garzelli. Ahead, Cipollini powered around teammate Giovanni Lombardi and held off McEwen to win.
In the overall, Garzelli leads Simoni by 0:31 and Andrea Noe (Alessio) by 0:54. Stage 10 will not end in a sprint. The 202-km ride from Montecatini to Faenza will feature four Category 2 climbs in the last 100 km. Look for many attacks during the second half of the stage, and expect a small group to fight for the win. Win the stage change the standings? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!
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