Petacchi and his leadout man offered a crash course in riding a leadout. Recall that I said yesterday that if a rider gets the jump on Cavendish he's proven unable to overcome. Well Petacchi has the HUGE bendfit of having Danilo Hondo as his last rider in the run to the finish. Watch the video and you'll see over the last few kilometers that they hold and maintain a top 5 to 7 place (well, I haven't found more than the last few hundred meters yet), but don't take too many turns at the front. The trick was letting other teams come forward to drive the wind - by not pushing to the front unitl very very late it gave Petacchi the reserves of speed to launch. The second key was the jump...he hit it about a second before Cavendish and it was enough. He was wheels clear before he came acros Cav's line, so the relegation argument is moot in my opinion. Nice ride by a true professional Chapeau Alessandro...my apologies for not counting you amongst the favorites today. Won't happen again...
We are still a few days out from our first summit finish and any real climbing but I thought this was a very cool graphic:
It shows all of the stages longitudinally, with climbs noted. The Universal Sports guys were sayin that it was close to 100,000 feet of climbing! Anyway, I just thought it gave a nice perspective.
Speaking of perspective...most will predict that stage 3 ends in a bunch finish. It's just too early and the sprinters teams only have a few chances this year so they won't want much to get away. What that assessment lacks is perspective.
The Category 4 summit comes with just under 10kms of racing left..which is the perfect distance for a small group to successfull attack and stay away. So now the question becomes who is in the break? Let's get some perspective...
GC riders will sit this one out.
Sprinters and their teams won't be able to bring it back (says me)
That leaves opportunists and the lucky..you feeling lucky?
Androni Giacattoli is feeling lucky. Colnago CSF and BMC feel lucky too. Leopard Trek, Moviestar and Omega Pharma NEED to make some luck or this could be a long Giro. For me I think Vaconsoleil and Quickstep will be the luckiest...
1. Johnny Hoogerland - Vancansoleil
2. Dario Cataldo - Quickstep
3. Andrea Noe - Farnese Vini
4. Fabio Sabatini - Liquigas
5. Mauricio Ardilla - Geox