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Menchov stays in control
- Updated: May 24, 2009
Italy’s Leonardo Bertagnolli won the 15th stage of the Giro d’Italia with a long breakaway on Sunday in severe heat but Russia’s Denis Menchov held onto the overall leader’s pink maglia rosa jersey.
Bertagnolli, who rides for the Diquigiovanni team, clocked 4 hours, 18 minutes, 34 seconds over the 161-kilometre (100-mile) leg from Forli to Faenza. It was his first ever Giro d’Italia stage win.
Serge Pauwels of Belgium finished second, 54 seconds behind, and Marco Pinotti of Italy was third with the same time.
Stage 16 on Monday could be decisive, with a steep uphill finish to Monte Petrano concluding a 237-kilometer (147-mile) leg that begins in Pergola. The race ends May 31 in Rome.
There were no major changes at the top of the General Classicfaction. Menchov retained his lead in the overall classification and will wear pink for another day in the mountains Monday. Gilberto Simoni (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli), who was eighth, dropped out of the top 10.
As far as Barloworld’s South Africans went John-Lee Augustyn and Robbie Hunter both finishes 22min 48sec back in 131st and 156th position respectively.
In the general classification Augustyn is 78th, 1:29:57 down and Hunter 143rd (2:39:26).
Said Hunter: ‘What a day!! The race absolutely exploded into pieces! The groupetto was about 120 people and when its that big it means people are messed & race was hard, hard!’