Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre won his second stage of the centenary Tour of Italy on the 19th stage over 164km from Avellino to Vesuvio on Friday as Russian Denis Menchov held onto the leader's pink jersey.







Stage 19 Results
1 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervelo Test Team - 4.33.23
2 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas - 0.21
3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini - 0.30
4 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank
5 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas - 0.35
6 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana - 0.53
7 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) AG2R La Mondiale - 1.14
8 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Cervelo Test Team - 1.15
9 Jose Serpa (Col) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli
10 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo

General Classification After Stage 19
1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank - 81.13.55
2 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini - 0.18
3 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas - 1.39
4 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervelo Test Team - 2.40
5 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas - 3.33
6 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana - 4.55
7 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo - 8.48
8 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Columbia - Highroad - 9.32
9 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) AG2R La Mondiale - 10.42
10 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C. - 11.32

Full Results here

Jersey Standings:
- Denis Menchov
- Danilo Di Luca
- Stefano Garzelli
- Kevin Seeldrayers

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"Menchov retains Giro lead; Sastre wins 19th stage

MOUNT VESUVIUS, Italy (AP) - Russia's Denis Menchov all but wrapped up the Giro d'Italia on Friday, keeping the leader's pink jersey after a stage that took riders up the slopes of the Mount Vesuvius volcano.

Carlos Sastre of Spain won the 19th stage with a solo attack up the steep volcano. Lance Armstrong fell midway through the stage, but seemed unhurt and got back on his bike after repairs.

Menchov crossed fourth with the same time as Danilo Di Luca, retaining an 18-second lead over the Italian in the overall standings. Franco Pellizotti of Italy remained third, 1:39 back, while Sastre moved up from fifth to fourth.

Sastre, the defending Tour de France winner, finished in 4 hours, 33 minutes, 23 seconds over the 102-mile leg, which began in Avellino. Pellizotti was 21 seconds behind, and Di Luca was 30 seconds back in third.

Armstrong apparently touched the wheel of the rider in front of him as the main pack went around a tight turn on the Amalfi coast. The Texan hit the pavement on his left side - the opposite side of his crash in March when he broke his collarbone." Read more from The AP...

"Sastre wins as Menchov stays in pink

(CNN) -- Carlos Sastre claimed his second stage win of the centenary Giro d'Italia as Denis Menchov clung on to the leader's pink jersey from Danilo Di Luca.

Friday's finish to the summit of Mount Vesuvius had always promised drama and the main protagonists did not disappoint over the 164km from Avellino.

Tour de France champion Sastre of the Cervelo team made his move on the final 13km climb and after shrugging of the attentions of home hope Ivan Basso rode clear for a fine victory to add to his win on Monday's stage.

But his efforts were not enough to move him into a podium position as Italian Franco Pellizotti battled hard to finish second and lose only 21 seconds to Sastre.

Pellizotti had led him by one minute 30 seconds at the start of the day and now looks assured of third overall." Read more from CNN International...

"Menchov a certain winner as Sastre erupts on Vesuvio
By Anthony Tan

Friday on Mount Vesuvius, one witnessed an eruption of the two-wheeled kind at the Centenary Giro as Cervelo TestTeam's Carlos Sastre, his title chances written off after a bad day in the mountains two days prior, redeemed himself on its baking hot slopes to claim his second hilltop win.

"It was two nice victories, but my goal in this Giro d'Italia was something more," said Sastre with typical honesty.

"In [Stage 17 to] Blockhaus, I lost two important riders for the climbs - a teammate [Philip Deignan] crashed just before the climb and I lost another good rider two days before [in Volodymir Gustov]. Then I made a mistake when [Danilo] Di Luca attacked and I couldn't follow. But, I'm happy - three big stages for our team."

Conversely, on mainland Italy's only volcano to have erupted in the past century, maglia rosa Denis Menchov kept ice-cool. As he has done since he took the lead seven stages ago in the Cinque Terre time trial, the cold-faced Rabobank leader defended superbly, allowing those who did not threaten him to ride away - but never losing sight of arch-rival Di Luca of LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini, the pair ending the stage on the same time, a half-minute behind Sastre in third and fourth, respectively." Read more from Cyclingnews.com...

Photo credit - CorVos