It was a tough one to Porto Sant-Elpidio – Farrar, Feillu and Hushovd all go home. The dream is over for Navardauskas – he lost 15 minutes. But his Garmin team mates Ryder Hesjedal and Christian Vande Velde move up to third and fifth on GC.

Garmin will burn up the watts in search of more pink – they know it’ll be harder to come by when the Gazzetta stage ranking is a 5* and not a 3*, as yesterday’s was.

Cav lost 33 minutes, finishing behind the big gruppettos with trusted wingman Eisel and old warhorse, Jez Hunt.

In the same – last on the road – group were Bos, Brown and Phinney.

Prologues and sprint stages are one thing – but they’re just the appetisers, the support band to warm the crowd up for the main act.

The main attraction unfortunately involves a lot of gravity.

Androni DS Gianni Savio pulled another one of his South American rabbits from the hat with Rubiano.

Porto Sant-Elpidio
Rubiano’s win in Porto Sant-Elpidio doesn’t come out fo the blue – he’s a quality rider.

I checked his palmarés and there’s even a national madison championship medal in there, back in 2003.

He had solid amateur results in 2005; and in 2006 rode the Giro for Panaria, staying with the team for another year.

But in 2008 he was back down the divisions with Centri della Calzatura which was Slovenian based that year and Italian based the following year.

During that time he picked up South American victories, a stage in the Tour of Slovakia and some excellent Italian results – such as 5th in the Coppa Agostoni and Coppa Sabatini and 3rd in the Trofeo Melinda.

For 2010 he was with Croatian squad Meridiana (current home of VeloVeritaslatest blogger – David McLean) taking wins in South America and again riding well on the Italian scene.

The problem with ‘riding well’ in Italy is that there hundreds of riders who fall into that category – East Europeans, riders from the Balkans and riders from South America, like Rubiano.

But a sponsor will always want an Italian rider first.

Last year – with Nippo – he scored an excellent win in the early season San Luis Tour in Argentina, another stage win in Slovakia and one in the Tour of Hokkaido – and his usual solid Italian results.

Savio snapped him up this year and his start to the year was strong – with 2nd in Laigueglia and 5th in Lugano.

A Giro stage will be big news back in his homeland and means he doesn’t have to worry about a contract for next year – a luxury for the man from Bogota.

Porto Sant-Elpidio
Malori took pink for Lampre.

Malori took pink for Lampre; a former European and world champion time triallist, he’s reigning Italian TT champion with a win in the TT stage of the Coppi Bartali, last year.

He may be headed for the top, but then again…

Lampre won’t burn to much gas in defence – ‘it’s all for Scarponi.’

And we’ll be there, tomorrow – Jings!