89th Giro d'Italia - GT
Italy, May 6-28, 2006
Results & report
Stage 9 - Monday, May 15: Francavilla Al Mare – Termoli, 127 km
Complete live report
Commentary by Kristy Scrymgeour with additional reporting from Tim Maloney
Welcome to Cyclingnews’ coverage
of stage 9 of the Giro d’Italia. After a tough mountain stage yesterday where
we saw bigger gaps than we thought would occur, today is a shorter, less challenging
stage which should provide the GC riders with a bit of rest. Starting in the
coastal town of Francavilla Al Mare, the stage travels along flat terrain along
the Adriatic coast. After contesting the 110 Gazetta sprint in Vasato the riders
will travel another 20km along the coast before heading inland into the hills
and then wrapping back around to the coast to finish in the town of Termoli
after 127 km of racing.
There is a chance that a break could get
away today. We do see some hilly terrain in the last 50km, but it is also very
likely that the sprinters will want this stage to end in a bunch kick as it
might be their last chance. Robbie McEwen did say before the start of the Giro
that he probably won’t go much farther than this.
The last time a
stage of the Giro finished in Termoli was in 1987 when Paolo Rosola of Bianchi
beat Urs Freuler of Atala in a sprint.
The official start of today's stage
was at 2:11pm and it is a gorgeous day in this part of the world. The sun is
shining and its a perfect day to be watching the Giro by the beach. Today the
wind is coming from the North-West so the peloton will have a tailwind for the
majority of the race, until they make the turn inland and then again towards
the finish with the last 10km or so will be more of a headwind.
Yesterday we saw Ivan Basso (CSC)
outclimb Damiano Cunego in the mountain taking 30 seconds out of him. That puts
him 1'34" in front in the General Classification so far in front of José E.
Gutierrez Cataluna (Phonak). The CSC team was happy with the results but were
quick to say that there is still a long way to go in the Giro yet and many mountains
to climb. Cunego was also philosophical about the time loss, stating also that
he still has chances to make up that time.
This area of Italy is still quite
undeveloped and very much like old Italy. It is famous for its special fish
soup calle Brodetto alla Tomalese which is a tomato based soup with fish and
hot peppers - it has quite a kick to it. Another specialty of the area is the
sheep milk cheese - Cacio.
Right now the peloton is taking in
the sun and probably enjoying the view as they head along the coast. If this
stage does indeed end in a bunch sprint, the last 5km is pretty flat and straight
into town. There is a round-a-bout with 700m to go and then the road is has
a slight uphill gradient to the line. It finishes on the wide open Via Martiri
From the finishing town of Termoli
it is possible to take a ferry to the Tremiti Islands which are very beautiful
and famous for diving.
The 110 Gazzetta spint of the day
is after 63.5km of racing in the town of Vasato. Mickael Delage (Française des
Jeux) is currently leading this classification by a point. The mountain sprint
of the day is at Guglionesi after 104km of racing with Basso leading this classification
over Staf Scheirlinckx (Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone).
After an hour of racing we currently
have a break of two riders. Yuriy Krivtsov (AG2R Prevoyance) and Cyrille Monnerais
(Francais de Jeux) are in the break with a lead of 4'12" over the peloton.
The Quick Step team is on the front
keeping things under control and in behind them are the CSC guys looking quite
relaxed. They are chatting to each other and taking a drink. Basso looking very
confortable in pink.
The road is very flat here as they
ride through some vineyards. Up front Krivtsov is powering away on the front
of the break. The pair is working well, Monnerais takes over now.
15:32 CEST 59km/68km to go
A couple of riders
from Saunier Duval have just gone back to their team car to grab bottles, so
their jerseys are loaded up now as they make their way back up to their teammates
in the bunch.
Back in the bunch Gustav Erik Larsson
of Francais de Jeux has a heart rate of 116, which is nice and low, so the peloton
is just cruising along at this point. They are in no hurry.
The peloton is going around a huge
round-a-bout now with half the bunch going one way around and the other half
going the other way.
Cunego also looks very comfortable sitting up in
the first half of the peloton. He's surrounded by a few teammates.
15:43 CEST 63.5km/63.5km to go
The gap between
Krivtsov (AG2R Prevoyance) and Monnerais (Francais de Jeux) and the peloton
has dropped slightly to 4'00". They are currently in the town of Vasato for
the 110 Gazzetta sport. Monnerais rolled across the line first. They didn't
really contest the sprint, more intent of keeping the rhythm of this break going.
Back to a road right along the water
now as they head out of Vasato. A very scenic ride. The Francais de Jeux guys
have come to the front of the peloton to keep an eye on things.
side of the road a Basso fan has a huge sign for him.
The Francais de Jeux riders contested
the 110 Gazzetta sprint to defend the lead of Mickael Delage. They took the
points for third.
The water looks very refreshing along
this fishing area.
Monnerais takes the time to go back
to his team car to get a drink and have a word with the DS. Back in the bunch
the Quick Step team is back on the front and seem to have picked up the pace
a little now.
They have five riders on the front
setting the pace. Basso sits in about 15th place just cruising. Robbie McEwen
is chatting with one of his Davitamon Lotto teammates. He also looks very comfortable.
No doubt he is going to try for another stage win. If he is not too tired after
yesterday he will be confident that he can take his fourth.
The Phonak team car has just stopped
to change a wheel for Fabrizio Guidi. It was a very quick change and he is back
in the convoy making his way back to the bunch.
16:00 CEST 77km/50km to go
Bettini is sitting
at the back of his Quick Step teammates at the front of the peloton. It is a
good stage for him the hilly terrain before the finish.
At the back of
the peloton a group of riders including Basso and a few of his CSC teammates
is making its way back through the convoy after stopping for a nature break.
They are grabbing bidons from their team cars on the way through. Meanwhile
the break has just seen the 50km to go sign.
It has just been reported that back
at the sprint there was a crash near the back of the bunch. All of the riders
made it back into the bunch though with no problems.
Quick Step has gradually been eating
into the gap to the two leaders. The latest split is 3'08" as they get nearer
to the hilly terrain.
16:08 CEST 83km/44km to go
Now we have a new
time gap. It has opened up a little again and is now 3'58". The peloton, still
lead by Quick Step is spread across the road. They have reached the town of
Petacciato Marina and this is where they turn right and head inland towards
the hills. Just over 30km now until we see the water again.
Monnerais has lost the wheel of Krivtsov
as the road starts going up. They have just completed two hours of racing.
Krivtsov is traveling along solo
at 42km/h as he hits a flat spot again.
Krivtsov heads through a small town
now. He looks strong and gets out of the saddle to power through a steeper section.
The riders in the bunch are also out of the saddle as they reach another steeper
section of the road. Quick Step has 6 riders on the front of the peloton with
Bettini sitting in behind them.
Krivtsov now has 3'18" on the peloton.
16:22 CEST 87km/40km to go
Bradley McGee is having
some sort of trouble at the back of the peloton and is off the back. Up front
Krivtsov descends a nice winding descent.
At the finish line a huge crowd awaits
the arrival of the riders. Young kids dressed in pink Giro d'Italia T-shirts
and bandana's wave signs and flags and sit of their parents shoulders to see
above the crowds. Krivtsov is looking very smooth up there alone and has a look
of intense concentration on his face.
Monnerais is still out there alone
but losing time. He is 2'12" behind Krivtsov now with the bunch moving up on
him quite quickly.
Krivtsov's gap has grown to the peloton
since he reached the hills and it is now over four minutes. He travels through
very pretty rolling, winding terrain.
Monnerais has just been caugh by
the bunch and the Quick Step team go flying past them as they lead the way.
We are getting higher now and from where they are the riders can see over rolling
countryside. Its very green and pretty.
16:30 CEST 92km/35km to go
Krivtsov has just
gone under a banner telling him he has 35km remaining in the stage. In 12km
time he'll reach the mountain sprint for the day before the road starts going
Now the gap to Krivtsov is really
starting to come down. The bunch is moving a lot quicker now and it is all strung
out. Suddenly the time gap is down to 1'12".
It's single file in the peloton and
a few split have even started forming but they will join up again on this small
descent here. Alberto Ongarato of Milram has a heart rate of 162 right now,
another sign that the riders in the bunch are having to work a lot harder here.
16:38 CEST 97km/30km to go
Krivtsov has been
caught as the bunch hits 30km to go. Immediately the bunch slows down a little
and spreads across the road. Basso sits just behind a teammate who in turn sits
on the Quick Step train.
The small hills have managed to drop
some riders and we have out first laughing bunch off the back. They'll just
take it easy now and try and rest up for tomorrow.
Garate has been
on the front of the bunch for Quick Step for some time now setting a steady
tempo. Bettini is right on his wheel as they hit the major climb of the day.
A few riders suffering on the back
of the bunch. Its gets quite steep here and a lot of riders are out of the saddle
trying to stay on.
Robbie McEwen has been dropped and
doesn't seem too intent on fighting to stay on.
The Quick Step team has done a good
job of getting rid of the fast man.
Laurent Lefevre (Bouygues Telecom)
has attacked the bunch as they near the top to try and take the GPM points.
Bettini leads the rest of the bunch
over the top, he is working hard. McEwen reaches the top 26 seconds back.
Lots of splits in the peloton as
they go over the top. José E. Gutierrez Cataluna took the sprint points. Small
groups descend now as they head back down to sea level to the coast.
A few nice switchback turns on the
way down. McEwen has a couple of teammates with him so it will be interesting
to see if they can chase him back on.
The riders are in tuck position going
down a fast straight section of the descent. Alot of the small groups have managed
to chase back on already. The front group is traveling at 78km/h right now.
16:51 CEST 107km/20km to go
Only 20km remaining
in the race now. A CSC rider heads the peloton keeping things strung out and
safe for Basso. The group with McEwen is still about 20 seconds back on the
They are on a wide open highway type
road now. The peloton has slowed down a little and it looks like the McEwen
group will in fact catch the peloton again.
McEwen sits on the wheel of Bert
Roesems. A nice wheel to sit on as he is nice and tall.
We have a break of four riders now.
In the group is Staf Scheirlinckx who wears the mountains jersey as he is second
in the classification. They have 18 seconds.
Scott Davis (T-Mobile), Stef Clement
(Bouygues Telecom) and Jose Serpa (Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni) are
also up there.
16:59 CEST 113km/14km to go
Scott Davis has attacked
He still has 14km to go but he looks
good. Meanwhile McEwen's group has rejoined the peloton. They are going over
another small climb now. Serpa has attacked too and is trying to bridge to Davis.
Pellizotti takes a flyer out of the
bunch and comes up flying past the other break members.
The other riders have been caught
and its the peloton in chase now. The peloton is all strung out.
17:04 CEST 117km/10km to go
T-Mobile is on the
front of the peloton now as they go under the 10km to go banner.
Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas), Scott
Davis (T-Mobile) have been caught now. Its all together with McEwen up there
in the bunch. T-Mobile on the front, its Jan with a couple of Quick Step guys.
Clement is attacking again but the
bunch is flying.
The crowds are huge here and making
a lot of noise as we see the ocean again.
17:09 CEST 122km/5km to go
all strung out now.
They are going down another descent with Jan Ullrich on the front again. 5km
Ullrich in third wheel and definitely
doing a lot of work up front. Perhaps it will be Pollack's chance today. McEwen
looks like he's recovered a bit.
We have another attack. Matt White
(Discovery) is up there with Pauriol (Credit Agricole). A Rabobank rider is
up there too.
Its Kolobnev from Rabobank. They
have a good gap at this point but Milram have their train on the front again!
Bad luck, they are getting caught
now. The Lampre team on the front with Milram tucked in behind. Now a counter
17:14 CEST 125km/2km to go
But that has also
been caught and Lampre and Milram fly by. Its very very fast now. Only 2km to
McEwen is in tenth place now on Pollacks
wheel. Milram is doing it again.
Bettini is also up there, they start
the sprint. Pollack is coming up, Bettini too and its close.
Bettini takes the win just in front
Actually it was Vaitkus from Ag2r
taking the win from Bettini and Pollack.
A very close finish and Pollack just
missing out again. Bettini actually put his hands up but he didn't get it.
1 Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) AG2R Prevoyance 3.05.13
2 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step-Innergetic
3 Olaf Pollack (Ger) T-Mobile Team
4 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto
5 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française des Jeux
6 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Credit Agricole
7 Manuele Mori (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir
8 Axel Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare
9 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone
10 Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita) Liquigas
General classification after stage 9
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 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 2.35
5 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) T-Mobile Team 2.43
6 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas 2.48
7 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir 3.20
8 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 3.23
9 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 3.31
10 José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 3.39
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