De Clercq prevails on first summit finish

Bart De Clercq announced his arrival on the professional scene with victory in Santuario Di Montevergine on a day where the favourites had to mark each other and did so on the final climb, setting up an intriguing second week of the season's first Grand Tour.

The Omega Pharma-Lotto Belgian attacked with eight kilometres remaining and benefited from the youthful enthusiasm of a neo-pro to hold on for a memorable win on what was arguably the Giro's most decisive day in terms of the general classification battle, where the complexion of the overall standings became a little clearer.

Asked if he thought about compatriot Wouter Weylandt - who died following a crash in stage three - during his solo escape before winning this afternoon, De Clercq admitted that he didn't but was quick to add, "I want to dedicate this win to Wouter and his family; it's really difficult for them at the moment."

Maglia rosa wearer Pieter Weening (Rabobank) finished in the 26-rider front group on the Giro's first summit finish and defended his position atop general classification. The 30-year-old Dutchman maintained his two-second advantage over HTC-Highroad teammates Kanstantsin Sivtsov and Macro Pinotti.

One of the big names to stake his claim today on this year's Giro was Lampre-ISD's Michele Scarponi, the Italian veteran happy with his second place on the stage and the subsequent move up the overall standings, on which he sits fifth.

"I'm happy with my teammates' pursuit of the break...I'm grateful to all of them," said Scarponi after the stage. "It was important that today I was in the front group. I had to arrive in great condition and today my team helped me do that."

The break Scarponi's teammates had to chase consisted of a five-man group that headed out with 30km of the day's 110km elapsed. Federico Canuti (Colnago-CSF Inox), Jérôme Pineau (Quickstep Cycling Team), Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli), Lars Ytting Bak (HTC-Highroad) and Matteo Montaguti (AG2R La Mondiale) went it alone and after 40km of racing had established a gap of 3:20.

Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) decided he wanted a piece of that action and set off in pursuit of the leaders, getting across to the quintet just outside Avellino, with 24.4km remaining.

As the stage neared the final 20km the break had 1:50 over the peloton with 21.7km remaining, although there was the day's big climb still to come, which would take its toll on the escapees.

And so it was, as Visconti and Pineau sat up and waited for the peloton while the remaining four went it alone with 16km left to race; the gap had dropped significantly to 40 seconds and these two were swept up and spat out two kilometres later.

Lampre-ISD had turned its attention from helping Alessandro Petacchi to Michele Scarponi as the general classification battle was set to heat up as the sun continued to beat down on the peloton.

The members of that peloton soon found themselves separated as the group split up significantly on the 17km ascent to the finish; the pace set by Liquigas-Cannondale to aid Vincenzo Nibali was fierce and demonstrated the power of the Italian squad.

Hoping against all hope, Bak backed his chances of staying away until the finish and attacked the break with 12km remaining; he had held onto 20 seconds' advantage with 10km left to race as the one-out attacks started behind the Dane.

It was game over for the HTC-Highroad rider with 8.3km to run however, which was the cue for one of yesterday's heroes, Stefano Pirazzi (Colnago-CSF Inox), to launch another ill-fated attack on the slopes to Santuario Di Montevergine. The Italian's move didn't work, unlike that of De Clercq, who launched his own move with eight kilometers to go.

He quickly amassed a lead of 22 seconds, which soon extended to 33 with less than four clicks until the summit finish. Behind him Jackson Rodriguez (Androni Giocattoli) hit out solo, with Acqua e Sapone setting tempo. Not content with one pointless attack, Pirazzzi tried to get away again as Rodriguez was swept up, while De Clercq sat on a 30-second lead.

As the 24-year-old hit two kilometers to go, the gap had blown out to 1:05, the victory certain - or so it seemed. In the final 300 metres Scarponi, Kreuziger, Garzelli and Nibali charged hard at the young rider but he managed to hold on for the win by a very narrow margin.

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Full Results
1Bart De Clercq (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto2:54:47
2Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 1 - Cell 2
3Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team AstanaRow 2 - Cell 2
4Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 3 - Cell 2
5Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 4 - Cell 2
6Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7José Rujano Guillen (Ven) Androni GiocattoliRow 6 - Cell 2
8Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank SungardRow 8 - Cell 2
10Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 9 - Cell 2
11David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 10 - Cell 2
12Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 11 - Cell 2
13Francesco Masciarelli (Ita) Pro Team AstanaRow 12 - Cell 2
14Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Blr) HTC-HighroadRow 13 - Cell 2
15John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 14 - Cell 2
16Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 15 - Cell 2
17Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMCRow 16 - Cell 2
18Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 17 - Cell 2
19Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 18 - Cell 2
20Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 19 - Cell 2
21Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 20 - Cell 2
22Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 21 - Cell 2
23Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Sky ProcyclingRow 22 - Cell 2
24Marco Pinotti (Ita) HTC-HighroadRow 23 - Cell 2
25Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Pro Team AstanaRow 24 - Cell 2
26Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Androni GiocattoliRow 25 - Cell 2
27Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team0:00:10
28Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 27 - Cell 2
29Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha TeamRow 28 - Cell 2
30Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:00:17
31Peter Stetina (USA) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 30 - Cell 2
32Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 31 - Cell 2
33Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 32 - Cell 2
34Sergio Pardilla Belllón (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Geox-TMC0:00:21
36Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Pro Team AstanaRow 35 - Cell 2
37Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar Team0:00:25
38Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre - ISDRow 37 - Cell 2
39Marcel Wyss (Swi) Geox-TMC0:00:28
40Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Geox-TMCRow 39 - Cell 2
41Andrea Noe (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 40 - Cell 2
42Jesús Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Saxo Bank SungardRow 41 - Cell 2
43Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Saxo Bank SungardRow 42 - Cell 2
44Johann Tschopp (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:00:31
45Tiago Machado (Por) Team RadioShack0:00:33
46Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 45 - Cell 2
47Carlos José Ochoa (Ven) Androni GiocattoliRow 46 - Cell 2
48Ivan Rovny (Rus) Team RadioShack0:00:44
49Morris Possoni (Ita) Sky Procycling0:00:46
50Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Pro Team AstanaRow 49 - Cell 2
51Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox0:01:00
52Maxim Belkov (Rus) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:01:04
53Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Branislau Samoilau (Blr) Movistar TeamRow 53 - Cell 2
55Cameron Meyer (Aus) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 54 - Cell 2
56Dario David Cioni (Ita) Sky ProcyclingRow 55 - Cell 2
57Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 56 - Cell 2
58Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha Team0:01:11
59Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha TeamRow 58 - Cell 2
60Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:01:24
61Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky Procycling0:01:29
62Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Katusha Team0:01:34
63Francis De Greef (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:01:39
64Cayetano José Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) Acqua & Sapone0:01:43
65Massimo Codol (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 64 - Cell 2
66Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La MondialeRow 65 - Cell 2
67Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 66 - Cell 2
68Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:02:50
69Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) Acqua & SaponeRow 68 - Cell 2
70Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:02:53
71Simone Stortoni (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox0:03:01
72Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Pro Team Astana0:03:14
73Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:03:39
74Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:03:51
75Sebastian Lang (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:04:47
76Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 75 - Cell 2
77Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:07:02
78Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky Procycling0:07:35
79Jackson Rodriguez (Ven) Androni Giocattoli0:07:57
80Carlos Oyarzun (Chi) Movistar TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
81Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 80 - Cell 2
82Filippo Savini (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 81 - Cell 2
83Lars Ytting Bak (Den) HTC-HighroadRow 82 - Cell 2
84Craig Lewis (USA) HTC-HighroadRow 83 - Cell 2
85Gert Dockx (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 84 - Cell 2
86Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Team RadioShackRow 85 - Cell 2
87Michal Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 86 - Cell 2
88Inaki Isasi Flores (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 87 - Cell 2
89Addy Engels (Ned) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 88 - Cell 2
90Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 89 - Cell 2
91Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Saxo Bank SungardRow 90 - Cell 2
92Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 91 - Cell 2
93Fabio Taborre (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 92 - Cell 2
94Laurent Didier (Lux) Saxo Bank SungardRow 93 - Cell 2
95Michael Barry (Can) Sky Procycling0:08:28
96Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 95 - Cell 2
97Josep Jufre Pou (Spa) Pro Team AstanaRow 96 - Cell 2
98Federico Canuti (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox0:10:05
99Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 98 - Cell 2
100Miguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 99 - Cell 2
101Giampaolo Cheula (Ita) Geox-TMC0:11:01
102Mauricio Ardila Cano (Col) Geox-TMCRow 101 - Cell 2
103Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:12:43
104Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 103 - Cell 2
105Kjell Carlström (Fin) Sky ProcyclingRow 104 - Cell 2
106Simon Zahner (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 105 - Cell 2
107Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 106 - Cell 2
108Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 107 - Cell 2
109Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 108 - Cell 2
110David Blanco Rodriguez (Spa) Geox-TMCRow 109 - Cell 2
111Juan José Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 110 - Cell 2
112Juan Horrach Rippoll (Spa) Katusha TeamRow 111 - Cell 2
113Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 112 - Cell 2
114Daniel Sesma (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 113 - Cell 2
115Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 114 - Cell 2
116Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha TeamRow 115 - Cell 2
117Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 116 - Cell 2
118Yuriy Krivtsov (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 117 - Cell 2
119Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 118 - Cell 2
120Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 119 - Cell 2
121Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Pro Team AstanaRow 120 - Cell 2
122Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 121 - Cell 2
123Michael Mørkøv (Den) Saxo Bank SungardRow 122 - Cell 2
124Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Androni GiocattoliRow 123 - Cell 2
125Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 124 - Cell 2
126Tiziano Dall'Antonia (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 125 - Cell 2
127Robert Hunter (RSA) Team RadioShack0:15:09
128Bjorn Selander (USA) Team RadioShackRow 127 - Cell 2
129Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 128 - Cell 2
130Daniele Righi (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 129 - Cell 2
131Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 130 - Cell 2
132Brett Lancaster (Aus) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 131 - Cell 2
133Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank SungardRow 132 - Cell 2
134Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 133 - Cell 2
135Stef Clement (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 134 - Cell 2
136Carlos Alberto Betancourt Gomez (Col) Acqua & SaponeRow 135 - Cell 2
137Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 136 - Cell 2
138Maxim Gourov (Kaz) Pro Team AstanaRow 137 - Cell 2
139Marco Frapporti (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 138 - Cell 2
140Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 139 - Cell 2
141Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Geox-TMCRow 140 - Cell 2
142Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 141 - Cell 2
143Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Team RadioShackRow 142 - Cell 2
144Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Saxo Bank SungardRow 143 - Cell 2
145Alan Marangoni (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 144 - Cell 2
146Sacha Modolo (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 145 - Cell 2
147Claudio Corioni (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 146 - Cell 2
148Manuel Belletti (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 147 - Cell 2
149Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre - ISDRow 148 - Cell 2
150Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 149 - Cell 2
151Chris Butler (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 150 - Cell 2
152Oscar Gatto (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 151 - Cell 2
153Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Movistar TeamRow 152 - Cell 2
154Chad Beyer (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 153 - Cell 2
155Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 154 - Cell 2
156Alex Rasmussen (Den) HTC-HighroadRow 155 - Cell 2
157Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Saxo Bank SungardRow 156 - Cell 2
158Patrick Gretsch (Ger) HTC-HighroadRow 157 - Cell 2
159Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre - ISDRow 158 - Cell 2
160Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-HighroadRow 159 - Cell 2
161Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 160 - Cell 2
162Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 161 - Cell 2
163Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 162 - Cell 2
164Davide Malacarne (Ita) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 163 - Cell 2
165David Millar (GBr) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 164 - Cell 2
166Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Team RadioShackRow 165 - Cell 2
167Adam Blythe (GBr) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 166 - Cell 2
168Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 167 - Cell 2
169Dmitry Kozontchuk (Rus) Geox-TMCRow 168 - Cell 2
170Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 169 - Cell 2
171Matthew Wilson (Aus) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 170 - Cell 2
172Francesco Reda (Ita) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 171 - Cell 2
173Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 172 - Cell 2
174Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 173 - Cell 2
175Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 174 - Cell 2
176Russell Downing (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 175 - Cell 2
177Pierre Cazaux (Fra) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 176 - Cell 2
178Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC-HighroadRow 177 - Cell 2
179Davide Ricci Bitti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 178 - Cell 2
180Ruggero Marzoli (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 179 - Cell 2
181Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 180 - Cell 2
182Leonardo Giordani (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 181 - Cell 2
183Philip Deignan (Irl) Team RadioShackRow 182 - Cell 2
184Frantisek Rabon (Cze) HTC-HighroadRow 183 - Cell 2
185Elia Favilli (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 184 - Cell 2
186Giairo Ermeti (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 185 - Cell 2
187Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing TeamRow 186 - Cell 2
188Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 187 - Cell 2
189Thomas Peterson (USA) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 188 - Cell 2
190Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 189 - Cell 2
191Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 190 - Cell 2
192Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team RadioShack0:16:32
193Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling0:18:11
194Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team0:18:56
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Points
1Bart De Clercq (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto25pts
2Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD20Row 1 - Cell 3
3Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team Astana16Row 2 - Cell 3
4Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone14Row 3 - Cell 3
5Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale12Row 4 - Cell 3
6Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team10Row 5 - Cell 3
7José Rujano Guillen (Ven) Androni Giocattoli9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quickstep Cycling Team8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale8Row 8 - Cell 3
10Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard7Row 9 - Cell 3
11Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Team Garmin-Cervelo6Row 10 - Cell 3
12Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli6Row 11 - Cell 3
13David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Movistar Team5Row 12 - Cell 3
14Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team4Row 13 - Cell 3
15Lars Ytting Bak (Den) HTC-Highroad4Row 14 - Cell 3
16Francesco Masciarelli (Ita) Pro Team Astana3Row 15 - Cell 3
17Federico Canuti (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox3Row 16 - Cell 3
18Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Blr) HTC-Highroad2Row 17 - Cell 3
19Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team2Row 18 - Cell 3
20John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale1Row 19 - Cell 3
21Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team1Row 20 - Cell 3
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Mountain 1 - Serra della Strada (Cat. 2) 66.1km
1Federico Canuti (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox9pts
2Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team5Row 1 - Cell 3
3Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli3Row 2 - Cell 3
4Lars Ytting Bak (Den) HTC-Highroad2Row 3 - Cell 3
5Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale1Row 4 - Cell 3
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