Pete Stetina put up another impressive ride in the mountains to finish 19th on the stage to Sestriere, virtually securing him 22nd place overall in his first grand tour.
Speaking to Cyclingnews immediately after reaching the finish, the 24-year-old American was tired but happy. The Garmin-Cervelo team had again given him the freedom to ride his own race and he finished ahead of team leader Christophe Le Mevel.
In the overall classification Stetina is just one place behind Sweden's Thomas Löfkvist (Team Sky) and has a comfortable lead on Jan Bakelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto), who is at more than six minutes. Riders of the calibre of Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) and 2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre (Geox-TMC) are both behind him.
Stetina is a former mountain biker and enjoyed the dirt roads of the Colle delle Finestre but admitted he is ready for a vacation after three hard weeks of racing. He hopes completing the Giro will give him extra strength and endurance for the second half of the season.