ORVIETO, Italy (VN) – Pieter Weening had just enough in the tank to pull the double in Wednesday’s fifth stage as the Giro d’Italia clicked back into gear following two emotionally wrenching days following the death of Wouter Weylandt.
Weening said the stage win-pink jersey double comes close to the career high of winning a stage at the 2005 Tour de France.
“For a cyclist, the Tour is the biggest event. The win in the Tour is perhaps more special, because it was my first big victory and it’s the Tour. But this makes it also special with the maglia rosa, so it’s very similar,” he said. “This is a special day. This is not like a regular day for me. It’s not easy for guys like me to win. Between the sprints and the GC riders on the mountain tops, so once in awhile, when you have good legs, it’s possible.”
Rujano, Machado, Porte lose time to Orvieto
Most of the top GC favorites survived the dusty roads of Tuscany with their pink jersey hopes intact.
There were a few notable exceptions. José Rujano, the pint-sized Venezuelan who nearly rode away with the 2005 Giro, lost 5:06 while RadioShack GC man Tiago Machado forfeited 3:03.
Richie Porte, the pink jersey-holder from last year in a revelatory grand tour debut, crashed hard and finished in the gruppetto at 18:49 off the pace.
A group of 20 riders arrived together at the hilltop town just behind Pieter Weening, with overall favorites Vincenzo Nibali, Alberto Contador, Michele Scarponi, Joaquim Rodríguez and Roman Kreuziger finishing sixth through 10th, respectively.
A few others lost time, including Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago), at 25 seconds; Carlos Sastre (Geox-TMC) and Emanuele Sella (Androni) lost 28 seconds each.
The fifth stage saw its fair share of crashes. Here’s the official medical communiqué from the Giro medical staff:
• 107km: Crash without consequence David Millar and Angel Vicioso;
• 130km: Chris Butler (BMC), cuts on both side of body; Richie Porte (Saxo Bank), cuts on lower right left, knee and thigh; Marcel Wyss (Geox-TMC) and Ivan Rovny (RadioShack), without serious injury;
• 135km: crashing without serious injuries were Hubert Dupont, Jackson Rodriguez, Vasili Kiryienka, Ignatas Konovalovas, Cyril Dessel, Daniel Moreno, Luca Mazzanti, Elia Favilli, Denis Van Winden, Borut Bozic;
• 167km: Jackson Rodriguez crashed again and received five stitches on his left elbow at the finish line; Francesco Failli (Vini Farnese) crashed in the same incident and was later given stitches to his left knee;
• 176km: Tom Jelte Slagte (Rabobank) crashed and was transported to a hospital in Orvieto, where CAT scans later revealed no brain injury, treated for a fractured jaw and trauma to right shoulder
• Pink jersey: David Millar (Garmin-Cervélo) saw his two-day run in pink end when he faded on the final climb to Orvieto, losing more than two minutes. Pieter Weening (Rabobank) won the stage and holds a two-second lead on Marco Pinotti (HTC-Highroad)
• Red jersey: Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) defended his lead in the points jersey with 28 points, with Christophe Le-Mével (Garmin-Cervélo) climbing into second with 26 points.
• Green jersey: Martin Kohler (BMC) climbed into the lead of the climber’s jersey after riding in a solo breakaway, taking the jersey away from Gianluca Brambilla of Colnago-CSF Inox.
• White jersey: Steven Kruijswijk (Rabobank) ended Bakelandts two-day run in the best young rider’s jersey. Kruijswijk now leads Fabio Duarte (Geox-TMC) by 15 seconds.