Today's Giro d'Italia was like one of those bicycle races where everything goes your way, at least if your name is Alessandro Petacchi.
The Ale-Jet's Fassa Bortolo team stayed in control at the front of the peloton as it entered the town of Rovereto. When Paride Grillo, one of the hangers'-on trying to take advantage of the Fassa's lead-out, started his sprint, Petacchi found plenty of speed in his legs and blew him away at the finish, according to the live call at CyclingNews.
That marked the second Giro stage win for Petacchi, who couldn't live up to his nine victories the previous year. His team had lined him up for sprint wins several other times, but Petacchi just couldn't close the deal.
As the race enters the mountains again beginning Saturday, many of the sprinters are expected to pack their bags and exit the rest of the race.
Other top sprinters finishing in the 110-mile race from Alleghe to Rovereto included Grillo (2nd, Ceramica Panaria), Jaan Kirispuu (5th, Credit Agricole), Robbie McEwen (6th, Davitamon-Lotto), Stuart O'Grady (7th, Cofidis), Aurelien Clerc (8th, Phonak), Baden Cooke (10, Francaise Des Jeux), and Erik Zabel (11th, T-Mobile).
Meanwhile, there were no changes among the overall leaders. Ivan Basso (CSC) still holds the leader's pink jersey and Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel Pro Cycling) remains in 2nd place.
The Giro d'Italia crosses six mountain passes into the heart of the Dolomites on Saturday. Live reports are available at CyclingNews and VeloNews, and a tape delayed broadcast will be shown from 5 to 7 p.m. (ET) Saturday and Sunday on OLN TV.
Update: Italian police have taken Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen in for questioning. It seems they searched the hotel where his team is staying and found one of those altitude tents, according to Australian press reports.