What a difference a rest day makes! Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) won the eleventh stage (Oropesa del Mar to Algemesi), a win that the Italian needed, to prove he is still a contender in the world of cycling. At the Giro d’Italia this year, Petacchi was found to have high levels of salbutamol (asthma medicine) but he was absolved of any blame by the Italian cycling federation because he had a medical certificate for it and mistakenly used too much. Unfortunately, the incident left him out of the Tour de France.
Coming in second and third in today’s stage after Petacchi were Betinni (Quick.Step) and Erik Zabel (Milram). Meanwhile, Leonardo Piepoli took the “meilleur grimpeur” (King of the Mountains) title after the last mountain stage. Tom Boonen, who was expected to join the sprint to the finish in today’s stage, decided not to push it. He says his horrible crash in Zaragoza “traumatized” him and he was not prepared to deal with the twists and turns in Algemesi today.
The general classement leaders are still (1) Menchov, (2) Efimkin and (3) Evans.