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87th Giro d'Italia - Grand Tour

Italy, May 8-30, 2004

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Stage 12 - May 21: Cesena - Treviso, 210 Km

Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from Tim Maloney

Complete live report

Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:15 CEST

14:18 CEST   
Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of Stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia. After yesterday's longest stage of 228 km, today is another long one: 210 km between Cesena and Treviso. In contrast to yesterday, today's stage is dead flat, with the highest point being only 25m above sea level! The weather is perfect too - sunny and around 25 degrees with no wind. You couldn't ask for a better day for a ride!

On paper, it looks like another bunch sprint today, especially as the sprinters can take a bit of a rest in tomorrow's time trial. So look out for Petacchi, McEwen, Zanotti and Rodriguez again.

The Intergiro point is after 181 km today - quite late in the stage.

14:33 CEST    110km/100km to go
Massimo Iannetti (Domina Vacanze) didn't start today after fracturing his collarbone in yesterday's 11th stage. 152 riders signed on in Cesena this morning.

The racing started almost immediately, with attacks going from the gun until three riders escaped at the 14 km mark: Leonardo Scarselli (Colombia-Selle Italia), Gert Steegmans (Lotto-Domo) and Radoslav Rogina (Tenax). After covering 43.2 km in the first hour, the trio quickly gained an advantage of four minutes. After 50 km, it was 5'05 but with Fassa Bortolo controlling the peloton, the gap has hovered between four and five minutes since then.

They're now at km 110 - still 100 km to race. The average speed after two hours was 43.3 km/h.

14:47 CEST    117km/93km to go
Lotto Domo and Fassa Bortolo are marshalling the peloton, riding a controlling tempo behind the three man break. The last time check was 3'58 at the 110 km mark.

14:51 CEST   
What sort of bike has carried Alessandro Petacchi to five stage wins (so far) in this year's Giro. You can take a look for yourself at Petacchi's Pinarello Dogma in our latest edition of Tech news.

15:00 CEST    124km/86km to go
The main bunch passes through the feed zone at Adria, still rolling along at a nice tempo. In another 60 km, the stage will pass by Venice, but will not pay a visit to this famous Italian city.

15:06 CEST    129km/81km to go
There is a moderate tailwind blowing the riders up the eastern coast of Italy, and when they make the turn past Padua towards Treviso it will be directly behind them. Not surprisingly, the average after 3 hours is 43.35 km/h. Not quite the same as yesterday's tempo of 48 km/h, but still quick enough. The sun is out and the temperature is climbing up above the 25 degree mark.

15:16 CEST    137km/73km to go
It's now Fassa Bortolo doing all the work to chase Scarselli, Steegmans and Rogina who have been away since kilometre 14. The biggest lead they got was 5'05 and it's now 3'50 with less than 75 km to go to the finish.

15:21 CEST    140km/70km to go
We're not going to see the Saeco team doing a lot of work in front today, as none of the three leaders present the remotest of threats to the maglia rosa. Leonardo Scarselli is the best placed on GC in 57th at 32.16 down. He's not going to get that back today.

15:29 CEST    146km/64km to go
The gap between Scarselli, Steegmans and Rogina has fallen to 3'30 as they approach the 60 km to go mark. The Intergiro is still a good 35 km away.

15:39 CEST    152km/58km to go
Most of the riders are using today's long flat stage to relax a bit before tomorrow's TT. Thus they're happy to let Fassa Bortolo to do the work and bring it back for a bunch sprint. Lotto-Domo and Saeco are the next two teams in line behind Fassa.

The gap to the three leaders is 2'55 now.

15:46 CEST    159km/51km to go
There are just over 50 km to go in this 12th stage, and we still have three leaders: Geert Steegmans, Radoslav Rogina and Leonardo Scarselli. The time gap is 2'58, and should start to come down a bit more now.

15:52 CEST    163km/47km to go
Dario Cioni is doing his turn on the front of the Fassa Bortolo train, despite the fact that he is the best placed rider on GC. Fassa Bortolo is all for Petacchi in this Giro.

The gap is now down to 2'10.

15:55 CEST   
Steve Zampieri (Vini Caldirola) is getting attention for a bleeding nose it looks like. He is ok though.

15:59 CEST    167km/43km to go
Rogina, Steegmans and Scarselli now have 1'40 to the Fassa train with 43 km to go.

16:05 CEST    171km/39km to go
We now have just two Fassa Bortolo riders in front of the bunch, doing enough to slowly reduce the gap to the three leaders.

16:07 CEST    175km/35km to go
The leading trio have 35 km left in this 210 km journey between Cesena and Treviso. The bunch passes through led by two Saeco riders at a distance of 1'27

16:15 CEST    180km/30km to go
The leaders are now at the Intergiro point with just 1'00 seconds lead on the flying peloton. Steegmans takes a flyer and survives for a bit longer.

16:17 CEST   
Steegmans leads Scarselli and Rogina by three seconds with the peloton at 48 seconds, but moving very fast...

16:21 CEST    185km/25km to go
Steegmans is riding away from Scarselli and Rogina and is now 10 seconds clear. The peloton is at 56 seconds, led by most of Fassa Bortolo and a couple of Saeccos. Australian champion Matt Wilson is also up the front with three FDJeux.com teammates looking after Brad McGee.

16:23 CEST    190km/20km to go
Fornaciari is now leading the peloton, clawing the gap back to 48 seconds.

Intergiro results: Rogina, Scarselli and Steegmans, who attacked just after the Intergiro mark. Robert Forster, Aart Vierhouten, Crescenzo D'Amore and Marlon Perez Arango took fourth to seventh places.

16:25 CEST    190km/20km to go
Steegmans has 35 seconds lead on the entire peloton, which has caught Scarselli and Rogina now. The Lotto man has 20 km to go.

16:27 CEST    191km/19km to go
Philippe Gilbert (FDJ) is sitting next to PEtacchi behind the parallel trains of Fassa Bortolo and FDJeux.com. FDJ is working to protect McGee, who has a chance to take the maglia rosa back in tomorrow's TT. He'll need a very good ride to haul back 1'49 on Cunego, but anything's possible. McGee has been very active in this Giro, winning a stage and finishing second twice, not to mention a few good attacks.

16:29 CEST    194km/16km to go
Steegmans has had a pretty good ride today, spending 175 km in front of the race. The 23 year old is now passing through thousands of fans with just over 15 km to go. He only has a 10 second lead though.

16:31 CEST    195km/15km to go
After around 180 km in front, Steegmans is caught at last and Fassa Bortolo puts all its men on the front. Now it's going to be the usual fight for Petacchi's wheel.

16:33 CEST    196km/14km to go
It looks like the entire Fassa Bortolo team is at the front with Petacchi in 9th wheel, but there's a bit of a challenge from Tenax on the right hand side. McEwen is in about 20th wheel, near Petacchi as normal. 14 km to go now.

16:36 CEST    197km/13km to go
The race has just passed through Zero Branco on the outskirts of Treviso. Various trains are manoevering behind and next to Fassa Bortolo, trying to put their sprinters in the right spot. Alessio and Acqua e Sapone are also up there.

We're now at Quinto di Treviso.

16:38 CEST    200km/10km to go
Codol and Gustov drive the Fassa train along with all of their teammates in place. They have 10 km to go before the finish, which will surely be a bunch sprint. No team has yet been able to launch a train to match Fassa Bortolo.

16:40 CEST    202km/8km to go
The speed is now up around 60 km/h with 8 km to go as Alessio continues to ride next to Fassa Bortolo. Another Alessio (Galletti) from Domina Vacanze takes a turn from the Fassa Bortolos.

16:42 CEST    203km/7km to go
The peloton is in full flight in preparation for the sprint in Treviso. Nauduzs (Domina) is well placed now, as are Furlan and Backstedt. But Petacchi is sitting comfortably behind his train. Furlan now has Petacchi's wheel. McEwen is a little bit behind.

16:43 CEST    205km/5km to go
A suicide attack - Domenico Gualdi (Formaggi) goes with just over 5km left and gets a nice gap. But this will be difficult.

16:44 CEST    206km/4km to go
Gualdi has his head down as he hammers along at 55 km/h in the last 5 km. Behind him, the peloton gets organised again and swallows him with 4 km to go.

16:44 CEST    207km/3km to go
Anotehr Formaggi rider leads the peloton with the Fassa train in tow. Nauduzs and Petacchi (wearing similar purple jerseys) are in 7th and 8th wheels. Backstedt does a big turn in front.

16:45 CEST   
Backstedt pulls off with four Fassas on his wheel, including Petacchi, with 3 km to go. Then Domina and Acqua e Sapone try to swamp the Fassas. Scirea is leading.

16:46 CEST   
Lombardi is just in front of Petacchi in fourth wheel with 2.5 km to go. Not too many corners - just a loooong straight.

16:46 CEST    208km/2km to go
McEwen and Pollack fight for Petacchi's wheel, as does Zanotti. Petacchi in fourth wheel with 2km to go. Usov moves up alongside.

16:47 CEST    209km/1km to go
Three Fassas lead out with 1.5 km to go with Petacchi in fourth. Now third as one pulls off. McEwen is on Petacchi's wheel with 1km togo.

16:49 CEST    210km/0km to go
Ongarato leads, then Velo and Petacchi. Usov moves up next to Petacchi as Velo leads out. But McGee surprises them and goes early as Ongarato pulls off - but he is taken by Furlan, who has Petacchi right on his wheel. Zanotti crashes....

McEwen goes hard but can't get around Petacchi, who takes his SIXTH stage win of this year's Giro. That was a little messy in the last 500m but Petacchi held his own yet again.

Zanotti is being helped up.

The GC remains similar, but it appears that there was a break in the peloton and Simoni lost six seconds. So Cunego now leads by 16 seconds with Pellizotti third at 34 seconds.


1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                          4.48.12
2 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Domo                                
3 Alexandre Usov (Blr) Phonak Hearing Systems       
4 Zoran Klemencic (Slo) Tenax                             
5 Olaf Pollack (Ger) Gerolsteiner                         
6 Alberto Loddo (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir            
7 Crescenzo d'Amore (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Caffe Mokambo   
8 Maxim Rudenko (Ukr) Chocolade Jacques Wincor-Nixdorf  
9 Andris Nauduzs (Lat) Domina Vacanze                          
10 Simone Cadamuro (Ita) De Nardi                      

General classification after stage 12

1 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Saeco                                      55.31.41
2 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco                                         0.16
3 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi                             0.34
4 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago                     0.40
5 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Margres                   0.58
6 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie           1.15
7 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                               1.19
8 Andrea Noe' (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi                                   1.23
9 Serguei Gontchar (Ukr) De Nardi                                         
10 Emanuele Sella (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Margres                     1.25

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