Michele Scarponi came in from the cold today to claim victory today in the Giro d'Italia, the biggest win of his troubled career. He actually won in Austria as the race made a 248Km foray from Bressanone/Brixen on the Italian side of the alps to Mayrhofen in Austria.
Scarponi who rode for Liberty Seguros was implicated in the Spanish operation Puerto blood doping scandal and endured a torrid few years as a result. Fittingly for a man trying to make amends today's victory came the hard way.
The Italian rider was part of the day's early break, which for the first time in this year's race also proved decisive. Five riders went clear after 48Km: Bonnafond (Ag2r), Kiryienka (Caisse d'Epargne), Gatto (Team ISD), Scarponi (Diquigiovanni) and Kasper Klostergaard (Saxo Bank). With 80km to go the gap was 9:38 on the chasing field and Scarponi was in pink on the road, from that point the lead starts to come down.
15Km further down the road Scarponi and Kiryienka attacked and went away. They stayed out over the day's biggest climb the cat 1 Hochkrimml there then followed a long descent on which the field closed the gap dramatically before a slight uphill run-in to Mayrhofen.
The chasing peloton poured on the gas and after a mechanical and a puncture Kirienka cracked – Scarponi though was made of tougher stuff. His fellow escapee was swept up by the peloton as he went under the 1Km banner, but by the Italian was still riding strongly and the victory was his.
In the sprint for the line Boasson Hagen collected the time bonus in second place followed by Aland Davis in third. All the main contenders positioned themselves at the front of the field for the narrow technical finish – mindful of what happened earlier in the week nobody wanted to get stuck behind a crash and risk losing time on the General Classification.
Top 10 Giro d'Italia Stage 6
1 Michele Scarponi (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli)
2 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Columbia - Highroad)
3 Allan Davis (Quick Step)
4 Filippo Pozzato (Team Katusha)
5 Matthew Goss (Team Saxo Bank)
6 Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto)
7 Enrico Gasparotto (Lampre - N.G.C.)
8 Michael Rogers (Team Columbia - Highroad)
9 Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini)
10 Tadej Valjavec (AG2R La Mondiale)
Top 10 Giro d'Italia general classification after stage 6
1 Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini) 16:20:44
2 Thomas Lövkvist (Team Columbia - Highroad) 5
3 Michael Rogers (Team Columbia – Highroad) 36
4 Levi Leipheimer (Astana) 43
5 Denis Menchov (Rabobank) 50
6 Ivan Basso (Liquigas) 1:06
7 Carlos Sastre (Cervelo Test Team) 1:16
8 Christopher Horner (Astana) 1:17
9 Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) 1:27
10 David Arroyo (Caisse d'Epargne) 1:41
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.