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90th Giro d'Italia - GT

Italy, May 12-June 3, 2007

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Stage 5 - Thursday, May 17: Teano - Frascati, 173 km

Complete live report

Live commentary by Gregor Brown

Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:32 CEST

14:33 CEST   
Welcome to Cyclingnews' coverage of Giro d'Italia stage five. Today the Corsa Rosa will travel from Teano in the northern suburbs of Naples (Napoli). It will head northwest through the up and down farm roads of the Frosinone province to finish just south of Rome in the beautiful wine city of Frascati.

But with the climb of Le Macere just 15 kilometres from the finish, look for World Champion Paolo Bettini to seek revenge after yesterday's crash.

14:41 CEST    50km/123km to go
190 riders rolled out of Teano at 13.03 to start the fifth stage of this year's Giro. Unfortunately Joan Horrach (Caisse d'Epargne) was not one of those riders to depart, he was involved in one of the many crashes yesterday. The Spaniard's crash resulted in a bump on his right thigh the size of a lemon and this morning he was too sore to continue.

14:46 CEST    62km/111km to go
Tinkoff Credit Systems has been particularly active in this year's Giro. The Russian/Italian team has had a man in an escape of every road stage so far. Stage two it was Pavel Brutt, stage three it was Mikhail Ignatiev and then, yesterday, it was again Brutt. The pattern has continued and we once again have Ignatiev in the escape.

The young Russian followed the surge of his Tinkoff mates at kilometre 12 and found himself in a two-man move by kilometre 15 with Frenchman Mickaël Buffaz (Cofidis).

14:51 CEST   
Three kilometres later, at kilometre 18, the duo had 41". This gap jumped up to 5'14" by kilometre 33. Now, at kilometre 61, they have 3'38" over the peloton being led by Milram, Predictor and Saunier. We are unsure why the latter is leading the peloton but the other two teams will want to have their sprinters contest today's finale; Milram with Ale-Jet Alessandro Petacchi and Predictor with Robbie McEwen.

The average after the first hour of racing was 45.1 km/h.

14:54 CEST   
Here is an update on the DNSs and the DNFs for this year's Giro:
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)

14:59 CEST    68km/105km to go
Buffaz has led through the sprint at Arce.

Ignatiev in stage 3
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

15:04 CEST   
'Misha' Ignatiev just turned 22 years-old last week. At the young age of eighteen, Ignatiev took Olympic gold for Russia on the track in Athens.

This year he has won a stage in the Tour Méditerranéen and the one-day Italian Classic, Trofeo Laigueglia. Read more about him in Cyclingnews' March interview.

15:09 CEST   
Buffaz has won the mountains competition in the 2005 Boucles De La Mayenne and 2006 Tour De La Region Wallonne, as well as taking the 2003 Prix des Moissons in his first year as a professional. That year he was riding with Jean Delatour, a French team sponsored by a chain of jewellery stores. Remember its cool kits?

Buffaz will celebrate his 28th birthday in four days! Buon fortuna Buffaz!

15:13 CEST    81km/92km to go
The average speed after two hours of racing is 41.6 kilometres per hours. The gap, which was at 3'50" in Ceprano, has gone up slightly and is now at 4'15" at kilometre 81.

15:18 CEST   
We have been told to watch out for Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole) today. It is Norway's national day and he would like to win to celebrate. According to our source, he is wearing socks with Norwegian flags.

Nicolas Roche will want to avoid any lead out mistakes, like in stage 3, and get Hushovd flying through the finish line first.

15:20 CEST   
How about the work of Acqua e Sapone yesterday? They put Garzelli up at the front and he finished fifth.

15:22 CEST   
In 1955 Frascati hosted the World Championships, which was won by Belgian Stan Ockers.

Oleg Tinkov
Photo ©: Gregor Brown
(Click for larger image)

15:26 CEST   
Regarding the back-n-forth between the escapes of Brutt and Ignatiev, Team Owner Oleg Tinkov told Daniele Contrini this morning that he should wait for another day to go into an escape because today was going to be Ignatiev's turn.

15:32 CEST    99km/74km to go
Buffaz won the Garibaldi sprint in Frosinone (kilometre 96). It seems as though Ignatiev is letting his French partner take these small sprints and it is leaving us to wonder what sort of deal the duo has worked out.

15:34 CEST   
McEwen, a favourite for the sprint today, is riding along smoothly in the Maglia Ciclamino.

Bettini in stage 4
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

15:38 CEST   
Il Grillo Bettini and Alberto Ongarato are riding along together. They are sharing some words and maybe Bettini is explaining how he will disrupt the chances of Ongarato's teammate Petacchi from winning today. Bettini, in a clean World Champ jersey, after yesterday's crash, is stretching.

15:40 CEST   
"It makes me upset to think of yesterday's crash and I hope to rest up and go on to win. Today, I don't think I can cause 'trouble' but maybe further on," said Paolo Bettini (Quickstep-Innergetic) at the start.

15:43 CEST   
"I feel sore when I pedal but nothing is broken. I don't want to go home so I hope I start to feel better," Enrico Gasparotto (Liquigas) explained. He crashed yesterday while wearing the Maglia Rosa.

"I slid, my rear wheel went out from under me."

15:45 CEST    101km/72km to go
Riccò rides along in the Maglia Verde. The rider from Modena is wearing the jersey because the current mountain classification leader, Di Luca, is riding in the Maglia Rosa. Riccò is second in the mountains classification, ahead of Brutt.

The escape has 3'46" at -75 kilometres.

Di Luca took 'rosa' after stage 4
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

15:55 CEST   
"The Maglia Rosa is always nice to wear," said Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas) at the start. "Today is a stage for sprinters. ... I hope it will be stage for my teammates to relax. Today we won't pull; we can't pull every day."

15:56 CEST    109km/64km to go
The race has entered the feed-zone and the duo's advantage is now down to 3'00".

16:00 CEST   
"Yesterday was an important stage, I arrived with the favourites and I felt good," noted Cunego at the start.

"Today, I will go with serenity. From the time trial of Oropa onwards I will race my race."

16:00 CEST   
Mikhail Ignatiev (Tinkoff Credit Systems) drops Buffaz!

16:02 CEST    115km/58km to go
There is a slight rise here, on the way to Anagni.

16:04 CEST   
Ignatiev is rolling over the 39 front chain ring with ease.

16:04 CEST   
If you are German make sure to tell your dad 'happy father's day!'

16:12 CEST   
During the second World War there were many American troops in this area and it is at this time that la pasta carbonara was 'invented.' To make the dish you put some olive oil in a pan, 2 whole garlic cloves (let them brown and take them out later) and cubes of pancetta (around 150 grams, let brown).

Mix four whole eggs with parmesan cheese and salt in a bowl.

Cook the spaghetti in a separate pan, when ready drain and return to the pot. Add the egg mixture and the oil/pancetta to the spaghetti. Top with lots of pepper and serve. Buon Appitito!

16:14 CEST    121km/52km to go
In Anagni the gap is at 2'40" from the Russian to the peloton.

The Russian is from Saint Petersburg but lives just north of Pisa, in Italy.

16:17 CEST    123km/50km to go
Ignatiev looks smooth here. He commented the other day how the Giro is very controlled and that he finds it hard to escape to win but if he keeps trying he is bound to pull off a big win. With 50 kilometres left he has 2'55" over the peloton.

16:21 CEST    129km/44km to go
Buffaz is caught by the peloton, which is being led by Milram and Predictor.

"I think that today will be very difficult, with the last climb at six kilometres to go," said Robbie McEwen (Predictor-Lotto) in Italian at the start. "There will Petacchi, like always."

McEwen's team:
Dario Cioni
Josep Jufré
Matthew Lloyd
Mario Aerts
Jurgen Van den Broeck
Wim Van Huffel
Stefano Zanini
Nick Gates

16:23 CEST    133km/40km to go
Ignatiev rides with a 2'39" gap.

16:29 CEST    138km/35km to go
"The young riders are strong," noted Il Venetino Gilberto Simoni (Saunier Duval-Prodir) at the start. "We have known about Di Luca for four years but now there are rider like Nibali and Riccò."

Ongarato rides with Acqua's Codol on his wheel. Acqua will search to lead out Balducci today. (Read Cyclingnews' interview with Balducci from earlier this year.)

Ignatiev has 2'15".

Gilberto Simoni (Saunier Duval-Prodir)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

16:30 CEST   
"Gibo will be there in the third week. When the others fall in the third week there will be Simoni," noted Riccardo Riccò (Saunier Duval-Prodir) at the start.

"I am here for experience and to learn," he continued. Funny enough, it was Cunego in 2004 who had said the same words. But, we think that Riccò will be true to his words and that, like always, Simoni will be with the favourites in the third week.

16:34 CEST    141km/32km to go
The Italian Commentators of Rai, Davide Cassani and Auro Bulbarelli, believe that today will be a sprint and that Ignatiev will not have his chance. These two have lots of experience and know their racing but Ignatiev has a strong set of legs.

His gap is falling, and is now at 1'42".

16:36 CEST   
If you get a chance bring your bike and ride in this area. From here, along the coast, north to Livorno, are some great roads for riding. Many of the teams hold their training camps in this area.

Predictor is still driving the pace.

16:38 CEST   
Every rider has an extra kit in the team car, including shoes. Currently the World Champion, Bettini, is at the back of the peloton changing shoes. His new set, like the ones he just took off, have the well-earned World Champion stripes.

16:39 CEST    143km/30km to go
At 30 kilometres to go the gap is now down to one minute.

16:42 CEST   
Many of you had questions on the la pasta carbonara. You do not cook the eggs, they will 'cook' with the hot pasta and oil mixture.

16:48 CEST   
Ignatiev is moving backwards and he will soon be caught by the peloton.

16:48 CEST   
Saunier is up at the front with Lampre and Milram.

16:49 CEST    151km/22km to go
The gap is just less than 25" for Ignatiev.

16:52 CEST    152km/21km to go
The Russian is about to be caught, the peloton has him in its view. The climb of Le Macere is about to start. Expect to see Brutt dart out of this peloton to grab some points at the top.

16:53 CEST   
Frantisek Rabon (T-Mobile) attacks, just like yesterday! He passes Ignatiev and is own his own.

16:54 CEST    153km/20km to go
He is a tall Czech rider and is really rocking-n-rolling on his bike. What Grit!

16:55 CEST   
There is a crash. Patrice Halgand (Crédit Agricole) is left at the side of the road.

16:57 CEST   
Fran should be able to handle this ascent, it has an average gradient of 4.2%. But just as this is typed he is caught.

16:58 CEST   
Emanuele Sella (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare) and Ricardo Serrano (Tinkoff Credit Systems) shoot off the front. Serrano attacked and was quickly followed by Sella. They are about 1km from the top of this climb.

16:59 CEST   
Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) powers up to the Italian and Spaniard!

17:00 CEST   
They are nearing the top of the Le Macere climb, where there will be 16.2 kilometres to race.

17:02 CEST    156.5km/16.5km to go
Lorenzo Bernucci (T-Mobile) bridges up to Sella. Serrano and Voeckler have dropped off.

Sella takes the points at the top ahead of Bernucci.

17:03 CEST    158km/15km to go
Bernucci seems about twice the size of little Sella. Sella is from the Northeast of Italy, while Bernucci is a Toscano.

17:04 CEST   
The sprinters will have noted that the last kilometre has a rise of 25 metres.

Our duo has 14" and should be captured at any moment.

17:06 CEST    159km/14km to go
Sella and Bernucci have been caught.

Cioni is at the front for McEwen. He is aided by a sea of blue riders - Milram and Quickstep.

17:07 CEST   
Totò Commesso puts in a move, he is followed by M. White of Disco.

17:07 CEST   
Nicolas Crosbie (Bouygues Telecom) is chasing the duo.

17:08 CEST   
Matthew White (Discovery Channel), Salvatore Commesso (Tinkoff Credit Systems) and Nicolas Crosbie (Bouygues Telecom) lead the race.

17:09 CEST   
American Aaron Olson (T-Mobile) is racing his second Giro but is having a hard time. He is in the back, with the team cars.

17:09 CEST   
White's group is caught.

17:10 CEST    163km/10km to go
The race is 'gruppo compatto.'

17:11 CEST   
From kilometre five to one the elevation drops 100 metres. Then, like was noted before, there is a 25 metre rise in the last kilometre.

17:12 CEST    166km/7km to go
A Tinkoff rider leads.

17:14 CEST   
American George Hincapie (Discovery Channel) is up towards the front in his national champ jersey. Interestingly, this is his first Giro participation. Robbie McEwen (Predictor-Lotto) is right beside the American.

17:14 CEST    167.5km/5.5km to go
It is all downhill from here.

Milram is leading. Petacchi is on the wheel of McEwen.

17:15 CEST   
The front is not really that strung out. This could be dangerous.

17:16 CEST   
There was just a hard u-turn to the right. Laszlo Bodrogi (Crédit Agricole) leads the race for Thor Hushovd.

17:16 CEST    169km/4km to go
Elio Aggiano (Tinkoff Credit Systems) puts in a solo effort!

17:16 CEST    170km/3km to go
Milram's Lancaster is right by McEwen.

17:17 CEST   
This is a strong move for Aggiano!

17:17 CEST   
McEwen is good position for the sprint.

17:18 CEST   
Some traffic person was just in the middle of the road! Terrible!

17:18 CEST    171.5km/1.5km to go
Milram catches Aggiano.

17:19 CEST    172km/1km to go
Hushovd's men are up front!

17:19 CEST   
Petacchi is there in third spot.

17:19 CEST   
Milram leads!

17:19 CEST   
Four Milram men are there.

17:19 CEST   
McEwen is there!

17:19 CEST   
Grillo is there.

17:20 CEST   
Robert Förster (Gerolsteiner) takes it!

Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) is mad at Paride Grillo (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare).

It looks like Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole) got second.

17:21 CEST   
That was Maximiliano Richeze of Ceramica Panaria-Navigare, not Grillo

17:29 CEST   
Alberto Ongarato (Milram) was the last to lead out Petacchi through Frascati's narrow streets. Behind Petacchi was fighting for position with Maximiliano Richeze (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare). Through a right-hand turn Petacchi ran out of space, near the left-hand barrier, and was upset with the Argentinean as a result.

Richeze faded while Robert Förster (Gerolsteiner) emerged and successfully held off an impressive looking Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole).

17:32 CEST   
Thanks for joining Cyclingnews in our live coverage of stage 5. Please check back for a complete report of the day's stage, including quotes from all the major players.

Provisional Results

1 Robert Förster (Ger) Gerolsteiner
2 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole
3 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Milram
4 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
5 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Predictor-Lotto
6 Alexandre Usov (Blr) Ag2r Prévoyance
7 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare
General classification after stage 4
1 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas

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