Giro d'Italia - Pozzato breaks Italy's barren run

Eurosport - Thu, 20 May 16:39:00 2010

Filippo Pozzato broke Italy's duck by winning the 12th stage of the Giro d'Italia in a small bunch sprint finish in Porto Recanati.

- 0

Team Katusha's Pozzato recorded the first individual stage victory for the host nation as he edged out France's Thomas Voeckler at the end of a 206 kilometre stage from Citta Sant'Angelo.

An early three-man breakaway was caught by the peloton on the third category ascent of the Potenza Picena with a host of big name riders attacking on the climb which peaked with 11.7km remaining.

Alexandre Vinokourov, who lost the pink jersey in Wednesday's dramatic stage when a 56-man escape group formed and overturned the top 10 on general classification, was in the group along with fellow overall contenders Vincenzo Nibali, Ivan Basso, Damiano Cunego, Marco Pinotti, Stefano Garzelli and Michele Scarponi.

They crossed the line with a 10 second advantage over the pink jersey group of overall leader Richie Porte which also included his Australian compatriot, world champion Cadel Evans.

Evans was so irate with the attempts to close down the break that he physically lashed out at Lampre's Davide Righi for his delaying tactics.

Vinokourov started the sprint but Pozzato, in the jersey of the Italian champion, took to the front and held off Bbox Bouygues Telecom's Voeckler. Quick Step's Jerome Pineau took third place which denied the GC contenders from picking up valuable bonus seconds.

"I'm very happy, it's what we needed. We had to have a stage like this after yesterday," Pozzato said.

"The last week will be spectacular and it won't be over till it's over."

Rabobank's Rick Flens initiated an early break as the race travelled along Italy's east coast and he built up a nine-minute lead before being joined by Yuriy Krivstov (AG2R) and Olivier Kaisen (Omega Pharma-Lotto).

However, the peloton reeled back the three-man breakaway inside the final 15km to set up another action-packed finale in this year's dramatic race.

Porte retains his 1 minute 42 second race lead over Spain's David Arroyo of Caisse D'Epargne.

Giro d’Italia: Friday 1.45pm LIVE on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin 521) & on the Eurosport Player.

Lee Walker / Eurosport

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account