89th Giro d'Italia - GT
Italy, May 6-28, 2006
Results & report
Stage 14 - Sunday, May 21: Aosta - Domodossola, 223 km
Live Commentary by Jeff Jones with additional reporting from Anthony Tan
Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:10 CEST
Welcome to our continuing live coverage
of the Giro d'Italia, which is now two weeks old. Today's 14th stage is a transitional
mountain stage that starts in Aosta, climbs up the Gran San Bernardo (km 29.4),
descends to Switzerland, climbs up Passo Sempione (km 176.9) and descends back
into Italy for the finish in Domodossola. This stage may be a sleeper, as the
long climb up Passo Sempione could create a selection in the gruppo.
The 110 Gazzetta sprint is in Brig (Swi) after 156.9 km.
14:42 CEST 135km/88km to go
Today's stage started
at 11:16 with 171 riders. Giovanni Bernaudeau (Bouygues Telecom), Moises Aldape
Chavez (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare), and Vladimir Miholjevic (Liquigas) did not
start, and after 13 km, Ronny Scholz (Gerolsteiner) also pulled the pin. The
road began climbing straight away, but it wasn't until 2 km from the summit
of the Gran San Bernardo that the decisive breakaway went.
attacked: Francisco Perez Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears), Fortunato
Baliani and Luis Felipe Laverde Jimenez (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare), Ivan Ramiro
Parra Pinto (Cofidis), Sandy Casar (Française des Jeux), Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner),
Paolo Tiralongo (Lampre-Fondital), Johann Tschopp and Steve Zampieri (Phonak),
Raffaele Illiano (Selle Italia) and Iker Flores Galarza (Euskaltel-Euskadi).
The break immediately gained ground on the peloton, and at the summit they already
had 50 seconds, with Casar taking the points ahead of Baliani, Laverde, Flores
and Illiano. The average speed in the first hour was a pretty quick (considering
1300m of climbing) at 28.6 km/h. After two hours, it was up to 41 km/h, and
after three hours, it was 42 km/h. The gap has grown to 8'40 in the meantime.
More abandons today: Andoni Aranaga
(Euskaltel-Euskadi) stepped off at km 80, then Staf Scheirlinckx (Cofidis) crashed
after 96 km and pulled out.
Of the breakaways, Sandy Casar (Française
des Jeux) is the best placed on GC, but is 15'44 behind Basso in 21st place.
CSC can afford to give this break 10 minutes.
14:53 CEST 145km/78km to go
It's another spectacular
stage today, as we ride through the mountains in the southern part of Switzerland.
Most of the time is spent in the valley, of course, save for the two monoliths
at each end of the stage profile.
15:08 CEST 156km/67km to go
The 11 leaders are
close to the foot of the last climb now, and they have 9'15 over the peloton.
The weather today is somewhat better
than yesterday's rain and cold. It's 16-18 degrees Celsius, with a light wind
blowing at 7-10 km/h. The humidity is hovering between 55 and 75%.
Two days ago marks the 100th anniversary
of the building of the Simplon tunnel, which was constructed on May 19, 1906.
The riders still have to go over the top of the Simplon Pass though.
15:18 CEST 161km/62km to go
The leaders are now
well on the final climb, as Zampieri and Baliani lead. CSC is setting tempo
behind, with Basso climbing out of the saddle.
15:20 CEST 165km/58km to go
The gap has come
down from 9'15 to 7'12 as the bunch rides at a steady tempo.
average after four hours is around 40 km/h.
Ivan Parra, who was involved in a
bit of fisticuffs with Steve Zampieri earlier, is no longer with the breakaway.
Ah no, Parra has just rejoined the
15:23 CEST 166km/57km to go
Baliani, who is in
the front group, is sitting on 158/185 heart rate, which is 85% of his max.
They're sitting on 26 km/h, which is quick for this climb.
Zampieri does a turn, then the two
Panarias. Tiralongo is up here for Lampre, while there are also two Phonaks,
so maybe we'll see some fireworks from Gutierrez and Cunego in the peloton.
Parra is in discussion with his team
director, getting a 'turbo bottle' as he struggles to keep the pace with the
break. Now Tschopp comes through for his turn.
15:26 CEST 167km/56km to go
Flores attacks! The
Euskaltel rider gets a little gap, but he has to work hard for it. The others
don't want to chase him yet.
The peloton, still quite big, makes
its way up the Simplon Pass with CSC in command. In the front group, Flores
has now got a handy lead as he rides over a bridge spanning the river in this
15:32 CEST 169km/54km to go
to ride hard, really fighting with his bike to stay ahead of the break.
In the peloton, Gonchar goes back for some assistance from the T-Mobile wagon.
The peloton is now riding over the
bridge, some seven minutes behind the break. Bettini is off the back, with a
rain jacket stuffed in his pocket. He's not finding it easy, but now he's back
on. The wide Sven Krauss is behind him.
A sprinters bus has already started
to form on the climb. Well, it's more of a non-climbers bus, as there are not
that many sprinters left today.
Bettini is now next to his teammate
Garate, who appears rather irritated. Garate hurls a bidon on the road, where
it sprays water everywhere. Not sure what that was about.
15:39 CEST 172km/51km to go
Flores has been caught
by the rest of the break.
15:40 CEST 173km/50km to go
A counter attack
by Illiano and Tschopp. Flores leads the chase.
The speed drops to 17 km/h as Illiano
and Tschopp come back to the break. Baliani's heart rate hasn't dropped: it's
92% of his max now.
15:45 CEST 174km/49km to go
Garate has resumed
his place near the front of the peloton, and Bettini is also up there. CSC is
setting a controlling tempo. Doesn't look like anyone is interested in attacking
the maglia rosa today.
15:47 CEST 175km/48km to go
The gap has gone
up to 8'13 again as no-one seems interested in chasing the break. Voigt leads
the bunch with Basso in third wheel, doing 18 km/h.
Elmiger drops towards the back of
the bunch, but gets a push from his teammate.
Flores and Parra are
suffering in front, but the Euskaltel man rejoins the leaders.
15:51 CEST 176km/47km to go
The Simplon Pass
averages 6.6% for 20 km, with a maximum of 12%. It's a long, steady climb. It's
not particularly technical, and the conditions today are much better than yesterday,
i.e. it's dry.
The leaders are close to the summit, just a kilometre
or two to go.
15:53 CEST 177km/46km to go
Baliani reaches the
top of the Simplon Pass first, and will take the mountains jersey. His heart
rate is 97% of max, so he was working for those points. Then he sits up and
puts on his jacket, as light drops of rain fall.
15:55 CEST 178km/45km to go
Parra has made it
over the climb with the break, and he looks at the snow capped peaks all around
him. Also Flores, who has to work a bit harder.
Casar took second
on the climb ahead of Tiralongo. Baliani is the new mountains leader.
15:57 CEST 180km/43km to go
The descent is fast
and Baliani's HR has dropped to 106/185 as he sits on 80 km/h.
bunch is still making its way steadily to the top, led all the time by CSC.
There are perhaps 80 riders in the peloton now.
16:01 CEST 183km/40km to go
The pace in front
continues to be high, with the riders easily sitting on 81 km/h. Now they're
up to 96 km/h! Flying!
16:04 CEST 186km/37km to go
The peloton comes
over the pass 9'31 behind the break, not looking too bothered.
16:05 CEST 187km/36km to go
The leaders reach
a narrower section of the descent, with signalers waving them to take care.
16:06 CEST 188km/35km to go
CSC leads the descent
in the bunch, all clad in their black rain jackets. It's still quite dry though,
16:08 CEST 193km/30km to go
The kilometres are
flying away as the leaders sit on between 80-100 km/h, going under 30 km to
go as the bunch goes under 40 km to go.
16:10 CEST 195km/28km to go
Schumacher puts on
his arm warmers delicately, as it's not easy at this speed. He's probably the
favourite to win the stage, as he can sprint and attack.
16:13 CEST 197km/26km to go
Steve Zampieri (Phonak)
tries to take off his jacket at 80 km/h, then gives it to the neutral service
Tschopp also takes his jacket off
and gives it to the car, the team car in this case.
16:15 CEST 199km/24km to go
Tiralongo gets an
extra long turbo bottle and some advice from his team manager as to what to
do today. Just win!
16:17 CEST 203km/20km to go
The gap between the
leaders and the bunch is still 9'11 or so. Nothing much will change on the descent.
The bunch is now under 30 km to go.
Casar should move up to fourth
or fifth today, if he can keep this time gap. He started at 15'44.
16:18 CEST 205km/18km to go
The leaders reach
an uphill section of the descent. Tiralongo does a steady turn. Plenty of the
breakaway riders are signaling for their cars, as they ride through Varzo.
16:21 CEST 207km/16km to go
This descent is not
really technical, so it's unlikely that Savoldelli will try to take time out
of Basso here.
Another uphill section, as Baliani's heart rate sits
on 51% of max at 25 km/h.
The road narrows through another
town as the 11 leaders continue to fly towards the bottom. Tiralongo has a chat
16:24 CEST 208km/15km to go
15 km to go, and
some more descending. Two Phonaks, two Panarias, and seven others in this lead
group. The names again:
Iker Flores Galarza (Euskaltel-Euskadi),
Francisco Perez Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears), Fortunato Baliani
and Luis Felipe Laverde Jimenez (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare), Sandy Casar (Française
des Jeux), Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner), Paolo Tiralongo (Lampre-Fondital),
Johann Tschopp and Steve Zampieri (Phonak), Raffaele Illiano (Selle Italia)
and Ivan Ramiro Parra Pinto (Cofidis).
16:27 CEST 210km/13km to go
Blaudzun is working
in the peloton as it goes under 20 km to go. Then Julich, Gustov, Voigt and
Basso. The rest seem content to have an easier day, despite the climbs. Everyone
was probably a bit shellshocked after yesterday.
The gap is shrinking a bit now, and
it's 8'33. Casar will still move up a long way on GC, but maybe not as high
as fourth any more.
16:28 CEST 211km/12km to go
Basso is enjoying
things today, as he and his team are very much in control of the situation.
Baliani does a hard turn, and asks
the rest of the break to keep rolling.
The bunch rides past a pink-clad
16:30 CEST 213km/10km to go
10 km to go now,
and the attacks will probably start soon. It's a gamble, because every one of
these 11 has the possibility to win today.
16:31 CEST 214km/9km to go
The break descends
through Crevoladossola, and has another five km of descent left.
16:32 CEST 215km/8km to go
Schumacher rolls through,
then Perez. Schumacher is probably hoping it'll stay together for a sprint,
but he has to be ready to follow any of the attacks.
Parra makes the first attack, and
Casar gets his wheel.
Not a bad attack at the 8km mark,
but it didn't last long.
16:33 CEST 216km/7km to go
Parra pulls off and
the pace slows. Who will be next to attack?
16:34 CEST 217km/6km to go
Casar takes it easy
and Tschopp rolls through with Zampieri, as Schumacher is reluctant.
Schumacher pedals through now, not
wanting to be on the front. Then Parra attacks through a tunnel, with Casar
again on his wheel. Then the rest.
16:35 CEST 218km/5km to go
Flores attacks from
last wheel, but is marked by Zampieri and the rest of the break. Everyone looks
pretty knackered. Perez Sanchez is next to go from last wheel. Better.
Perez Sanchez gets a bit of a gap
just before the 5 km mark, then is joined by Luis Felipe Laverde Jimenez.
16:37 CEST 219km/4km to go
Sanchez and Laverde
have about 5 seconds, and are really going for it. Laverde is not working. Schumacher
16:38 CEST 220km/3km to go
Illiano does a turn
in the chase, then Casar. But they'll have to really work for it now. Perez
and Laverde have got 10 seconds.
16:39 CEST 220.5km/2.5km to go
It looks like
one of these two will win. Perez is doing a huge turn.
to jump, but is marked. Baliani performs stopping work in the chase group.
16:40 CEST 221km/2km to go
Eight seconds with
2 km to go, and Laverde is sitting on again. Now Perez forces him through for
Perez attacks on a light cobbled
section, but he can't drop Laverde. The others are coming back.
16:41 CEST 222km/1km to go
Perez takes a right
hander and knows he will have to work for it. Still five seconds, but the pace
has gone out of the chase.
16:41 CEST 222km/1km to go
The two leaders sit
side by side, with Laverde slightly behind. They slow a bit as they go under
1 km to go. This will be close.
Laverde finally does a turn with
900m to go. The chasers are coming...
But Perez does another turn
16:43 CEST 223km/0km to go
Perez looks back and
sees Laverde, then a gap to the chasers, led by Casar. 250m, 200m, and Perez
Sanchez jumps, but it's Laverde who gets him easily. Tiralongo third ahead of
Liquigas is now working in the peloton
to stop Casar from moving up too many places on GC.
finish that. Perez looked to be the stronger of the two, but he didn't have
a great sprint in him. He hit out at 200m to go and Laverde got around him,
in a smaller gear, very quickly.
The peloton comes in at 7'44, led
by Bettini and Lorenzetto. So Casar will be sixth (I think).
all from us in Domodossola. We'll be back tomorrow for the sprinters stage between
Mergozzo and Brescia, over 189 km.
1 Luis Felipe Laverde Jimenez (Col) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare 5.27.05
2 Francisco Perez Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears
3 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 0.07
4 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner
5 Raffaele Illiano (Ita) Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni
6 Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare
7 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux
8 Iker Flores Galarza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
9 Steve Zampieri (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems
10 Johann Tschopp (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems
11 Ivan Ramiro Parra Pinto (Col) Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone
12 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step-Innergetic 7.44
13 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Team Milram
General classification after stage 14
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 55.28.25
2 José E. Gutierrez Cataluna (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 3.27
3 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 5.30
4 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni 7.35
5 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir 8.00
6 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux 8.01
7 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas 8.14
8 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 8.35
9 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 8.58
10 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas 10.36
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