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Liberty gets in amongst it

Liberty Seguros went on the attack in today's stage, placing three men in the main break of 21: Koldo Gil, Rene Andrle and Dariusz Baranowski. All were eventually caught by the hungry peloton, with Gil surviving until 5 km to go. "The cooperation wasn't good during the whole stage, because nobody wanted to work with Bettini," said Gil. "It was not in the best interests for Liberty Seguros-Würth, neither for Liquigas and Lampre. It was a nuisance that he was in front."

Gil said that he attacked "because I knew that while Bettini was there, we were not going to succeed, so I sought to create a smaller group, which had the possibility to stay away." But it didn't succeed: "No, I was not lucky in the final kilometres, but I felt good and I am satisfied with my work. Now I must think that the Giro is still very long and that I have to recover from these efforts."

Team manager Manolo Saiz was pleased with the performance of his team. "Today it was not really known what was going to happen, whether Bettini's team would work or if Lampre would do it," said Saiz. "It was the first medium mountain stage and, if it was going to be hard on the first category climb, it was better to have riders ahead. With Bettini in the breakaway, it was impossible that it would succeed, but the most important thing is that the team is OK, has confidence and a great ambience among the riders. I see them with desire to do good things and motivated to help Scarponi. I am satisfied with how everything is going."

At the finish, Liberty's leader Michele Scarponi and the rest of the favourites lost 2 seconds to new leader Di Luca, and Scarponi also lost a position on the GC, moving down to eighth at 41 seconds. Scarponi was buoyed by a visit from his fans: Approximately 50 tifosi, led by Bucco Fabio, the president of the ' Scarponi Fan Club, came to the finish at L'Aquila to cheer Scarponi and promise to return in the Dolomites.

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