Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) has won the 10th stage of the Giro d'Italia, the final one before the second rest day. On another uphill finish, Pellizotti timed his sprint to perfection to beat his 18 breakaway companions, with Vladimir Efimkin (Caisse d'Epargne) taking second ahead of Liberty's Sergey Yakovlev. Belgian Axel Merckx (Phonak) tried to replicate the feat of his countryman Rik Verbrugghe a few days ago, by attacking with 15 km to go, but was caught with just 150m left. In the overall classification, Pellizotti moved himself up from 23rd to 4th, thanks to a 3'23 gap over the main peloton at the finish.
The breakaway was established after 52km, with 16 riders going clear, being joined by five others, including Pellizotti, later: Franco Pellizotti and Charles Wegelius (Liquigas), Benoît Joachim (Discovery), Sylvain Calzati and Hubert Dupont (AG2R Prevoyance), Jose Luis Carrasco Gamiz, Vladimir Efimkin, Francisco Perez, and Joan Horrach Rippoll (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears), Sergiy Matveyev (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare), Benoît Poilvet (Credit Agricole), Serguei Yakovlev (Liberty Seguros-Würth), Axel Merckx (Phonak Hearing Systems), Theo Eltink and Alexandr Kolobnev (Rabobank), Marco Pinotti, Angel Gomez Gomez (Saunier Duval-Prodir), Jose Serpa (Selle Italia), Giovanni Lombardi (CSC) and Alessandro Vanotti (Team Milram), and Sven Krauss (Gerolsteiner).
The group gained three minutes plus on the peloton, where Lampre took control to protect the interests of Cunego. The chasers were unable to close the gap. With around 30 km to go, the break reduced in size to 19 riders, from which Merckx attacked on the descent with 15 km to go. He gained not much more than 10 seconds, which wasn't quite enough to see him reach the finish in front. Instead, it was Pellizotti with a powerful sprint to win the stage in Peschici.
See also: Stage 10 full results, report & photos and .