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90th Giro d'Italia - GT

Italy, May 12-June 3, 2007

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Stage 16 - Tuesday, May 29: Agordo (Dolomiti Stars) - Lienz (Austria), 189 km

Complete live report

Live commentary by Gregor Brown

Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:50 CEST

14:31 CEST   
Hello and welcome back to another Dolomiti stage of the 90th Giro di Italia. Today the riders are tackling 189 kilometres form Agordo to Austria's Lienz

After a well-deserved rest day, the Giro started again with a sortie from the eyewear town of Agordo. 143 riders took off this morning at one minute before mezzogiorno ('noon'). Many of the riders will want a bit of a rest day today because yesterday most did not get to spin their legs due to heavy rains. As so, the first hour was run off at a slow pace of 25.1 kilometres per hour.

14:36 CEST   
The parcours today consists of two GPMs, the Passo di Campolongo (top at 143.6 km to go) and the smaller Bannberg (27km) before the 16.8-kilometre ending circuit. Beware, we could see a powerful escape move formed on the Anras or Vergein, the two uncategorized climbs right before the Bannberg and the following dead-flat run home.

It was gruppo compatto from Arabba to the top of the Passo Campolongo, at kilometre 45.4.

14:39 CEST    64km/125km to go
We have pulled the Cyclingnews Ferrari over in Pederoa, just under 125 kilometres to go. Our data tells us the peloton is going to let the final three climbs, just over the border, in Austria, decide this stage. The average after two hours of racing is 24.6 km/h. Time for us to look for a Gelatoria!

14:42 CEST   
Tinkoff should fire off one of its missiles at any moment. Or, maybe we should look out for Mikhail Ignatiev to blast in the final 20 kilometres.

Paolo Bettini (Quickstep-Innergetic)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

14:53 CEST   
Another rider to watch out for today is 'Il Grillo Livornese', Paolo Bettini. The World Champion has been on the attack in the last two stages but Cyclingnews thinks that today is more suited towards his characteristics.

14:55 CEST   
Did you miss out on any of the first 15 stages of this Giro? If so you might want to ready our Rest day wrap.

15:10 CEST    88km/101km to go
We are at 101 kilometres from the finish, it is raining and cold. Most all of the riders were bundled up before the start of the stage.

15:14 CEST    92km/97km to go
"Today will be difficult," noted Danilo Di Luca with a green Liquigas vest over his pink leader's jersey at the start. "I will have to be attentive on the important climbs. I think that there will be no problems but I will watch.

"Saunier Duval to attack? No. But I have to be on the watch. I think there will be an escape today because it is too hard for the sprinters to make it through the finishing climbs."

15:15 CEST   
"Today should be a stage of relaxing but then we thought that on the stage to Bergamo. So... We will still try.

"Danilo is a nice guy but racing is racing and we will try," said mountains leader Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval-Prodir).

15:17 CEST   
Lampre and Liquigas are riding on the front through Brunico. It is hard to tell who is who in their black coloured rain capes. The riders just passed a gas station but no one stopped for a caffè.

28.9 km/h after three hours.

15:20 CEST   
The next town coming is Valdaora. A little further up the road is Dobbiaco, km 113.8, is the feed-zone for today.

15:22 CEST   
"I think that today will not be the day, I think tomorrow will be the day for attacking... But you never know," said Marzio Bruseghin, winner of the Oropa time trial, at the start.

There are currently seven Liquigas men on the front. Which one is Danilo Di Luca? He is the one in pink shorts!

15:23 CEST   
There could be an attack!

Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval-Prodir)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

15:30 CEST    96km/93km to go
No, sorry, that was not an escape. We are still 'gruppo compatto.' Gasparotto leads the Liquigas train. 'Terrone' Di Luca is moving up to give his charges directions. They might have a hard time hearing the 31 year-old rider from Abruzzo since they have headbands covering their ears.

Di Luca proudly referred to himself as a 'Terrone' the other day when he noted that he could be the first 'Terrone' to win the Giro. It is a negative term to describe Italians from the south. Looking over the Cyclingnews annals, there has never been a Terrone to win the Giro.

Leo Piepoli is looking very slick in Green shorts to match his Maglia Verde. Making the look complete is yellow leg warmers. It is a very cool look.

15:34 CEST    99km/90km to go
While we are waiting for the 'fuga' you can have a look at the riders who no longer with us.

DNS Stage 1: Carlos Da Cruz (Française Des Jeux)
DNS Stage 2: Michael Barry (T-Mobile)
DNS Stage 3: Adam Hansen (T-Mobile)
DNS Stage 3: Andrea Tonti (Quickstep-Innergetic)
DNF Stage 3: Volker Ordowski (Gerolsteiner)
DNF Stage 3: Graeme Brown (Rabobank)
DNF Stage 4: Ian McLeod (Française Des Jeux)
DNS Stage 5: Joan Horrach (Caisse d'Epargne)
DNS Stage 6: Thomas Ziegler (T-Mobile)
DNS Stage 6: Patrice Halgand (Crédit Agricole)
DNF Stage 6: Leon Van Bon (Rabobank)
DNF Stage 7: Timothy Gudsell (Française Des Jeux)
DNS Stage 8: Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom)
DNF Stage 8: Cyrille Monnerais (Française Des Jeux)
DNF Stage 8: Michael Blaudzun (Team CSC)
DNS Stage 10: Alberto Ongarato (Milram)
DNF Stage 10: Gregory Henderson (T-Mobile)
DNF Stage 10: Juan José Haedo (Team CSC)
DNF Stage 10: José Joaquín Rojas (Caisse d'Epargne)
DNF Stage 10: Alexei Markov (Caisse d'Epargne)
DNF Stage 10: Paride Grillo (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare)
DNF Stage 10: Sergio Ghisalberti (Milram)
DNF Stage 10: Arnaud Labbe (Bouygues Telecom)
DNF Stage 10: Yohann Gène (Bouygues Telecom)
DNS Stage 11: Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner)
DNS Stage 12: George Hincapie (Discovery Channel)
DNS Stage 12: Robbie McEwen (Predictor-Lotto)
DNS Stage 12: Robert Förster (Gerolsteiner)
DNS Stage 12: Aitor Hernández (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
DNF Stage 12: Simone Masciarelli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo)
DNF Stage 12: Gabriele Balducci (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo)
DNF Stage 12: Danilo Napolitano (Lampre-Fondital)
DNF Stage 12: Tim Klinger (Gerolsteiner)
DNF Stage 12: Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole)
DNF Stage 12: Dionisio Galparsoro (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
DNF Stage 12: Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC)
DNF Stage 12: Alexandr Kolobnev (Team CSC)
DNS Stage 13: Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery Channel)
DNS Stage 14: Ivan Rovny (Tinkoff Credit Systems)
DNF Stage 14: Brian Vandborg (Discovery Channel)
DNF Stage 14: Fabio Sabatini (Milram)
DNF Stage 14: Jurgen Van de Walle (Quickstep-Innergetic)
DNF Stage 14: Oliver Zaugg (Gerolsteiner)
DNF Stage 14: Alexandr Arekeev (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo)
DNF Stage 14: Francesco Bellotti (Crédit Agricole)
DNF Stage 14: Mathieu Heijboer (Cofidis)
DNF Stage 14: Steve Zampieri (Cofidis)
DNF Stage 14: Max Van Heeswijk (Rabobank)
DNF Stage 14: Joseba Zubeldia (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
DNS Stage 15: Wim Van Huffel (Predictor-Lotto)
DNF Stage 15: Manuele Mori (Saunier Duval-Prodir)
DNF Stage 15: Serguei Yakovlev (Astana)
DNF Stage 15: Rubens Bertogliati (Saunier Duval-Prodir)

15:37 CEST   
Di Luca is now talking to the race directeur. There some hand gestures and pointing. It could be a light talk. The 'gruppo' will have the race leader act as the voice if there is a problem.

We are rocking through the streets of Villabassa.

Totò Commesso is moving up. Could it be Tinkoff Time?

15:42 CEST   
"I don't know yet," said Riccardo Riccò at the start in regards to his next team. "Before I always thought it was with Saunier Duval. Maybe it could be for another team, and, if is, I hope it is with another Italian team." The Modenese still has one year left, 2008, in his contract with Saunier Duval but many want to have this sensation on their squad. He is currently making around €40,000 a year.

Style update: White Knight Paolo Bettini is keeping the World Champ look complete with a white rain cape. 2002 World Champ Mario Cipollini would be very proud.

15:49 CEST    109.5km/79.5km to go
We heard from the race directeur 'Mauro,' he reported that Di Luca was asking him about the road conditions.

If you are planning trip to tomorrow's stage you will be in for a treat, there will be big TV monitors on the final climb to Zoncolan. There will be no cars on the climb tomorrow, only motor bikes and bicycles. (Read Gilberto Simoni reconnoitres Zoncolan for more on the Zoncolan.) It will be a huge party!

15:50 CEST   
Bettini, in white leg-warmers, just flung off his shoe covers. He has also taken off that white cape.

15:57 CEST    116km/73km to go
Lunch time! The riders are grabbing their coloured purses and digging in for treats and goodies. Many of the riders drop back during the race to get food but having a feed-zone allows for mass feeding. The soigneurs hand out purses with food and water (Okay, not purses but 'musettes'.)

16:01 CEST   
Bettini has some non-World Champ clothing; he is now wearing black knee-warmers and his musette is a standard issue Quickstep one.

16:04 CEST    119km/70km to go
Attack! Laurent Mangel (Ag2r Prévoyance) blast off with Luxemburger Benoît Joachim (Astana) tacked on his rear wheel. The move came just after S. Candido.

16:06 CEST   
There is a Quickstep and Tinkoff rider chasing the duo with Axel Merckx.

16:07 CEST   
Mikhail Ignatiev (Tinkoff Credit Systems) is in there, with Hubert Schwab (Quickstep-Innergetic). Matti Breschel (Team CSC) is also giving a dig.

16:15 CEST    130km/59km to go
Moien! 31 year-old Benoît Joachim (Astana) has been a professional since 1999. All but one of his wins come from national championships; he is a two-time road race and a two time time trial national champion.

Laurent Mangel (Ag2r Prévoyance) leads the Astana rider though the Garibaldi sprint at km 130 in Sillian. Remember Sillian? Last year a Giro stage started here. The weather was completely different then.

16:15 CEST   
We now have an attack group of 13.

16:17 CEST   
Liquigas leads the 'chase.'

"Stages are not important because we only want to make it to Milano with the Maglia Rosa," Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas).

16:22 CEST   
There is another little group chasing the front gruppo.

16:22 CEST   
In that gruppo chasing there are Matteo Tosatto (Quickstep-Innergetic), Loyd Mondory (Ag2r Prévoyance), Pablo Lastras (Caisse d'Epargne), Luis Felipe Laverde (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare), Julian Dean (Crédit Agricole), Steve Cummings (Discovery Channel), Oscar Gatto (Gerolsteiner), Salvatore Commesso (Tinkoff Credit Systems).

16:24 CEST   
That chase group is going after the front-runners, who are Benoît Joachim (Astana), Assan Bazayev (Astana), Matteo Bono (Lampre-Fondital), Laurent Mangel (Ag2r Prévoyance), Franck Renier (Bouygues Telecom), Pietro Caucchioli (Crédit Agricole), José Luis Rubiera (Discovery Channel), Sven Krauss (Gerolsteiner), Martin Müller (Milram), Mikhail Ignatiev (Tinkoff Credit Systems), Nikolai Trusov (Tinkoff Credit Systems), Lorenzo Bernucci (T-Mobile).

16:26 CEST   
Garzelli attacks off the front of the front of the Di Luca gruppo. They have started the climb of Anras.

Up front Laverde is going off the front of the lead group.

16:26 CEST   
Saunier Duval is leading the Di Luca gruppo. Riccò is tucked in the group next to Eddy Mazzoleni.

16:28 CEST   
Dean looks really strained on his Look machine.

16:32 CEST   
Bettini is changing his bike.

16:32 CEST   
Ricardo Serrano (Tinkoff Credit Systems) appears to be in the escape. We will try to get this corrected. The front group is now Benoît Joachim (Astana), Assan Bazayev (Astana), Laurent Mangel (Ag2r Prévoyance), Pietro Caucchioli (Crédit Agricole), José Luis Rubiera (Discovery Channel), Ricardo Serrano (Tinkoff Credit Systems), Lorenzo Bernucci (T-Mobile)

16:35 CEST   
The roads are amazing. It is cold an windy but the road side is green as Pietro's CA kit. If you squint your eyes you can barely see the Veronese.

Liquigas is leading the Garzelli chase.

16:35 CEST   
Ricardo Serrano (Tinkoff Credit Systems), Laurent Mangel (Ag2r Prévoyance) and
Pietro Caucchioli (Crédit Agricole) are leading the race.

16:42 CEST    146km/43km to go
Pietro Caucchioli (Crédit Agricole), Ricardo Serrano (Tinkoff Credit Systems), Laurent Mangel (Ag2r Prévoyance), José Luis Rubiera (Discovery Channel) are starting the Vergein. It is 2'18" back to the Gruppo Maglia Rosa.

Garzelli catches Bernucci and Dean.

16:44 CEST   
Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo), with his head bobbing, now catches Pablo Lastras (Caisse d'Epargne). He is going hard but this really seems like a crazy move for a GC rider. There some 26 kilometres from the final climb to the finish.

16:45 CEST   
Rubiera is at the back of his group of four taking off his arm-warmers. He is getting ready for some serious business.

16:46 CEST   
Garzelli is just behind the front group, by 16"!

16:47 CEST   
Dean, Lastras and an Astana rider are riding in 2000 Giro Champ's wake.

Giovanni Visconti (Quickstep-Innergetic) launches off the front of the Gruppo Maglia Rosa, they are 2'11" back on the front four.

16:49 CEST   
Giovanni Visconti's move seems really, really late.

16:52 CEST    152km/37km to go
Garzelli's gruppo catches the front four. This now makes a group of seven. Caucchioli, Serrano, Rubiera, Joachim, Garzelli, Lastras, Dean

16:54 CEST   
Make that eight, tall-man Laurent Mangel (Ag2r Prévoyance) is still up front. Dean looks so slick in his b lack-n-white New Zealand national champ kit.

16:56 CEST    154km/35km to go
With 35km to go we have Pietro Caucchioli (Crédit Agricole), Ricardo Serrano (Tinkoff Credit Systems), Laurent Mangel (Ag2r Prévoyance), José Luis Rubiera (Discovery Channel), Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo), Pablo Lastras (Caisse d'Epargne), Julian Dean (Crédit Agricole), Benoît Joachim (Astana)

They are being chased by Matteo Tosatto (Quickstep-Innergetic), Loyd Mondory (Ag2r Prévoyance), Salvatore Commesso (Tinkoff Credit Systems), Luis Felipe Laverde (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare)

The front eight have 2'44" on the Gruppo Maglia Rosa.

17:00 CEST   
At the start of the final climb the roads are very wet. The climb of the Bannberg and the subsequent could be very risky.

Garzelli attacks on this climb and he is pumping it on his De Rosa Bike. His mouth his open and he laboured!

17:03 CEST    159km/30km to go
The Bannberg averages 4.7% and has a max of 11%. It tops off at -27km. What is Garzelli thinking? Well, he may hope that some of the strong-men of the chase gruppo will join him. Otherwise, it is just too far to go solo for a man like Go-Go Garzelli.

17:03 CEST   
Garzelli has 12" seconds over the chase group.

17:04 CEST   
It is a further 2'01" back to the Gruppo Maglia Rosa at -30km (3k to the top of Bannberg).

17:05 CEST   
Garzelli is easing his way down this wet descent of Bannberg.

17:06 CEST    161km/28km to go
Sorry, Garzelli still has 1km to the top. That was just a light descent he was on before the top.

17:08 CEST   
Garzelli hands off his long-sleeved jersey. Now he passes into heaven. There is a special blonde angle at the side of the road.

17:10 CEST    162km/27km to go
Garzelli tops the Bannberg, it is 44" back to Pietro Caucchioli (Crédit Agricole),
Ricardo Serrano (Tinkoff Credit Systems), Laurent Mangel (Ag2r Prévoyance), José Luis Rubiera (Discovery Channel) and Pablo Lastras (Caisse d'Epargne)

Julian Dean (Crédit Agricole) and Benoît Joachim (Astana) are chasing further back.

17:12 CEST   
Lastras and Caucchioli were second and third over the Bannberg.

17:15 CEST    169km/20km to go
Garzelli looks good. He is in his drops. We wonder if he is hot because he still has his headband on, underneath his white helmet.

The Gruppo Maglia Rosa has just passed the top of the Bannberg at 5'57".

17:17 CEST   
Maybe Garzelli, whose Spanish wife, Maria, must be watching, can hold hits gap of 38". The group of Pietro Caucchioli (Crédit Agricole), Ricardo Serrano (Tinkoff Credit Systems), Laurent Mangel (Ag2r Prévoyance), José Luis Rubiera (Discovery Channel), Pablo Lastras (Caisse d'Epargne) look tired and disorganized.

17:19 CEST    172.2km/16.8km to go
Garzelli is now starting the final circuit of 16.8km. It is completely flat. The five behind him are rotating in a clockwise motion at 44" back.

17:21 CEST    174km/15km to go
A group with Julian Dean (Crédit Agricole), Benoît Joachim (Astana), Matteo Tosatto (Quickstep-Innergetic), Loyd Mondory (Ag2r Prévoyance), Salvatore Commesso (Tinkoff Credit Systems), Luis Felipe Laverde (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare) pass the start finish, -16.8, at 2'30" back from Go-Go Garzelli.

17:26 CEST   
The chase of five with Rubiera and Lastras is now rotating in a counter-clockwise motion, which means that the wind could be coming from their left. They are about 40" back on 'Il Varesino' Stefano. Stefano has a wife, Maria, and son, Marco, who are watching on TV.

We believe that Stefano named his son after his older brother, Marco, who manages the website of the Bergamo stage winner.

17:28 CEST    180km/9km to go
Nine kilometres to go for Garzelli. It is about 7'00" to the Gruppo Maglia Rosa.

17:31 CEST    181km/8km to go
Garzelli has 32" with 8km to go. He is digging hard for this. If he was with the chase group he does have a good sprint to win but, at this point he would be too wasted for a sprint.

17:35 CEST    183km/6km to go
Garzelli is going for his 27th career success . Let's hope he gets it! Go go Garzelli. He is holding 34". The chasers don't look good.

Lastras launches!

17:36 CEST   
33 year-old Garzelli has been a professional since 1997, he started his career with Mercatone Uno.

17:39 CEST    188km/1km to go
The chase is back together but the harmony is not there. Garzelli is going to get the stage win in Lienz. This will be his first solo Giro win (and his eighth in total).

17:40 CEST   
Here come Stefano! He is going to be very very happy with this one. After 5:33 hours of racing! He salutes the crowd with both hands. Bravo Stefano!

17:40 CEST   
The five are lined up for a sprint for second.

17:42 CEST   
Mangel leads and takes second ahead of Serrano and Rubiera.

17:42 CEST   
Commesso takes the sprint for the second chase group.

17:49 CEST   
Garzelli got win number two in this year's Giro and win number eight his career of Giro stage wins, including 2000 when he also took the overall.

The Gruppo Maglia Rosa has just finished 8'00" back.

Thanks for joining Cyclingnews today and please come back for tomorrow's mammoth stage to Monte Zoncolan.


Provisional Results

1 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo
2 Laurent Mangel (Fra) Ag2r Prévoyance                   1.01
3 Ricardo Serrano (Spa) Tinkoff Credit Systems
4 José Luis Rubiera (Spa) Discovery Channel
5 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Crédit Agricole
6 Pablo Lastras (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
7 Salvatore Commesso (Ita) Tinkoff Credit Systems
8 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Quickstep-Innergetic
General classification after stage 16
1 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas
2 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Astana                           
3 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team CSC
4 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir
5 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital


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