Mt Etna brings an end to McEwen and Brown's Giro d'Italia

The two ascents of Mt Etna proved too much for veteran Australian sprinters, Robbie McEwen (RadioShack) and Graeme Brown (Rabobank) who both finished outside the time cut.

"Didn't finish on time (way out actually) on Mt.Etna stage," said McEwen via his Twitter feed. "Giro over for me. Haven't felt good at all. Home, recover & rebuild for June."

The pair finished 59:35 down on the time by stage winner, Alberto Contador.

HTC-Highroad's Mark Cavendish was sparred a similar fate, by a margin of just 30 seconds, 33 minutes ahead of the Australians. Cavendish was escorted to the finishline by teammates Alex Rasmussen and Mark Renshaw while Sacha Modolo (Colnago - CSF Inox), Adam Blythe (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Russell Downing (Sky Procycling) and Danilo Napolitano (Acqua & Sapone) were also in the group.

"Well my legs exploded more violently than the f%&king volcano we were racing up today," said Cavendish via his Twitter feed. "Mount Etna. Twice. In 1 stage. Not nice."

Renshaw wasn't impressed either claiming: "That wasn't cycling today, that was going to hell and back... twice."

Two sprint stages remain for Cavendish following Monday's rest day – stage 10 and 12.


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