Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pieter Weening wins fifth stage to take Giro lead

Sunday, September 4, 2011








ORVIETO, Italy (AP) ? Pieter Weening raced solo from 10 kilometers out to win the fifth stage of the Giro d'Italia and take the pink jersey.





  • Pieter Weening, of the Netherlands, opens his arms in celebration as he crosses the finish line to win the fifth stage of the Giro d'Italia on May 11.

    By Alessandro Trovati, AP


    Pieter Weening, of the Netherlands, opens his arms in celebration as he crosses the finish line to win the fifth stage of the Giro d'Italia on May 11.



By Alessandro Trovati, AP


Pieter Weening, of the Netherlands, opens his arms in celebration as he crosses the finish line to win the fifth stage of the Giro d'Italia on May 11.






The Rabobank cyclist finished the 191-kilometer (118-mile) stage from Piombino to Orvieto on Wednesday in 4 hours, 54 minutes, 49 seconds — finishing 8 seconds ahead of Fabio Duarte, who led home a sprint for second place with Jose Perez in third.


"For me this is a perfect day," Weening said. "I felt good at the end and before I attacked. This is the biggest win in my career and I will try to defend the pink jersey as long as I can. Now I hope to fly for the next two weeks."


Weening took the pink jersey from David Millar after the Briton faded on the final climb to 2:50 behind. Millar had earlier fallen following a collision with Angel Vicioso, but both riders quickly remounted and got back in the race.


"It was a silly fall," Millar said. "I was suffering with my allergies today and for some reason nothing seemed to work."


Three-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador was seventh to sit ninth overall, 30 seconds behind Weening.


Martin Kohler made an early attack after 12 kilometers to lead by 11:50 before he was caught by Weening and Jean Cadret. Riders had to contend with three dirt sections toward the end of the stage, allowing the peleton to close the gap on Kohler, who faded badly.


Bram Tankink and Dario Cataldo led the initial chase, but were undone by bad luck. Cataldo punctured a tire, while Tankink's chain came off to leave them stranded on the roadside as the chasing pack flew past.


Soon after Weening and Cadret caught Kohler, the Dutch rider took the initiative and began stretching his lead. He began losing ground at the start of the ascent to the finish, but the peleton left him free to come home first.


Dutch rider Tom Slagter fell more than 13 kilometers (8 miles) from the end when he mistakenly tried to take a water bottle from a Euskaltel Euskadi masseur, who was wearing the same colors as his Rabobank team.


He immediately received attention, stayed conscious and was seen moving his arm. After receiving first aid, he was put on a drip and taken away by ambulance.


Thursday's stage is a 216-kilometer (133.9-mile) ride from Orvieto to Fiuggi. The Giro concludes in Milan on May 29.





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