By Graham Jones
and Barry Boyce

CyclingRevealed Historians




Giro d'Italia Champions Living and Dead




CyclingRevealed's Giro '08 Perspective

Tappa 2- May 11th, Cefalu to Agrigento, 207 km Rolling Stage

"It's a Good Stage Not to Throw Away"

Rarely in this day and age does a Grand Tour present hard stages early in the race. Stage 2 is a long, hilly stage from Cefalu to Agrigento and is capped off with an uphill finish (see the stage profile on the right). Quick Step's Paolo Bettini said "It's a difficult stage and not only because of the finish. It'll be tough all day. It's a good stage not to throw away."

from Cefalu ( Images © Italy Travel)
to Agrigento ( Images © Italy Travel)

The stage leaves the northern coast of Sicily from the City of Cefalu and climbs almost directly up the category 2 Grattieri to the Loc. San Giovanni. The tough terrain rolls across the central section of Sicily to the category 3 climb of the Polizzello. The climbing lessens as the peloton enters the finishing loop of Agrigento.

An early breakaway formed on the descent of the Grattieri and built a lead in excess of 10 minutes. Slipstream-Chipotle drove the hard chase and caught the 2 riders breakaway entering Canicatti with 50 km to go. Slipstream-Chipotle continued a strong pace to discourage long attacks as the race came into the finishing circuit in Agrigento.

The race exploded at the bottom of the 4 km finishing climb. The reduced 70 rider peloton was led by Danilo Di Luca's LPR team. Joaquim Rodriguez was the first to attack. Pre-race favorite Paolo Bettini cracked as Ricco led the chase.

Ricco and Di Luca chasing Rodriguez ( Images © La Gazetta )

Riccardo Ricco popped out of the chase group and blew past Rodriguez to take the win. Di Luca was second followed by Davide Rebellin.

Stage winner Riccardo Ricco ( Images © La Gazetta )

Franco Pellizotti's 5th place finish put him 1 second ahead of Christain Vander Velde and is rewarded wtih the Maglia Rosa.


Tomorrow: a fast, flat stage from Catania to Milazzo, 208 km. Come back to read our report.


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Giro d'Italia 08

Stage 2 Profile