Vaitkus Wins Stage 9 of Giro in Photo Finish
Tomas Vaitkus (Ag2r) has won Stage 9 of the Giro d?Italia.
Tomas Vaitkus (Ag2r) has won Stage 9 of the Giro d?Italia. Vaitkus became the first Lithuanian to win a stage of the Giro by taking a bunch sprint from Paolo Bettini (Quick Step) and Olaf Pollack (T-Mobile). The Ag2r rider won the rolling, 132-km ride from Francavilla al Mare to Termoli in 3:05:13. Ivan Basso (CSC) remains the maglia rosa .<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
The break of the day occurred at five km. Yuri Krivtsov (Ag2r) and Cyrille Monnerais (Francaise des Jeux) escaped and stayed away until 104 km. On the Guglionesi climb, Robbie McEwen (Davitamon) and most of the sprinters were dropped. The sprinters got back on, but an attack at the front required CSC to chase and bring the field together with ten km left.
With nine km remaining, Matthew White (Discovery Channel) attacked, and Alexander Kolobnev (Rabobank) and Remi Pauriol (Credit Agricole) joined him. Lampre chased down the trio. Milram led the field into the last km.
With 200 m left, Vaitkus burst into the lead. Bettini attempted to pass the Lithuanian along the left-hand barriers, but Vaitkus cut him off. Vaitkus threw his bike to fend off Bettini and Pollack.
In the overall, Basso leads Jose Gutierrez Cataluna (Phonak) at 1:34 and Damiano Cunego (Lampre) at 1:48. Stage 10 will probably not produce a change in the standings. The hilly, 190-km ride from Termoli to Peschici might see a group of no hopers escape from the field and battle for the day?s honors. Who will be in the group? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!