88th Giro d'Italia - PT
Italy, May 7-29, 2005
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Stage 6 - May 13: Viterbo - Marina Di Grosseto, 153 km
Commentary by Kristy Scrymgeour, with additional reporting from John Trevorrow
Complete live report
Welcome back to the live coverage
of Stage Six of the Giro d’Italia. The Cyclingnews blimp has moved slightly
north overnight and we are now looking down towards the rolling hills of Tuscany.
Today’s stage is quite a bit shorter than yesterday, starting in the town of
Vetero and traveling North East, passing into Toscana and finishing in the coastal
resort of Marina Di Grossetto after 153km.
Very early in this stage Bettini
went on the attack again, and was away with Moreno Di Biase (Selle Italia),
Patrice Halgand (Credit Agricole) and Benot Joachim (Discovery). They attacked
at the two kilometre mark and came back after six kilometres. Di Biase’s teammate
Trent Wilson attacked at 12km and was away for a few kilomters before getting
reeled back in and finally Selle Italia went again with Raffaele Illiano, but
he too has been caught.
The weather has been dry today and
so far the average speed has been 40km/h. We have about 90km remaining in the
14:55 CEST 54km/99km to go
We have about 10km
remaining until the the Intergiro, which is in the town of Manciano. Its an
uphill sprint where Bettini will be looking to take a time bonus to narrow the
0'03 gap to new maglia rosa Di Luca.
The final half of the race will likely
see a lot of attacks but it will be tough to stay away with the finish being
very much a sprinters event. We will finish with three circuits of six kilometers
each. Its likely to be very fast and nervous.
Cyclingnews spoke to Trent Wilson
this morning, who has already been very active this morning. He talked about
his 'day five legs' yesterday.
"I've had better days than yesterday. The
dreaded day five legs, you know," he said. He added that he would definitely
try to get it some early moves today but that he mainly wanted to save his legs.
"I'll try to go in the moves without hitting the wind."
15:09 CEST 69km/84km to go
Bettini has taken
the Intergiro sprint and we have attacks immediately.
Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Rabobank Saunier
Duval - Prodir) has 23" advantage on the peloton.
15:15 CEST 74km/79km to go
Acebo has increased
his lead to 35 seconds at this point. Meanwhile Marlon Alirio Perez Arango (Selle
Italia) has retired from the race.
Acebo is powering away up front and
its Fassa Bortolo sitting on the front of the peloton right now as they rolling
through the winding green countryside.
As we go past a nice farmhouse, the
residents are out waving the race by. Its a nice day to watch a bike race.
Freddy E. Gonzalez Martinez (Panaria)
didn't start today.
The pace is fairly quick in the peloton
right now as Fassa keep this break under control. They will be aiming for this
stage as it is a good finish for Petachi.
Acebo powering as he goes up a slight
climb. CSC are also very present at the front.
We caught up with Robbie McEwen before
the stage who is not feeling the best today. He said "yeah I'm OK, but I've
got a bit of a twinge in my hamstring so I hope it doesn't hurt too much today.
It was hard yesterday, I just strained the inside hamstring a bit. I had it
worked on last night and this morning by
the physio. I'll still try and
get amongst it though. Sprinters don't get
many chances in this Giro."
15:31 CEST 83km/70km to go
Acebo continues to
increase his lead with the gap now sitting at 1'27". He looks good as he heads
up another slightly uphill drag.
The temperature out is 22 degrees
and there is not much wind to speak of. Acebo has a beautiful view of the valley
below. Not that he'd be interested at this point.
At the front of the peloton its still
Fassa setting the pace with Davitamon Lotto tucked in behind them. The sprinters
teams are making sure this stays together today.
Not quite a sprinter but saving his
legs for work later in this tour is younf Tom Danielson (Discovery). We talked
to him this morning. After his big win at TOur de Georgia last month, he's excited
about his learning experience at this tour.
"I'm feeling good. It's
my first grand tour, he said. "I've been told to sit back and relax for the
first week, try to learn. The smart thing to do is not to go for every second,
but stay out of it, try and learn not to waste all my
energy in the first
week and then have nothing left. It's more important
that I'm there at
the end for Paolo, to be strong enough to be there at the
finish, and learn
"In the future I'd like to make this my job. For now I'm
taking my time,
learning, and working for Paolo. He's the leader and he's
riding very well.
I don't really know how I'm going to feel and what the
last week is going to
be like. I think those stages will suit me really
well, I had really good
form a couple of weeks ago. I don't know if that's
going to go up, or go
down, or what. I have to make sure that Paolo gets
to the mountains in good
condition. Because now there are a lot of good
riders that can climb well
and it's important that he gets there stress
About whether a stage win in on the cards, he said "if the
situation presents itself, we'll see, but I'm not even thinking about that.
I'm just thinking about doing the tour,finishing strong, just trying to do things
Its gorgeous countryside right now
and the riders pass one of those very typical hill top villages, now riding
through south west Tuscany.
We have an attack. Credit Agricole
rider Dmitriy Muravyev has a small gap on the peloton.
He has been joined by another rider
which has provoked action in the peloton. Three others are trying to bridge.
Acebo's gap is now at 1'35".
Acebo is now on the only categorized
climb of the day. Its a cat 3 climb and climbs up through the town of Scansano.
Four riders have broken away back
in the peloton, all trying to go for mountain points no doubt. Cofidis rider
Thierry Marichal is up there with Dmitriy Muravyev as well as two others.
15:46 CEST 93km/60km to go
Acebo goes over the
top of the climb without too much difficulty. Thorwald Veneberg (Rabobank) come
through as the first of the four chasers to take second place in the mountain
Jos Rujano Guillen (Selle Italia),
Muravyev, Venerberg, Thierry Marichal (Gerolsteiner) and Sascha Urweider (Phonak)
are the five riders chasing Acebo. They are 45" down at this point.
Acebo has been caught by three of
the riders. Rujano Guillen and Muravyev sat up and were caught by the peloton.
So currently we have a break of four
consisting of Acebo, Venerberg, Marichal and Urweider. They have a lead of 21
A long descent at the moment. Marichal
hanging off the back of the break on the descent as they fly down the sweeping
15:56 CEST 103km/50km to go
On the front of the
peloton is still Fassa Bortolo and well as some Quick Step riders.
The four leaders are working well
together at the moment, each doing their share of the work at this point as
the road flattens out.
We spoke to Russell Van Hout (Colombia-Selle
Italia) this morning about his ride yesterday. "It bothered me yesterday because
I had a really bad day," he said. "I was sore from the break, stiff from the
crash, and I just want to get through the next couple of days until the time
trial. But when you're out there,
unfortunately the adrenaline starts flowing
and you can't help yourself
trying to get in some of those breaks."
We also spoke to winner of the prologue
Brett Lancaster (Panaria) and asked him how his knee was holding up. "I could
feel it, but that's bike racing. Grillo is pretty
motivated for today.
He took it easy yesterday.
"I felt alright yesterday, I even did
a bit of a job at the end. It's a bit dangerous today with three laps at the
end. I'll be up there taking Grillo up - it'll be a bit like the Bay Crits.
Tomorrow, finishing in my home town, I really want to have a go at that. There's
a 2 km hill, not far out, really steep. The way these guys are going, I probably
won't be able to get away,
but I'll give it a go."
16:04 CEST 100km/53km to go
The lead of the four
riders is at 26" at the 100km mark. Fifty three kilomters remaining.
Di Luca in pink is looking comfortable
in the bunch.
There has been a crash. A Discovery rider and a Saunier
Duval. Both are up and look ok.
Its Ryder Hesjedal (Discovery) and
Ruben Lobato Elvira (Saunier). They're both up and moving now.
Erweider leads the break now and
gets up to stretch his legs out and push the pace. Veneberg takes over for his
16:10 CEST 115km/38km to go
To sum up, the four
riders in the break are Thorwald Veneberg (Rabobank), Thierry Marichal (Gerolsteiner)
and Sascha Urweider (Phonak), Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Saunier Duval). They have
just gone through the feed zone.
Back in the bunch, McEwen looks relaxed
as he chats to a CSC rider. The Francaise Des Jeux riders are all together looking
after their sprinter, Cooke.
As the riders come out of the feed
zone the gap is 48 seconds.
We spoke with Ryder Hesjedal before
the stage about yesterday. "It was pretty hard actually. A lot of guys were
fried, we were going all day. The only soft part was the first 10 km. The first
climb was pretty hard, the pace was on. Today is a pretty straight. sprint stage
I think. I imagine it'll be pretty active again. We'll just keep Paolo [Savoldelli]
in good position, make sure he doesn't lose any time, and get ready for the
time trial in a couple of days."
16:19 CEST 122km/31km to go
We've reached the
town of Grossetto and from here head West to the coast before starting the ciruits.
The bunch is really strung out as they sweep through town.
The crowds are huge and lining the
streets all the way through town. The riders in the break are really pushing
the pace trying to keep the momentum going. The gap is 44 seconds.
Hesjedal has rejoined the peloton
after his crash.
Three hours of racing have been completed
now. The road is very flat and this last part of the race will be very fast.
Less than 30 kilomters remaining in the race.
16:24 CEST 125km/28km to go
The advantage only
27 seconds now. The peloton not needing to panic at all. They will just reel
them in slowly.
Acebo - also known as Cobo, is no
longer in the break and has gone back to the bunch. The gap to the other three
is dropping quickly.
The break has lost all hope now as
they go through the 25km to go banner. They are still powering away but they
know they will be swallowed up very soon.
16:31 CEST 129km/24km to go
Another rider we
spoke to this monring is Julian Dean (Credit Agricole).
was pretty hard," he said. "Woke up this morning and felt like I'd really ridden
a stage of a grand tour. I hope everyone else is feeling the same.
pretty much a sprinters stage so we'll take it as it comes. We're looking for
Fassa Bortolo to join on our lead out in the last five k, then move ourselves
around them and make our move when we can."
The break now only has five seconds.
Its all over.
The three riders have been caught.
The Lampre team have now come to the front.
The pace has slowed down a little
now as riders prepare for the chaos of the finishing circuits. It looks like
CSC on the front setting the pace as they head for the coast.
Maglia Rosa, Di Luca moves himself
up and tucks himself in just behind the leaders.
Henk Vogels (Davitamon-Lotto) also
didn't have particularly nice things to say about yesterdays stage.
survived yesterday," he said. "It was a bitch of a stage. No-one really wanted
to form a gruppetto. But in the team we got third and fourth, so that was
really good. The motivation is high, the team's riding really well. We'll see
what happens today with a bunch sprint."
16:37 CEST 135km/18km to go
We have now hit the
circuits. The road is quite narrow on this part of the circuit....... yes there
has been a crash and most of the field has had to stop to wait to go around
Ivan Quaranta (Domina Vacanze) has
gone down again!. Julian Dean (Credit Agricole) and also Cristian Moreni from
Quick Step went down with it, among others.
The road opens up a little on the
back side of the course and there is a long line of chasers still trying to
regain contact with the bunch after the crash.
The field has split in two. They
will get back on though.
16:43 CEST 139km/14km to go
Liquigas are at the
front of the peloton and Francais de Jeux are also moving up there. Race leader
Di Luca is safely in the bunch.
Back to the narrow part of the circuit
now. The field is pretty strung out with the sprinters teams trying to keep
it fast, for safety more than anything at this point.
We go through the finish line with
two laps remaining. The crowds are huge. Six deep along the finishing barriers.
There is still a large group of riders off the back. All the major sprinters
are up front though.
Francais de Jeux really powering
at the front now. Six of them all lined up with Baden Cooke tucked in.
The Liquigas guys are also tucked
in behind the Francais Des Jeux train.
The circuit is pretty straight forward.
The corners are fast and sweeping.
There has been another crash. Walter
Beneteau (Bouygues Telecom) is being lifted off the ground. he looks ok but
will be sore.
16:51 CEST 6km/147km to go
We are going through
the finish line now with one lap to go. Its very narrow and winds left with
200m to the finish.
Matt Wilson is really working hard
on the front for Francais des Jeux but Liquigas take over.
All the sprinters are trying to move
up now. The Fassa team is coming up the right. Telekom is moving up the center.
Telekom lead the bunch now with a
Fass Bortolo rider in second place. Its very fast with the front rider out of
the saddle around a bend.
Matthias Kessler still on the front,
but being pased by the Fassa Bortolo team. They are all up there and they have
started their charge.
Woah, they have overshot the corner
and the Fassa team have hit the barriers, a few down. Not Petacchi.
Telokom went around safely and are
now back on the front but a couple of Fassa riders are still up there. Where
Petacchi is out of it - way back
in the peloton.
McEwen right up there, as is Kirsipuu.
Davitamon on the front now with McEwen
in second wheel.
Nearing 1km to go there is an attack
by Davitamon - its Henk Vogels!!!
He has a convincing gap and the riders
in the bunch are looking at each other.
Vogels is powering. Can he do it?
No, he was caught and Robbie took
over right at the line to take the win!
What beautiful teamwork!!
second was Kirsipuu.
Some of the Fassa Bortolo riders
are just rolling in now after their mishap.
1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Davitamon - Lotto 3.37.17
2 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Crédit Agricole
3 Volodymyr Bileka (Ukr) Discovery Channel
4 Isaac Galvez Lopez (Spa) Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne
5 Henk Vogels (Aus) Davitamon - Lotto
6 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone
7 Thomas Ziegler (Ger) Gerolsteiner
8 Paride Grillo (Ita) Ceramica Panaria
9 Markus Fothen (Ger) Gerolsteiner
10 Olaf Pollack (Ger) T-Mobile
General classification after stage 6
1 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step 29.58.09
2 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 0.03
3 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare 0.31
4 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 0.34
5 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 0.36
6 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 0.42
7 Mauricio Alberto Ardila Cano (Col) Davitamon-Lotto 0.43
8 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Liberty Seguros-Wurth Team 0.47
9 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Domina Vacanze 0.52
10 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita
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