May 21, 2008
Well I did warn you. CN reports: Italian Champion Giovanni Visconti (Quick Step) held onto the race leader’s maglia rosa which he gained on the escape of stage six, clocking a time of 57’46″, just over one minute back from the stage winner. He even passed his closest GC rival, German Matthias Russ, and now leads by over three minutes. “I tried to do something good and I think that I did it. So, I am satisfied with the day,” noted the 25 year-old from Silica. Alberto Contador is first of the race’s main classification contenders at 6’59″ back, Klöden 55″ further back, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) 1’04″, Paolo Savoldelli (LPR Brakes) 1’09″, Riccardo Riccò (Saunier Duval-Scott) 1’33″, Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes) 1’34″ and Denis Menchov (Rabobank) 1’58″.
Bruseghin won. Contador and Kloden did well, but Leipheimer was off the pace. Di Luca did worst of all the contenders and will need a break to get back on terms, but I can’t see it happening this week. I do see Ricco having a real go in Pantani country later today, but it depends who digs deep and hangs with him. Astana looks good today but the Italians will want to own this race and won’t let Astana get out of sight.