The first of this year's Grand Tours, the Giro d'Italia, kicked off this weekend in Genova with the 143km stage to Alba.

As many expected, Italian Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) won the eventual sprint finish, beating off an attack from Australian Robbie McEwen (Lotto-Domo) who ended up in fourth place. Also putting on a good sprint to take second place was Gerolsteiner’s Olaf Pollack and Crescenzo D'amore (Acqua & Sapone-Caffe Mokambo) was another who managed to nip past McEwan after his attack.

Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) was back in 14th but made sure he was in the limelight in anycase by picking up a (small) 200 Swiss Franc fine for turning up at the prologue on Saturday in a full skin suit adorned with heraldic lions.

Today's stage is the 184km between Novi Ligure and Pontremoli.

Useful sites:

Official website

Daily Peloton with live reports.