Garmin-Transitions sprinter Tyler Farrar confirmed that he could be a danger to HTC-Columbia’s Mark Cavendish in this summer’s Tour de France as he took his second stage win of this year’s Giro d’Italia in Bitonto this afternoon. Alexandre Vinokourov of Astana retains the race leader’s maglia rosa.
The 25-year-old from Washington state won Stage 2 in Utrecht nine days ago, his second Grand Tour stage win after opening his account in last year’s Vuelta, and will no doubt be targeting another victory in France in July to complete the set and – who knows, given Mark Cavendish’s disrupted start to the season and Thor Hushovd’s broken collarbone – even have a tilt at the green points jersey.
Farrar’s British team-mate David Millar led the peloton into the twisting finish in Bitolto, the Pugliese town best known for its olives which was hosting its first ever Giro stage, and in the end the American won comfortably from Fabio Sabatini of Liquigas-Doimo, with another Garmin-Transitions rider, Julian Dean, third.
The 225km stage, the second longest in this year’s race, took the riders across Italy’s ankle from Avellino in Campania to the Adriatic coast, and in contrast to the atrocious weather conditions that have greeted the Giro so far, took place under sunny skies.
Britain’s Charlie Wegelius of Omega Pharma-Lotto got plenty of TV time after getting into an early break with Quick Step’s Dario Cataldo and Hubert Dupont of AG2R La Mondiale, even claiming points in the mountains classification as he became the first to cross the day’s Category 3 climb at Post dell'Imbandina.
Tomorrow, the race heads up the coast from Lucera to L’Aquila, the town devastated by an earthquake just over a year ago, and covers a whopping 256km.
Stage and race standings to follow.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.