Giro d'Italia shorts: Lelli suspended for a day, Betancur switches focus to stage wins

Lelli suspended from the Giro d'Italia for a day

Former Cofidis rider Massimiliano Lelli has replaced Paolo Savoldelli as one of Italian television's expert motorbike commentators at the Giro d'Italia. However he was disqualified from following stage five of the race to Abetone after race judges alleged that he had helped riders return to the peloton during the hilly stage to La Spezia.

Lelli is expected to return to his role on stage six to Castiglione della Pescaia as the stage passes near his home in the southern Maremma region of Tuscany, where Lelli trained with the likes of David Millar and Marco Pantani during his career.

Betancur reassesses goals after losing more time

As the three big favourites for this year's Giro d'Italia raced up the road, Carlos Betancur found himself, for the second day running, unable to follow the pace. It was, however, an improvement on the previous stage where Betancur came home more than 13 minutes behind the leaders.

"They were two very different stages. Personally, I think that I had good sensations," he said, according to Biciciclismo, after yesterday's stage.

The Colombian is AG2R-La Mondiale's de facto leader after Domenico Pozzovivo crashed out spectacularly on stage 3. He's had a disappointing season so far with no victories yet and, now over 15 minutes behind the new race leader Alberto Contador, Betancur admits that his fight for the general classification is over and he must look elsewhere for success.

"We have to wait and see how my body recovers and we are there for the final week," he explained. "I think that the sensations are good and during the Giro I will get better. Those three are very strong, now we must look at stages."

Aru ups his cadence to save energy

Gazzetta dello Sport has revealed that Fabio Aru has worked on his pedalling cadence during the winter to be more efficient and use less energy on the climbs of the Giro d'Italia.

"Analysing the date from mountain finishes and his training climbs from last year, we saw that Aru's cadence was 89/90 rpm," Aru's coach Maurizio Mazzoleni told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"This year it is up to 90/92, while his rivals have a cadence of between 86 and 93 rpm. To improve it we've worked a lot on improving his pedal stroke, both in the gym and on the road during climbing efforts. A better and more agile pedal action is more efficient, allowing a bigger saving of muscle glycogen."

Visconti and Haga Strava data for stage 5

Stage five of the Giro d'Italia was another tough one for the peloton as the teams of the race favourites set a punishing pace on the front. The riders were in the saddle for just over four hours with some coming home over 20 minutes behind the stage winner Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida). Following the stage, several riders took to Strava to post their data from the challenging stage.

Giovanni Visconti, who was in the previous day's break, worked hard for his teammate Beñat Intxausti in the peloton before getting distanced on the final climb. The Italian averaged 347 watts over the 4 hours 10 minutes he spent on the bike and averaged 36.1 kph in that time.

The American Chad Haga (Giant-Alpecin) had a very different day out to Visconti. The Giro d'Italia debutant had an extra 19 minutes on the bike, averaging 258 watts throughout the stage.

Take a closer look at each rider's details below.

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