CyclingRevealed's Giro '07 Perspective
Tappa 9, May 21st, Reggio Nell'Emilia to Lido Di Camaiore, 177 km
All Promise and No Performance
In terms of profile, today's stage was not unlike yesterday's with a hilly start culminating in a Category 2 climb (at 71km), the Passo del Cerreto, which then plunged downhill for a long way before the long flat run in to the finish. We were promised another attacking day with a break attempting to steal the day.
Lido di Camaiore on the Tuscan Riviera
However after the big climb and with about 100kms of flat roads leading into Lido di Camaiore it looked to be more of a day for the sprinters. In particular Petacchi would be seeking his third stage win especially as his home town ( La Spezia ) is close by.
As it transpired the peloton rode ‘piano' and not much happened for most of the stage. The heavy hitters had dictated calm in the ranks as they recuperate as much as possible for tomorrow's mountain top finish followed by what many believe will be a decisive stage up the Col d'Izoard on Thursday, a mountain ITT on Friday and then a string of mountainous days thereafter.
As the field cruised up today's big climb (Passo del Cerreto) skirmishing broke out towards the summit as those contesting the mountain point's jersey fought for the day's climbers points. Over the top five riders found themselves in the lead and they decided to go for it. But with the sprinters teams massed behind them they were doomed from the beginning.
The high speed drag race to the finish line saw the usual suspects battling for the stage win. This time it was Danilo Napolitano (Lampre-Fondital) who edged out McEwen, Petacchi and Bettini in that order. There was no change to the GC table and Pinotti will spend another day happily clad in Pink.
Stage winner Danilo Napolitano ( Images © La Gazetta )
The entire stage passed through drop-dead gorgeous country side before it hit the holiday makers' paradise of the Tuscan Riviera. The scenery, the weather and the multi-colored peloton were somewhat like an English sports car “all promise and no performance” . But like the much revered English sports cars, the Italians know that a thing of beauty is to be enjoyed at leisure. Such was Tappa 9 at this year's Giro!
This was my own classic English sports car; 1967 MGB
Tomorrow: It is time for the contenders to establish their place in the overall hierarchy of this year's Giro. From
Lido di Camaiore
the stage goes north to a mountain top finish on the
Santuario Nostra Signora Della Guardia.
Check back for our report.
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