CyclingRevealed's Giro '08 Perspective
Tappa 18, May 29th, Mendrisio to Varese, 147 km Flat Stage
World Championship Previews
The Giro d'Italia returned from a brief excursion into Switzerland with a stage that featured two World Championship road courses. From the start in Mendrisio , Switzerland the stage rolls around the 2009 WCRR course before returning to Italy and two closing loops of the 2008 WCRR course in Varese, Italy.
This course is a tailor made course for the talents of Paolo Bettini. To no ones surprise Bettini jumped away on the opening loop and opened a solid gap. He was joined by eleven other riders to form the breakaway of the day. The break contained big names but no “danger riders”.
The elite group consisted of Gabriele Bosisio (LPR, former Maglia Rosa), Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R), Felix Cardenas (Barloworld), Joaquin Rodriguez (Caisse d'Epargne), Alan Perez (Euskaltel), Simon Spilak (Lampe), Daniele Bennati (Liquigas, current Maglia Ciclomino), Giovanni Visconti (Quick Step, former Maglia Rosa), Mauricio Adila (Rabobank), Jens Voigt (CSC), Nikolay Trusov (Tinkoff), and World Champion Paolo Bettini (Quick Step). The breakaway built a lead of 5'59” at the intermediate sprint in Lunio with 75 km to go. Daniele Bennati easily took the sprint points.
The breakaway maintained the time gap and entering the two 17.4 km Varese loops Jens Voigt attacked the breakaway. With a light rain falling the 11 others started to chase hard halfway through the very technical championship loop.
Voigt took the “bell lap” with a 40 second lead. The chase group began to shatter with three riders, Nocentini, Bosisio, and Visconte, closing quickly. The forgotten peloton is now over 7 minutes behind.
Under the 5 km to go banner Voigt extended the lead to 52” on the chasing 3 and 1'15 on the Bettini group.
Voigt powers up the final climb [ Images © La Gazetta ]
Jens Voigt excelled on his World Championship preview and held off all challenges. He rode across the finish line to take a stylish stage win.
Stage winner Jens Voigt [ Images © La Gazetta ]
The peloton rode the Astana tempo crossed the finish line 7'56” behind Voigt. Alberto Contador thrilled the crowd by trying to win the field sprint. He did easily hold the Maglia Rosa for another day.
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