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Race leader Di Luca tightens Giro grip

  • Story Highlights
  • Giro leader Danilo Di Luca powers to victory in the 262-kilometer 10th stage
  • Di Luca's eighth event stage win came in six hours 30 minutes 43 seconds
  • Italian has 80 secs lead over twice Tour of Spain champion Denis Menchov
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(CNN) -- Race leader Danilo Di Luca powered to victory in the 262-kilometer 10th stage of the Giro d'Italia from Cuneo to Pinerolo on Tuesday to extend his advantage in the pink jersey position.

In-form race leader Danilo Di Luca pumps his fist after claiming his second stage win of the 2009 Giro.

In-form race leader Danilo Di Luca pumps his fist after claiming his second stage win of the 2009 Giro.

LPR rider Di Luca's eighth event stage victory came in six hours 30 minutes 43 seconds and gave him an 80 seconds lead over twice Tour of Spain champion Denis Menchov.

Rabobank's Menchov was third on the day behind another Italian Franco Pellizotti of Liquigas with Cervelo's fourth-placed Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre also 10 seconds behind Di Luca.

The 11th stage is a largely flat course over 214km from Turin down to the coast at Arenzano, but it is Thursday's 60.6km time trial that will be preoccupying the race favorites.

Di Luca has said he hopes to go into the critical race against the clock with a two-minute lead over his big rivals.

Australian Michael Rogers of Columbia is third overall at 1:33 while Astana's Levi Leipheimer (1:40) of the U.S. in fourth ahead of Liquigas rider Franco Pellizotti at 1:53; Spain's Sastre (1:54) and Italian Ivan Basso (2:03) of Liquigas.

Swede Thomas Lovkvist, who began the day second overall, lost one minute 39 seconds to drop down the standings.

The 2000 Giro champion Stefano Garzelli earlier opened up a lead of almost five and a half minutes on the peloton by the time he went over the top of the huge climb at Sestriere, but then faded.

Pellizotti attacked and swept past the leaders on the Pra Martino climb, but he was caught by Di Luca on the way down.

In-form Di Luca pulled away to snatch his second victory of this year's race as riders resumed normal service having spent the majority of Sunday's 165-km leg staging a go-slow at what they felt was a dangerous city circuit.

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