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Parra powers to #2; Di Luca closes in

By:
Anthony Tan
Published:
May 23, 2005, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 20, 2009, 23:56 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News for May 23, 2005

In a carbon copy to the previous day, 29 year-old Selle Italia-Colombia rider Ivan Parra won his...

In a carbon copy to the previous day, 29 year-old Selle Italia-Colombia rider Ivan Parra won his second stage in almost identical fashion, leaving his early breakaway companions behind on the steep slopes of the Passo di Foscagno to claim yet another historic day in the Dolomiti.

2005 has become a breakthrough year for the brother of Tour de France star Fabio Parra, who waited six years before his moment of glory in Ortisei on Saturday. However, not only is it a breakthrough for Parra, but also for his team, who were awarded one of just two wildcard entries in the 2005 Giro - the other being Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, they too enjoying a buon Giro.

"I didn't hope for this win; last night, I was very emotional and I slept little," said Parra after the stage, who was naturally overwhelmed with his recent spate of success.

"The objective of the day was to guarantee [José] Rujano's victory in the mountains classification. I suffered a little on the [Passo dello] Stelvio due to the strong rhythm of Rujano. On the final climb, I was very tired indeed, but I found a little energy and I attacked. A special salute to everyone of Colombia; I am very proud to be a Colombian," he said.

The other big news of the day was the fall of Team CSC's Ivan Basso, whose stomach problems deteriorated overnight, sapping his energy for the second 200 kilometre-plus day in the mountains. In a show of team spirit, however, his team-mates did not desert their leader, and escorted Basso to the finish over half an hour in arrears, as the 27 year-old battled mind over matter.

A last-ditch effort by Gilberto Simoni (Lampre-Cafitta) on the final climb, taking Juan Manuel Garate (Saunier Duval-Prodir), Emanuele Sella (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare) and Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas-Bianchi) with him - and notably leaving behind the isolated maglia rosa of Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel) - also caused a small but significant stir on the classifica generale. By the finish in Livigno, the quartet distanced themselves over the gruppo maglia rosa by 27 seconds, allowing Di Luca to move to within half a minute of the lead.

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