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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

88th Giro d'Italia - PT

Italy, May 7-29, 2005

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Stage 11 - May 19: Marostica - Zoldo Alto, 150 km

Commentary by Kristy Scrymgeour, with additional reporting from Jeff Jones, John Trevorrow and Tim Maloney

Complete live report

14:33 CEST   

Welcome back to the live coverage of the Giro d'Italia and to the mountains. Today's race starts in Marostica's Piazza dei Scacchi and travels 150km to Zoldo Alto. The climbing game begins with two small ascents of the Salita della Rosina and the Scale di Primolano, then a long, gradual ascent up to the first GPM at Passo di Cereda (1369m) then another at Forcelle Aurine after 105.km. After a descent to Agordo, it's the steep 13km ascent to Passo Duran (1601m.), a 8km descent and then the final 12km ascent to the finish at the ski resort of Dolomiti Stars in Zoldo Alto.

The action started at kilometre one this morning with Benoît Joachim (Discovery) going on the attack. After 58km of racing so far he has a 3'17" lead on the field as the riders reach the Intergiro of the day.

14:41 CEST    64km/86km to go
Of course Joachim took the sprint in Fonzaso. Taking second was Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step), followed by Sven Krauss (Gerolsteiner). Leonardo Scarselli (Selle Italia) is away now and he now has 45" on the field at the 64km mark.

14:45 CEST   
The average speed so far in the stage is 43km/h and riders have about 15km before the feed zone where they will pick up their desperately needed sustenance for the climbs ahead. They will hit the top of the first major climb, up Passo di Cereda 13km after that.

14:48 CEST    68km/82km to go
Joachim is powering away all alone up the road. He now has 2'40" on Scarselli and 4'40" on the bunch as they wind through a beautiful green valley. He still looks very smooth.

14:52 CEST   
Of course so far is this Tour, in only eleven days of racing, we have travelled all the way from the southern tip of Italy's mainland all way up to the famous Dolomiti in the very north. In a couple of days the race will hit Livigno which climbs up to the border between Italy and Switzerland.

14:57 CEST   
Climbing up to 2758m on Passo Stelvio in stage 14 is the highest point in the Giro. Today we don't climb quite that high, the highest point being on the penultimate climb up Passo Duran at 1610m.

14:58 CEST    78km/72km to go
Lampre is on the front of the peloton at the moment with Discovery tucked in right up there. Joachim now has two minutes on Scarselli and four minutes on the peloton.

15:00 CEST   
Joachim steadily powering away as he sees the mountains looming ahead. Its still flat here as they wind through a town.

15:01 CEST    84km/66km to go
Its a beautiful day, the sun is shining as the riders reach the feed zone.

15:04 CEST   
As Joachim passed through Fiera di Primiero, a huge crowd greeted him. Back in the front Lampre are still on the front with the green jerseys of the Liquigas team all sitting right up there.

15:05 CEST   
The road is starting to climb now and gets out of the saddle to stretch his legs a little. He now has 1'30" on the bunch.

15:07 CEST   
It looks like Daniele Nardello (T-Mobile) has retired from the race. We are not sure why at this point but he has crashed at least once in the tour so far.

15:08 CEST   
Joachim goes around a small switch back and heads to another. The climb at this point in a nice wide road and not that steep yet, but it looks hard for Joachim at this point.

15:10 CEST   
It is a category two climb and is 7.6% for 8.5 km. You can see its starting to get steeper now. Joachim keeps his rhythm.

15:12 CEST   
Joachim is out of the saddle now and takes a quick look behind him. Scarselli is getting closer and is at 1'28". He looks good.

15:14 CEST   
The gap to the field is still over four minutes right now and we can see the peloton riding fairly easily so far through the wooded climb.

15:15 CEST   
Its 14 degrees, which is quite a nice temperature for climbing and we have winds of 14km/h from the south east.

15:16 CEST   
The gap is falling gradually. The gap to from Joachim to the peloton is 3'21" and Scarselli still placed in the middle at 1'30".

15:19 CEST   
It is switch back after switch back at this point as Scarselli gets a little closer to Joachim, now 1'22" behind.

An Italian sits on the side of the road with a big sign hanging from the trees that says. "Coppi is still present."

15:20 CEST    91.5km/58.5km to go
Joachim is three kilometres from the summit now and 2'35" in front of the peloton. Lampre still setting the pace back there.

15:20 CEST   
Sergei Gonchar
Photo ©: Tim Maloney
Click for larger image
Last year's Giro d'Italia runner-up Serguei Gonchar (Domina Vacanze) has lived in today's stage start town of Marostica for almost 10 years. Surrounded by his local tifosi, the tough Ukrainian told Cyclingnews today, "It's good to be at home; you know there's no place like home. I hope it helps to find some friends and family. And since I'm at home, even people who don't know me say hello. It's nice to have a little popularity."

15:22 CEST   
Only 1'15" between Joachim and Scarselli now and falling. There are a few riders falling off the back of the bunch. Volodymyr Bileka (Discovery) is one of them as well as a few of the Fassa riders.

15:24 CEST    92km/58km to go
Petrov and Sabaliauskas are up at the front of the peloton working hard for Lampre. Thomas Dekker (Rabobank) is also up there.

Thomas Dekker
Photo ©: Tim Maloney
Click for larger image
Some Dutch journalists have been criticizing the young Rabobank rider as he is often seen riding at the back of the peloton, but he explained, "My main job at this race is to learn. It's a big step for me." We asked Dekker, who won a U23 race in the Pyrenees last year on the Col d'Aubisque, what he was expecting in the high mountains to come. "I might go in an attack, but it's tough. I don't know how the peloton will start. I'm hoping that an early break and then we'll see what happens. I hope I can even be sometimes in the front."

15:25 CEST   
Less than two kilometres to the top of the climb now. Not as many trees at this point and you can see the road winding up before you as you climb.

15:26 CEST   
The gap is really starting to fall now. There is an attack. Its Rujano. He's flying.

15:27 CEST   
He has already caught Scarselli. What an amazing attack.

15:28 CEST   
Joachim looking back, Rujano is coming fast behind. He should take the mountain points.

15:29 CEST   
Rujano is 48kg, 1.62m - perfect for climbing. It's going to be close at the summit, but Joachim might get it.

15:30 CEST    93.5km/56.5km to go
Yes, he gets it and Rujano takes second.

15:31 CEST   
Rujano is a bit stuffed now. Gil sprints for third place (1 point) but loses it to a Credit Agricole and a Banesto rider. The leaders have 45 seconds to peloton at the top.

15:31 CEST   
Rujano is letting Joachim go on the descent. He's waiting for the bunch. Halgand was third on the climb.

15:34 CEST   
Joachim hammers on the descent, which is fairly technical. Lampre leads the peloton at 50 seconds. As soon as they get to the bottom of this, they start climbing again with the next GPM, Forcelle Aurine at 105km.

15:36 CEST    100km/50km to go
Rujano has been caught as the race reaches 50km to go. Joachim is still in front but only by 18".

15:38 CEST    101km/49km to go
Joachim has been caught, exactly 100km after attacking. Sabaliauskas is still chasing hard for Lampre.

15:40 CEST   
So its all back together as they head for the second categorized climb of the day. Bettini (in the lead group) signals for a bidon. It looks like we have about 40 riders remaining in the front group after that first climb.

15:45 CEST   
We are on the next climb. The road is narrower on this climb and still Sabaliauskas leading! He is setting a very fast pace and it is strung out single file already.

15:47 CEST    103.3km/46.7km to go
It is not that steep at the moment. We are about two kilometres away front he summit of this climb, Forcelle Aurine, which is a category two climb.

15:48 CEST   
Rujano goes again on this climb. He flies off the front with Halgand on his wheel.

15:48 CEST   
Actually it is a category three climb so the points at the top will be 3,2,1.

15:48 CEST   
Halgand wins the sprint, so Rujano gets 2 points. Sabaliauskas takes third. Gil looks like he's been dropped.

15:49 CEST   
Halgand continues on the descent, but Rujano sits up again to wait for the bunch.

15:50 CEST   
There is a long descent now. After 15 kilometres of descending, they immediately start climbing again up Passo Duran, which reaches the highest point in the race.

15:52 CEST   
The peloton is strung out going down the climb. Halgand leads solo by about 15 seconds. He is really riding through some beautiful countryside with snow covered mountains in view.

15:53 CEST    113km/37km to go
He gets out of the saddle to get into a rhythm on a slightly flatter section of the decent and now goes through the small mountain town of Voltago Agordino. He has 16 seconds.

15:54 CEST   
In the peloton, it is still the four Lampre riders leading. Di Luca is in fifth wheel.

15:56 CEST   
Halgand looks very smooth on the descent. His lead has increased to 25 seconds. Back in the field, it looks like riders are rejoining the group. There are about 60 riders in the front group right now.

15:59 CEST   
Halgand is now is a more wooded area again.

16:00 CEST   
It is a nice narrow road. Very twisty. He takes the corners well and holds his lead of twenty seconds.

16:02 CEST    120km/30km to go
Some heart rate data from the bunch. Ivan Parra (Selle Italia) is at 125/198 and Fabio Baldato (Fassa) is at 63/180 on this descent with 30 kilometres of racing remaining.

16:04 CEST   
The peloton reaches the big town at the bottom of the climb. Just out of time they will start climbing again.

16:05 CEST   
Halgand is increasing his lead now. He now has 38 seconds on the peloton.

16:05 CEST   
He is really pounding on the pedals as the road already starts to go up.

16:07 CEST   
This is a long climb. It climbs for 13km and reaches 1601m. The average gradient is 7.7% but it reaches 14% at its maximum. There are huge crowds on the side of the road already.

16:08 CEST   
Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery) is up there in the group.

16:09 CEST   
Basso's chainring
Photo ©: Tim Maloney
Click for larger image
Ivan Basso has a special FSA crankset for Stage 11, with a 52/36 front chainring for the steep ascent of Passo Duran and the final climb up to Zoldo Alto/Dolomiti Stars. We asked CSC team director Bjarne Riis what was up with the special gearing and he cagily replied, "You'll see on the climb".

CN also asked Riis about how he saw the situation on Stage 11 and he said that, "I think, and I hope it's going to be a spectacular day...how it's going to end I don't know, but I think we'll see some surprises. A nice battle." We also asked Riis what he would tell Basso in his earpiece when Simoni attacks and his simple, elegant reply was, "Be ready...stay close."

16:09 CEST   
Halgand is out of the saddle now, his gap is falling again. It is now 30 seconds. Lampre still doing all the work on the front of the peloton.

16:11 CEST    125km/25km to go
25 kilometres to go now. Halgand's gap is 20 seconds. The road travels through some nice little mountain villages. The huge rocky mountains faces loom in the background.

16:12 CEST   
Lampre still gathered at the front pushing the pace. Heart rate updates for Parra is 181/198, whilst Baldato is only at 119/180.

16:13 CEST   
Petrov pulls off, Patxi Vila leads.

16:14 CEST   
Dekker has been dropped, along with about half of the gruppo. The pace is fast.

16:14 CEST   
Tonti now riding preparing for an attack by Gibo.

16:14 CEST   
There goes Gibo!

16:15 CEST   
Basso and Di Luca after him.

16:15 CEST   
Savoldelli and Scarponi going after them. Sella Italia are leading the peloton.

16:16 CEST   
The group is splitting to pieces.

16:16 CEST   
Cunego in second group at about ten seconds.

16:16 CEST   
He's gradually getting back up with the help of Tonti, Tiralongo, Schleck.

16:17 CEST   
Baranowski leading front group. It looks like Garzelli has been dropped.

16:18 CEST   
There are about 20 riders in the front group. Simoni, Di Luca, Basso, Savoldelli, Scarponi, Baranowski, Sella, Savoldelli, Cunego, Rujano, Ardila, Cioni are all up there. Garzelli is definitely in the second group.

16:19 CEST   
Mauricio Alberto Ardila (Davitamon - Lotto) is taking over at the front!

16:19 CEST   
Garzelli being dropped from Cunego's group!!

16:21 CEST   
Emanuele Sella (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare) takes a fall. He can't get into the pedals. He loses 15 seconds.

16:21 CEST   
Basso attacks!

16:22 CEST   
But he doesn't get far. The twenty riders are still together.

16:23 CEST   
Basso still setting the pace with the Maglia Rosa on his wheel.

16:24 CEST   
Basso's name is painted on the road as he leads the race over it.

16:25 CEST   
Basso has really lifted the tempo. Di Luca can hold him, Savoldelli and Ardila next - about 12 riders in this group now.

16:26 CEST   
Ardila and Van Huffel have been dropped. Basso is splitting up this group with his fast pace.

16:26 CEST   
Now Basso, Di Luca, Scarponi, Simoni, Rujano, Caucchioli,. Basso goes again!!

16:27 CEST    129km/21km to go
Basso, Simoni, Savoldelli, Di Luca, Atienza, Rujano now. They are at about 17km to go

16:28 CEST   
Still a couple of kilometres to go to the top of this climb. The lead group is only five riders now. Basso in the lead with Simoni on his wheel.

16:28 CEST   
Atienza has been dropped. Only four left now.

16:28 CEST   
Basso, Simoni, Di Luca and Savoldelli.

16:29 CEST   
Scarponi, Caucchioli and Van Huffel are the chase group with Atienza falling back to them now.

16:29 CEST   
Rujano makes it back to the group and then gets dropped. Sav in trouble now!

16:30 CEST   
Crowds line the road as they near the top. Cunego is over a minute down!

16:30 CEST   
Di Luca is also in trouble. Just Basso and Gibo in front now.

16:31 CEST   
The pink jersey just couldn't hang on! Basso is on fire.

16:32 CEST    128km/22km to go
Actually they still have three kilometres until they reach the summit.

16:32 CEST   
Rujano and Sav get up to di Luca.

16:33 CEST   
Basso looks very comfortable. The road is very narrow here.

16:33 CEST   
Di Luca is hanging on to Rujano and Savoldelli. He needs to stay with them.

16:34 CEST   
Di Luca starting to lose the wheel of Rujano and Savoldelli.

16:35 CEST   
A spectator in a pink t-shirt runs alongside him. The crowds are massive on either side of this narrow road.

16:35 CEST   
Basso and Simoni have a 15 second lead on the chasers now.

16:35 CEST   
Di Luca is now trailing the leaders by 20 seconds.

16:36 CEST   
About one kilometre to the summit now.

16:37 CEST   
15 seconds is not enough time to hold off the chasers after the summit.

16:37 CEST   
Ardila, Scarponi, Van Huffel, Caucchioli are at 1'00.

16:38 CEST   
Di Luca moves up again closer to Savoldelli and Rujano. He makes it to their wheel.

16:38 CEST   
The chasers have caught Basso and Simoni now.

16:38 CEST   
Five near the top of the climb together. Rujano leads all the way towards the summit.

16:39 CEST   
Basso is in second wheel, then Gibo, Sav and Di Luca.

16:39 CEST   
Di Luca is still hurting a lot, but hanging in there. He's losing the wheel again slightly but he'll make it over.

16:40 CEST   
Rujano takes the points, then Basso, Gibo, Sav and Di Luca.

16:40 CEST    132km/18km to go
Then Caucchioli and Atienza reach the GPM at 0'57". Bettini is four minutes down at this point.

16:41 CEST   
Savoldelli leads on the descent and is driving it. There is a small gap already.

16:42 CEST   
A big group of riders reaches the top now. Three minutes down on the leaders.

16:43 CEST   
Cunego comes over in a biggish group at 3'15. Gil is in that group.

16:44 CEST   
The descent is narrow and also very twisty but still fast.

16:44 CEST   
Savoldelli has 10 seconds on the group now. Rujano has been dropped.

16:45 CEST   
It looks like Savoldelli has about 15 seconds on the chasing group of Di Luca, Gibo and Basso.

16:46 CEST   
When they get to the bottom of this decent, they will have 12 kilometres to go which is mostly uphill on the final climb of the day.

16:46 CEST   
Basso doing most of the chasing work out of the trio.

16:48 CEST   
The riders will finish at the ski resort of Dolomiti Stars in Zoldo Alto. The climb proper is 8km in length and has an average grade of 7% with a maximum of 11%.

16:49 CEST   
Savoldelli is at the bottom of the descent now and goes through the town of Dont. He has 19 seconds on the chasers.

16:49 CEST   
He is on the climb now.

16:49 CEST    142km/8km to go
Basso accelerates. Di Luca dropped. Gibo looks to be in trouble.

16:50 CEST   
Di Luca's goooooone!

16:50 CEST   
Basso bearing down on Savoldelli. Simoni getting dropped too. Can't quite hang on!

16:51 CEST    143km/7km to go
Basso looks back. Seven kilometres to go.

16:51 CEST   
Ten seconds now between Savoldelli and Basso. Then three more to Gibo.

16:52 CEST   
Basso is looking very smooth. Simoni gets out of the saddle about four seconds back.

16:52 CEST   
Savoldelli takes a look back to see who's coming. Basso is!

16:53 CEST   
Simoni grinding a bit, but he's still there. Three leaders separated by a handful of seconds.

16:53 CEST   
Basso on Savoldelli now.

16:54 CEST   
Savoldelli leading now with Basso on his wheel. He looks behind to see is Basso is going to come through for a turn. He does.

16:55 CEST   
Basso, Savoldelli and Gibo now together. Di Luca chasing alone.

16:56 CEST    144km/6km to go
Six kilometres remaining. The three look smooth. Basso leading but rolls off now for Savoldelli to take over.

16:56 CEST   
Di Luca is at 24". He is riding solo and looks to have a good rhythm at the moment.

16:58 CEST    145km/5km to go
Di Luca only has nine seconds on Basso in GC. Basso is the leader on the road.

16:59 CEST   
Basso on the front again now with Savoldelli on his wheel.

17:00 CEST   
Cunego looked pretty tired back there.

17:00 CEST   
Basso looks good. He has a very smooth pedaling style. He attacks!

17:01 CEST   
Simoni suffering. Savoldelli holding. Gibo gritting his teeth.

17:01 CEST   
Simoni hanging in there....just.

17:01 CEST   
Basso accelerates again and Gibo is dropped.

17:02 CEST   
Five seconds. Di Luca is at 0'28. Savoldelli still holding the wheel.

17:02 CEST   
Savoldelli does a turn now.

17:03 CEST   
The Cunego/Garzelli group is at 5'00.

17:03 CEST    147km/3km to go
Gibo is losing ground. The gap is now six seconds. 3km to go. Basso in is the big ring.

17:04 CEST   
Now ten seconds. Di Luca at '37.

17:04 CEST   
Gibo out of the saddle on a flatter section of the climb. Basso looks powerful in front, hands on hood, Savoldelli looks comfy though.

17:05 CEST    148km/2km to go
Thirteen seconds back to Gibo (Simoni) now. Basso leading and setting a very quick pace.

17:06 CEST   
The climb steepens. Basso still leads. Di Luca at 0'45.
They are out of the saddle now.

17:06 CEST   
The road is twisty now, the crowds are huge. Basso driving this!

17:07 CEST   
The gap to Simoni is 13 seconds and 54" to Di Luca.

17:07 CEST    149km/1km to go
1km to go Basso still leading. Savoldelli out of the saddle.

17:08 CEST   
Its very steep. Hairpins! Sav remains on the wheel. He'll surely try to sprint.

17:08 CEST   
They round another bend. Savoldelli still out of the saddle. Basso in the saddle. Basso seems to be riding to put as much time as poss into Gibo and the rest, rather than the stage win.

17:09 CEST   
Savoldelli looks very comfortable.

17:09 CEST   
Less than 500m to go. Basso still leading.

17:10 CEST   
250m now!

17:10 CEST   
Basso lifts a bit , hits out at 160m to go, Downhill finish and Sav comes around!

17:10 CEST   
Savoldelli takes the win, but Basso will be happy to move into the race lead.

17:11 CEST   
Simoni comes in at 21 seconds. Di Luca fourth at 1'01.

17:12 CEST   
Atienza comes in to take fifth place.

17:12 CEST   
Van Huffel sixth, Caucchioli seventh, Gonchar 8th and Scarponi 9th.

17:13 CEST   
So Basso takes the maglia rosa with Savoldelli moving into second overall. Rujano takes over the mountains jersey.

Thanks for following the 11th stage with us. We'll be back tomorrow with the 12th stage between Alleghe and Rovereto, which has a hard climb at the beginning but is mostly downhill.



1 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team    4.13.43  
2 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC                                    
3 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita                            0.21
4 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi                           1.01
5 Daniel Atienza Urendez (Spa) Cofidis-Le Credit Par Telephone    1.50
6 Wim Van Huffel (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto                            2.03
7 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Credit Agricole                             
8 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) Domina Vacanze                         
9 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Liberty Seguros                          2.17
10 Jose Rujano (Ven) Selle Italia                                 2.19
11 Mauricio Alberto Ardila Cano (Col) Davitamon-Lotto             2.24

General classification after stage 11

1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC                                   49.05.20
2 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team       0.18
3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi                           1.04
4 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita                            2.27
5 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) Domina Vacanze                            3.45
6 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                            4.34
7 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi                        5.25
8 Emanuele Sella (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare                  5.58


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