Tirreno Adriatico - it's over
The Italian Tour finished today with the new Dutch sensation Thomas Dekker taking the overall classification.
It had been back to business for the sprinters over the past two stages and plenty of big hitters sharpening their form for Milan-SanRemo this Sunday. Some big names are featuring into the top ten's now, or perhaps they are just trying to avoid the crashes and get to the end of the stage first! It's usually a rider who has performed well in the "race of two seas" who wins the Italian Spring classic, although I expect Mr. Boonen to have something to say about that.
The list of 'sick notes' after nasty crashes gets longer. Jan Kirsipuu (Crédit Agricole), has broken his left heel after a big stack on stage 3. He'll miss the next few weeks, along with a whole list of others. A dog out into the road and caused Thorwald Veneberg to crash on the penultimate day he broke his collarbone. The 28 year-old Rabobank rider suffered a concussion and also fractured his ischial bone, ouch. You get the feeling that the riders just want the race over with now, it's been a miserable few days for weather and crashes. Bettini, Simeoni, Stuart O'Grady (broke 4 ribs and a collar bone) are just to name three stars who'd have a shout at San Remo.
Magnus Backstedt finished though, he's second to last on the GC now, but he'll not climb off unless he absolutely has too. Awesome, even at his 'worst'.
According to his manager, Martin McCrossan:
"Magnus has fought his way through Tirreno in true Magnus style. The injury that was caused by the crash in the Tour of Majorca has still been plaguing him. One day it was fine, the next day it was agony! The news is very positive today, no pain and we move to the next phase with growing confidence for the classics.
"Magnus now rides Milan San Remo at the weekend and we then head to Belgium next week for focused training on the cobbles of Flanders and Roubaix."
We'll keep an eye out for him!
Stage 6 results
1. Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone 4.40.40 (38.907 km/h)
2. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Team Milram
3. Riccardo Ricco (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir
4. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Quick Step-Innergetic
5. Igor Astarloa (Spa) Barloworld
6. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Acqua Sapone
7. Mikhaylo Khalilov (Ukr) Team L.P.R.
8. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
9. Pedro Arreitunandia (Spa) Barloworld
10. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole
Stage 7 brief Results:
1. Alessandro Petacchi (Milram)
1. Thomas Dekker (Rabobank)