89th Giro d'Italia - GT
Italy, May 6-28, 2006
Results & report
Stage 19 - Friday, May 26: Pordenone - Passo Di San Pellegrino (Dolomiti Stars), 224 km
Complete live report
Commentary by Kristy Scrymgeour with additional reporting from Anthony Tan
Welcome back to our coverage of the
Giro d’Italia. Today’s stage has been described as the most difficult stage
of this years Giro. Starting in Pordenone, it travels north past the 110 Gazzetta
sprint in Longarone with the first climb of the day being the Forcella Staulanza,
which is 12km long and with a 6.8% average grade. After the descent off the
mountain and another climb over Colle San Lucia the course hits the steep Passo
Fedaia, followed immediately by Passo Pordoi. Both of these climbs are long
and steep with Fedaia almost 14km in length with sections of 18% grade along
the way and Pordoi 11km long with an average grade of 6.6%. It then loops back
around the heart of the Dolomiti for the difficult ascent to Passo di San Pellegrino,
an 18km climb, with an average grade of 6.2% and a max of 15%.
far today we saw Bettini go for the points at the Gazzetta sprint to try to
secure his lead in the Points Classification. Illiano took second in the sprint
and then attacked taking 19 riders with him. With him are Garate, Sella, Di
Luca and Bettini among others. A small group including Joachim, Dion, Halgand
and Gomez Gomez were trailing by a few minutes but they all split up on the
first climb. Now we have a group of 19 up front. Halgand managed to make it
up to the break, Gomez Gomez is 2 minutes down and Bonnet has been caught by
the peloton, which is five minutes down on the leaders.
top of the Forcella Staulanza, Dion and Joachim were still riding solo in no
man’s land between the break and the bunch with Dion 2’15” down and Joachim
2’36” down. The break had also split up on the steep section near the top and
the peloton is still 5’20” down.
We have an update from our reporter
Anthony Tan who is at the top of the final mountain. He says it's a bellissima
giornata in the Dolomiti today; in the stark contrast to situation
two days ago, which saw the much-anticipated stage to the Plan De Corones cut
short. Apart from typically strong mistral winds, the riders aren't expected
to encounter any adverse weather, with the current temperature atop the Passo
di San Pellegrino 18 degrees Celsius and sunny.
As expected, the
tifosi are out in force, with plenty of cyclo-tourists testing themselves
on the final 17 kilometre climb of San Pellegrino, causing plenty of headaches
for team buses and cars - not to mention journalists trying to get to the sala
stampa (press centre)!
14:38 CEST 110km/114km to go
Joachim has caught
Dion and they are riding together now a couple of minutes down on the break,
which has a little more time on the peloton over the top of the climb.
The riders in the break are climbing
Colle San Lucia now before descending the rest of the way down to Caprille at
the 122km mark where they start the next climb of the day. No rest for the wicked.
14:47 CEST 116km/108km to go
Dion and Joachim
have been caught by the bunch now. It's hard out there with only two and they
have a lot of climbing left for the day. In total riders will climb over 4000m
in today's stage alone.
After four hours of the racing the
average speed for the day so far is 31km/h. This will no doubt be a little less
by the end of the day with so many steep climbs to come.
The break has just started the second
GPM of the day. Their gap had dropped slightly to 4'41" by the bottom. This
climb up Passo Fedaia is 13.3km long and gets quite steep after about 6km with
an 18% spike at the 11km mark and a 15% section right near the top.
15:02 CEST 123km/101km to go
Already riders are
suffering in the break. Zampieri is falling off the back right now and others
Bettini is pushing the pace on the
climb. It's so steep and there is a lot of suffering out there today. The break
is 2km from the top right now.
In the bunch, CSC is on the front
with Basso in about 4th wheel. His teammates Julich and Voigt are both up the
road in the break which is staying relatively in tact despite the steepness
of the climb.
They are almost above tree line.
Bettini is still on the front of the break but it's so steep that he is rocking
from side to side trying to get on top of the gear. Elting and Engels have both
The gap between the break and the
pelton is holding at 4'30" with Bettini making sure they don't lose too much
time. The break is down to 14 riders as they reach 1km to go to the top of the
climb. Di Luca is just behind Bettini on the front of the peloton. It's a spectacular
view up here with this road winding up through the highlands. Spectators line
the roads all the way up.
15:21 CEST 135km/89km to go
Baliani is up near
the front of the break saying something to Bettini now as they near the top.
They are going past ski lifts near
the top. A crazy man with balloons all over him runs alongside Bettini screaming
in his ear. That would be welcome I'm sure! Not.
Out of the riders in the break Di
Luca is the best placed on GC in 12th at 18'27, so no need for CSC to panic
too much although they would want to make sure the group doesn't get too much
This last section is so steep that
the last kilometer is taking quite a while. Some very tired looking legs out
there. Bettini has led this climb the whole way. He takes a drink now as they
go around yet another hairpin turn and gets out of the saddle again.
Back in the field Cuesta leads Basso at the front. Cunego sits next to Gutierrez
just behind Basso.
There has been an attack out of the break. It's
Baliani and he's going for the GPM points. He was 20 points down at the beginning
of the day, but in this stage he has won both GPM's so far and is now equal
on points with Basso.
15:30 CEST 136km/88km to go
Garate is determined
to go for a stage win today. He rode this stage prior to the Giro. He liked
the course and he knew that GC would likely be set by this point in the tour
so he decided that he would plan of trying to win this stage. This is why his
teammate Bettini is working so hard on the front of the break today.
Actually Baliani has only 41 mountain
points, so he is still 5 points behind Basso in the mountain classification
and will have to take more points before the day is out to take the lead.
The break is on the descent now.
The mountain they just rode over 2057m high and when they look up they can see
some spectacular snow covered peaks above them. Such beautiful country up here.
The gap to the peloton has grown to 5'04". After this 15km descent they immediately
start to climb again up Passo Pordoi. This is another tough one. 12km long with
a 6% average grade with the section at the top the steepest with a 10% section.
All the riders in the break put on
vests to descent the mountain as it's not warm up there. The road is really
nice on the descent with wide open streets and smooth road, unless yesterday's
The break has split up a little on
the descent with some people able to descend a lot faster than others. They
go past nice wooden alpine huts and green fields. It's very pretty.
A few of the riders get into the
tuck position on the descent and others stretch their legs to make sure they
are not too stiff going into the next climb. They have to keep moving their
legs as there is not a lot of flat between the two climbs for them to recover.
The gap is back up at 5'30" now.
The bunch is traveling at 67km/h slightly downhill. Basso adjust something on
his shoes. Gustov is on the front of the peloton setting the pace in the CSC
The break is on the next climb with Bettini back at this
team var getting bottles and chatting to the Director. His job might be done
now for Garate.
Baliani set the pace in the break
now. Engels managed to get back on and is up with Garate.
The riders in the bunch take off
their bests again as they are just about to hit the climb too. The fans have
been busy in the lead up to today's stage and have painted names almost all
the way up these climbs.
It really is beautiful up here with
the rocky peaks and snow covered mountains. We also have some blue sky today
which is a nice change.
Baliani is still on the front with
a pretty good rhythm. They all get out of the saddle now though over a steep
section. Behind him are two Lampre riders and his Panaria teammate Jimenez.
They take a wide bend around a mountain
lake and then turn left around a steep haripin. Baliani has the break working
hard and they are all strung out.
Back in the field the CSC riders
still lead. Riders are continually falling off the back with the steady pace
of CSC being that little bit too fast.
A small group has been dropped from
the break. Bettini is in that group. They are 1'14" down on the break now with
the peloton another 5 minutes back.
13 riders left in the front grou
with Baliani still leading the way. It's getting steep right now and they are
passing a snowy patch on the side of the road. At the top a huge crowd lines
the road just above the treeline.
Illiano who was dropped earlier has
almost been caught by the peloton.
Di Luca is sitting on the back
of the break at the moment. Voigt is in third wheel behind a Lampre rider.
Michael Blaudzun leads the peloton followed by two other CSC riders, with Basso
and Sastre behind them. Sastre would be saving his energy to help Basso on the
Illiano has just been caught by the
field. He started the break at the beginning of the day.
Ludewig from T-Mobile is back at
his team car getting a jacket and some bottles. Meanwhile the break is at 3km
to the top of the climb and it's getting steep.
16:11 CEST 159km/65km to go
65 km remaining in
the stage now. When they reach the top of this climb they gradually descend
all the way to the 206km mark before starting the final climb of the day.
Matt White is working hard in the peloton. His heartrate is 197, almost at his
max. Not nice.
The devil is running alongside the
peloton now and he runs past a beatiful white angel on the side of the road.
The two Panaria riders are on the
front of the break with Voigt sitting just behind. They have 3'13" on the Bettini,
Julich group at this point. Jiminez is at 88% of his max with a heartrate of
Di Luca is calling for his team car.
Probably to get his jacket as they are reaching the top pretty soon. It's all
open terrain up here above the treeline and probably a bit windy. One crazy
man is on his bike on the side of the road with no shirt and. a horses head
mask on his head. This race does attract all types.
16:19 CEST 161.5km/62.5km to go
Baliani is still
on the front driving this. He gets the points over the top and takes the lead
in the mountains classification. Garate goes over in second place. Now they
have to put on their vests again for the descent. It's cold up here and there's
still a lot of snow on the ground.
They start the descent with the peloton
still climbing. A Saunier Duval rider leads the peloton for this final part
of the climb, with CSC behind him.
Illiano has still managed to hang
on to the peloton after being in the break all day. Ruben Lobato Elvira from
Saunier Duval is really pushing the pace on the climb now.
A joker with his horn runs alongside
Elvira honking his horn. Elvira doesn't pay any attention. He riders through
the GPM banner and puts on his jacket. As they go through the time gap reads
6'47". Daniel Navarro Garcia (Liberty Seguros) has a problem with his bike.
It looks like his jacket got caught in his wheel. He stops to untangle it.
The bunch descends through the town
of Arabba. The residents have put a big sign on the sign of the hill to welcome
the Giro to their town. Another nice descent here with nice smooth wide roads
that wind past Alpine hotels and villages. Now the road lines a beautiful creek
and you can hear the running water as you go past.
The road flattens out for a bit soon
before descending the rest of the way to Cencenighe Agordino. Bettini's group
is still ahead of the peloton and seem to be enjoying the descent, taking it
At the top of San Pelligrino the
spectators look a bit cold. A lot of them have ridden up the hill and now sit
on the side of the hill with thermal jackets on. Some kids hold up a sign for
Basso. It's a pretty cool sight.
The Bettini group is just about to
get caught by the peloton.
Up in the break Di Luca is back at his
car talking with the DS. It's pretty flat for them right now, but they will
come up to the next part of the descent soon.
They are now caught as Elvira leads
the bunch past them. Before the start of the stage the Saunier Duval team was
interviewed and they said they didn't want to wait until the last climb to attack,
but it seems they have waited because this break has been up the road. They
now have three riders at the front of the peloton setting the pace.
One of the Lampre riders from the
break. It looks like Vila, has stopped for a wheel change. It was a pretty quick
change but now he has his hand up again. Something else is wrong. The mechanic
leans out the window to fix his break that must have been rubbing. He's off
again now chasing the break.
No, he's back at the car again. Something
is wrong with his radio now. The mechanic leans out the window and it looks
like he's reconnecting the radio to the earpiece.
Saunier Duval has really put on the
pace now. They are traveling at 57km/h along this flat section. The CSC guys
are sitting in behind them enjoying not having to be on the front for a change.
The riders have been going now for
just over six hours now. One of the CSC riders just had a problem with his bike
and Basso nearly ran into his back wheel. As he went past he put a hand on his
teammates back to help him along.
16:51 CEST 189km/35km to go
Now they are on the
second section of the descent. When they get to the bottom of this one they
start the final climb of the day. The break still has a six minute buffer on
Passo di San Pelligrino is 18km long
with an average grade of 6.2%. The final six kilometers is the steepest with
an average of 9% and a max of 15%.
Jiminez has a heartrate of 122 down
this descent. That is 63% of his max. The view they have is amazing if they
happen to look off to their left. There is a beautiful mountain lake alongside
the road with more mountain peaks in the background.
16:59 CEST 194km/30km to go
Di Luca is back at
this team car yet again. He'd be figuring out his plan for the mountain. 30km
to go now and 12km until the start of San Pellegrino.
The three Panaria riders are doing
a lot of work on the front as are the Lampre guys. Meanwhile Saunier Duval is
hammering down the descent. One of them is going so fast he's dropping his teammates.
Perez Cuapio has just crashed on the hairpin. He's up again now though and has
to chase back on.
17:02 CEST 197km/27km to go
They are going past
the town of Alleghe now which is a gorgeous town on the alpine lake. Daniel
Navarro Garcia has fallen off his bike again. He looked like he was pushing
it too hard to chase back on.
17:04 CEST 199km/25km to go
The peloton goes
under the 30km to go banner now. The time gap is 5'38. At the same time the
lead group goes under the 25km banner so they are 7km to the base of the climb.
Saunier Duval still has three riders
on the front hammering away.
Woah, almost a disaster in the bunch now
as a soigneur from one of the teams tries to feed from the middle of the road.
Not only did he nearly get run over but he nearly caused a huge crash. Everyone
stayed up though so it's all ok.
17:11 CEST 204km/20km to go
20km to go now as
the break rides closer to the bottom of the climb. The peloton is still 5km
behind them and have just gone under the 25km to go banner. Saunier Duval is
chasing hard. They did leave it quite late to start chasing this if they want
to win the stage. It's a long steep climb but there are some good climbers in
17:13 CEST 206km/18km to go
The break is now
in the town of Cencenighe Agordino which marks the end of any downhill they
have today. It's pretty much all uphill from here.
Jan Ullrich is at the back of the
peloton stretching his back. Saunier Duval still man the front trying to bring
back as much time as they can by the bottom of the mountain. Bettini looks pretty
relaxed and is chatting away to Moletta from Gerolsteiner.
20km to go for the peloton. Ullrich
is getting further and further back. Rumour has it that he won't finish this
stage. He's back at his team car chatting to Rudy Pevenage.
is 5'36" as the break starts to climb.
The riders in the break are still
swapping off turns on the front. A couple of them look to be suffering at the
back though. Bettini sits up and drops himself from the peloton. Time for him
to take it easy for the day.
Garate's face is a picture of concentration.
He wants to win this one and now its crunch time. He leads the break right now
and a Panaria rider rolls through to do a turn. It's not all that steep yet.
17:22 CEST 209km/15km to go
Jens Voigt his on
the back of the group as they go under the 15km to go banner. Now its looks
a little steeper. Guido Trentin is on the front of the peloton setting the pace.
The climbers have all moved up close to the front now. Simoni is up there next
to Gutierrez. They are just behind Basso and the rest of the CSC guys.
The gap is coming down a little. It's 5'10" now.
Baliani is back on the front of the
break. He looks back to see how the others are feeling. His teammate Cuapio,
back in the peloton, who crashed twice on the descent now gets a new bike for
Gianpaolo Caruso of Liberty Seguros,
currently sitting in 13th place on gc, 18'49" behind Maglia Rosa Ivan Basso
explained before the start of Stage 19 that "This is not a great moment for
our team; our sponsor Liberty Seguros has abandoned us, but we will hang tough
and finish the Giro."
Valjavec has attacked the break.
He has a good gap and he looks back to check it out. He's out of the saddle
getting on top of the gear. Not much reaction from the rest of the break.
Voigt attacks now and catches the
rest of the break by surprise. He has almost made it up to Valjavec.
Now Parra goes and Vila goes with
him. They are together now chasing Voigt and Valjavec.
17:31 CEST 214km/10km to go
Back in the field
Belli is the first of the GC riders to get dropped. He was 6th on GC after yesterday's
stage. Ten kilometers to go for the break.
Valjavec and Voigt already have about
40 seconds to the rest of the break with Vila and Parra sitting in between.
Di Luca has been dropped from the break.
Piepoli and Cuapio have a gap on
the peloton with CSC setting the pace in chase and they have caught them again
Vila has dropped Parra up front and
is closing the gap on Voigt and Valjavec.
The field is on a flatter
section of the climb at the moment. Basso is right up on his teammate's wheel
with Gutierrez sitting right behind him.
Valjavec sets the pace up front with
Voigt on his wheel. Garate has caught Parra and is passing him on his way to
Valjavec is working hard up front.
Garate has caught Vila and Vila grabs his wheel as he goes past. It's getting
steeper here. Back in the field Piepoli leads with Simoni on his wheel. Cunego
sits on Simoni's wheel with Gutierrez right there and Basso just behind. They
go around a hairpin turn. It's totally strung out in the bunch and it's starting
to split up.
Garate caught the front pair and
Valjavec attacks again. He's not going to make it easy for Garate.
Back in the field only about eight riders can stay on the wheel of Piepoli.
He does it again for his team camptain.
Voigt closes the gap to Valjevec
and Garate attacks now. He is solo and gets out of the saddle to get his rhythm.
Voigt chases and has dropped Valjavec.
He has closed the gap to Garate. He's having an amazing ride. They go around
yet another hairpin. Garate sets the pace again. He gets out of the saddle on
this steep part. Voigt is still on his wheel.
back in the peloton Piepoli still
leads. Only Basso, Simoni, Gutierrez, Pena, Perez Cuapio, Caruso and Cunego
remain up there. Behind Danielson is trying to get Savoldelli back up to the
17:44 CEST 219km/5km to go
5km to go now and
the latest time gap is 3'50". This is going to be an amazing chase to the finish.
Voigt hits the front. He is working hard and you can see the suffering but it
has to be said that he is one of the toughest riders out there.
Now Garate rolls through. He looks
up to see where the next hairpin leads. It's steep here and you can see their
legs crying out in pain. Simoni takes over at the front of the GC group and
Pena gets dropped. Piepoli is still there and comes back to the front. For a
moment he looked like he was getting dropped, but he is amazing.
Simoni comes though again. Basso
is on his wheel. Gutierrez is suffering. Cunego has to go around him. They are
going under the 5km banner. Only Basso remains on the wheel of Simoni now. Cunego
tried to close the gap.
17:48 CEST 220km/4km to go
4km to the finish
for the leaders. They are on the steepest part of the climb. That last kilometer
seemed very long!!!
Simoni is still pushing the pace
with Basso on his wheel. Cunego can't quite get to them but he's out of the
saddle giving it everything. Gutierrez is really siffering behind.
One spectator nearly knocked Cunego off his bike. It's just crazy up on these
Gutierrez is really fighting. He
is not losing that much. He still has them in sight but he just can't do anything
Simoni and Basso are catching Baliani
now and they ride straight past. Up front Garate and Voigt are still hammering
away. Garate leads the way.
Ullrich has dropped out. Apparently
he has back problems.
The gap is 2'45". It's really steep
now. Voigt still on Garate's wheel.
Behind Basso leads Simoni. Cunego
still hasn't been able to get up to them but like Gutierrez, he can still see
Simoni comes past Basso again. He
is out of the saddle as they ride through a really thick crowd. It's amazing
that they can even ride through this.
Up front Garate pushes the
Simoni and Basso reach the 3km to
go sign. It doesn't look like they will catch them now.
17:55 CEST 222.5km/1.5km to go
Garate still leads
and Voigt is still with him. Only 1500m to go.
Voigt talks to his director in the
Basso comes though and leads Simoni.
17:57 CEST 223km/1km to go
Garate and Voigt go
under the 1km to go banner. They have made it. It's just a race between the
two of them now.
Voigt is pushing a big gear here,
he rides alongside Garate. Garate gets out of the saddle, 600m to go.
The crowd is amazing up here. Cunego
still chases Basso and Simoni solo.
Garate still leads up front.
400m to go after 224 km of racing. Garate goes ahead. Voigt doesn't contest
the sprint. Garate takes the win and rides across the road and points back at
Voigt thanking him.
Vila rides solo to take third place.
Vila finishes 1'26" down on the lead
pair. Simoni and Basso go past some more of the original break members as they
reach the 300, to go mark.
Selle and Parra cross the line together
just before Simoni and Basso comes through. Gutierrez catches Cunego on the
line. He only lost 25" to Simoni.
The rest of the break and peloton
come through in dribs and drabs.
Thanks for tuning in to stage 19.
We'll be back tomorrow for the penultimate stage and yet another day in the
1 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Quick Step-Innergetic 7.13.36
2 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 0.04
3 Francisco J. Vila Errandonea (Spa) Lampre-Fondital 1.21
4 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) Lampre-Fondital 1.55
5 Emanuele Sella (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare 2.06
6 Ivan Ramiro Parra Pinto (Col) Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone
7 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir 2.15
8 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC
9 Johann Tschopp (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems
10 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas
11 José E. Gutierrez Cataluna (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 2.38
12 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
General classification after stage 19
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 70.46.38
2 José E. Gutierrez Cataluna (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 6.07
3 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir 10.34
4 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 12.59
5 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 15.13
6 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas 15.26
7 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux 16.07
8 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Quick Step-Innergetic 16.40
9 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni 17.23
10 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas 18.31
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