88th Giro d'Italia - PT
Italy, May 7-29, 2005
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Stage 8 - May 15: Lamporecchio - Firenze ITT, 45 km
Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from John Trevorrow
and Tim Maloney
Complete live report
Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:15 CEST
The Hindenburg IV
Photo ©: Sirotti
Welcome back to the Cyclingnews' live coverage blimp, the Hindenburg IV,
(we've also got a car today) for today's first real test of the 88th Giro d'Italia,
a 45km individual time trial from Lamporecchio to Firenze. The chrono heads
east along the Arno River valley towards Firenze on difficult, narrow, twisting
roads, then climbs up amid the vineyards and olive trees of Monte Albano, gaining
300m in 6km. Over the top, there's a technical 10km descent to Poggio a Caiano
and then a straight shot back to Firenze and the finish on Viale Lincoln.
The wind is blowing from the south west today, which will be behind and across
the riders. It's about 23 degrees, which is rather pleasant.
The stage got under way at 12:53pm
with Russell Van Hout (Selle Italia) the first cab off the rank. Van Hout rode
well in the Giro time trial last year, finishing eighth, and was targeting this
stage. However, at the finish, his time was only 1:05:15, which put him in third
behind Sascha Urweider (Phonak, 1:04:01) and Brian Vandborg (CSC, 1:04:15).
So a top 10 finish is out of the question for Russ this year.
One rider who in with a good
chance of a top 10 result today is CSC's US TT champion David Zabriskie, who
left at 13:11, and we've been following him in the Cyclingnews car, where
he set a new best time of 30'07 at the top of the climb at Il Pinone (km 18),
and has scorched into the finish in 58'31, knocking more than five minutes
off the previous best time of Eric Baumann (T-Mobile). It was not surprising
that he caught his six minute man Unai Etxebarria (Euskaltel) with 7 km to go...
Zabriskie is a stalking horse for Ivan Basso today. His job was to go out and
give him the best splits. It was a fantastic ride, and all the training that
the CSC team has done here in Tuscany has obviously paid off for Zabriskie.
He bombed the descent off the climb like he would at home in Utah in the USA.
Some of the other specialists out
on the course are having good rides too today: Thomas Dekker (Rabobank) was
second after km 8.4, ahead of Brad Wiggins (CA) and Rory Sutherland (Rabobank).
Rory came through km 28.6 in second place, 1'52 behind Zabriskie. We'll see
what Dekker and Wiggins can do there.
Zabriskie's 58:31 is still by far
the fastest time today, as Sergi Escobar (Illes Balears) moves into second place
with a 1:01:43, six seconds quicker than Rory Sutherland.
We spoke to Henk Vogels (Davitamon-Lotto),
who came in with a 1:07:11, nine minutes slower than the flying Zabriskie. Henk
unfortunately crashed on the descent after the climb, as there is a very steep
and dangerous corner. He wasn't too happy about things: "No not really," he
said. "I'm meant to be saving my energy to work for Robbie in the next few days.
But you know me, I like to go full gas. I'm pissed off. I didn't really want
to ride around with scars."
The 9.6 kilometres between the first
time check (km 8.4) and the top of the climb (km 18) are quite tough, despite
the following wind. It's up and down (mostly up) and even Zabriskie's split
was "only" around 19 minutes, an average of 30 km/h. That gives you an idea
of how challenging the climb is.
Thomas Dekker's ride is a good one,
as he becomes the second rider to break the hour in this difficult 45 km parcours.
He finishes in 59'54.
The top five at the moment:
Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC 58.31
2 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 1.23
3 Andrea Peron (Ita) Team CSC 2.44
4 Sergio Escobar Roure (Spa) Illes Balears
5 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Credit Agricole 3.17
We spoke to Discovery's Antonio Cruz
after the finish, and the American was happy with his ride: "It was twisty and
hard to find a rhythm. There was quite a bit of climbing before the climb. a
bunch of rollers, one after the other. I was cruising [1:07:37]. I made it through
and I'll be good for the next few days."
Alberto Ongarato (Fassa) cruises
in with a 1:05 plus. He barely looks like he's done a time trial.
Here comes CSC's Christian Vandevelde. He has not ridden as hard as Zabriskie,
and finishes in 1:04:46.
Here's prologue winner Brett Lancaster,
the big boy from Shepparton in Australia. Brett was aiming for a good time and
he's not bad at the finish, with a 1:01:33 for fourth. Three minutes slower
than Zabriskie's superb effort.
Tom Danielson (Discovery) is usually
pretty handy against the clock, and he's approaching the first time check at
km 8.4. His teammate Bileka goes over the climb in about 31:40, 1'40 slower
than Zabriskie, who has set the standard today.
Danielson passes km 8.4 in 18th place,
26 seconds slower than Zabriskie.
Meanwhile, further up the road,
Jan Hruska (Liberty) powers to the top of the climb in 31'07, exactly a minute
slower than Zabriskie, for third place.
Filippo Pozzato (Quick.Step) almost
manages to nudge himself into the top 10 with a 1:02:46, 4'15 slower than Dave
Zabriskie's hardworking teammate Michael Blaudzun is a
bit quicker, as he drives to the line in 1:01:40 for fifth.
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto) cruises
in with a time of 1:06:04, exactly two minutes slower than Giovanni Lombardi
(CSC), who finishes next to him.
Marzio Bruseghin (Fassa Bortolo)
heads off. He is a good rider against the clock when he wants to be. We'll see
how hard he takes it today.
Serguei Gonchar (Domina Vacanze)
is next off the ramp. He was second overall in the Giro last year, but there's
no way he will repeat that this year. He's already 2'23 down on the general
Bruseghin is into his rhythm now, rocking a little
from side to side and sitting on the tip of the saddle.
Brad Wiggins (CA) is in seventh at
the moment, over 3 minutes behind Zabriskie. We spoke to him after his ride:
"It was quite hard actually. I think I did a 1:01. I was happy with the effort,
even though I was a bit off the pace. I went well up the climb, which surprised
me - I thought I would have stopped. I felt good, kept it steady, so I'm pleased
with how I felt considering we're one week into it."
Here comes Michael Barry (Discovery),
just ahead of Fabio Sacchi (Fassa). That means Sacchi has put two minutes into
the Canadian, and ends with 1:02:16.
Now it's Ivan Basso (CSC) up on the
start ramp. He lost 30 seconds yesterday, complaining of cramps at the top of
the climb, blaming it on a bike change earlier in the stage.
off! Zabriskie has given him a good time to beat.
Bruseghin is on
the climb now.
Bileka comes in with a time of 1:00:51,
which puts him in third. Not bad at all, and a good marker for his Discovery
teammate Paolo Savoldelli, who has just left.
Zabel finishes in 1:04:00.
Regarding my comments on Gonchar: sure, 2'23 isn't much to be down on GC, but
he lost most of that on one climb yesterday and came in 45th. That is not good
for a GC rider who wants to stand on the podium in Milan!
That said, Gonchar is still a favourite
for today's stage. Stuart O'Grady, Matt White and Thomas Dekker have all picked
him to win.
Gonchar is second at the first time
check, in the same time as Zabriskie and four seconds behind Bruseghin, who
has the fastest in 11:07.
Italian TT champion Dario Cioni (Liquigas)
has started. Gilberto Simoni is on the ramp too - he's off.
Bruseghin is still on the climb - it's a long one.
Ivan Basso has
ridden 11:06 at the first time check! One second quicker than Bruseghin.
Further along the course at the Intergiro
point, Vladimir Karpets (Illes Balears) is riding well, 29 seconds behind Zabriskie.
Savoldelli is two seconds quicker than Basso at the first time check!
Bruseghin comes over the top of the
climb in second place, a few seconds slower than Zabriskie. Gonchar is over
too, two seconds slower. So he's been riding at a similar speed to Zabriskie.
Cunego is on the ramp. One more rider to come after him: Di Luca.
Di Luca sits on the start ramp, clad
in a pink and black skinsuit with a dangerous looking aero helmet. Dangerous
if he stabs someone with it, that is.
Di Luca is away!
Cunego is motoring along the flats
now, towards the first time check. He's not a great rider against the clock,
but he's improved a lot.
Tadej Valjavec (Phonak) comes home in 1:01:40
Top five so far:
1 David Zabriskie (USA) Team
2 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 1.23
3 Jan Hruska (Cze) Liberty
Seguros-Wurth Team 1.34
4 Volodymyr Bileka (Ukr) Discovery Channel-Pro
Cycling Team 2.20
5 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir 2.40
Cunego still has a while to go to
the first check.
Basso is on the climb, maintaining the aero position
on the TT bars. He's done this course 15 times, and he's in the small chainring
and one of the bigger gears on the back. It's not an easy climb at all.
Savoldelli is further up the climb, also in the aero position.
Danielson powers home in a decent
time of 1:01:50, which will put him in 15th at the moment.
Rory Sutherland (Rabobank) has fallen
out of the top 10, but his time of 1:01:49 is still quite good. He didn't realise
what his time was until he logged onto our live coverage in the hotel.
"Ooooh, that hurt a lot," he told us at the finish. "I felt good. I'm surprised
actually. It suits me better, this type of time trial, up and down. The last
3km was hell, a really strong headwind.
"Since the National's (where
he was second), I've felt more comfortable in time trials. I feel better on
the bike, I feel like the bike's fitted more to me. I got my three minute man
right before the top of the climb. It's a grand tour and I've got no expectations.
It's all about the future."
Gonchar is past the Intergiro at km 28.6
in 41:13, 17 seconds slower than Zabriskie for a provisional third.
Cunego is 17th at 27 seconds at time
check 1, while Cioni has also lost 27 seconds and Di Luca lost 13 seconds.
Basso crosses the climb in 29:59, 8 seconds quicker than Zabriskie!
Karpets is quicker than Dekker at the finish, ending in 59'38 for second. Nice
ride for the Russian.
Savoldelli is over the climb in 30:16,
which is 17 seconds slower than Basso! His fast start has cost him, it seems.
Garate crosses the line a couple of seconds quicker than Belli, for fifth.
Basso hammers down the descent, catching
his two minute man Cristian Moreni (Quick.Step).
Di Luca is pedaling quickly up the
climb, alternating between the TT bars and the normal bars. He passes 15 km
(not an official time check) in about 21:54.
Cunego is struggling
on a steeper part of the climb.
Garzelli is 7th quickest at the top
of the climb at km 18.
Cioni has lost more than a minute
at time check 2 (km 18). He's in 13th there.
Savoldelli is now at km 28.6 in 40:48,
after a great descent. That gives him the best time there.
of good times, Marzio Bruseghin finishes in 59:19 for second best. A solid ride
for the Fassa rider.
Now Gonchar comes up to the finish. It hasn't
been a great ride by his standards, but it's not bad. 59:22, just a bit slower
than Bruseghin. Zabriskie still leads!
Cunego is nearing the top of the
climb now. He's cheered on by massive crowds, but his time won't be good enough
to beat Basso. He's already 30 seconds slower.
Cunego is 12th at the top, 54 seconds
slower than Basso. He's got some work to do - Basso has already taken back the
time he lost yesterday, and more.
Di Luca flies over the top in 30'25,
26 seconds slower than Basso for fifth place.
Di Luca dives down the descent, taking
the first few hairpins very well. He's obviously ridden this once or twice.
Cunego is further down, but he's probably going to lose 1'30-2'00 to Basso today.
Andrea Noč (Liquigas) drives to the
Cioni is 10th at km 28.6, losing 45 seconds to Savoldelli,
who is the quickest at that point so far.
Basso is third at the km 28.6 check!
He's lost of a lot of time. He's behind both Savoldelli and teammate Zabriskie,
who is looking good for a top three today...
Zabriskie and Basso had the same
time at the km 28.6 point.
Here's Simoni, also at km 28.6. He comes
through in 41'55, 1'07 behind Savoldelli. Not bad.
Basso has it all to do if he's to
win this time trial. Savoldelli seems to be better on the flat and the descents.
Emmanuele Sella comes home in 1:01:31, a couple of seconds quicker than his
Basso is now riding through Florence,
taking care to avoid works of art. There are quite a few here.
Basso has 2 km to go. His time is
already 56'30. He won't beat Zabriskie.
Celestino comes past km 28.6 in 42'59,
well off the pace.
Bettini finishes in 1:01:10, not bad! 12th so
Basso has one km to go. 57'32.
Cunego is at the km 28.6 check, 41'50,
1'02 slower than Savoldelli.
Basso drives it all the way home, but
he won't beat his teammate, American TT Champ David Zabriskie. His final time
is 58:48. Still that puts him in second place.
Di Luca is through the km 28.6 check
in 41'15, which is good for sixth place.
Savoldelli isn't going to
Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel)
comes to the finish in 59'15, for third place.
Zabriskie wins the
time trial. Extremely impressive ride for the Utah boy.
We're still waiting on a few riders,
and it remains to be seen who keeps the pink. At the moment, it looks like Di
Cipollini is giving Di Luca some
moral support from the team car. "Get your back flat. No wait, adjust your shades
first. Image is everything. That's better. If you can't win, at least look the
part." (Cipo managed to do both!)
Cunego is now in the streets of Florence,
but isn't looking at the scenery. He's looking at his heart rate, the road,
the sweat pouring off his nose...you get the idea.
Di Luca looks
good in pink.
Garzelli comes to the finish, bandaged
knee, in a time of 1:00:27, 1'56 slower than future time trial winner David
Mauricio Ardila (Lotto) is not well
known for his time trialling, and finishes in 1:03:21.
is a lot better, struggling though. He finishes in 1:00:27, exactly the same
The Cunego vs Di Luca title fight
continues, and Di Luca's still got the advantage and therefore the pink. Unless
he loses 1'27 to Basso...
Gilberto Simoni has survived the
TT without losing too much, but his time of 1:01:23 puts him 2'52 behind
Zabriskie. He'll need to do a bit in the mountains. But he can.
Cunego is under 2 km to go, really
working to keep his speed up. But he'll be over the hour.
Cunego now passes the crowds lining
the streets and reaches 1 km to go in about 59'30.
Celestino comes to the finish in
1:02:33 for 45th. That'll shift him down a few spots on GC.
follows him in in 1:00:55, losing 2'24 to Zabriskie and 2'07 to Basso, who will
pass him on GC.
Di Luca drives it out of the last
corner...will Basso take pink?
Di Luca finishes in 1:00:06, 1'35
slower than Zabriskie. He keeps pink, just... Basso now in second on GC.
Zabriskie wins the stage from Ivan Basso (+17) and Paolo Savoldelli (+44). Fantastic
ride by the US TT champ from CSC. And Basso's work has more than erased the
damage done yesterday.
That wraps it up for today's eighth
stage, an interesting 45 km time trial between Lamporecchio and Firenze. Basso
is back, and Di Luca is still on top. Savoldelli is up there, Cunego and Simoni
have a bit of work to do, as do Garzelli and Cioni.
We'll be back
with tomorrow's ninth stage from Firenze to Ravenna at the usual time of 14:30
CEST. Bye from the blimp!
1 David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC 58.31
2 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 0.17
3 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team 0.44
4 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 0.48
5 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) Domina Vacanze 0.51
6 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Illes Balears 1.07
7 Markus Fothen (Ger) Gerolsteiner 1.15
8 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 1.23
9 Jan Hruska (Cze) Liberty Seguros-Wurth Team 1.34
10 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas 1.35
11 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 1.56
12 Dario Cioni (Ita) Liquigas
General classification after stage 8
1 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 36.06.47
2 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 0.09
3 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team 0.35
4 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 1.15
5 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 1.27
6 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 1.35
7 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 1.38
8 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) Domina Vacanze 1.39
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