Mountain finish first shakedown for the main contenders, Armstrong loses 3 mins

A short fast mountain stage today with a long hard slog at the finish – 25km of climbing that gradually ramped up in intensity to a final 11 per cent for the final 3Km.

That final climb tested the credentials of all the challengers for the general classification and as the race entered it's final kilometres all the main contenders were there or thereabouts with Ivan Basso showing strongly at the front along with Denis Menchov, Levi Leipheimer, Carlos Sastre, Chris Horner and David Arroyo.

It came down to a straight fight between Menchov and Di Luca, Menchov took the win but Di Luca took the maglia rosa from Thomas Lovkvist who came in third.   Ivan Basso was fourth at five seconds with Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner next at nine seconds. Carlos Sastre was seventh 19 seconds behind with Arroyo, Pelizzotti  and Rogers completing the top ten. Lance Armstrong finished almost three minutes behind.

Giro Stage 5 Top 10

1. Denis Menchov (Rabobank)
2. Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes)
3. Thomas Lovkvist (Garmin Slipstream)
4. Ivan Basso (Liquigas)
5. Levi Leipheimer (Astana)
6. Chris Horner (Astana)
7. Carlos Sastre (Cervelo Test Team)
8. David Arroyo (Caisse D'Epargne)
9. Franco Pelizzotti (Liquigas)
10. Michael Rogers (Columbia High Road)

General Classification Top 10 after Stage 5

1. Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes)
2. Thomas Lovkvist (Garmin Slipstream)
3. Michael Rogers (Columbia High Road)
4 Levi Leipheimer (Astana)
5. Denis Menchov (Rabobank)
6. Ivan Basso (Liquigas)
7. Carlos Sastre (Cervelo Test Team)
8. Chris Horner (Astana)
9. Franco Pelizzotti (Liquigas)
10. David Arroyo (Caisse D'Epargne)


Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.