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Giro d'Italia 2009

Date range:
May 9-31, 2009
  • Giro d'Italia, Italy, GT
  • Stages Expand the race menu
    • Stage 1

      Distance:
      20.5km
      Start location:
      Lido di Venezia
      End location:
      Lido di Venezia
    • Stage 2

      Distance:
      156km
      Start location:
      Jesolo
      End location:
      Trieste
    • Stage 3

      Distance:
      198km
      Start location:
      Grado
      End location:
      Valdobbiadene
    • Stage 4

      Distance:
      162km
      Start location:
      Padova
      End location:
      San Martino di Castrozza
    • Stage 5

      Distance:
      125km
      Start location:
      San Martino di Castrozza
      End location:
      Alpe di Siusi
    • Stage 6

      Distance:
      248km
      Start location:
      Bressanone/Brixen
      End location:
      Mayrhofen (Aut)
    • Stage 7

      Distance:
      244km
      Start location:
      Innsbruck (Aut)
      End location:
      Chiavenna
    • Stage 8

      Distance:
      209km
      Start location:
      Morbegno
      End location:
      Bergamo
    • Stage 9

      Distance:
      163km
      Start location:
      Milano Show 100
      End location:
      Milano Show 100
    • Rest day

      Start location:
      Cuneo
      End location:
      Cuneo
    • Stage 10

      Distance:
      262km
      Start location:
      Cuneo
      End location:
      Pinerolo
    • Stage 11

      Distance:
      214km
      Start location:
      Torino
      End location:
      Arenzano
    • Stage 12

      Distance:
      60.6km
      Start location:
      Sestri Levante
      End location:
      Riomaggiore
    • Stage 13

      Distance:
      176km
      Start location:
      Lido di Camaiore
      End location:
      Firenze
    • Stage 14

      Distance:
      172km
      Start location:
      Campi Bisenzio
      End location:
      Bologna (San Luca)
    • Stage 15

      Distance:
      161km
      Start location:
      Forlì
      End location:
      Faenza
    • Stage 16

      Distance:
      237km
      Start location:
      Pergola
      End location:
      Monte Petrano
    • Rest day

      Start location:
      Chieti
      End location:
      Chieti
    • Stage 17

      Distance:
      83km
      Start location:
      Chieti
      End location:
      Blockhaus
    • Stage 18

      Distance:
      182km
      Start location:
      Sulmona
      End location:
      Benevento
    • Stage 19

      Distance:
      164km
      Start location:
      Avellino
      End location:
      Vesuvio
    • Stage 20

      Distance:
      203km
      Start location:
      Napoli
      End location:
      Anagni
    • Stage 21

      Distance:
      15.5km
      Start location:
      Rome
      End location:
      Rome
  • Race history

May 22, Stage 13: Lido di Camaiore - Firenze 176km

By far the fastest in Firenze: A hat-trick for Cav On GC, it's the hunted after the hunter

By:
Anthony Tan
Published:
June 03, 2009, 10:48 BST,
Updated:
June 03, 2009, 13:59 BST

Stage 13 - Friday, May 22: Lido di Camaiore - Firenze, 176km

Perhaps there is some part of Mark Cavendish that isn't quite human.

Because three kilometres from the line, three jerseys from a team of his Garmin-Slipstream rival Tyler Farrar were driving the peloton. At this point, Cavendish was a further seven wheels back.

Because two kilometres from the line, a pair of Garmin-Slipstream riders was still at the head, a Quick Step rider behind them. At this point, Cavendish was about five or six wheels back.

And with one thousand metres left in Stage 13, it was one Garmin, one Quick Step and one Barloworld at the head of affairs.

After 174 kilometres, Cavendish still wasn't where he should have been.

But in those last 50 seconds, the tide began to turn for Cavendish's Columbia-High Road.

All of a sudden, Cavendish had two riders, Edvald Boasson Hagen and Mark Renshaw, steer the Manxman through the confusion.

Elbows were nudging. Handlebars rubbing. Wheels almost touching. And then, it was Farrar who began looking for a wheel – searching but not finding. However, LPR's Alessandro Petacchi was right there, sitting pretty on Cav's wheel.

But when Renshaw dropped off his captain that yesterday turned a year older, the newly-turned 24-year-old accelerated with such force, he left behind the two-wheeled world of the Giro d'Italia for dead, Petacchi submitting to his might well short of the line and finishing second. Allan Davis (Quick Step), Robert Hunter (Barloworld) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin - Slipstream) finished third through fifth.

Whichever way you look at it, one has to concede that on Friday in Firenze, Cavendish was the fastest by far.

"I'm super, super happy," said a widely smiling Cavendish, who seems to enjoy doubling up on his adjectives.

"It was certainly the most difficult [stage so far] in the run-up to the sprint. I think a lot of teams are getting quite desperate right now. But I'm lucky I've got guys who are super, super dedicated," he said, his Tuscan home town of Quarrata just 20 kilometres away, where his girlfriend and tifosi came to watch him take his third trick.

"I told the guys it's a special stage for me, and they put me in a good position. I can safely say I've got the best lead-out man in the world in Mark Renshaw," he said of the stocky Australian from country New South Wales, who well may come into his own one day.

"He [Renshaw] was there [for me]; we didn't take the sprint like we have in previous stages – we kept cool, we sat back."

Again lambasting himself for his "lazy" effort in Trieste, the finish of Stage 2 that was won by arch-rival Petacchi – there appears to be no harsher critic of Cavendish than Cavendish himself – he told the press in Florence he had to "take this sprint on, and not be complacent".

"The reason why I'm so professional about the sport is because I love it," he said.

Three convincing individual stage victories. For this Centenary Giro, his job is done. Soon – some may say now – it's time to think about what he can do at the Tour de France. But with no real sprint stages left, why continue?

"We'll see tonight [whether I continue]. I want to go on… I'll speak with my team. I want to try and stay for as long as possible, but I've got other objectives for the year," Cavendish said.


Menchov intends to hold onto maglia rosa

For the new maglia rosa – once the hunter – and his mates fighting for pink in Rome, things start to get interesting from Saturday onwards. All the favorites for the overall stayed out of trouble on the mostly flat stage today, causing no changes in the general classification. Rabobank's Denis Menchov retained his lead over former maglia rosa Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini) and Levi Leipheimer (Astana).

"We know that LPR and Astana are very motivated and specialise in these kinds of races," said Menchov, "but my team is improving every day and I am very confident.

"I came last year in good but not optimal condition, so I knew I could do better. I wanted to do better.


For the new maglia rosa – once the hunter – and his mates fighting for pink in Rome, things start to get interesting from Saturday onwards. All the favorites for the overall stayed out of trouble on the mostly flat stage today, causing no changes in the general classification. Rabobank's Denis Menchov retained his lead over former maglia rosa Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini) and Levi Leipheimer (Astana).

"We know that LPR and Astana are very motivated and specialise in these kinds of races," said Menchov, "but my team is improving every day and I am very confident.

"I came last year in good but not optimal condition, so I knew I could do better. I wanted to do better.


"In the coming days, there are four riders in my team I can especially count on: [Maarten] Tjallingii, [Mauricio] Ardila, [Laurens] Ten Dam and [Dmitry] Kozontchuk. There aren't so many stages from now till the finish, so it's better to keep the jersey and stay with Di Luca as much as I can [in the mountains]," he said.

Does luck play a role? Will Menchov attempt to call upon the power of pink jersey when the going gets tough, just like the maillot jaune does in France?

The Russian gave his typical humble smile. "It's always important to have some luck. The head and legs are important, but I think in a race like a big tour, every piece of luck is important."

From now, it is a case of the hunted – that being Danilo Di Luca and Levi Leipheimer – after the hunter.


Could this be summer in Sydney?

Temps at the start in Lido di Camaiore felt like a Sydney summer's day: the mercury approaching 30 Celsius by the 13:15 kick-off, humidity high, a light sea breeze, and within walking distance, the beach whose sands met with the cool blue of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Aah, bella Toscana…

With a massive 25 percent time cut in Thursday's Cinque Terre time trial, there were a few who had fresher legs than those who went à bloc (all out) in their fight for the overall, and after 12km, a trio of fugitives took flight: Leonardo Scarselli (ISD), Mikhail Ignatiev (Team Katusha) and Björn Schröder (Team Milram).

51km in, the three had built a 3:50 advantage, extending their lead to a maximum 5:20 over the day's sole GPM at Montemagno. Menchov's Rabo boys were content to control the peloton till those with a sprinter in their teams – namely, LPR, Columbia and Garmin-Slipstream – smelled the finish and food in artful, flavourful town that is Florence.

40km from the finish and 2:40 away from the fire-breathing peloton, our trio would have faced better odds placing their dosh on a three-legged horse at the racetrack where the press room was located; although this Friday, the horses were stabled and the dogs kennelled.

8km later, Milram's Schröder decided to go solo as Scarselli and Ignatiev fell back in his wake, the bunch shaving another minute between them. The German did well to hold on as long as he did, but the reality was that he was only delaying the inevitable, caught inside 6km to go.

Oh – and speaking of foregone conclusions…