Stage 13: Porto Recanti - Cesenatico
By AFP & Cyclingnews.com
Friday, May 21, 2010 3.07pm
Richie Porte spends another day in pink
Italy's Manuel Belletti, of the CSF team, won Friday's 13th stage of the Tour of Italy with Australian Richie Porte of Saxo Bank holding on to the leader's pink jersey.
Belletti, who was born in Cesena near the stage's finishing line, took the honours after leading home a lengthy breakaway.
New Zealand's Greg Henderson took second place ahead of Spaniard Iban Mayoz and Germany's Paul Voss.
"I felt an incredible emotion," said Belletti. "The finish line is five kilometres from my house. It's the realisation of a dream."
Belletti's victory was the second for an Italian in this year's race, following Filippo Pozzato's success in the 12th stage on Thursday.
A group of 17 riders, none of whom presented any kind of threat to the overall leaders, broke away after 62 kilometres of the 223km stage.
They stretched their lead over the chasing pack to almost 10 minutes by the 136km mark and arrived in Cesenatico, the former home of late 1998 Giro winner Marco Pantani, more than seven minutes ahead of the peloton.
Belletti outpaced the supposedly quicker Henderson in the ensuing sprint, while Russia's Vladimir Karpets crossed the line five minutes back in 17th place to bite off two and a half minutes of the overall leaders' advantage.
"To win in front of my fans, in the town of Marco where I watched races on television, I can't find the words to describe what it means to me," added Belletti. "It's my first Giro."
Karpets said his late charge had been instinctive.
"I took 2min 24sec (from the leaders) and I'm missing 10 more (minutes)," he said. "If I keep feeling this good, I hope to do well in the next stages."
Porte finished seven minutes off the pace in 39th place to keep hold of the race leader's jersey.
Saturday's 14th stage in the mountainous north of the country is a 205km ride from Ferrara to Asolo, with Monte Grappa to be climbed 40km from the finish.
© AFP 2010
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