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90th Giro d'Italia - GT

Italy, May 12-June 3, 2007

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Stage 21 - Sunday, June 3: Vestone - Milano, 185 km

Complete live report

Live commentary by Gregor Brown

Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 18:00 CEST

14:30 CEST   
Hello and welcome to the final day of Cyclingnews' 2007 Giro live coverage. Today we will be following the riders to Milano, the world's fashion capital.

It will be a sprinters' cat-walk on Corso Venezia when the race ends after ten 4.8-kilometre circuits. The final stage of the 2007 Giro d'Italia leaves from the small town of Vestone in Val Trompia north of Brescia, then heads west across the Lombardy plain to Milano, where the final finishing circuits will end in a dramatic sprinters' blast. Look for comeback kid Ale-Jet Petacchi of Team Milram to win his 24th career Giro d'Italia stage win, equalling the great Giuseppe Saronni.

Other sprinters we will keep an eye on are Alexandre Usov (Ag2r Prévoyance), Matti Breschel (Team CSC), Julian Dean (Crédit Agricole), Maximiliano Richeze (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare), Nikolai Trusov (Tinkoff Credit Systems) and Paolo Bettini (Quickstep-Innergetic).

The sun is shining and the windows are rolled down on the Ferrari... Bella Italia!

Verde, Ciclamino, Rosa and Bianca
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

14:34 CEST    52km/133km to go
We are at 52 kilometres into affairs and it is 'gruppo compatto.'

14:40 CEST   
We passed Lago d'Iseo, home of sprinter Danilo Napolitano, and we are just about to enter the province of Bergamo. I may pull our Ferrari onto the adjacent A4 Autostrada and see what she is capable of.

The average for the riders after two hours of racing is 28.200 Km/h, which is pretty darn slow! Most of the riders are enjoying this last day and are not concerned about racing.

14:49 CEST   
141 riders lined up this morning on Viale Marconi for the partenza in Vestone. The day got started at 12.32, enough time for the locals to see the riders pull out of the town and then head off for a Sunday lunch.

Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Team CSC) and Daniele Contrini (Tinkoff Credit Systems) were the first riders to light the race on fire today. The Norwegian, winner of stage eight, and the Italian (who lives very nearby) struck out at four kilometres out of Vestone, just before Casto. The Gruppo Maglia Rosa had no intentions to chase this duo down and the two boys had 1'40" in hand by kilometre eight.

Sure enough, Contrini was attacking for his friends and family in his home town of Gardone Val Trompia, kilometres 27. After kisses and well wishes, Contrini faded back to the gruppo, which had already taken back Arvesen.

In new team colours
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

14:54 CEST    66km/119km to go
The riders are passing Palazzolo sull'Oglio and will now pass it the Bergamo Province. The race remains 'gruppo compatto' with Danilo Di Luca riding in all pink. While the race is moving along maybe you would like to read our interview with the rider from Abruzzo, Proving the pundits wrong.

Thumbs up
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

15:02 CEST   
The day's only classified climb, and the last GPM (Gran Premio della Montagna) of this Giro, the Passo Tre Termini came at kilometre 37.4 and soon the race was in the red. It was an all-red Acqua e Sapone affair over the top, led by Stefano Garzelli, Dario Andriotto and 'Mad Max' Massimo Codol. The boys had the same intentions as Contrini, shooting the breeze with friends and family along the side of the road. After a quick 'ciao' the boys were rejoined by the Gruppo Maglia Rosa, and at kilometre 52 we were back to 'gruppo compatto.'.

15:03 CEST    72km/113km to go
We are still 'gruppo compatto' at kilometre 72.

15:06 CEST   
Here is a list of the race's DNS and DNFs. We hope to have no more riders added to this list, however anything can happen, just ask Mirco Lorenzetto (Milram). He was unable to finish last year's final stage due to a crash.
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: Julien Loubet (Ag2r Prévoyance)
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)
DNS Stage 17: Aketza Peña (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
DNF Stage 18: Charles Wegelius (Liquigas)

15:16 CEST    80km/105km to go
The race is really easing along towards Zingonia, km 86.3.

15:23 CEST   
An update on the pink panther: He does not have a pink Cannondale but he does have pink handlebar tape. The other day we sent Tim Maloney to the start to have a look at some of the road machines, like Garzelli's De Rosa and Savoldelli's BMC.

15:24 CEST   
White Lightning Andy Schleck has white handlebar tape and is talking with Dave Zabriskie.

Marco Pinotti (T-Mobile)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

15:39 CEST    92km/93km to go
The Saunier boys, winner of four stages and the Maglia Verde with Piepoli, are riding along together mid-way down the peloton. The boys are talking about which races are coming up on the June calendar.

In Brembate the former Maglia Rosa wearer, Marco Pinotti, stops to say hello to his friends and family.

The average after three hours of racing is 30.700 km/h.

15:46 CEST   
"We have now done 98 kilometres. It is truly bellissima to be riding along in the Maglia Rosa, knowing I won the Giro. My next objective is the Worlds but right now it is just about enjoying this Giro d'Italia," just noted Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas) in a TV interview.

15:52 CEST   
"There are years when nothing [crashes] happens, but then there are months when all incidents happen. I tired on all of the stages. I had a lot of places. I don't know if I will try again today, I will talk to my teammates," said Paolo Bettini (Quickstep-Innergetic).

15:53 CEST    100km/85km to go
The riders are entering Roncello.

Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas)
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
(Click for larger image)

16:05 CEST    113km/72km to go
We have passed Ornago. Oh, we were wrong, Di Luca does have a pink bike. The back end of his bike is pink!

In the feed-zone, km 113 in Pessano, there is an Angel waiting or the riders with pastries! Maybe we can have some too! Riders are grabbing treats and some, who have passed, are turning around for more!

16:12 CEST   
From the Tour of Belgium we have the top ten:
1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic
2 Kenny Van Hummel (Ned) Skil-Shimano
3 Allan Davis (Aus) Discovery Channel
4 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Predictor-Lotto
5 Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Unibet.com
6 Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner
7 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Unibet.com
8 Roy Sentjens (Bel) Predictor-Lotto
9 Wouter Weylandt (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic
10 Tyler Farrar (USA) Cofidis

16:17 CEST   
Milram is now leading the peloton, past an IKEA, for Maglia Ciclamino Petacchi. They will hope to lead out the sprint-gun to a win in Milano. Right behind the two Milrams is Andy Schleck, who will hit the discotheques tonight and then he is scheduled to return home tomorrow afternoon.

16:28 CEST   
Liquigas leads the peloton. Gasparotto and Schleck were just talking, probably about the parties tonight. Their heart rates are going slow today. A lot of these guys have been running some high-tech equipment monitors on their bikes. Polar produces heart rate monitors that give us journalists instant information on the riders in the race. Earlier in the Giro Shane Stokes had a look at Polar's system.

16:31 CEST    123km/62km to go
All of the Liquigas boys have pink handlebar tape. Noè is leading the pack, he is a Milanese and will know these roads very well. The race is going through Sesto San Giovanni at km 123.

16:39 CEST   
The fans are lined out along Corso Venezia waiting for the race to start the first of the 10 4.8 kilometres circuits.

16:40 CEST   
The race has entered on the streets of Milano!

16:41 CEST   
There is a crash.

16:42 CEST   
A Tinkoff (Petrov) and a Rabobank rider. Bettini stops to check with teammate Tosatto. Everything seems to be okay.

16:46 CEST   
The riders are on the final circuits. The race is being led by Liquigas.

16:47 CEST    137km/48km to go
We have 10 circuits to go.

16:50 CEST   
The circuit takes a right at -3000m, a U-turn at -1500m, a hard right at -750m and the final turn, a light right-hander, at -400m.

16:56 CEST   
Nine circuits to go. Liquigas is still parading its rider around the city. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare) had a mechanical and has re-entered.

We are so lucky to enjoy a nice day on the last day of this race. The last week has been bad and we had to wash the Cyclingnews Ferrari every morning. Of course, I did not personally do it, I had to keep my fingers fresh for this live coverage.

16:59 CEST   
Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r Prévoyance), Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo) and Paolo Bettini (Quickstep-Innergetic) are in the back of the pack talking. Likely they are talking about where the parties will be tonight. Maybe they will join Cyclingnews at "Il Caffè."

17:01 CEST    147km/38km to go
Eight 'giri' to go. The acid green Liquigas boys are led by Franco Pellizotti.

17:04 CEST   
This is not pavé in Paris-Roubaix but the roads have these big paving stones that will put the final icing on the riders' legs. Pellizotti seems to be on that special Super-six Cannondale proto-type bike. It looks cool.

17:07 CEST   
Bettini is still at the back of the peloton but he is surrounded by the blue-guard. The Quickstep boys seem to be hatching an anti-Petacchi plan.

17:10 CEST   
We now have seven 'giri' to go. Liquigas continue its victory drive but the pace is rising and soon we should see the sprinters' teams move forward and this day will turn from a love-fest into a Milano street fight.

Bettini is eating at the back of the pack, he will be ready to throw some punches over the pavé of Corso Venezia.

17:11 CEST   
Oscar Gatto will win the Maglia Nera, which is not an actual jersey this year but is an honour none the less. It goes to the last rider on the general classification.

Ciao Gibo! Simoni is now up next to Di Luca.

17:17 CEST    156.2km/28.8km to go
Six circuits to go. The third circuit was run off in 7'04" at 40.755 Km/h, and the fourth, just finished, was 6'47" at 42.457 Km/h.

17:20 CEST   
Alessandro Spezialetti (Liquigas) leads the pack. Bettini has dropped off the pack and does not seem to want to contest this sprint.

17:22 CEST    161km/24km to go
Mikhail Ignatiev (Tinkoff Credit Systems) launches with 200 metres to go before the start of final five circuits! The race has started!

17:24 CEST   
Misha looks good here. Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is chasing the Russian with Liquigas leading the gruppo.

17:26 CEST    165.8km/19.2km to go
Misha starts the final four circuits. He is dedicated here. He has 11" on the Basque and 16" back to the Gruppo Maglia Rosa.

17:27 CEST   
Di Luca is at the back of the Liquigas train, followed by Schleck.

17:28 CEST   
Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is caught just after the start of this circuit and Misha has 17".

17:30 CEST   
The sixth circuit was run off at 6'01" at an average of 47.867 Km/h. The pace is getting quicker!

17:32 CEST   
Seven wins as a pro, Misha will have to draw on all of his experience to pull this move off.

Cummings chases!

17:35 CEST    170.6km/14.4km to go
Misha starts the final of 3 circuits with 20" on the Gruppo Maglia Rosa. Steve Cummings (Discovery Channel) is chasing in no-man's land at 15".

The seventh 'Giro' was run off at 6'13" at 46.327 Km/h..

17:35 CEST   
Cummings is now caught.

17:37 CEST   
Wait, Bettini is moving back up, behind the Liquigas train.

17:38 CEST   
Misha is giving it his all. Bravo Misha!

17:41 CEST    175.4km/9.6km to go
We are starting the final of two circuits. Misha is in his drops and in all sorts of pain but he holds a gap of 16" over the Liquigas-led gruppo.

Bettini is in the wheel of Petacchi.

Predictor is working for Zanini.

17:43 CEST   
Di Luca has a heart rate of 176. Misha is caught.

17:44 CEST    178km/7km to go
Misha had a good try. It looks to be a group sprint.

17:44 CEST   
Dark clouds are building above!

17:46 CEST    180.2km/4.8km to go
Liquigas still leads this race! We have started the 'ultimo giro,' leaving 4.8km of this Giro d'Italia.

17:47 CEST   
Could Di Luca take the sprint? His old teammate, Mario Cipollini, is hear watching.

17:48 CEST   
The ninth 'giro' was run off in 6'06" at 47.213 Km/h.

Furlan flats! The Crédit Agricole team will work for Dean.

17:48 CEST   
Milram moves up to the front. Bettini is tucked on the wheel of Bettini. There is Cortinovis, Lorenzetto and then Lancaster.

Also Acqua e Sapone is there.

17:49 CEST    183km/2km to go
Maximiliano Richeze (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare) and Matti Breschel (Team CSC) are there. Astana takes over the lead!

17:49 CEST   
Milram now has 2 men on the front.

17:50 CEST    183.5km/1.5km to go
Petacchi in third wheel.

17:50 CEST   
Zanini's boys move up.

17:50 CEST    184km/1km to go
One Km to go. A Predictor leads, followed by a Milram.

17:50 CEST   
Petacchi is in third again, behind Lorenzetto and Lancaster.

17:51 CEST   
Milram has control. Bettini is in sixth wheel.

17:51 CEST   
Zanini goes early.

17:52 CEST   
Petacchi keeps going and gets it after 5:18' of racing. Max Rich is in second.

17:52 CEST   
Bettini third.

18:00 CEST   
That was a powerful sprint up the left for Petacchi. Max Rich did a great push and proved to be an emerging talent but could not touch the Italian, who got his 24th career stage and his fifth of this year.

Please return soon for a complete report and results.

Thanks for joining Cyclingnews on this 'bel Giro' of Italy. It has been an honour to report for you.

Provisional Results

1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Milram
2 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare
3 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quickstep-Innergetic
4 Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo
5 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Predictor-Lotto
Final general classification
1 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas
2 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team CSC
3 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Astana

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