89th Giro d'Italia - GT
Italy, May 6-28, 2006
Results & report
Stage 16 - Tuesday, May 23: Rovato - Trento Monte Bondone, 173 km
Complete live report
Commentary by Kristy Scrymgeour with additional reporting from Anthony Tan
Welcome back to Cyclingnews and welcome
to the Dolomiti. Today we have the first of two consecutive mountaintop finishes
to start this final arduous week of racing. Starting in the town of Rovato,
the course winds north-west over a GPM climb at Lodrino, over Passo d’Ampola
and up to the northern tip of Lago di Garda, past Trento and up to the top of
Monte Bondone to finish the day with the first of the big mountains for the
Starting the day, Ivan Basso leads the General Classification
by 3’27” to José Gutierrez Cataluna (Phonak Hearing Systems) with another two
minutes on Paolo Salvodelli, who cuurently sits in third place. Basso is feeling
good at the moment but knows that with over 175km of climbing remaining over
the next six days, anything can happen. He said yesterday, "I've tried to do
my best and hope to continue [doing so]. I'm tranquillo, but still have to continue
[being strong] till the end - I'll just keep trying to do my best. The last
week is bellissima."
After 37km of racing today Miguel
Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare attacked. He is now on
the first GPM of the day in Lodrino and has 2'48" on the peloton.
14:37 CEST 42km/131km to go
(Ceramica Panaria-Navigare) is the teammate of Chavez and currently leading
the mountains classification. He took the points for second place at the top
of the GPM.
The gap between Chavez and the bunch
has grown to 3'50". They won't be worried about him at all this early in the
race as he's over an hour down on GC.
At only 22 years of age Chavez has
quite a few good results under his belt. Last year in Italy he clocked eight
victories in Italy and already this year he wont he young riders competition
at Giro de Trentino.
14:58 CEST 62km/111km to go
A third of the way
into the race now and Rubiano still has 3'52 on the bunch.
The climb at the end of today up
Monte Bondone is 17.5km in length. It climbs 1372m over that distance, finishing
at 1650m in altitude. The average gradient is 7.9% with a max of 13%. This whole
area is Simoni territory as he is from Trentino so he will know the climb well.
It's quite a nice day for riding.
Overcast but dry. Thunderstorms are predicted though. Rubiano is out of the
saddle up a small rise and then gets back into his rhythm over the top. Back
in the peloton Basso looks very relaxed.
The CSC team is setting the tempo
on the front with a couple of Saunier Duval riders up there too and Basso is
tucked on just behind them. They are not pushing it too hard just yet. Rubiano's
gap is still growing and is now at 4'00" but they are making sure the pace is
steady and that Basso is sitting safely up near the front.
In the bunch Charles Wegelius (Liquigas)
is sitting at 60% of his max with a heart rate of 119, so you can see the pace
is nice and easy at this point and the riders are just sitting back preparing
for the action later in the day.
Ruben Lobato Elvira from Saunier
Duval is doing a lot of the work on the front at this point. It's a big day
for Simoni. Being in his local area will give him that little bit extra motivation
as well as the fact that he will know the 38 hairpin turns like the back of
José Gutierrez Cataluna (Phonak)
has some kind of mechanical so the Phonak team is back in the caravan waiting
to pace him back up. The peloton has just reach the next climb of the day which
goes over Passo d'Ampola. It's not categorized but it has a few hairpins along
the way so it's not easy.
Fortunato Baliani (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare)
is at 76% of his max with a heartrate of 142 as they go up this climb.
Rubiano Chavez still looks pretty
strong but it's really just a matter of time before he gets swallowed up. This
is a very important stage for the riders, especially for Simoni so there is
not much chance a solo rider will be allowed to stay away.
is amazing in this part of the world and the climbs are very unique. Most of
the climbs have a lot of hairpins making it hard to really get a smooth rhythm.
It is also very beautiful. The rock formations are beautiful and you often find
yourself riding through gorgeous valleys with huge rock faces alongside.
There is a feed zone at the top of
this climb and Rubiano Chavez takes a musette from his team and grabs the bottles
and food out of it. Meanwhile he keeps his rhythm and looks very determined.
Back in the bunch, Basso seems to be smiling. He did say this last week was
going to be beautiful so where some riders in the bunch are probably dreading
these mountains to come, he seems quite happy about it. His CSC team is still
on the front setting the pace with a couple of Saunier Duval riders. They are
going through the feed zone now too.
15:40 CEST 85km/88km to go
At 85km Rubiano Chavez
has just over four minutes on the field. After they go over this pass, they'll
descend towards Trento and then it pretty much starts climbing immediately and
its all uphill until one last dip at the 155km mark afer which they hit the
15:43 CEST 92km/81km to go
Basso has just stopped
with two of his teammates for a nature break. His teammates will help pace him
back on so that he wastes as little energy as possible.
Alberto Loddo (Selle Italia-Serramenti
Diquigiovanni) has retired from the race.
In about 40km time we have the
110 Gazzetta sprint of the day. At the moment Mickael Delage (Française des
Jeux) is leading that classification.
They are riding along a road that
hugs a lake now and it's spectacular. Soon they'll hit the top of another lake
called Lago di Garda, another beautiful late. We are not far from Verona where
the World Championships took place in 1999 and again in 2004.
By the look of the spectators on
the side of the road it's looking a bit cool and it is predicted that the weather
is going to close in which won't be pretty. Up front Rubiano Chavez now has
4'45" on the bunch. Ruben Lobato Elvira is still on the front of the peloton
for Saunier Duval as they wind down a few more hairpins.
on the side of the road has a Balaclava on and looks as if he's about to climb
Everest. I hope it's not going to be that cold at the top.
So far the average speed of the race
is 35km/h. We have another puncture. This time for Inigo Chaurreau Bernardez
from AG2R. They are on a descent so he won't take too long to get back on.
Rubiano Cheval is in the tuck position.
He has just gone through a small tunnel through the mountain and through the
valley you can see Lago di Garda.
16:02 CEST 118km/55km to go
The leader goes through
Riva del Garda right now, so only 5km until the 110 Gazzetta sprint.
The gap between Rubiano Chavez and
the bunch is coming down again now and is just above 4 minutes. The CSC guys
seems to have picked up the pace a little here and the peloton is strung out
a bit more than before.
A couple of ladies have a sign for
Basso on the side of the road. It sayd "Giro, Magico, Basso." Some young girls
with blankets wrapped around them have signs for Simoni.
goes through the 110 Gazzetta sprint in the town of Arco. He looks good. He
would know that its only a matter of time before the big GC teams put the pressure
on before the climb but he's young and it's a good experience for him to be
We now have the Francais de Jeux
guys and Quick Step team on the front as the bunch gets to the 110 sprint. Bettini
takes the points. The points here count for both the 110 Gazzetta competition
and the points classification. Bettini is wearing the points jersey and with
second place through that sprint, he takes extra points towards the points classification.
Immediately though, after that sprint.
The CSC riders move back up to the front to continue their steady pace setting.
Basso still looks to have that little
smile on his face. He looks very comfortable on hte wheel of his teammates as
they go through Dro.
More and more spectators wrap blankets around
them on the side of the mountain waiting for the action to come through.
Jan Ullrich is sitting near the back
of the field taking a drink to keep hydrated for the climb.
Rubiano Chavez is slowly losing time.
The latest time gap is 3'15".
16:22 CEST 133km/40km to go
In the bunch Giampaolo
Caruso (Liberty Seguros) is at 65% of his max, with a heart rate of 121. The
road has just started go go slightly uphill again now.
16:25 CEST 133km/40km to go
The leader has just
gone under the 40km to go banner, not long now until the real action of the
day. The Phonak team sits right in behind CSC at the moment with all team members
right up there protecting Gutierrez Cataluna.
As the bunch goes under the 40km
banner, the see 3'01" as the time gap. It is just gorgeous here. As they head
towards the mountain they look over vineyards and orchards along the way. Very
green and picturesque.
16:35 CEST 139km/34km to go
It's still pretty
relaxed in the peloton as they go under the 35km mark. Just over 3 minutes is
the gap. CSC, Phonak and Saunier Duval all gather near the front in anticipation.
On one side of the road riders have
rows and rows of vines and a beautiful little lake and on their left its all
green foresty area. A beautiful place to ride even if it is slightly uphill
all the way.
Rubiano Chavez is at 30km to go and seems to be struggling
a bit on this uphill drag.
16:39 CEST 145km/28km to go
Rubiano Chavez is
going to be feeling it tomorrow. It has been a long day for him so far with
the toughest part yet to come. Tomorrow's mountain top finish stage is going
be tough for him. He is pushing a big gear now and doesn't look as smooth as
he did before.
Giovanni Lombardi gets out of the
saddle now on the front of the peloton. Its clearly uphill here but just that
long uphill drag that feels hard but doesn't look like a hill.
Charly Gaul won this stage in 1956,
the first time it visited Monte Bondone. It was horrific weather and he finished
is short sleeves, 7'44" in front of the second guy and moved into the lead to
eventually win the Giro. It was such a tough day back then that only 43 riders
finished. So there is a lot of history to this stage and it is quite a prestigious
one to win.
There has been a crash in the bunch.
Patrice Halgand (Credit Agricole) was in the crash which is a shame for them.
He has a teammate with him to help him back up.
Two Euskaltel riders were also in
the crash. One of them is Albizuri. They are all back on their bikes after bike
changes and wheel changes and chasing back on.
16:49 CEST 148km/25km to go
The gap has fallen
significantly and now sits at 1'22". It's only a matter of time now. Rubiano
Chavez keeps drinking and eating to make sure he can recover as much as possible
for the climb and for tomorrow. The pace in the peloton has picked up in the
peloton as they get closer to the climb. Only 25km to go in the race and the
real climb starts in less than 8km.
Ivan Mayoz was the other Euskaltel
rider in the crash.
The gap is less than a minute now. Rubiano Chavez
looks at a little card to see how long he has to go before the climb.
The Credit Agricole guys have just
made it back onto the back of the peloton after the crash.
The pace is high in the peloton now
and they go up the side to get Halgand further up towards the front. The peloton
can see Rubiano now and he looks back to see them coming. 14 seconds is the
After four hours of racing the average
speed is 26.5km/h. Bobby Julich is on the front of the peloton as they catch
Rubiano. They go through another mountain tunnel.
Rubiano will suffer now after being
away for 112km solo. Under 20km to go now up this amazing mountain. Not long
until the real climb starts.
They have one small dip before it
starts going up. The CSC boys are driving the pace down the hill at the moment.
They have it strung out.
Now they come to a sharp turn in
the road and the climb starts. CSC has 4 riders up there with Basso. Bettini
comes to the front as does Jan Ullrich.
Ruben Lobato Elvira (Saunier Duval)
has pulled away from the front after doing so much work on the front today.
His job is done for the day.
Caruso is at 98% of his max already
but up front Basso is out of the saddle and looks confortable.
The bunch has splintered already
with riders getting dropped and trying to find their own rhythm to make it to
the top in one piece.
Voigt is on the front, then Gustov and Cuesta ahead
of Basso, then Sastre and Gutierrez behind him. The pace is really on already
around these haripins with CSC just driving it.
Guttierrez sits on the wheel of Basso.
Belli is up there too.
Serpa is also up there ahead of Di
Luca, Cunego, Simoni, Savodelli. We have an attack. It's Jose Serpa. He has
a huge gap already.
He sits back down now and finds his
rhythm. CSC don't panic but keep their tempo on the front of that lead group.
He has about nine seconds at this point. It's very steep here. He has to get
out of the saddle to find his rhythm. He comes up to the 15km to go banner
17:05 CEST 158km/15km to go
It's very very early.
A lot of climb and a lot of hairpins to go.
On the front of the main chase group
is Cuesta. Jan is not in this front group, but his teammate Scott Davis is.
Basso is in second wheel on another
steeper pinch. Most of the guys in the front group get out of the saddle to
get on top of the gears. Basso is seated and looks relaxed. They are getting
closer to Serpa again now.
Serpa looks back and realises that
he is getting caught. Cuesta leads the bunch past him with Basso on his wheel.
There looks to be 25 riders left in the front group.
Ullrich is about 20 seconds back
in a big gear as always. Piepoli has hit the front of the group and gets out
of the saddle to pick up the pace. He looks back to see how everybody is feeling.
Basso looks good. Simoni is in about 5th wheel.
Piepoli has blown this group apart
with his surge in pace. salvodelli is in trouble, so is Di Luca. Cunego has
Sastre, Basso, Simoni, Guttierez
are all still in there. Selle is there too.
Only about ten riders left up front
now. Basso, Sastre, Piepoli, Simoni, Gutierrez, Belli, Perez Cuapio, Gadret
are all in there.
Caruso and David Lopez are also in
there. Caruso's heart rate is 184.
Sella, Pena and Pellizotti are chasing
the lead group. They are 18 seconds ahead of Savodelli's group. Fran Perez has
just reached the front group again.
Rubiera is leading Savodelli's group
to chase him back on. Danielson doesn't seem to be there.
In the group with Savoldelli and
Rubiera are Sella (Panaria), Pena (Phonak) and Pellizotti (Liquigas), Garate
(Quick.Step) and Noe (Liquigas).
At the front though, Simoni just
surged a little but now he has moved aside. Sastre comes through to set the
pace again. He is doing an amazing job.
In the group with Basso and Sastre
(CSC) are Piepoli, Simoni (Saunier), Gutierrez (Phonak), Perez Cuapio (Panaria),
Cunego looks to be really suffering back in his group.
We have another move from Piepoli
with Simoni on his wheel. Basso doesn't react immediately but gradually moves
up onto the wheel.
Basso has hit the front now and only
Simoni cn go with him. Guttierez has been dropped. Piepoli is back with Guttierrez,
he has done his job for Simoni.
Basso just looking so comfortable
the whole time. He didn't panic about any of the surges and just kept his rhythm.
He now leads Simoni. They already have 1'05 to Savodelli's group.
Di Luca is 1'34" back from the leaders.
Up front Basso has gapped Simonu. Guttierez is chasing hard with Piepoli on
Basso looks back and sees that he
has dropped Simoni. He is flying and already has 8 seconds on Simoni.
Guttierrez and Piepoli are now 20
seconds behind Basso now. Basso gets out of the saddle for the first time as
he rounds a hairpin. He gets back on top of the gear and sits again. He looks
good, but also determined to take as much time as he can.
17:30 CEST 168km/5km to go
Basso passes under
the 5km to go banner. Already he has 33 seconds on Simoni.
Guttierez still fighting behind with
Piepoli on his wheel. They are 49" back now.
Basso wipes the sweat off his brow
and eats a gel of some kind. He knows that there is only 5km to go but you need
to keep your energy stores on a climb like this and also he'd be thinking off
tomorrow and the next five days.
Guttierrez is rocking from side to
side on his bike. It's steep here.
Up front Basso is out of the
saddle again looking great. He has 48 seconds now to Simoni and 1'03" to Guttierrez
Another hairpin turn. One of 38 hairpins
on this climb.
Belli is 2'00" back at this point with the Savoldelli group
Simoni definitely has some fans on this climb. A guy with a
huge Italian flag runs alongside him now.
17:38 CEST 171km/2km to go
Cunego has lost 3'20"
seconds already. Basso is still very relaxed. He looks up the mountain. The
crowds are starting to get very big here. Bikes scattered all over the grass
on the side of the road from all the spectators who have ridden up ahead of
the stage. Only 2km left for Basso.
Simoni has about 14 seconds of Guttierrez
now but Guttierrez seems to be suffering a lot more.
17:41 CEST 172km/1km to go
Basso goes under the
1km to go banner. The atmosphere is great up here. The crowd is huge and the
roads are painted all the way up. Basso has a smile on his face now.
Some madmen run alongside Simoni
Simoni goes under the 1km to go as
Basso reaches the 300m to go line. An amazing ride from Basso.
He still pedals his fast cadence
all the way to the line and puts his hands in the air. Simoni still driving
it very hard. He has also put in a fantastic ride. He gets out of the saddle
for the last 200m and rounds the bend to see the finish line. He crosses the
line 1'17" down. We'll have to see how much time he has on Savoldelli.
Guttierrez made up some time and
crossed the line ten seconds down on Simoni.
Gadret finishes next in front of
Cross champion. Perez Cuapio. Bello comes over in seventh place. Savoldelli
comes over the line and it looks like he might just hold on to third on GC for
Cunego finishes with two teammates
Savoldelli hangs on to third on GC
by 17 seconds on Simoni.
Tom Danielson comes in 7'02" down.
Ullrich finished in 30th place about
five minutes down.
Thanks for tuning in. We'll be back tomorrow with
another brutal mountain stage that finishes in Plan De Corones.
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 4.51.30
2 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir 1.27
3 Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir 1.38
4 José E. Gutierrez Cataluna (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems
5 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R Prevoyance 2.40
6 Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (Mex) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare 2.45
7 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni 3.11
8 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas 3.30
9 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team
10 David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
11 Francisco Perez Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears
12 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team
13 Victor Hugo Pena Grisales (Col) Phonak Hearing Systems
14 Andrea Noe' (Ita) Liquigas
General classification after stage 16
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 64.35.17
2 José E. Gutierrez Cataluna (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 5.24
3 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 9.17
4 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir 9.34
5 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni 11.07
6 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas 11.59
7 Sandy Casar (Fra) Francaise des Jeux 12.40
8 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 13.55
9 Victor Hugo Pena Grisales (Col) Phonak Hearing Systems 14.59
10 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas 15.18
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