88th Giro d'Italia - PT
Italy, May 7-29, 2005
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Stage 12 - May 20: Alleghe - Rovereto, 178 km
Commentary by Kristy Scrymgeour, with additional reporting from John Trevorrow
Complete live report
Welcome to the live coverage of stage
12 of the Giro d'Italia. Today our blimp hovers over the Dolomiti between Alleghe
to Rovereto, the two towns between which the race travels today. The course
starts out with the tough climb of Passo San Pellegrino after 26km, but then
travels gradually downhill in the south east direction for the next 150km to
a possible sprint finish in Rovereto in the Adige River valley.
far today riders have reached the Category One mountain sprint with Jose "The
Incredible Hulk" Rujano (Selle Italia) going over the top first, just ahead
of Patrice Halgand (Credit Agricole) and two other Selle Italia rider Rafaele
Illiano and Ivan Parra. Paolo Bettini crossed the GPM line in fifth place 44"
down on the group.
14:34 CEST 39km/139km to go
The group of four
maintained their lead for a while but eventually Rujano and Halgand were caught
by the bunch and Illiano and Parra remain up the road with a 50" lead on the
On the descent, there was a crash
involving a tourist, who ended up with a nasty gash in his head. He was being
looked after by the police/ambulance. It wasn't part of the race.
The peloton are taking it easy at
this point. The Lotto boys were putting their jackets on at the top of the climb
to keep warm on the descent. The road descends steeply for a few kilometres
and then flattens out to a gradual downhill all the way to Trento at the 115km
mark after which it is flat and the sprinters teams will be preparing for a
possible stage win.
Cyclingnews caught up with a few
of the riders before the start to see how they were feeling today after hitting
the mountains yesterday. Russell Van Hout from Selle Italia was not too concerned
about today's stage.
"I got through [yesterday], and had a good night's
sleep," he said. "I do feel a lot better today. There's only that one hill at
the start. I just have to stay in the gruppetto, get to the finish, and get
this day out of the way. It's going to be a big weekend, so I'm just going to
hopefully get through that, then I can have some more breakaways and get out
there next week."
14:49 CEST 45km/133km to go
The two leaders Illiano
and Parra have been caught and its gruppo compatto.
We also caught up with Henk Vogels
(Davitamon) who looked a bit tired in yesterday's stage.
to dig really deep," he said, "but I've had a really good night's sleep. I feel
OK this morning. I've gotta get up that first berg, and try to stay there for
so we can be there at the end."
As for today he said, "If they race
full gas up the San Pellegrino, maybe there's no coming back, so if they try
and ride regolati, we're in with a chance."
So it seems the Davitamon
team will be in stage win mode now as the damage on the climb wasn't what it
could have been.
14:56 CEST 50km/128km to go
After almost two
hours of racing the average speed is 27.4km/h.
Brad Wiggins of Credit Agricole was
feeling good on the start line.
Of the mountains in yesterdays stage he
said, "They're hard, but I was comfortable in the gruppetto. I don't think that
was the case with everyone - a lot of the Aussies were suffering. I didn't try
to get into the next group up, because it doesn't make much difference if you
finish 20 or 30 minutes down. I'm confident I can finish this Giro. I'd like
to really do something in the latter part of the Giro."
Cooke has been suffering from his
crash in the first week, but he was able to get through stage 11 intact. On
the start line he told us "They worked on me and got me right. I give myself
a bit of a chance today. Hopefully we'll get over this 'thing' this morning
and we'll have a good crack at it."
Cooke said he went out of alignment
after his personal physio went home, and it "just killed my breathing. The day
Robbie won, I couldn't even sprint...I got someone to whack me into place the
night after and yesterday I was fine. I'm up for it today."
We spoke to a few more Aussies on
the start line. Trent Wilson who rides for Selle Italia had his plan worked
out for today. "Today, my plan is to have a few coffees in the village so I
can get over that first one. Once we get over the first one, I reckon it'll
come back together. I'm more worried about tomorrow. I've got a bit more confidence
after yesterday. But you never know in these grand tours. One day you're feeling
good, one day you can hardly feel your legs."
The race is still all together at
this point. The riders will be wanting a slight rest after yesterday as its
going to be a big weekend in the mountains. Today is a bit of a refresher and
has also turned out to be another chance for the sprinters.
Despite the fact the climb didn't
really split things up today, riders were definitely prepared for it. We spoke
to Matt White of Cofidis who filled us in on how he is feeling half way through
"I had a good night's sleep; we were in a nice little
hotel up in the mountains, nice fresh air. It'll be a good one today."
For the climb, White said, "We've got the 25s on. It's 17 percent in places
-some have said 20. It really could blow to pieces up here. Ideally we'd just
like to ride up nice and easy, but that ain't gonna happen. It's supposed to
be the last day for the sprinters, but I got a feeling it'll be a breakaway
"Zabel is climbing the best of all the sprinters. If he's
in a group clear of all the others, T-Mobile could get on the front and try
to hold the gap. It'll probably be Robbie, Cookie and Stuey's last day too,
so this is their last chance for a while."
Currently the pace is still steady
as they ride through the typical rocky, forest of the Dolomites. Riders are
taking the time to go back to their team cars to get food and fluid.
They are currently out of the saddle
going up a small rise in the road. A good chance to stretch out their legs.
15:19 CEST 55km/123km to go
Most of the riders
are looking very relaxed as they sit in the peloton chewing the fat with the
riders next to them. A couple of Fassa riders have hit the front and have started
to pick up the pace a little.
Ivan Basso is looking good in pink
and is currently chewing on some type of energy bar.
After speaking with so many Australians
this morning we spoke with Shayne Bannan who is the Australian National Program
director and has worked with quite a few of the Australian riders who are currently
racing in this Giro in their development years. We asked him what we thought
of the performance of the Australian riders so far and Robbie's three stage
wins. "It was pretty special, but besides Robbie's three stage wins and Brett's
prologue win, the fact that there are twelve Aussies here shows the quality
of Australian riders, plus many others who have yet to appear in grand tours
this year like Cadel Evans, Michael Rogers, Allan Davis and so on. You turn
on the TV and the commentators are talking about this being the Italians versus
the Australians. That's pretty satisfying, isn't it?"
There is an attack. It is Selle Italia
again, Philippe Schnyder to be exact. This team have been very active today.
15:29 CEST 73km/105km to go
He has a good gap
and looks very smooth through these nice twisty roads along the valley. The
bunch is moving along fairly quickly with two Fassa riders on the front. The
CSC team are all lined up behind them with Basso tucked in behind them.
15:32 CEST 76km/102km to go
Schnyder's gap is
46 seconds right now. The view of the peloton followed by the caravan is spectacular
from up here. Just a line of colour between the greenery.
Schnyder's lead in increasing and
now sits at 1'20". He goes into a tuck to keep his speed up on this slight descent
and now gets out of the saddle as it flattens out.
15:38 CEST 80km/98km to go
A heart rate update
from the peloton. Matt White (Cofidis) is sitting at 171/180. This is pretty
high. Perhaps he just went back to the team car to get some bidons and had to
move his way back up the bunch to hand them out. Domestique duties!
Schnyder's gap has increased a touch
to 1'30". CSC and Fassa are sharing the lead in the peloton, mainly Fassa. The
road is twisty and is relatively flat but has some slight ups and down gradients.
The road is very smooth and fast through this valley. The moto has just come
back with the latest time gap which is 1'28".
Schnyder is sitting 176th in GC after
stage 12 and is an hour and a half down on Basso so there is definitely no threat
in his being away which is why there is no real chase at the moment. The Fassa
team will be wanting to keep the time gap under control so as to save them too
much of a chase later when they attempt to set Petacchi up for a stage win.
15:50 CEST 92km/86km to go
The gap has increased
again to 1'55: as they go through the town of Cembra. The peloton is moving
at a steady pace but as they ride past a nice old church on the side of the
Schnyder has a good rhythm as he
takes a drink. He looks comfortable.
15:54 CEST 96km/82km to go
took the intermediate sprint in the town of Cembra.
The average speed has
now increased to 31km/h.
15:57 CEST 100km/77km to go
We are just approaching
the feed zone in the town of Lisignano as the riders take their feed bags
We'll reach Verla in a couple of
kilometres and the road will descend for a while dropping 290m in the following
one of the Lampre riders is stopping
to say hello to his friends and family who are standing on the side of the road.
He'll say a quick hello and jump back on the back of the peloton.
Schnyder is on the descent which
winds along the mountainside with a valley of vineyards below.
The lead of Schnyder is now 2'20".
Danilo Di Luca is sitting comfortably
in the bunch today after his tough day yesterday. Through this very high powered
telescope, I can see that he has a smile on his face.
16:07 CEST 112km/66km to go
Schnyder has reached
the town of Trento and is powering along still looking very smooth. Two Fassa
riders are still manning the front of the peloton.
It was Simoni who stopped to say
hello to his family. I remember a few years ago when I was racing in Italy that
we stayed in the tiny town where Simoni grew up. I can't remember the name,
but it was a gorgeous little town up on a hill with only a few houses and a
16:12 CEST 115km/63km to go
Schnyder gets out
of the saddle to stretch his legs now. He is approaching the Intergiro which
is at 115km in the town of Trento which he is still traveling through. It is
quite a big town and there are huge crowds on the side of the road as he crosses
The CSC boys are on the front now,
which gives Fassa a chance to rest a little.
Bettini attacks to go for the sprint
and Krauss goes on the other side of the line lead out by a teammate. It looks
like Bettini took it!
The battle between Krauss and Bettini
We are still in the town of Trento
and will be heading out the other side of it soon heading for Romagnano. The
peloton goes through a giant round-a-bout and Schnyder powers away all alone
a couple of minutes ahead.
In the journey through the town of
Trento, Schnyder increased his lead to 2'55".
It seems that it was actually Bettini's
teammate Zanini who took the Intergiro sprint out of the peloton. Second after
Greetings to the Italian readers
who are reading our live coverage. One such reader, Francesco Grandi has just
written in to tell me that Simoni's home village is be Palù di Giovo, the same
town where old champion Francesco Moser was born!
Its 2'10" now, the gap between Schnyder
and the peloton. Schnyder talks into his radio to his team manager to get a
time gap update. He still looks very comfortable but its a hard ride out there
The two Fassa riders still on the
front with CSC all lined up behind them looking after Basso.
The average speed has increased again
and is 37km/h now. They have been traveling very quickly over the past 20km,
which makes up for the fact that they are behind schedule due to the slow pace
over the climb this morning.
The gap is falling a little. It is now 2'00".
16:32 CEST 123km/55km to go
The gap is really
falling now. Its 1'45". Schnyder still looks good but the bunch is traveling
along nicely and the road is flat and fast at this point.
Schnyder gets out of the saddle and
takes a peak behind him to see where the peloton is.
The gap is 1'12" now. The road are
winding through more vineyards. There are spectators in groups along the roadside.
Up front Schnyder is not giving up, still pounding on the pedals.
Still a lot of relaxed riders in
the middle of the peloton, chatting away, using these last few kilometres to
relax before the action starts towards the finish.
16:45 CEST 138km/40km to go
The gap dips below
the minute mark now. It is 58".
Matt White's heart rate is 119/180 now
and Antonio Tauler of Illes Balears hear rate is at 102/192, , so they are just
cruising along in the bunch.
16:47 CEST 138km/40km to go
The peloton have
just gone under the 40km to go banner in the town of Nomi.
Schnyder seems to have increases
his lead a little to 1'14". There is no real hurry for the peloton to bring
him back now. They are all looking very relaxed as they go through the village
Today might be the last day for a
few of the riders today. We talked to Stuart O'Grady who is definitely leaving.
He said, "the bags are packed."
It is also rumoured that McEwen
might be going home too.
16:55 CEST 143km/35km to go
35km to the finish
now and Schnyder's gap has fallen again to 45".
Ruslan Ivanov crashed and it waiting
for a front wheel change. His team car has stopped and he is back on his bike
Schnyder out of the saddle again
trying to keep his rhythm going. He is constantly looking back. He knows they
are creeping up on him.
Just for the gossip mill, Bruyneel
has formally denied the rumours that Armstrong and Crow have split up, which
was reported in "Star" magazine.
17:02 CEST 147km/31km to go
Back to the race,
Schnyder only has 30 seconds now. The pace in the peloton is still quite fast.
He talked into his radio again. He knows he'll be getting swallowed up soon.
Its just a matter of time.
17:03 CEST 148km/30km to go
And he has been caught.
Another wheel change. This time for Belli of Domina. He's back moving through
17:05 CEST 149.7km/28.3km to go
over to the right hand side of the road to let the peloton past. A Davitamon
riders is on the front as they go through the town of Mori.
Fassa take over. Basso looking very
relaxed behind his teammates.
Quite a few spectators line the roads
here. Still passing through many many vineyards. Volodymir Gustov is on the
front at the moment. He has done a lot of the work today.
The green Liquigas jerseys are up
near the front, just in behind CSC.
CSC hit the front now. They
will want to keep this last part of the race safe for Basso.
Rabobank also has a few riders up
there. The pace on not high just yet. Its the lull before the storm.
17:14 CEST 155km/23km to go
Just over twenty
kilometres remaining. Moreni (Quick.Step)
regains contact with the peloton
after a mechanical.
Its all Fassa and CSC at the front.
The pink jersey sitting in about 15th wheel.
Marco Velo's heartrate is 140/180.
I'm pretty sure that might pick up pretty soon. Gustov still on the front, with
Nick Gates up there representing Davitamon.
The battle will be on between the
sprinters. McEwen, Cooke, Petacchi will all be looking for the win. Both Cooke
and McEwen will probably be leaving after this stage, along with O'Grady. Its
their last chance.
Dekker working in front for De Jongh.
The peloton is just about to cross
a bridge (Fiume Adige) over the river.
Rasmussen (Rabobank) is near the
back, along with Engels (Quick.Step)
17:25 CEST 163km/15km to go
The pace is picking
up. David Zabriskie (CSC) is on the front. Only 15km to go now.
The pace has really picked up now.
The pink jersey looking good. Di Luca also in good position look good. Robbie
McEwen tucked in behind a few teammates. Liquigas going down the left to move
17:30 CEST 168km/10km to go
Pavel Padrnos (Discovery)
moves Savoldelli to the front now, as the fight for position begins on the fast
run into town. It's Zabriskie on the front again, riding hard ahead of two CSC
Savoldelli looks very comfortable
in the top bit of the peloton. Vierhouten is behind him, looking for McEwen.
Schaffrath is sitting out in the wind with Zabel following.
17:32 CEST 170km/8km to go
The big Luxembourger
Benoît Joachim has his turn on the front with two Discovery teammates behind
him. The Fassa train starts at about 10th wheel.
17:33 CEST 172km/6km to go
Cruz and Padrnos do
their turns, then Baranowski takes over for Liberty. They are really flying
now. T-Mobile well placed in fourth wheel.
17:35 CEST 173km/5km to go
Matt White does a
turn on the right, looking for O'Grady. But he ain't there. White is sitting
on 183 of a maximum of 180, so in theory he is not with us any more. At the
very least, he shouldn't be looking around! We think there may be an error in
the maximum :-)
Now the Fassas mass near the front,
with an FDJ and Phonak in there. Rony Martias (Bouygues) is trying to hold his
position near the front.
17:36 CEST 174km/4km to go
Bruseghin (who is
Fassa's token GC rider this year), strings it out at 4.5 km top go. Velo is
ready, sitting on 166/180 max HR. Tauler is on 164/192.
Robbie McEwen is still a fair way
back, near Vogels.
17:37 CEST 175km/3km to go
Fassa has all their
men on the front now with 3 km left. Baldato does the turn with three km to
go. Then another five Fassas. Velo is on 168/180 bpm.
17:38 CEST 176km/2km to go
Bettini has latched
himself onto Petacchi, with Zanini behind, then Zabel and Cooke. O'Grady and
Kirsipuu are up there. McEwen is moving up behind Leukemans and Vogels.
17:38 CEST 177km/1km to go
McEwen is aiming to
get up on the left as Lancaster brings Grillo up. Bettini still has Peta's wheel
with 1 km to go.
17:39 CEST 177km/1km to go
McEwen is too far
back now, it looks like. Three Fassas, then Petacchi, Then Zabel, Murn.
Murn takes over to lead out Clerc!
17:40 CEST 178km/0km to go
But Fassa gets to
the front with 500m to go and two men lead out Petacchi. Clerc has his will,
then Grillo goes very early but Petacchi destroys him with a strong sprint to
win his second stage!! Good win there - that wasn't easy to control.
Grillo hit out very early and Petacchi
got his wheel straight away, then just powered away to win by a couple of lengths.
Galvez was third, and McEwen got up there for fifth. Kirsipuu, O'Grady and Forster
were also there.
No changes to the GC, and Basso keeps pink.
That's all from the Hindenburg
IV for another day, but we'll be back with tomorrow's very tough 218 km
mountain stage from Mezzocorona to Ortisei, with five categorised Dolomite monsters!
Until then, ciao from the blimp.
1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 4.50.00
2 Paride Grillo (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare
3 Isaac Galvez Lopez (Spa) Illes Balears
4 Robert Forster (Ger) Gerolsteiner
5 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Credit Agricole
6 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto
7 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Cofidis-Le Credit Par Telephone
8 Aurélien Clerc (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems
9 Simone Cadamuro (Ita) Domina Vacanze
10 Baden Cooke (Aus) Francaise Des Jeux
11 Erik Zabel (Ger) T-Mobile Team
12 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Domina Vacanze
General classification after stage 12
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 53.55.20
2 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team 0.18
3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 1.04
4 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 2.27
5 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) Domina Vacanze 3.45
6 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 4.34
7 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Liberty Seguros-Wurth Team 4.48
8 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 5.25
9 Emanuele Sella (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare 5.58
10 Markus Fothen (Ger) Gerolsteiner 6.10
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