Recently on Cyclingnews.com

Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

88th Giro d'Italia - PT

Italy, May 7-29, 2005

Main Page    Results & report      Stage Details      Previous Stage     Next Stage

Stage 18 - May 27: Chieri - Torino ITT, 34 km

Commentary by Jeff Jones and Roger Hughes, with additional reporting from John Trevorrow

Complete live report

Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:15 CEST

14:29 CEST   
Welcome to Cyclingnews' coverage of today's final time trial of the Giro d'Italia, a tough 34 km ride between Chieri and Torino. Just like the first TT between Lamporecchio and Firenze, today's stage also has a climb in the middle of it.
Starting in Chieri, the stage heads to Torino via the Colle della Superga, the climb that is the final difficulty of Milano-Torino. Superga is a 7km ascent that has some steep pitches over 8% and finishes halfway through. Then Stage 18 rolls across the shoulder of Colle della Superga, descends to Torino and finishes along the Po River into Torino on Viale Medaglie d'Oro.

It will be an interesting battle today for the stage and for the GC, with CSC's David Zabriskie and Ivan Basso great favourites to take the stage honours, and maglia rosa Paolo Savoldelli tipped to take time out of his nearest rivals Simoni, Rujano, Di Luca and Garate.

But watch out for Rujano today - this 48 kg/1.62m tall lad from Venezuela can definitely ride against the clock. He finished third, just 15 seconds behind Australian TT champion Nathan O'Neill in the Tour de Langkawi time trial this year (see Cyclingnews' interview with Gianni Savio at Langkawi, and although he had a relatively bad ride in the first Giro TT, the fact that he had to change bikes three times might have had something to do with that.

14:42 CEST   
Speaking of Zabriskie, guess who has just set the fastest time? Yep, DZ. The American set the best times at each of the intermediate checks, and came to the finish in a time of 45'25, an average of 44.917 km/h. In second place at the moment is Rory Sutherland (Rabobank), but the Australian was 2'31 slower than Zabriskie. Third is Massimo Codol (Fassa Bortolo) at 3'16.

Zabriskie was happy with his ride when we congratulated him afterwards. "Thanks man. Yeah, I felt good today."

Do you think it's good enough to win? "I suppose we'll see, won't we?"

14:55 CEST   
Zabriskie's time looks like holding for a while, as Rene Andrle (Liberty) comes through the 8.7 km check in 10'14, 22 seconds behind Zabriskie. Further along the course at km 15.7, Thomas Dekker (Rabobank) has come through in second, 45 seconds behind Zabriskie.

15:06 CEST   
Jan Hruska, a former winner of Giro time trial stages, has come through the first checkpoint a fraction of a second a head of his compatriot and team-mate Andrle but still 22 seconds off the pace set by Zabriskie.

15:09 CEST   
Dekker finishes and pushes Sutherland out of provisional second spot; he's 1.34 down on Zabriskie.

15:11 CEST   
Rory Sutherland finished in 47'56 and sculled a can of soft drink before we spoke to him. "Ouch. Ouch. It was a pretty hard time trial. I dunno how you're supposed to feel after 18 days. I think everyone's going to hurt out there, no matter what you do. I just said to myself, 'Just keep going, try not to fall still'. If you go back a gear, keep it steady on the climb, and don't punch over it, you could end up losing quite a bit of time.

"It's bloody hot out there. It's hard for everyone. You can't do more than your best and it definitely wasn't a day off for me."

"I think it should be alright," said Rory. "I was hoping to do about the same as the first time trial, or maybe a bit better, top 35. It would be fantastic to get a top 20, but you have to be realistic about these things."

We told Rory about Zabriskie's ride of 45'25: "Woah! If I'm within two and a half minutes of Zabriskie, I'll be pretty happy." [He was].

15:33 CEST   
Old stager Andrea Peron (CSC) has come in just a few seconds ahead of Sutherland, who has now dropped down to fifth.

One eminently forgettable ride from earlier today that is worth noting - Olympic multi-medallist Brad Wiggins pootled round some 6.18 slower than Zabriskie, so he's either off-colour or not taking things too seriously.

15:35 CEST   
One non-finisher is Simone Cadamuro of Domina Vacanze, who crashed late on the descent (after picking up ten places between the second and third checkpoints...). No further news on him yet.

15:35 CEST   
Jason McCartney (Discovery) is currently sitting in last overall, having ridden the course in 53'07. He didn't look too out of breath when we spoke to him. "Someone crashed on the descent, I hope he's OK," said McCartney, referring to Simone Cadamuro. "I think it's a good course for Paolo. It seems quite tricky. I think he can definitely make some time on that descent.

As for the challengers, "Hopefully Paolo can take a couple of minutes out of them today. We'll see tomorrow."

15:47 CEST   
Russell Van Hout (Selle Italia) rode across the finish line with part of his clip-on bar in his hand, as it came off five km to go. He described his mechanic with an obscene gerund, before remarking, "Our mechanic's the best, eh? He's a wanker. I just had a nice tempo, It was a good roll down for me. But with five kilometres to go, my bar came off. I was holding that in one hand and my brake in the other, so I nearly lost it on one corner.

"The winner will do about 45 minutes, I reckon. I don't care if I finish last, as long as I get inside the time limit." Van Hout's time was 52'38.

15:51 CEST   
Ivan Basso has just come through the first checkpoint one second ahead of Zabriskie; although he may no longer have any aspirations to a good GC position, he will certainly want to try out his time-trialling legs today with an eye to events later in the summer...

15:53 CEST   
That also means that there are no fewer than five CSC riders in the top 8 places at the first timecheck, with Frank Schleck putting in a more than respectable time as well as Basso, Zabriskie, Blaudzun and Peron.

15:58 CEST   
We spoke to CSC's Christian Vandevelde, who finished with a time of 49'48. He was impressed with Zabriskie's ride. "He just never ceases to amaze me, that's for sure."

Do you think he'll win? "Yeah, he'll win the time trial. I don't think anyone else is going to go that fast."

"Savoldelli will go fast, especially on the downhill. He's the only guy that could give Dave a run for his money. Or Ivan."

16:02 CEST   
Brett Lancaster (Panaria) wasn't out for a fast ride today, finishing in a time of 50'49. "I just got myself into a rhythm. I just decided to take it easy today."

How's the bronchitis going? "It's not going anywhere. I'm stuck with it for the tour. You can't get rid of these things if you're digging deep every day. After the tour, I'll relax and maybe party a bit."

16:07 CEST   
Matt White (Cofidis) finished his ride in 49'29, which at the time was one of the fastest. It took a while before he cooled down enough for us to talk to him. "Yeah I've got good legs. But we needed a time for the teams classification. We've got a couple of sick boys, and everyone else was crook so I had to have a go. I think I got the quickest time so far."

White was just riding his ordinary road bike with clip-on handlebars. "If they took times for the top to the bottom [of the climb], I reckon I'd be the fastest. I knew the descent from Milano-Torino so I didn't bother with a disk wheel. It was too dangerous."

16:10 CEST   
Antonio Cruz (Discovery Channel) finished in 51'51, which puts him in the top 100 for now. "It was better than the last time trial," he told Cyclingnews after the finish. "In the last one, I couldn't get on top of it. In this one, I got the heart rate up, I got on top of the gear, and got into a good rhythm."

16:11 CEST   
Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel) is a disappointing 2.26 down on Zabriskie in a provisional fifth place.

A few people have asked what the cut-off time for today's stage is; in fact it's a fairly generous 25% of the winner's time, or something like 11 minutes today. The slowest rider so far is Gorazd Stangelj, 7.50 down on David Zabriskie.

16:19 CEST   
A lot of the riders who have been entertaining us in the last few days are on the course now - Parra, Sanchez, Bettini, Valjavec; they're mostly doing respectable but unspectacular times.

Basso has picked up half a minute on Zabriskie on the climb, but then lost 9 seconds on the descent.

Bettini moves up to third after a good climb and holds it to the third checkpoint, which is also today's Intergiro point. In time trials the first seven riders have their actual times used for the Intergiro classification, so that may have helped his cause.

16:24 CEST   
At the moment Bettini's time and position at the Intergiro give him 49 seconds bonus in the blue jersey competition, but that will diminish when/if other riders come into the top 6 places. It's a silly competition anyway.

16:28 CEST   
Good starts by Vladimir Karpets, Marzio Bruseghin and Dario Cioni put them into the top five at the first checkpoint; we are now into the riders who will be looking out for their GC positions. Cioni was only 3 seconds behind Karpets this morning, but the Russian is winning the battle today.

16:34 CEST   
Basso gets handed a bottle by Tiralongo as he catches him; not too sure how legal that is or how it got organised, but it's a warm day.

Basso comes over the line having held Zabriskie more or less level over the closing stretch; he is the new leader.

16:34 CEST   
We spoke to Rory Sutherland about Basso's time. "I think Basso's 20 seconds up, but he could lose some of that time because I just saw him take a bidon from one of the guys he passed. So he'll lose 30 seconds, if not more. He could maybe lose the time trial because of that.

16:38 CEST   
Former world time trial champion Sergiy Gonchar is only in fourth place at the first check, but that is just a few seconds behind and a lot of riders are falling away from the top spots on the climb.

16:45 CEST   
Karpets is still ahead of Cioni - whose time matches that of Zabriskie, half a minute down on the flying Basso - at the top of the climb, but only by four seconds; the duel for 9th place on GC is still going on. Or indeed quite likely for 8th, since Emanuele Sella (Panaria) was only 17 seconds ahead of Karpets this morning, and he was already whopping 1.03 down on him at the first checkpoint

16:53 CEST   
Simoni, Garate and Di Luca all come through the first checkpoint with similar times, around half a minute down, while Rujano is 20 seconds further back.

Karpets and Cioni tear it up on the descent, with the Russian still ahead by 11 seconds; he closes to within 7 seconds of Basso.

Savoldelli comes through the first checkpoint; he is 19 seconds down in seventh place on the day, so ahead of all his close challengers.

17:00 CEST   
Rujano is better up the climb, and has taken time back to move five seconds ahead of Simoni at the top of the climb, as befits the green jersey. It remains to be seen whether he can hold onto it on the descent, however. Di Luca has clearly still not recovered from yesterday; this is the sort of climb that would normally be meat and drink to him, but he has most more time on Rujano, Simoni and Garate on the climb.

Savoldelli comes over the climb in sixth place, just ahead of Rujano; his maglia rosa looks safe for the moment.

17:04 CEST   
Karpets comes over the line in provisional second place, 9 seconds down on Basso who clearly took it a bit steady on the descent. Cioni moves into fourth, 19 more seconds down; they will each move up a place on GC as Sella is way down.

We haven't mentioned Cunego, have we? He has ridden round discreetly but steadily and is over four minutes down on Basso today.

17:07 CEST   
Simoni and Garate pull back ahead of Rujano on the descent, but there are only a few seconds in it and they are all a minute or so down on Basso at the third checkpoint.

Savoldelli does what he does on the descent, and gets the fifth best time at the same point, half a minute up on Simoni and the same behind Basso.

17:10 CEST   
Pietro Caucchioli (7th on GC) had a fairly low-profile ride round, and finished 2.50 down on Basso, so he has now dropped behind Karpets, but still ahead of Cioni, I think; the three are all pretty closely placed, though.

17:16 CEST   
Di Luca recovers a bit on the final section, and finishes in 47.00, but Rujano hangs on to finish just 4 seconds slower; he has kept his podium place by 8 seconds, so the two of them will be looking out for time bonuses on the remaining stages.

Simoni does a bit better, to add another 20 seconds to his advantage over Rujano, but it's not good enough a ride to help him chase the prize of prizes: Paolo Savoldelli comes in to pull out an extra 1.11 on him, giving himself a cushion of two minutes to take into the final mountain stage tomorrow.

17:23 CEST   
Well, that's it from us here at Cyclingnews today; tomorrow it seems as though it will be down to Gilberto Simoni to attack on the road to Sestričre, both to try for the maglia rosa and to protect his second place. And Ivan Basso bounces back from disaster (in the rather loose, sports journalist's sense of the term, anyway) to take back to back stages and show that he is up there with the best in terms of class. Join us again tomorrow for the showpiece Alpine stage through the venues of the next Winter Olympics: same time, same IP address.

Intermediate standings

km 8.7 - all riders through
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC                                    9.51
2 David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC                               0.01
3 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Illes Balears                         0.06
4 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) Domina Vacanze                         0.09
5 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                         0.13
6 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi                     0.14
7 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team    0.19
8 Jan Hruska (Cze) Liberty Seguros-Wurth Team                  0.23
9 Rene' Andrle (Cze) Liberty Seguros-Wurth Team                    
10 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita                        0.24
km 15.7 - all riders through
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC                                   26.03
2 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Illes Balears                         0.26
3 David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC                               0.30
4 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi                         
5 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) Domina Vacanze                         0.35
6 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team    0.44
7 Jose' Rujano Guillen (Ven) Selle Italia-Colombia             0.53
8 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir                0.55
9 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita                         0.58
10 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                        0.59
km 22.9 - all riders through
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC                                   33.47
2 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Illes Balears                         0.07
3 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi                     0.18
4 David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC                               0.21
5 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team    0.27
6 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) Domina Vacanze                         0.29
7 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                         0.48
8 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir                0.56
9 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita                         0.58
10 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step                              1.00
Finish - km 34 - all riders through
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC                                   45.05
2 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Illes Balears                         0.09
3 David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC                               0.20
4 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team    0.23
5 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi                     0.28
6 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) Domina Vacanze                         0.40
7 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                         1.02
8 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir                1.25
9 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step                               1.28
10 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita                        1.34

General classification after stage 18

1 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team  
2 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita                         2.09
3 Jose' Rujano Guillen (Ven) Selle Italia-Colombia             
4 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi

Back to top