Petacchi Wins Stage 5 of Giro
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) has won Stage 5 of the Giro. Petacchi bested Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) and Bernhard Eisel (La Francaise des Jeux.com) to win the 176-km run from Messina to Catania in 4:54:43. Petacchi remains the maglia rosa.
The early pace was slow. That changed on the climb to Portella Mandrazzi (95.6 km), where John Fredy Gonzalez (Selle Italia) attacked. Ignacio Gutierrez (Kelme) joined him, and the pair forged a three-minute lead with 50 km left.
Domina Vacanze and Lotto chased, and Fassa Bortolo and CCC joined later. Daniele Pietropoli (Tenax) bridged up to Gonzalez and Gutierrez, but the bunch caught the break with 13 km left. Fassa Bortolo, Domina Vacanze, Lotto, La Francaise des Jeux.com, and Team Fakta took over at the front to set up their sprinters.
With four km left, a crash took down Isaac Galvez (Kelme), Angelo Furlan (Alessio), Moreno Di Biase (Formaggio Pinzolo Fiave), Brett Lancaster (Panaria), Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo), Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre), and Pavel Tonkov (CCC). At the front, Domina Vacanze took over. With 500 m remaining, Giovanni Lombardi (Domina Vacanze) was leading out Petacchi, with Cipollini on Petacchi's wheel. Petacchi charged into the lead, and the Lion King attempted to come around him, failing by two cm.
In the overall, Petacchi leads Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola) by 0:49 and Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) by 0:59. Tomorrow will be the Giro's first rest day. Stage 6 will be a 218-km ride from Maddaloni to Avezzano that should end in a bunch sprint. Who will take the day's honors? Petacchi? Cipollini? McEwen? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!
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