Francisco Ventoso of Movistar upset Alessandro Petacchi in an unusual sprint at today's Giro d'Italia. Finishing in a long, slight uphill drag, Petacchi seemed like the favorite to win from a reduced sprinting field, but the big Tuscan ran out of gas and couldn't come around Ventoso, who held on for the win. Petacchi's Lampre team tried to organize the finish for him, but they lost their leadout train in the final km, and Petacchi was forced to start from further back. Katusha's Danilo DiLuca initiated the sprint and looked like he had a chance to steal one from the sprinters with a 600 meter attack, but that was wishful thinking. Ventoso timed his move perfectly, and while everyone expected Petacchi, sitting on his wheel, to come past, it was the Spaniard celebrating and the Italian coasting home in defeat.
The stage was a long slog of 216km circling just east of Rome, animated primarily by a four man breakaway. Kristoff Vandewalle of Quick Step headed into the final 8km -- all gently uphill -- by himself, at which point attacks began from the heretofore compact peloton. Emanuele Sella attacked with under 4km just as Vandewalle cracked, while David Millar launched a few tries of his own, and the peloton regrouped at the end of the uphill section with a handful of sprinters in place for the win. Results:
- Francisco Ventoso, Movistar
- Alessandro Petacchi, Lampre, s.t.
- Roberto Ferrari, Androni, s.t.
- Danilo DiLuca, Katusha, s.t.
- Davide Appollonio, Sky, s.t.
No change in the GC, Peter Weening holds his lead. In other news, Sunday's stage to Mount Etna in Sicily might be forced to alter its route. Europe's most active volcano erupted again last night, though so far the race is saying plans have not changed. A small crater released some lava and dust on the volcano's east flank. This activity shouldn't threaten the stage but the Giro will monitor the situation in the case of further eruptions.