By Shane Stokes in Barumini
Sunday was another good day for the Liquigas team. The Italian squad rode hard to limit the gains of a breakaway group and held onto the Maglia Rosa, which passed from Enrico Gasparotto to Danilo di Luca. Gasparotto was one of many riders who were held up in a crash in the finale but who were later given the same time, as per UCI rules. However in placing ahead of him on the stage, Di Luca moved to the top of the general classification.
Liquigas' Charly Wegelius gave his assessment afterwards. "It was the kind of day that is simple on paper but is actually not that easy," he said, in between bouts of sneezing caused by the allergies he suffers at this time of the year. "Vanotti and Miholjevic were very strong but unfortunately Pellizotti fell at the end and got a cut on his knee. I think it will be okay, but it was better not to fall off.
"The mood in the team is very good. I think it is what everybody needed to know. Going into the Giro with a team like this means there is a lot of people looking at everything we do. Winning the stage yesterday was good for everybody's confidence," said the Briton, who is riding his fifth Tour of Italy.
Di Luca finished fourth overall two years ago and said prior to this Giro that equalling that is his goal for the race. However, few doubt that in his own mind, he is hoping for more.
When asked if the Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner could take a place in the top three, Wegelius was optimistic but also cautious. "I think so, but it is a long race and anything can happen. You can see from today – it was 200 kilometres and one of our riders fell off. So we will just take it one stage at a time, one kilometre at a time, and see how it goes."