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89th Giro d'Italia - GT

Italy, May 6-28, 2006

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Stage 10 - Tuesday, May 16: Termoli - Peschici, 187 km

Commentary by Kristy Scrymgeour with additional reporting from Tim Maloney

Complete live report

14:26 CEST   
Welcome back to sunny Italia to our live coverage of the Giro d’Italia. Today the race started in the town of Termoli where yesterday we saw Tomas Vaitkus (AG2R Prevoyance) pip Bettini on the line to take the first ever stage win for a Lithuanian in the Giro. Today we head further south for the most southern stage of this years Giro. After today, the riders hop on a plane and fly north where they will stay for the remainder of the race.

We saw a fast start to racing today. The first 50km was raced in an hour on flat terrain After 25km of racing a breakaway of about 20 riders got away including Robbie McEwen and a couple of his teammates, but less than 20km later all riders from that break had been absorbed by the peloton. Rick Verbrugghe countered but was reeled in immediately.

Ten kilometers later another break went. This time 16 riders got a convincing gap of over two minutes by the base of the first climb of the day up Borgo Celano. The break is still out there and includes Benoit Joachim (Discovery), Sylvain Calzati and Hubert Dupont (AG2R Prevoyance), Yohann Gene (Bouygues Telecom), Jose Luis Carrasco Gamiz and Joan Horrach Rippoll (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears), Sergiy Matveyev (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare), Benoit Poilvet (Credit Agricole), Serguei Yakovlev (Liberty Seguros-Würth Team), Axel Merckx (Phonak Hearing Systems), Theo Eltink and Alexandr Kolobnev (Rabobank), Angel Gomez Gomez (Saunier Duval-Prodir), Jose Serpa (Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni), Giovanni Lombardi (CSC) and Alessandro Vanotti (Team Milram).

Behind them Franco Pellizotti and Charles Wegelius (Liquigas) tried to bridge, as did Vladimir Efimkin (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears) and Marco Pinotti (Saunier Duval-Prodir). They eventually made it up to the break on the climb, making the front group 20 riders strong.

Also on the climb Sven Krauss (Gerolsteiner) attacked out of the bunch solo and eventually caught them. The break is now over three minutes ahead of the peloton. Bradley McGee (Francais de Jeux) and Dariusz Baranowski (Liberty Seguros-Würth Team) have both retired from the race. McGee looked to be suffering in yesterday’s stage with back problems.

After two hours of racing the average speed of the race is 43km/h. At the bottom of this descent riders will have the 110 Gazzetta sprint and then pretty much start climbing the main climb of the day up Monte Santi Angelo.

14:36 CEST    94km/93km to go
We are about half way into the stage and almost at the bottom of the first descent. The gap continues to grow. We have no real GC threats in the break so the chase is not urgent. The climb ahead is quite a tough one and at the end in Peschici we have an uphill finish so predictions were for Cunego to win the stage. We may also see a day for Bettini though. With the climbs hard enough to get rid of the sprinters today, Bettini might finally get his chance.

14:42 CEST   

14:43 CEST   
Although the main descent is over, the altitude continues to drop slightly all the way to the 110 Gazzetto sprint line, which funnily enough today is at the 110km mark in the town of Manfredonia. Almost immediately after that the road starts going up again and they climb 825m in altitude in 16km.

14:54 CEST    110km/77km to go
The break has reached the 110 sprint at the coastal town of Manfredonia with Pinotti taking the points over Kolobnev and Poilvet. The gap to the peloton has grown further to 5'52".

14:58 CEST   
With 5'43" up their sleeves the breakaway riders now see the 10km mark to the climb. From the 110 Gazzetta sprint line the course turned directly north to cut across the promontory towards Peschini. The climb they go over is part of a range that stretch around the southern coast of the peninsula.

15:00 CEST   
Dupont has punctured in the break and has to wait for a wheel change.

15:05 CEST   
Dupont made it back into the bunch after his puncture. With the recent climbing the average speed has gone down to 41km/h at this point.

15:10 CEST    122km/65km to go
We are about 5km from the top of the climb now and the break still has a very significant lead. When they reach the top of this climb though its not over. They descend slightly and then have another short climb and more undulating terrain across the top of the range before descending towards the finish in the last 20km.

15:16 CEST   
Calzati is setting the tempo in the break for Ag2r as they go through round a switchback. As they do there is a gorgeous view over the sea. Such a beautiful part of the world. Now Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears takes over.

15:17 CEST   
Back in the bunch it is Cunego's team leading the way. It's quite steep here and the field is quite strung out.

15:19 CEST   
The road just keeps twisting up with switchback after switchback as they climb away from the water and over the range. The water is a gorgeous aqua colour and looks very refreshing. The gap is 4'12" with a kilometer left until the top of the climb.

15:21 CEST    126km/61km to go
The break has just reached the top of the climb. A few little splits formed as they sprinted for the top but it will all re-gather as they start descending.

15:24 CEST   
The bunch is now nearing the top now with Lampre-Fondital still leading setting a steady tempo.

15:25 CEST   
The gap has fallen due to the Lampre chase and is at 3'30" now as the bunch starts to descend.

15:27 CEST   
At the top of the climb is a gorgeous town and ruins of an old castle jutting out above the housing. Quite spectacular.

The riders are in the tuck position for the descent. Ag2r leads the break and Lampre has the whole team on the front of the peloton.

15:29 CEST   
Bettini stretches his legs back in the bunch. Quick Step can take advantage of the fact that Lampre are doing the work in the chase today. The travel along a long straight stretch of the descent now before reaching a wide open switchback which is built up on stilts over a huge drop off.

15:30 CEST   
Bettini is back at his team car grabbing some food. A few other riders are also back in the caravan using this descent to refuel.

15:32 CEST   
The moto has just come back to give the chasers the latest time gap of 3'20". In the break Franco Pellizotti sets the pace as the road starts to go up again. He has a good rhythm and looks strong.

15:35 CEST   
The average speed is 39km/h at this point. In the break Charles Wegelius (Liquigas) has a heart rate of 167 on this climb. A few riders are suffering in the break. It looks like Krauss has a bit of a gap opening up in front of him.

15:37 CEST   
Sergiy Matveyev (Ceramica) is also suffering in the break. He also suffered on the main climb but managed to get back on. This little climb has really got to hurt after the main climb and a short descent. No flat terrain to recover.

15:41 CEST    138km/49km to go
The break is being driven by Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears again and back in the field Lampre is still setting quite a fast pace in chase of the break. They have the bunch almost single file with the Discover team tucked in behind Lampre. The gap is still 3'14" as we near the top of this second little peak in the road.

15:44 CEST   
The break is now on another descent. A Saunier Duval rider has gone off the front slightly trying to gain a bit of ground but the rest of the break start to moved back towards his wheel. It's a nice winding descent through tree covered roads. Very scenic.

15:48 CEST    146km/41km to go
The peloton is also on the descent now. The road just keeps rolling through relatively uninhabited terrain all the way across this peninsula.

In the break the riders have started to attack each other. Three riders have an advantage on the rest. One of them is Benoit Joachim. He is with a Serpa and Calzati. They have a good gap.

15:52 CEST   
The rest of the break has fought back and the trio has been caught. Lampre still have the peloton strung out in chase but the gap is 3'11" again.

15:54 CEST   
Things have slowed down in the break as they regroup again and try to get some type of order back.

15:55 CEST   
Calzati has gone again and is solo now. It looks like Mercx and one other rider are bridging to him.

15:57 CEST   
Calzati has a good lead with and the other two have been caught by the rest of the break. We have another counter attack from the break. Its another AG2R rider. Sven Krauss also bridges up and joins them making them three in chase of Calzati.

16:00 CEST    152km/35km to go
The peloton has just gone under the 35km to go banner. Again Lampre setting pace on the front but with all the action up front the gap is still 3'10".

16:04 CEST    157km/30km to go
Calzati has just been joined by a couple of briding riders as they go through a dense foresty area. The road starts to go up a little again here.
Jan Ullrich is at the back of the peloton sitting in as they wind through these nice tree covered roads. 30km to go.

16:04 CEST   
Matveyev was dropped from the break and has been caught by the peloton.

16:09 CEST   
The gap has come down now to under 3 minutes. Up front Calzati is still in th lead with but has been caught by five other riders. It looks like Merckx is back up there with him too.

16:11 CEST   
Pellizotti and Efimkin are also up there with them. Dupont is there and he is now attacking.

16:13 CEST   
Serpa has countered hard but they are on to him too as about seven riders from the break are up in the lead now.

16:16 CEST   
There has been a crash with Perez Cuapio and he is getting a bike change. Luis Felipe Laverde Jimenez was also involved and had to wait a little longer for his bike change.

16:17 CEST   
Things have come back together in the front and we have 19 leaders up front with Lampre still chasing and keeping their steady tempo.

16:18 CEST    167km/20km to go
We have another attack from the bunch. Its Joachim again! He's persistent today. He has a good gap but is suffering up this climb. He is joined by Carrasco Gamiz who takes over at the front.

16:19 CEST   
Now Poilvet has bridged to them and flown right past. He is in the drops and powering away.

16:20 CEST   
But the rest of the break are coming back to him again now.

16:23 CEST   
The road is pretty much downhill from now as they descend off this mountain range. Its going to be fast all the way to the finish. Another attack from the break. Its Merckx again solo with 15km to go. He is descending around switchbacks back down towards the sea again.

16:23 CEST   
Its still a big gap. 2'50" to the peloton. It seems unlikely that they will be able to close that gap now.

16:25 CEST   
Merckx looks good solo. He has some tight turns to navigate on the way down this descent. He really has a good gap now and holding it at about ten seconds.

16:26 CEST   
There has been a crash at the front with the Lampre team. It happened around one of the tight turns.

16:27 CEST   
This will slow down the chase a little. Surely they can't catch this break now. Ghisalberti had a problem with his bike back in the bunch and is slowing down to wait for his team car.

16:27 CEST   
Merckx pedaling through some faster turns now looking relaxed but giving this descent everything.

16:28 CEST    177km/10km to go
Vila was the rider from Lampre who crashed.
Merckx goes under the 10km to go banner. Great move from him!

16:29 CEST   
He is down in the drops as he hits a flat section in the road. He's pushing a big gear and is in time trial mode. This has got to hurt after being in the break all day.

16:31 CEST    180km/7km to go
Wegelious leading the chase from Liquigas. He has the break strung out but Merckx still has that ten second gap.

16:32 CEST   
He has his head down now. He's flying but he's also hurting. The gap is 11 seconds and 3'04" to the peloton.

16:33 CEST   
He looks vry strong and has a good rhythm going

16:34 CEST   
Pellizotti in the break is at 5'48 on GC, so he'll move up quite a bit in the overall at the end of the day.

16:35 CEST   
Merckx is on a false flat and now in the break Wegelius is the only one chasing, his heart rate is 191. Yakovlev counters!

16:36 CEST   
He has a gap but they are on him. Merckx is reaching one last little rise. It hurts but he's holding it.

16:38 CEST    184km/3km to go
Now we have a last little section of the descent. Merckx looks good as he winds around these nice winding roads. He still has about 8". Will that be enough? He gets out of the saddle when it flattens out to try to keep his speed up. 3km to go.

16:39 CEST    185km/2km to go
The last 1.3km is uphill so its going to be a fight 2km to go.

16:40 CEST   
He's on the climb now. They have him in sight. He is giving it everything now. Ten seconds is his gap.

16:40 CEST    186km/1km to go
Last kilometer now. It's nasty! A steep switchback. 800m to go.

16:41 CEST   
He looks back and keeps pushing. It will be tight! Now he's out of the saddle but they are getting too close 400m to go.

16:43 CEST   
Closer now, he's hurting they are getting him! They sprint past him and a Liquigas rider, its Pellizotti who comes around him for the win. Efimkin takes seconds place.

16:43 CEST   
The Cunego riders are really pushing it to limit this time gap. Pellizotti gains time and also a time bonus.

Yakovlev took third in the stage.

16:44 CEST   
A few stragglers from the break come across the line whilst the peloton goes under the 500m banner.

16:46 CEST   
CSC take over up the climb with Basso sitting in second wheel. Bettini takes over to sprint to the line. The gap is 3'23" at the end. Pellizotti will move up a lot in the GC. He's now fourth on GC, 2'05" down.

That's all from us today. We'll be back for the time trial on Thursday!



1 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas                                    4.39.47
2 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne     
3 Sergey Yakovlev (Kaz) Liberty                                          0.02
4 Herbert Dupont (Fra) AG2r
5 Theo Eltink (Ned) Rabobank                                             0.03
6 Jose Luis Carrasco Gamiz (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
7 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Saunier Duval                                      0.05
8 Sven Krauss (Ger) Gerolsteiner
9 Alexandre Kolobnev (Rus) Rabobank
10 Joan Horrach (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
11 Axel Merckx (Bel) Phonak                                              0.13
12 Benoit Poilvet (Fra) Credit Agricole  
13 Benoit Joachim (Lux) Discovery
14 Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Milram
15 Francisco Perez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
16 Sylvain Calzati (Fra) AG2r
17 Jose Serpa (Col) Selle Italia
18 Giovanni Lombardi (Ita) CSC
19 Charly Wegelius (GBr) Liquigas

General classification after stage 10

1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC                                          34.46.30
2 José E. Gutierrez Cataluna (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems                1.34
3 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital                                   1.48
4 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas                                       2.05
5 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team              2.35
6 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) T-Mobile Team                                    2.43
7 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas                                          2.48
8 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir                             3.20
9 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team                      3.23
10 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team                3.31

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