Ferrari Nabs Giro Stage 11; Sagan "FourPetes" in California
Italian rider Roberto Ferrari—the same racer who precipitated Stage Three’s calamitous pileup—won the sprint at the end of the Giro’s 258-kilometer stage Wednesday. World Champ Mark Cavendish took fourth on the day, while Joaquin Rodriguez, team Katusha, holds onto the pink leader’s jersey for another day—maintaining a 17-second lead over Ryder Hesjedal, the Canadian Garmin-Barracuda rider who is looking to retake the maglia rosa after Rodgiquez relieved him of it after three stages. Previous Giro d’Italia winner Ivan Basso of Liquigas-Cannondale sits in the sixth spot, about a minute off the lead.
While the field continues to shift and sort itself out in Italy, the Amgen Tour of California has seemingly been a one-man show, with Peter Sagan taking a record-breaking fourth stage in a row—the most by a single rider in any previous running of the eight-stage race; and the most career AToC stage wins of all time. In clinching both records, the 22-year-old Slovakian surpassed hometown hero Levi Leipheimer, who has turned out to be a non-contender this year, racing while nursing a broken leg he suffered last month.
With all four stages capped off with a decisive sprint finish, some cycling fans are starting to stifle yawns. “Wash, rinse, repeat,” says Bicycling magazine’s Jen See, who just posted an interesting piece asking the question: “Is the 2012 Tour of California Too Hard?”
See also delves into Peter Sagan’s background, taking a closer look at the young dark horse who has unexpectedly dominated the race so far. Sagan has publicly said he expects to relinquish the AToC’s yellow leader’s jersey after Thursday’s time trial in Bakersfield—but of course, he said the same thing about Stages Three and Four.