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Page last updated at 16:22 GMT, Saturday, 23 May 2009 17:22 UK

Gerrans climbs to Giro stage win

Simon Gerrans
Gerrans sprinted clear on the brutal final 2km climb

Australian Simon Gerrans sprinted clear on the final 2km climb to claim victory for the Cervelo team in the 14th stage of the Giro d'Italia.

Russian Denis Menchov of Rabobank maintained his overall lead with a 34-second advantage over 2007 winner Danilo Di Luca.

With five climbs along the 172km from Campi Bisenzio to Bologna, a dozen riders broke away early on.

But when it came to the final ascent, Gerrans had the strongest legs.

"Our tactics were to put men in the front and be ready in case Carlos Sastre needed us there," said Gerrans.

"It was only in the last 20K that I knew that our break would go all the way to the finish. From there, Phillip Deignan set me up perfectly for the final. It was perfect tactics."

pigeons in the park

Di Luca's LPR squad chased the breakaway for much of the stage but gave up when other teams refused to help.

"We pushed until the 50K mark and then I told my teammates to slow down because we couldn't catch them, he said.

"We spent too much energy today. Liquigas could have helped more today. They keep saying they're going to attack."

The head of the peloton finished just over a minute back with Levi Leipheimer and Ivan Basso losing three seconds on their rivals as they struggled with the furious pace set by Franco Pellizotti.

Briton Mark Cavendish, who won stage 13, was pulled out of the race by Team Columbia on Friday to allow him to concentrate on his preparations for July's Tour de France.

Stage 14 results (Saturday):

1. Simon Gerrans (Australia / Cervelo ) 4hrs 16mins 48secs
2. Rubens Bertogliati (Switzerland / Diquigiovanni ) +12"
3. Francesco Gavazzi (Italy / Lampre ) +18"
4. Evgueni Petrov (Russia / Katusha ) +24"
5. Philip Deignan (Ireland / Cervelo ) +27"
6. Chris Froome (Britain / Barloworld ) +36"
7. Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus / Caisse d'Epargne ) +41"
8. Francesco Reda (Italy / Quick-Step ) +1:01"
9. Andriy Grivko (Ukraine / Team ISD ) +1:04"
10. Franco Pellizotti (Italy / Liquigas )

Overall standings:

1. Denis Menchov (Russia/Rabobank) 58hrs 33mins 53secs
2. Danilo Di Luca (Italy / Team LPR ) +34"
3. Levi Leipheimer (U.S. / Astana ) +43"
4. Franco Pellizotti (Italy / Liquigas ) +2:00"
5. Carlos Sastre (Spain / Cervelo ) +2:52"
6. Ivan Basso (Italy / Liquigas ) +3:03"
7. Michael Rogers (Australia / Columbia ) +3:05"
8. Gilberto Simoni (Italy / Diquigiovanni ) +5:17"
9. Marzio Bruseghin (Italy / Lampre ) +5:26"
10. David Arroyo (Spain / Caisse d'Epargne ) +6:01"
Selected other:
14. Lance Armstrong (U.S. / Astana ) +7:28"

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see also
Team pulls Cavendish out of Giro
22 May 09 |  Cycling
Cavendish takes third Giro stage
22 May 09 |  Cycling
Speedy Menchov steals Giro lead
21 May 09 |  Cycling
Cavendish wins second Giro stage
20 May 09 |  Cycling
Di Luca extends overall Giro lead
19 May 09 |  Cycling
Protest overshadows Cavendish win
17 May 09 |  Cycling
Horrillo out of coma after crash
17 May 09 |  Cycling
Hagen sprints to Giro stage win
15 May 09 |  Cycling
Scarponi takes Giro stage victory
14 May 09 |  Cycling
Menchov powers to Giro stage win
13 May 09 |  Cycling
Di Luca takes Giro fourth stage
12 May 09 |  Cycling
Petacchi grabs overall Giro lead
11 May 09 |  Cycling
Cavendish keeps overall Giro lead
10 May 09 |  Cycling
Cavendish nabs historic Giro lead
09 May 09 |  Cycling
Olympics not priority - Cavendish
04 May 09 |  Cycling

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