A few words about the points competition. Danilo Di Luca leads with 146 points, comfortably ahead of his podium mates Mencho and Save Ferris, at 113 and 103 respectively. Seems like about half the time the Giro points competition turns into a consolation prize for the GC competitors rather than a sprinters' gig, and this year was very much one of those years. Alessandro Petacchi lies 50 points -- two stage wins -- back of Di Luca, but he's pretty much out of road at this point. Friday is Vesuvio, Saturday kicks up at the end, and Sunday is the time trial. Over and out.
That said, Petacchi has been part of the sprinting story, overshadowed by Cavendish in the end but with Cavendish gone Petacchi is the last, best man standing. He will be anxious to shut out Allan Davis, Robbie Hunter, et al. Problem is, as soon as "the right break" gets away, this race could be over. Petacchi's Lpr team surely won't be squandered chasing down a stage win, and Quick Step and Barloworld might not have the power to reel in a break of any consequence. The weather is still warm, particularly in those sunny southern valleys... in other words, this has breakaway sketched all over it. Enjoy!
- Michele Scarponi (Ita) Serramenti
- Félix Cardenas (Col) Barloworld
- Danny Pate (USA) Garmin
- Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Team Saxo Bank
- Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukr) ISD
Since this was the transitional stage we all expected, with no effect on the overall, I won't bother with a separate post-stage thread. Keep chatting here, if you like.