McEwen Wins Stage 2 of Giro
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon) has won Stage 1 of the Giro d?Italia.
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon) has won Stage 1 of the Giro d?Italia. The Australian took a bunch sprint to win the flat, 203-km run from Mons to Charleroi/Marcinelle in 4:51:40. Olaf Pollack (T-Mobile) finished second, and Paolo Bettini (Quick Step) took third. Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel) remains the maglia rosa .<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
Cold and rain greeted the riders. After a series of abortive sallies, Mickael Delage (Francaise des Jeux), Arnaud Labbe (Bouygues Telecom), Moises Aldape (Panaria), and Raffaele Illiano (Selle Italia) attacked. One km into the escape, Aldape and Illiano crashed and were left behind. Illiano?s teammate Gabriele Missaglia and Benat Albizuri (Euskaltel) bridged up to the move.
At 65 km, the bunch led the break by 6:18. Discovery Channel went to the front of the peloton to ride tempo. The fugitives? advantage steadied at about 6:00.
Just past Ardennes (about 81 km), a train passing a crossing stopped the break. The escapees lost 1:30 to the bunch. At 115 km, 4:35 separated the peloton and the leading quartet.
With 60 km left, Davitamon and Milram took over at the front. At this point, the escapees? lead was 3:00. Twenty-five km later, with the peloton at 1:25 and closing, Delage, Labbe, and Albizuri sat up. Albizuri, however, reconsidered and joined Missaglia.
At 186 km, the bunch reeled in Missaglia and Albizuri. Milram and Davitamon drove the peloton to the finish. Milram led the field into the final four km. McEwen, Pollack, and Bettini battled for Petacchi?s wheel.
With 200 m to go, Alberto Ongarato, Petacchi?s leadout man, slowed. Pollack and Bettini jumped. With 170 m remaining, Petacchi made his move, but McEwen came off of the Italian?s wheel for the win.
In the overall, Savoldelli leads Bradley McGee (Francaise des Jeux) by 0:11 and Jose Enrique Gutierrez (Phonak) by 0:13. Stage 2 might not produce a change of race leadership, but a sprinter will not win it. The rugged, 202-km ride from Perwez to Namur will end with a two-km climb to the fortress in Namur. Who will win the stage? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!