Weening wins stage and takes over Giro d'Italia lead

Pieter Weening (Rabobank) rose to prominence with a stage win at the 2005 Tour de France with an uphill two-up sprint in Gérardmer against Andreas Klöden and today he added to his Grand Tour account with a solo victory in Orvieto after a long day punctuated by a dramatic final 40km.

"This is perfect," said Weening after the stage. "Before [the Tour de] Romandie I was already strong - behind my win in the Tour de France this is the second biggest victory in my career.

"I'm really happy and I'll try to defend the jersey for as long as possible. The Giro is already is perfect for me."

The 191km journey from Piombino to Orvieto signified a return to racing for the Giro peloton after two days of drama - for all the wrong reasons, however. The death of Wouter Weylandt in an accident during stage three ran fresh in the minds of the riders and the stage started without Weylandt's Leopard Trek teammates and close friend Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervélo).

Farrar's British teammate David Millar started the day in the race lead but would lose the maglia rosa by day's end after a stage he'll most likely want to forget. The overall ascendancy transferred to Weening, who now sits two seconds ahead of HTC-Highroad's Marco Pinotti and the Italian's teammate Kanstantin Sivtsov.

"It was a very hard day. My crash was a stupid crash," Millar admitted on Italian television. "I always suffer in this part of Italy with the allergies and with everything. I've never been lucky at the Giro d'Italia..."

Like last year's seventh stage to Montalcino, it was the 23km of strade bianche, which came in the final 40km of the stage, which defined the day's proceedings and kept the peloton on its toes - or in some cases off their bikes - at a crucial moment in the day.

And by day's end it was Weening who better managed the risks and benefits of the difficult finale on what Danilo Di Luca admitted were roads better suited to mountain bikes than those made for the road. It was a slim margin at the finish but the 30-year-old managed to hold on for the win.

Drama of the racing kind...

With two third category climbs on the menu and two opportunities for Colnago-CSF rider Gianluca Brambilla to grab points in the king of the mountains competition, the highest point of the day topped out at 930m in Saragiolo - not high stakes but enough to keep the opportunists on their toes.

The man who made the most of the day was Martin Kohler of BMC Racing, who attacked after 12km and was quickly allowed to open a sizeable gap which stretched to 12:50 at its zenith. The Swiss rider became the Giro's fugitiva giornata - the day's fugitive - and with 80km of the stage gone he still held an advantage of nine minutes.

A further 30km down the road and he managed to hold in excess of seven minutes over the peloton; behind him a crash for maglia rosa David Millar - he collided with stage three winner Angel Vicioso while contesting for an intermediate sprint- did little to hinder the progress of the race leader and soon enough he was back in the peloton amongst his teammates.

Like Sebastian Lang on the second stage of this year's event, Kohler was content to continue his toil unabated and make the race come to him, which it did, eventually.

Ballistics on the strade bianche

Kohler hit the first sector of white roads holding an advantage of 5:45 and with 40km left to race he may have started to hope for the best, although it was going to take a gargantuan effort from him to maintain his advantage.

And it was going to be tough, as Liquigas-Cannondale set a blistering pace leading up to the sorrato, splitting up the peloton and slashing the Swiss rider's lead in a matter of kilometres.

The favourites weren't going to be caught unawares; the likes of Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD), Roman Kreuziger (Astana) and Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) sat at the head of proceedings over the top of the dirt climb to Croce Di Fighime, It was a wise move because with grandissima fatiga setting in there was still the descent to come, the unpaved roads threatening to wreak havoc on the chasing peloton, which was now in pieces.

Kohler was still out front by a margin of 3:26 at the top of the day's second GPM and Dario Cataldo (Quick Step) and Bram Tankink (Rabobank) emerged as the main pursuers of Kohler. They were trailed by a group of about 30 riders that contained Kreuziger, Garzelli, Vincenzo Nibali, Scarponi and Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Sungard) some 40 seconds behind and 24km left to race.

Behind, Millar was fighting to stay in pink, the effects of his earlier mishap and the difficulty of the gravel roads taking their toll on the Briton. But in the space of 100 metres, Cataldo fell and Tankink had a mechanical mishap, leaving the main chasing group to pass and attack the final 20 kilometres with Kohler still in front and holding onto an advantage of 1:30.

The winning move

As quickly as Cataldo and Tankink had slipped by the wayside, John Gadret (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Weening tried their luck off the front of the favourites' group. Further back, a mechanical didn't help Garzelli's chances as the gap between Kohler and the rest began to reach critical point for the Swiss superman.

But he never gave up the fight - with 14km left and glory beckoning, a kilometre separated him and the chasing bunch, as Weening and Gadret found themselves in between. Just as it seemed he could hope for a fairytale finish, Gadret and Weening ended Kohler's game with 10km remaining to form a trio that would try to stay away from the hard-charging bunch behind.

Weening didn't want it that way and upped the pace with nine kilometres remaining in an attempt to drop his French and Swiss companions; it worked and soon he had a gap of 10 precious seconds - head down, arms resting on the tops of his handlebars, it was a time trial to the finish for the Dutchman.

Hot on their heels, the chasing group had swelled to form a sizeable peloton that included Carlos Sastre and Denis Menchov (Geox-TMC) and Katusha's Joaquim Rodriguez. It trailed Weening by 40 seconds with just three kilometers left in the stage, which had become a race of attrition for most.

As Gadret and Kohler were caught with 2.3km remaining it was time for Scarponi to stretch his legs in a solo bid for victory a further 500 metres down the road before Movistar's David Arroyo did so within il ultimo kilometro...And for Weening it was simply a case of hanging on for dear life.

That he did, the Dutchman celebrating his win alone and mustering enough energy to zip his jersey and throw his arms in a triumphant return to racing for la corsa rosa.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team4:54:49
2Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Geox-TMC0:00:08
3Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Androni GiocattoliRow 2 - Cell 2
4Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 3 - Cell 2
5Oscar Gatto (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 4 - Cell 2
6Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 5 - Cell 2
7Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank SungardRow 6 - Cell 2
8Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 7 - Cell 2
9Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team AstanaRow 9 - Cell 2
11Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 10 - Cell 2
12Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Sky ProcyclingRow 11 - Cell 2
13Marco Pinotti (Ita) HTC-HighroadRow 12 - Cell 2
14Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Blr) HTC-HighroadRow 13 - Cell 2
15Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 14 - Cell 2
16Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMCRow 15 - Cell 2
17David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Pro Team AstanaRow 17 - Cell 2
19Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 18 - Cell 2
20Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 19 - Cell 2
21Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 20 - Cell 2
22Francesco Masciarelli (Ita) Pro Team Astana0:00:15
23Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 22 - Cell 2
24Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky Procycling0:00:19
25Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 24 - Cell 2
26Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 25 - Cell 2
27Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar TeamRow 26 - Cell 2
28Sergio Pardilla Belllón (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:25
29Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 28 - Cell 2
30Johann Tschopp (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:00:28
31Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Geox-TMCRow 30 - Cell 2
32Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 31 - Cell 2
33Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha TeamRow 32 - Cell 2
34Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:00:36
35Inaki Isasi Flores (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:00:50
36Fabio Taborre (Ita) Acqua & Sapone0:00:58
37Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Pro Team AstanaRow 36 - Cell 2
38Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 37 - Cell 2
39Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Geox-TMCRow 38 - Cell 2
40Gert Dockx (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 39 - Cell 2
41Dario David Cioni (Ita) Sky ProcyclingRow 40 - Cell 2
42John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 41 - Cell 2
43Federico Canuti (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 42 - Cell 2
44Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:01:22
45Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:33
46Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Saxo Bank SungardRow 45 - Cell 2
47Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Androni Giocattoli0:01:47
48Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre - ISD0:02:03
49David Millar (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:02:50
50Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 49 - Cell 2
51Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 50 - Cell 2
52Craig Lewis (USA) HTC-Highroad0:03:03
53Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 52 - Cell 2
54Tiago Machado (Por) Team RadioShackRow 53 - Cell 2
55Massimo Codol (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 54 - Cell 2
56Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Pro Team Astana0:03:43
57Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) Acqua & SaponeRow 56 - Cell 2
58Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:04:06
59Daniele Righi (Ita) Lampre - ISD0:04:39
60Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 59 - Cell 2
61Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team0:04:57
62Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Pro Team Astana0:05:06
63Juan Horrach Rippoll (Spa) Katusha TeamRow 62 - Cell 2
64Addy Engels (Ned) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 63 - Cell 2
65Carlos Alberto Betancourt Gomez (Col) Acqua & SaponeRow 64 - Cell 2
66Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 65 - Cell 2
67Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli0:05:16
68José Rujano Guillen (Ven) Androni GiocattoliRow 67 - Cell 2
69Marcel Wyss (Swi) Geox-TMCRow 68 - Cell 2
70David Blanco Rodriguez (Spa) Geox-TMCRow 69 - Cell 2
71Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:05:20
72Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Team RadioShack0:05:31
73Peter Stetina (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:05:43
74Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha Team0:06:01
75Michael Barry (Can) Sky Procycling0:06:44
76Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky ProcyclingRow 75 - Cell 2
77Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Team RadioShackRow 76 - Cell 2
78Cayetano José Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) Acqua & SaponeRow 77 - Cell 2
79Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 78 - Cell 2
80Francis De Greef (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 79 - Cell 2
81Lars Ytting Bak (Den) HTC-HighroadRow 80 - Cell 2
82Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 81 - Cell 2
83Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 82 - Cell 2
84Sacha Modolo (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 83 - Cell 2
85Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Katusha Team0:06:58
86Patrick Gretsch (Ger) HTC-Highroad0:07:12
87Ivan Rovny (Rus) Team RadioShack0:07:31
88Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard0:10:33
89Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli0:10:40
90Andrea Noe (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 89 - Cell 2
91Kjell Carlström (Fin) Sky ProcyclingRow 90 - Cell 2
92Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 91 - Cell 2
93Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 92 - Cell 2
94Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 93 - Cell 2
95Josep Jufre Pou (Spa) Pro Team AstanaRow 94 - Cell 2
96Carlos Oyarzun (Chi) Movistar TeamRow 95 - Cell 2
97Sebastian Lang (Ger) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 96 - Cell 2
98Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 97 - Cell 2
99Russell Downing (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 98 - Cell 2
100Leonardo Giordani (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 99 - Cell 2
101Mauricio Ardila Cano (Col) Geox-TMCRow 100 - Cell 2
102Laurent Didier (Lux) Saxo Bank SungardRow 101 - Cell 2
103Davide Malacarne (Ita) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 102 - Cell 2
104Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 103 - Cell 2
105Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 104 - Cell 2
106Michal Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 105 - Cell 2
107Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 106 - Cell 2
108Jesús Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Saxo Bank SungardRow 107 - Cell 2
109Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La MondialeRow 108 - Cell 2
110Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 109 - Cell 2
111Morris Possoni (Ita) Sky ProcyclingRow 110 - Cell 2
112Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha TeamRow 111 - Cell 2
113Branislau Samoilau (Blr) Movistar TeamRow 112 - Cell 2
114Chad Beyer (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 113 - Cell 2
115Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Saxo Bank SungardRow 114 - Cell 2
116Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 115 - Cell 2
117Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 116 - Cell 2
118Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 117 - Cell 2
119Carlos José Ochoa (Ven) Androni GiocattoliRow 118 - Cell 2
120Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre - ISDRow 119 - Cell 2
121Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 120 - Cell 2
122Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 121 - Cell 2
123Giampaolo Cheula (Ita) Geox-TMCRow 122 - Cell 2
124Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 123 - Cell 2
125Dmitry Kozontchuk (Rus) Geox-TMCRow 124 - Cell 2
126Pierre Cazaux (Fra) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 125 - Cell 2
127Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Saxo Bank SungardRow 126 - Cell 2
128Marco Frapporti (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 127 - Cell 2
129Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 128 - Cell 2
130Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 129 - Cell 2
131Maxim Belkov (Rus) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 130 - Cell 2
132Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 131 - Cell 2
133Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 132 - Cell 2
134Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Movistar TeamRow 133 - Cell 2
135Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky ProcyclingRow 134 - Cell 2
136Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:10:51
137Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Pro Team Astana0:12:18
138Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha Team0:12:44
139Jackson Rodriguez (Ven) Androni GiocattoliRow 138 - Cell 2
140Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:12:48
141Bart De Clercq (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:14:26
142Simon Zahner (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 141 - Cell 2
143Juan José Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:14:42
144Maxim Gourov (Kaz) Pro Team Astana0:15:14
145Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita) Lampre - ISD0:17:15
146Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre - ISDRow 145 - Cell 2
147Francesco Reda (Ita) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 146 - Cell 2
148Davide Ricci Bitti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli0:18:49
149Claudio Corioni (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 148 - Cell 2
150Alan Marangoni (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 149 - Cell 2
151Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 150 - Cell 2
152Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 151 - Cell 2
153Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 152 - Cell 2
154Alex Rasmussen (Den) HTC-HighroadRow 153 - Cell 2
155Robert Hunter (RSA) Team RadioShackRow 154 - Cell 2
156Matthew Wilson (Aus) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 155 - Cell 2
157Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 156 - Cell 2
158Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-HighroadRow 157 - Cell 2
159Michael Mørkøv (Den) Saxo Bank SungardRow 158 - Cell 2
160Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 159 - Cell 2
161Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank SungardRow 160 - Cell 2
162Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 161 - Cell 2
163Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC-HighroadRow 162 - Cell 2
164Daniel Sesma (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 163 - Cell 2
165Yuriy Krivtsov (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 164 - Cell 2
166Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 165 - Cell 2
167Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 166 - Cell 2
168Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 167 - Cell 2
169Elia Favilli (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 168 - Cell 2
170Manuel Belletti (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 169 - Cell 2
171Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 170 - Cell 2
172Tiziano Dall'Antonia (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 171 - Cell 2
173Simone Stortoni (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 172 - Cell 2
174Thomas Peterson (USA) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 173 - Cell 2
175Filippo Savini (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 174 - Cell 2
176Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing TeamRow 175 - Cell 2
177Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 176 - Cell 2
178Philip Deignan (Irl) Team RadioShackRow 177 - Cell 2
179Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 178 - Cell 2
180Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 179 - Cell 2
181Giairo Ermeti (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 180 - Cell 2