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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.