PINOTTI TAKES GIRO LEAD, LAVERDE WINS STAGE
Marco Pinotti (T-Mobile) is the new leader of the Giro d’Italia and made it clear which side he is on in the fight against doping with some strong words in his first after-race Giro press conference.
Pinotti was part of a five-rider long-range attack that shaped the 179km sixth stage from Tivoli to Spoleto on Friday and then broke away with Colombia’s Luis Felipe Laverde of the Panaria team, 20km from Spoleto. Pinotti let Laverde win the stage, knowing he would pull on the race leader’s pink jersey because the main peloton and previous race leader Danilo Di Luca of Italy finished 7-09 behind. Pinotti now leads Hubert Schwab (Quick Step) by 3-30, while slipped to third place overall at 4:12.
“I would have liked to win the sprint because I’ve never won a Giro stage but I wanted to respect the unwritten rules of cycling,” Pinotti said.
“I’m really happy to have taken the pink jersey. It’s my first leader’s jersey in a ProTour race and it’s a very special moment for me.
Pinotti has been a professional since 1999 and this year rides for T-Mobile team. He is one of the few professional riders with a university degree and is not afraid to speak his mind about the doping problems that have damaged cycling in recent years.
In the 2006 Giro d’Italia, Pinotti finished third behind Ullrich and Ivan Basso.
“Considering what has happened, it’s fair to say I was the strongest that day,” Pinotti said with pride.
“Basso’s story is very sad and I’m disappointed by it all. His presumed confession only came when he had his back to the wall. That offends our intelligence.”
“T-Mobile has brought a totally new way of doing things into cycling this year. We’ve got the back up to be able to practice this sport without any banned substances. It should be like that in every team.”
Pinotti will be able to wear pink jersey with pride during Saturday’s 254km seventh stage from Spoleto to Scarperia, north of Florence. It is the longest stage of the 2007 Giro d’Italia.
RESULTS: GIRO D'ITALIA STAGE SIX
1 Luis Felipe Laverde Jimenez (Col) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare 179km in 4-58-23
2 Marco Pinotti (Ita) T-Mobile at same time
3 Christophe Kern (Fra) Credit Agricole at 1-30
4 Hubert Schwab (Sui) QuickStep at 1-34
5 Daniele Contrini (Ita) Tinkoff at 3-45
6 Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare at 6-55
7 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Milram at 7-09
8 Aliaksandr Usau (Blr) Ag2r at same time
9 Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita) Astana at same time
10 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) Ag2r at same time
120 Charles Wegelius (GBr) Liquigas at 7-09
121 Steven Cummings (GBr) Discovery Channel at same time
OVERALL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE SIX
1 Marco Pinotti (Ita) T-Mobile 23-44-32
2 Hubert Schwab (Sui) QuickStep at 3-30
3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas at 4-12
4 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas at 4-38
5 Andrea Noe' (ita) Liquigas at 4-47
6 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas at 4-47
7 Luis Felipe Laverde Jimenez (Col) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare at 4-49
8 Andy Schleck (Lux) CSC at 5-05
9 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital at 5-06
10 David Zabriskie (USA) CSC at 5-15
46 Charles Wegelius (GBr) Liquigas at 7-21
112 Steven Cummings (GBr) Discovery Channel at 21-00