McEwen takes pink as Petacchi's train upset

It was a stage that was tailor made for Alessandro Petacchi. The speedster from La Spezia could look forward to a four kilometre finishing straight and have his well drilled silver train wind it up so fast that no-one could challenge him. That was the theory, and Petacchi looked good at 1 km to go with two teammates still ahead of him as the sprint into Santa Maria del Cedro wound up on the right hand side of the road. But for the second time in two days, the silver train disintegrated as other teams challenged it. In the end, it was Davitamon-Lotto's flying kangaroo Robbie McEwen who won after choosing Jaan Kirsipuu's wheel to get him to 100m to go, when he performed the coupe de grace. Petacchi was boxed in by then and Isaac Galvez (Illes Balears) and Robert Forster (Gerolsteiner) took second and third.

"It's a complicated sprint when it's four kilometres in a straight line, because even if they ride at 65 km/h, people can always find their way around," said McEwen afterwards. "I managed to find a good wheel in the sprint and I'm very happy to win a stage already in the Giro."

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