Pink Pinotti fades

The race leader's Maglia Rosa slipped out of Marco Pinotti's hands on the slopes of Santuario Nostra...

The race leader's Maglia Rosa slipped out of Marco Pinotti's hands on the slopes of Santuario Nostra Signora Della Guardia. Pink Pinotti showed well over the last few days and confirmed his earlier prediction that the Santuario would be his last moment in the lead. Noè started the day 28" down and finished 3'39" up on Pinotti, enough to give the campaigner his second career Maglia Rosa and push the Bergamasco out of the spot light.

The first hours of yesterday's stage was run at a blistering pace. "It was a hard stage," noted Pinotti in La Gazzetta dello Sport. "There was never a flat metre. ... Before the escape of six went we were going around fifty kilometres per hour, and still at 170 kilometres to the finish. Then, luckily, there was some calm and the situation stabilized."

Pinotti, back in the magenta colours of T-Mobile, is now ninth overall, 3'11" behind Noè.

"On the last climb we were going hard right away, like the line was only two kilometres later, not nine," he continued. "At the start I tried to just float at the back, and then I took my own pace to come in without dying. The last two kilometres I backed off some; I was dead."

Pinotti spent four days in the Maglia Rosa. "The fans encouraged me and applauded. It made me really happy. I am a little sorry for them; it was an honour to be in the jersey. Everyday at the bus the people would say 'bravo' or 'grazie.' Maybe they saw and appreciated my suffering.

"But this is a strange Giro. We are half-way through and there have already been so many surprises."

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