88th Giro d'Italia - PT
Italy, May 7-29, 2005
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Stage 18 - May 27: Chieri - Torino ITT, 34 km
Commentary by Jeff Jones and Roger Hughes, with additional reporting from
Complete live report
Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:15 CEST
Welcome to Cyclingnews' coverage
of today's final time trial of the Giro d'Italia, a tough 34 km ride between
Chieri and Torino. Just like the first TT between Lamporecchio and Firenze,
today's stage also has a climb in the middle of it.
Starting in Chieri,
the stage heads to Torino via the Colle della Superga, the climb that is the
final difficulty of Milano-Torino. Superga is a 7km ascent that has some steep
pitches over 8% and finishes halfway through. Then Stage 18 rolls across the
shoulder of Colle della Superga, descends to Torino and finishes along the Po
River into Torino on Viale Medaglie d'Oro.
It will be an interesting
battle today for the stage and for the GC, with CSC's David Zabriskie and Ivan
Basso great favourites to take the stage honours, and maglia rosa Paolo
Savoldelli tipped to take time out of his nearest rivals Simoni, Rujano, Di
Luca and Garate.
But watch out for Rujano today - this 48 kg/1.62m
tall lad from Venezuela can definitely ride against the clock. He finished third,
just 15 seconds behind Australian TT champion Nathan O'Neill in the Tour de
Langkawi time trial this year (see
Cyclingnews' interview with Gianni Savio at Langkawi, and although he had
a relatively bad ride in the first Giro TT, the fact that he had to change bikes
three times might have had something to do with that.
Speaking of Zabriskie, guess who
has just set the fastest time? Yep, DZ. The American set the best times at each
of the intermediate checks, and came to the finish in a time of 45'25, an average
of 44.917 km/h. In second place at the moment is Rory Sutherland (Rabobank),
but the Australian was 2'31 slower than Zabriskie. Third is Massimo Codol (Fassa
Bortolo) at 3'16.
Zabriskie was happy with his ride when we congratulated
him afterwards. "Thanks man. Yeah, I felt good today."
Do you think
it's good enough to win? "I suppose we'll see, won't we?"
Zabriskie's time looks like holding
for a while, as Rene Andrle (Liberty) comes through the 8.7 km check in 10'14,
22 seconds behind Zabriskie. Further along the course at km 15.7, Thomas Dekker
(Rabobank) has come through in second, 45 seconds behind Zabriskie.
Jan Hruska, a former winner of Giro
time trial stages, has come through the first checkpoint a fraction of a second
a head of his compatriot and team-mate Andrle but still 22 seconds off the pace
set by Zabriskie.
Dekker finishes and pushes Sutherland
out of provisional second spot; he's 1.34 down on Zabriskie.
Rory Sutherland finished in 47'56
and sculled a can of soft drink before we spoke to him. "Ouch. Ouch. It was
a pretty hard time trial. I dunno how you're supposed to feel after 18 days.
I think everyone's going to hurt out there, no matter what you do. I just said
to myself, 'Just keep going, try not to fall still'. If you go back a gear,
keep it steady on the climb, and don't punch over it, you could end up losing
quite a bit of time.
"It's bloody hot out there. It's hard for everyone.
You can't do more than your best and it definitely wasn't a day off for me."
"I think it should be alright," said Rory. "I was hoping to do about the same
as the first time trial, or maybe a bit better, top 35. It would be fantastic
to get a top 20, but you have to be realistic about these things."
We told Rory about Zabriskie's ride of 45'25: "Woah! If I'm within two and a
half minutes of Zabriskie, I'll be pretty happy." [He was].
Old stager Andrea Peron (CSC) has
come in just a few seconds ahead of Sutherland, who has now dropped down to
One eminently forgettable ride from earlier today that is
worth noting - Olympic multi-medallist Brad Wiggins pootled round some 6.18
slower than Zabriskie, so he's either off-colour or not taking things too seriously.
One non-finisher is Simone Cadamuro
of Domina Vacanze, who crashed late on the descent (after picking up ten places
between the second and third checkpoints...). No further news on him yet.
Jason McCartney (Discovery) is currently
sitting in last overall, having ridden the course in 53'07. He didn't look too
out of breath when we spoke to him. "Someone crashed on the descent, I hope
he's OK," said McCartney, referring to Simone Cadamuro. "I think it's a good
course for Paolo. It seems quite tricky. I think he can definitely make some
time on that descent.
As for the challengers, "Hopefully Paolo can
take a couple of minutes out of them today. We'll see tomorrow."
Russell Van Hout (Selle Italia) rode
across the finish line with part of his clip-on bar in his hand, as it came
off five km to go. He described his mechanic with an obscene gerund, before
remarking, "Our mechanic's the best, eh? He's a wanker. I just had a nice tempo,
It was a good roll down for me. But with five kilometres to go, my bar came
off. I was holding that in one hand and my brake in the other, so I nearly lost
it on one corner.
"The winner will do about 45 minutes, I reckon.
I don't care if I finish last, as long as I get inside the time limit." Van
Hout's time was 52'38.
Ivan Basso has just come through
the first checkpoint one second ahead of Zabriskie; although he may no longer
have any aspirations to a good GC position, he will certainly want to try out
his time-trialling legs today with an eye to events later in the summer...
That also means that there are no
fewer than five CSC riders in the top 8 places at the first timecheck, with
Frank Schleck putting in a more than respectable time as well as Basso, Zabriskie,
Blaudzun and Peron.
We spoke to CSC's Christian Vandevelde,
who finished with a time of 49'48. He was impressed with Zabriskie's ride. "He
just never ceases to amaze me, that's for sure."
Do you think he'll
win? "Yeah, he'll win the time trial. I don't think anyone else is going to
go that fast."
"Savoldelli will go fast, especially on the downhill.
He's the only guy that could give Dave a run for his money. Or Ivan."
Brett Lancaster (Panaria) wasn't
out for a fast ride today, finishing in a time of 50'49. "I just got myself
into a rhythm. I just decided to take it easy today."
How's the bronchitis
going? "It's not going anywhere. I'm stuck with it for the tour. You can't get
rid of these things if you're digging deep every day. After the tour, I'll relax
and maybe party a bit."
Matt White (Cofidis) finished his
ride in 49'29, which at the time was one of the fastest. It took a while before
he cooled down enough for us to talk to him. "Yeah I've got good legs. But we
needed a time for the teams classification. We've got a couple of sick boys,
and everyone else was crook so I had to have a go. I think I got the quickest
time so far."
White was just riding his ordinary road bike with clip-on
handlebars. "If they took times for the top to the bottom [of the climb], I
reckon I'd be the fastest. I knew the descent from Milano-Torino so I didn't
bother with a disk wheel. It was too dangerous."
Antonio Cruz (Discovery Channel)
finished in 51'51, which puts him in the top 100 for now. "It was better than
the last time trial," he told Cyclingnews after the finish. "In the last one,
I couldn't get on top of it. In this one, I got the heart rate up, I got on
top of the gear, and got into a good rhythm."
Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel) is a
disappointing 2.26 down on Zabriskie in a provisional fifth place.
A few people have asked what the cut-off time for today's stage is; in fact
it's a fairly generous 25% of the winner's time, or something like 11 minutes
today. The slowest rider so far is Gorazd Stangelj, 7.50 down on David Zabriskie.
A lot of the riders who have been
entertaining us in the last few days are on the course now - Parra, Sanchez,
Bettini, Valjavec; they're mostly doing respectable but unspectacular times.
Basso has picked up half a minute on Zabriskie on the climb, but then lost 9
seconds on the descent.
Bettini moves up to third after a good climb
and holds it to the third checkpoint, which is also today's Intergiro point.
In time trials the first seven riders have their actual times used for the Intergiro
classification, so that may have helped his cause.
At the moment Bettini's time and
position at the Intergiro give him 49 seconds bonus in the blue jersey competition,
but that will diminish when/if other riders come into the top 6 places. It's
a silly competition anyway.
Good starts by Vladimir Karpets,
Marzio Bruseghin and Dario Cioni put them into the top five at the first checkpoint;
we are now into the riders who will be looking out for their GC positions. Cioni
was only 3 seconds behind Karpets this morning, but the Russian is winning the
Basso gets handed a bottle by Tiralongo
as he catches him; not too sure how legal that is or how it got organised, but
it's a warm day.
Basso comes over the line having held Zabriskie
more or less level over the closing stretch; he is the new leader.
We spoke to Rory Sutherland about
Basso's time. "I think Basso's 20 seconds up, but he could lose some of that
time because I just saw him take a bidon from one of the guys he passed. So
he'll lose 30 seconds, if not more. He could maybe lose the time trial because
Former world time trial champion
Sergiy Gonchar is only in fourth place at the first check, but that is just
a few seconds behind and a lot of riders are falling away from the top spots
on the climb.
Karpets is still ahead of Cioni -
whose time matches that of Zabriskie, half a minute down on the flying Basso
- at the top of the climb, but only by four seconds; the duel for 9th place
on GC is still going on. Or indeed quite likely for 8th, since Emanuele Sella
(Panaria) was only 17 seconds ahead of Karpets this morning, and he was already
whopping 1.03 down on him at the first checkpoint
Simoni, Garate and Di Luca all come
through the first checkpoint with similar times, around half a minute down,
while Rujano is 20 seconds further back.
Karpets and Cioni tear
it up on the descent, with the Russian still ahead by 11 seconds; he closes
to within 7 seconds of Basso.
Savoldelli comes through the first
checkpoint; he is 19 seconds down in seventh place on the day, so ahead of all
his close challengers.
Rujano is better up the climb, and
has taken time back to move five seconds ahead of Simoni at the top of the climb,
as befits the green jersey. It remains to be seen whether he can hold onto it
on the descent, however. Di Luca has clearly still not recovered from yesterday;
this is the sort of climb that would normally be meat and drink to him, but
he has most more time on Rujano, Simoni and Garate on the climb.
Savoldelli comes over the climb in sixth place, just ahead of Rujano; his maglia
rosa looks safe for the moment.
Karpets comes over the line in provisional
second place, 9 seconds down on Basso who clearly took it a bit steady on the
descent. Cioni moves into fourth, 19 more seconds down; they will each move
up a place on GC as Sella is way down.
We haven't mentioned Cunego,
have we? He has ridden round discreetly but steadily and is over four minutes
down on Basso today.
Simoni and Garate pull back ahead
of Rujano on the descent, but there are only a few seconds in it and they are
all a minute or so down on Basso at the third checkpoint.
does what he does on the descent, and gets the fifth best time at the same point,
half a minute up on Simoni and the same behind Basso.
Pietro Caucchioli (7th on GC) had
a fairly low-profile ride round, and finished 2.50 down on Basso, so he has
now dropped behind Karpets, but still ahead of Cioni, I think; the three are
all pretty closely placed, though.
Di Luca recovers a bit on the final
section, and finishes in 47.00, but Rujano hangs on to finish just 4 seconds
slower; he has kept his podium place by 8 seconds, so the two of them will be
looking out for time bonuses on the remaining stages.
a bit better, to add another 20 seconds to his advantage over Rujano, but it's
not good enough a ride to help him chase the prize of prizes: Paolo Savoldelli
comes in to pull out an extra 1.11 on him, giving himself a cushion of two minutes
to take into the final mountain stage tomorrow.
Well, that's it from us here at Cyclingnews
today; tomorrow it seems as though it will be down to Gilberto Simoni to attack
on the road to Sestričre, both to try for the maglia rosa and to protect his
second place. And Ivan Basso bounces back from disaster (in the rather loose,
sports journalist's sense of the term, anyway) to take back to back stages and
show that he is up there with the best in terms of class. Join us again tomorrow
for the showpiece Alpine stage through the venues of the next Winter Olympics:
same time, same IP address.
km 8.7 - all riders through
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 9.51
2 David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC 0.01
3 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Illes Balears 0.06
4 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) Domina Vacanze 0.09
5 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 0.13
6 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 0.14
7 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team 0.19
8 Jan Hruska (Cze) Liberty Seguros-Wurth Team 0.23
9 Rene' Andrle (Cze) Liberty Seguros-Wurth Team
10 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 0.24
km 15.7 - all riders through
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 26.03
2 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Illes Balears 0.26
3 David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC 0.30
4 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi
5 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) Domina Vacanze 0.35
6 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team 0.44
7 Jose' Rujano Guillen (Ven) Selle Italia-Colombia 0.53
8 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 0.55
9 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 0.58
10 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 0.59
km 22.9 - all riders through
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 33.47
2 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Illes Balears 0.07
3 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 0.18
4 David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC 0.21
5 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team 0.27
6 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) Domina Vacanze 0.29
7 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 0.48
8 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 0.56
9 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 0.58
10 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step 1.00
Finish - km 34 - all riders through
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 45.05
2 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Illes Balears 0.09
3 David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC 0.20
4 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team 0.23
5 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 0.28
6 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) Domina Vacanze 0.40
7 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 1.02
8 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 1.25
9 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step 1.28
10 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 1.34
General classification after stage 18
1 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team
2 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 2.09
3 Jose' Rujano Guillen (Ven) Selle Italia-Colombia
4 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi
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