Monday, March 14, 2011

2011 Tirreno-Adriatico, Stage 5

The 244 kilometre stage, which is the longest in the Spring races apart from those monumental ones like Sanremo or Fiandre, was won in a sprint finish by Belgian Philippe Gilbert. Gilbert also won the Strade Bianche two weeks ago in Siena.

The cyclists who figured most in today's stage were Davide Malacarne (Quick Step)and Andrey Amador (Movistar) who is from Costa Rica. Amador was wounded in his home country on December 29th when he was attacked by thugs who wanted to steal his Pinarello bike. He was beaten up and left on the bank of a river. Amador spent three weeks in hospital.

With three others Malacarne and Amador attacked at km 7, just before Pescara, and they were caught up with 130 metres from the finish because they had slowed their pace too much waiting for the sprint.

Cadel Evans is now the race leader in the maglia azzurra but Basso, Cunego, Scarponi, Nibali and Gesink are all within 12 seconds. All that remains is the 182 kilometers to the finish in Macerata today, the last kilometre having an average gradient of 11.3% and peaks of 18% which are repeated 4 times, and then finally on Tuesday the last time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto of 9.3 km with a flat finish.

Top 10 GC:
1 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 22:48:45
2 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:02
3 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:00:03
4 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:00:05
5 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
6 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:12
7 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:00:23
8 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Sky Procycling 0:00:27
9 Marco Pinotti (Ita) HTC-Highroad
10 Tiago Machado (Por) Team RadioShack 0:00:32

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