20 May 2009

Di Luca takes 10th stage Giro victory

5:59 am on 20 May 2009

Race leader Danilo Di Luca stormed to victory in the 10th stage of the crisis-hit Giro d'Italia to extend his overall advantage.

The Italian LPR rider broke away from the pack late on during the 262-km stage, the longest in the three-week race, which included this year's highest climb to the ski resort of Sestriere.

The 2007 winner, who fought off doping allegations last year, finished ahead of compatriot Franco Pellizotti in second and Russian Denis Menchov.

Overall, Di Luca holds a one minute 20 second lead over Rabobank's Menchov with Australian Michael Rogers third.

The Giro, which had a rest day yesterday, was hit by controversy on Monday when riders decided the route through the streets of Milan was too dangerous and it was agreed stage nine times would not count for the general classification.

The New Zealander Julian Dean, who is the Garmin-Slipstream sprint setup rider, remains near the tail of the field on general classification.

The protest was partly prompted by Spain's Pedro Horrillo Munoz falling down a ravine on Sunday and being seriously hurt.

The world's second biggest stage race, in its centenary year, had to deal with more bad news earlier today when a motorcyclist who followed the peloton with a photographer was killed in a crash on his way to the route in north west Italy.

Tonight's 214-km 11th stage goes from Turin to Arenzano near Genoa. The race ends in Rome on May 31st.