Sprinter Form Check – the Giro d’Italia

Pavé would like to thank Laekhouse for supporting our coverage of the 2011 Giro d’Italia.


Fotoreporter Sirotti


The halfway mark of the Giro d’Italia is a good time to check the form of the sprinters as we approach the battle royale of the Tour de France (especially as the top sprinters have bowed out ahead of the Giro’s difficult mountain stages). Here are some highlights.

One of the most astonishing candidates for green in July is perhaps Lampre’s Alessandro Petacchi. Fresh from some high-altitude climbing training with teammate Michele Scarponi, Petacchi claims to be a new man, earning himself a 3-minute difference against Mark Cavendish on Mt. Etna. That’s some impressive stuff, especially given the allegations that Cavendish hung onto his team car for longer than should be necessary. Regardless, sprinters do not compete on time (although Robbie McEwen missed the stage time cut).

A sprinter on the rise is Movistar’s Francisco Ventoso. A specialist in slightly uphill finishes (similar to fellow Spaniard Oscar Freire) Ventoso’s time appears to have arrived. He has consistently finished in the top three in the sprint stages and won last week’s Stage 6 in Fiuggi.

HTC-Highroad’s Mark Cavendish, arguably the fastest of them all, took a while to open his account in this year’s Giro d’Italia. Thwarted by Petacchi on Stage 1 despite showing that he had the speed, Cav timed his Stage 10 win to perfection against a fading Petacchi, then added another on Stage 12 despite a chaotic finish. Credit goes to him and to the well-drilled HTC-Highroad leadout train.

Colnago’s Sacha Modolo and Farnese’s Oscar Gatto deserve mention for their performances, but they won’t be figuring in the Tour de France. Francesco Chicchi of Quick-Step has lurked around the top-10 but with no clear signs of a breakthrough.

Which sprinter of this year’s Giro has impressed you the most? Share your comments below.

About Julius

Educated by Dutch and Belgian priests halfway around the world from the cobbled classics that he loves, Julius' aspiration is to someday earn Belgian citizenship.
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3 Responses to Sprinter Form Check – the Giro d’Italia

  1. Matt Harrop says:

    I'd like to see Greg Henderson get up for some sprints at the Tour, provided he makes Sky's team of course.

  2. MW says:

    No mention of Appollonio? Had a good last stage and was featured in the others really without any train, if SKY had there Tour of Cali squad here he could of done even better. Only young as well.

  3. Mattio says:

    Petacchi definitely impressed me this Giro. A commenter a few posts back said he was probably angling to be Italy's man for Worlds this year. Sounds right to me.

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