88th Giro d'Italia - PT
Italy, May 7-29, 2005
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Stage 7 - May 14: Grosseto - Pistoia, 211 km
Complete live report
Welcome to our coverage of Stage
7 of Giro d'Italia. This morning we started a little inland from where the stage
finished yesterday in the town of Grosetto and we head directly north for 211km
to finish in the beautiful Tuscan town of Pistoia. With 50km remaining in the
race we hit the first of two GPM's for the stage at San Baronto and head straight
to the category one climb of Sammomme'. This steep narrow ascent gains 491m.
in just 4.5km, then plunges back down to Pistoia to finish in the Piazza S.Francesco
d'Assisi. A dangerous finale for riders who have ambitions to win the Giro,
for a bad position before the Sammomme' could lose valuable seconds.
So far today the riders have completed
90km of racing. There is a break of 21 riders up the road, who have a huge gap
on the field. Their advantage reached just over 30 minutes at the 80 kilometre
mark but has dropped slightly and now sits at 11'08".
It has been a pretty fast race so
far, the average speed 44km/h at this point. Back in the bunch Quickstep has
been manning the front.
In the break are Evgeni Petrov (Lampre),
Laurent Lefevre (Bouygues Telecom), T. Thierry Marichal (Cofidis), Ivan Parra
(Selle Italia), Patrice Halgand (Credit Agricole), Christophe Brandt (Davitamon),
Michael Barry (Discovery), Mirko Celestino (Domina), Marco Fertonani (Domina),
Sandy Casar (Francaise Des Jeux),Marcel Strauss (Gerolsteiner), Jose Luis Carrasco
Gamiz (Illes Balears), Dariusz Baranowski and Koldo Gil Perez (Liberty Seguros),
Charles Wegelius (Liquigas), Steve Zampieri (Phonak), Cristian Moreni (Quick
Step), Theo Eltink (Rabobank), Angel Gomez Gomez and Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver
(Saunier Duval), and finally Matthias Kessler (Telekom).
14:47 CEST 115km/96km to go
Riders have just
completed the Intergiro, which was in Certaldo today. It was won by Gomez, followed
by Strauss and Baranowski.
We have an update for you on Cadel
Evans, who we reported yesterday fell during training and had a suspected broken
collarbone. We heard today that he has a hairline fracture in his collarbone,
but it's not broken. An operation isn't necessary but he will undergo a special
healing procedure whereby some of his white cells are inserted into the bone
marrow. He'll be off the bike for three days, then can ride the rollers. He
should be back in full training within a week, so his Tour is not in doubt.
The gap is now down to 10'10". In
the break Strauss has a puncture as is now getting a wheel change.
We talked to a few of the riders
at the start today. First are Dave Zabriskie and Christian Vandevelde (CSC),
who did a fair bit of work on the front towards the end of yesterday's stage.
"That was just to keep out Ivan out of trouble," he explained. "That's what
it's all about now. Today we'll be doing the same, keeping him up the front
towards the finish with that steep hill. It's all going well so far."
The gap is still slowly coming down
with Quick Step doing the work at the front. They are flying, the pace has been
high all day today. Strauss is back in the break after his puncture.
And its down again with the latest
time check at 9'35".
Cyclingnews caught up with Henk Vogels
this morning, who made that very timely move with 1km to go in yesterday's stage,
not quite making it to the line, but taking fifth place behind his teammate
Robbie McEwen. After looking at the replay and reflecting on the finish he said,
"I'm still a bit in two minds I suppose. Maybe if Robbie didn't move, I would
have won it. But he only moved because he was a bit worried, he felt them coming,
and he wanted to get it. It would have been nice to win. But if Robbie hadn't
have gone, maybe it would have been Kirsipuu that ran me down."
The gap is down to 9'15" now and
We talked to Stuart O'Grady (Cofidis)
this morning who got stuck behind a lot of crashes in yesterdays stage. "It
was Friday the 13th and I got out of it with all the freckles intact. I was
pretty happy in the end, I didn't panic, came back, got a half decent position
at the finish, I just haven't got the legs at the moment to be really up there."
We asked him how he felt about Henk going off the front at the end. "Big Dreek
[Henk's nickname] lobbed off the front with a k to go, it was pretty cunning
tactics actually, and Robbie's really something. After I got caught behind Petacchi's
split, I got back on as they were stalling a bit. I was inclined to go straight
by and saw it was Henk up front. I hesitated for that second, and it was too
late. At 500 metres out, I thought Henk was going to get it.
just feeling better and better as the days go on. It's kind of what I was hoping
for. On the first mountain day, I kind of hurt, but it's a pretty good build
up for the month of July."
15:18 CEST 146km/65km to go
The break has reached
the feed zone and will about 20km to refuel before hitting the first GPM of
The gap is holding at just over nine
minutes at the moment and may even stay like this until the peloton goes through
the feed zone after which it should start dropping again.
Quick Step will have to bring this
all the way back in order to keep the jersey as Celestino is only 49 seconds
down in the General Classification and now of course virtual leader on the road
as he is the highest in GC out of the break.
The break is working very smoothly
together, but the gap is gradually falling again and is at 8'50" at the moment.
15:33 CEST 155km/56km to go
The roads are wet,
but its not raining at this point. On the front of the peloton CSC and Lampre
are doing the work and the Discovery guys are moving up as they near the foot
of the first Grand Prix de Montagne (GPM).
On an interview with yesterdays stage
winner, McEwen on Sporza yesterday he said, "It was a strange win indeed. The
last laps were difficult and slippery. But we had done them three times already
and the Fassa's made a small mistake. After the crash no-one wanted to take
the lead so I let Vogels go. I stayed at the front and it's a pity for Henk,
but I had to go. If Brett Lancaster wouldn't have chased Henk might have won.
I'm very happy with my victory too though."
"It's going very well,
I surely can't complain. It's going better than what I thought, as I didn't
come here in the best of form. But it's going good and this way I can keep going
a bit longer. Stage 9 and 10 are stages I want to win. Then we'll see. I didn't
come here to take this sprint jersey home but to win stages. I'm not riding
to defend this jersey."
15:38 CEST 159km/52km to go
They are in Lamporecchio
now. A proper chase is in place by the peloton. Fassa is up there helping CSC.
They have reached the base of the climb.
The gap is now 8'22" as they start
the climb, which is four kilometres long.
Its not that long of a climb but
will have a big effect on bringing down the gap to this break. It will also
give the riders a chance to see how their climbing legs are feeling in preparation
for the final climb.
The bunch really stretched now as
they start the climb. Roy Sentjens is in last wheel. The roads look a tad drier
We asked Baden Cooke if he has his
climbing legs on, when we saw him at the start this morning. His reply was simply,
"Nup. Not today."
The final climb today is going to
be important for the GC riders. They will need to maintain position as it is
a fast finish down to Pistoia.
The leaders are 2 km from the top,
with Celestino and Fertonani leading. The gap is 7'00.
Marichal and Gomez Gomez come through
to do their turns, followed by Michael Barry and Dariusz Baranowski.
Now Gomez is on the front for a long
turn. He's really pushing the pace.
There has been a fall in the peloton,
Matteo Tosatto (Fassa) is down. It was a broken chain.
It also looks like Cedric Vasseur
(Cofidis) went down and Jan Schaffrath (T-Mobile).
One kilometre to the top of the climb
now for the riders in the break.
15:49 CEST 162km/49km to go
The gap is now 6'45"
They sprint for the top of the climb (it's a Cat .2). And
it's Gil, Zampieri and Parra in that order. Fertonani, Moreni fourth and fifth.
The break is on the descent now.
Back in the bunch Blaudzun is leading and it is strung out. Maglia Rosa, Bettini
in about 7th wheel.
When they hit the bottom of the descent,
they have 18km until the bottom of the next climb, which is the tough one up
The gap at the top was only 4'57".
That was a lot of time made up.
Break is all together now. There is a bunch
of 25 chasing the peloton with some Fassa riders in it.
15:59 CEST 171km/40km to go
40 km to go for the
breakaways, and another 8 km before the first passage of the line in Pistoia.
CSC, as always, is leading the peloton. Peron now on the front of the bunch.
16:01 CEST 173km/38km to go
The riders are all
eating, drinking, and making merry now. Well maybe not the latter. It's important
to refuel at this stage of the race, as the hardest part is still to come. The
break is working fairly well, but everyone will be tired.
In the break, Cristian Moreni (Quick.Step)
is well placed on GC in 15th at 56 seconds, while Celestino is in 9th overall
at 49 seconds.
The chasing peloton is in three bits, with each bit
separated by 20-30 seconds.
Blaudzun is driving hard on the front
of the peloton again, and the gap is 4'50.
16:05 CEST 176km/35km to go
The leaders go under
35 km to go and there are some big, ugly black clouds ahead of them. Looks like
16:08 CEST 178km/33km to go
The break is now
in the last kilometre in Pistoia...but has a 32 km circuit to complete before
it is safely home. Zampieri leads up to the line, with Baranowski on his wheel.
16:10 CEST 179km/32km to go
The peloton is still
3 km behind the break. 4'25 is the gap. The break has a pretty good chance.
16:11 CEST 180km/31km to go
Gomez Gomez leads
the break gingerly through a wet corner. All survive.
The peloton is cheered into Pistoia
as Peron drives it with Blaudzun on his wheel. It's all CSC, all the time.
The gap at the finish is 3'51. This
is going to be close.
16:15 CEST 182km/29km to go
The leaders are getting
a bit nervous, and no-one really wants to work too hard before the climb. That's
where the break will explode. 491m altitude in 4.5 km is not fun.
Aha - Zampieri attacks!
Phonak's Steve Zampieri is the first
rider to fly the coop and he gets company from Gomez Gomez and Koldo Gil. Three
16:18 CEST 184km/27km to go
The three leaders
have 13 seconds on the rest of the break, while the peloton follows at 3'30.
Gil makes sure his gloves are done
up tight. Nothing worse than loose gloves.
Zampieri gets out of the
saddle and rocks up a small climb.
Peloton at 3'12, still CSC...
16:21 CEST 186km/25km to go
It's Peron again
working hard in the peloton, with five teammates in tow.
leaders, Gil, Gomez and Zampieri, go under 25 km to go with half a minute to
the other 18 in the early break. Doesn't look like they're coming back.
16:23 CEST 188km/23km to go
Gil does a strong
turn and Zampieri takes over. Gomez Gomez is not working at all.
In the peloton, one of the Liberty riders punctures - looks like Hruska. He's
chasing now as Caucchioli also flats. Caucchioli gets three teammates to pace
him back to the fast moving bunch. This is going to hurt.
is now at 25 km to go. 2'32. Impressive work by CSC!
16:25 CEST 189km/22km to go
The three leaders
are in Piteccio, at the foot of the climb of Sammomme. The roads narrow, and
they're still wet.
Heart rate data du jour: Luca Mazzanti is on 158
of a max of 190. Manuele Mori is sitting on 171/194. It ain't easy.
Matthias Kessler attacks the rest
of the break at the foot of the climb. He has to close a 40 second gap.
Caucchioli and Hruska are just about on the bunch now. Just in time for the
climb. Caucchioli is going to hurt.
In front, Gil and Zampieri look
a bit knackered.
CSC drives the gruppo maglia rosa
to the foot of the climb.
Zampieri attacks again, as Gil has run
out of legs. But Gil comes back to him. They're probably trying to drop Gomez.
16:29 CEST 190km/21km to go
Two leaders now -
Gil and Zampieri. Gomez is at 14 seconds, then Kessler at 0'56, then the rest
of the break. Now the peloton is being led by Frank Schleck from the Danish
team CSC. Bettini, Simoni, Di Luca, Sella are all up there.
is now leading, looking back for Gil. He's there, but only just.
Gil now does a strong turn, dropping
The maglia rosa is at 2'15 from the two leaders.
Now the climb gets really steep with
lots of short hairpins. I think I might even have done this one about 9 years
ago. Or one like it very close to Florence. It's fairly savage.
Strauss is caught and dropped by
the peloton. The first of the break to succumb. The huge, hulking figure of
Jose Rujano is leading the peloton.
Mazzanti is sitting at 175/190
(92% of max). Ow.
Cioni and Di Luca are quite close
to each other in the shredding peloton. Rujano leads them on the hairpins. Bettini
Marichal is caught too. 19 left up the road. Now Barry
is back. 18 left.
16:35 CEST 191km/20km to go
to lead the break as Koldo Gil rides under a railway bridge. The gap between
the two is 2'05, and Gil is surviving well.
Now Di Luca takes over in the peloton
with Basso on his wheel. He doesn't last long in front and it's Basso leading.
Looks like Cunego in second wheel.
Basso looks back and Simoni attacks!
the green clad Rujano chases him. The peloton is perhaps 15 riders strong. Simoni
takes a really sharp right hander in the lead, but hasn't got a real gap. Cunego,
Basso, Cioni are all there. Di Luca a bit further back, and Savoldelli and Scarponi.
Simoni continues to lead the bunch
of GC favourites as Cunego comes from fourth wheel and accelerates. Simoni looks
at him. Hmm. Simoni gets back on the front. Now it's Rujano leading. The favourites
are down to about 10.
Moreni, Baranowski and Rodriguez are caught.
16:40 CEST 194km/17km to go
Rujano, who is in
fact a lot smaller than Simoni, is ripping the favourites group to shreds on
the Sammomme climb. Danielson is dropped, and is back with Bettini it looks
like. Rujano, Simoni, Cunego, Di Luca, Basso, Savoldelli and Atienza(?) are
In front, Koldo Gil is still alone, but we haven't had a time
check yet. He is at the top of the climb.
16:43 CEST 195km/16km to go
Simoni tries to do
a turn but the 162cm figure of Jose Rujano blasts by him and then most of the
early break to take some mountain points.
Zampieri presumably crosses
second, then Celestino is at 56 seconds, then Rujano at 1'14. Rujano is now
with the remnants of the early break, with Simoni's group of favourites chasing
at 15 seconds.
16:46 CEST 197km/14km to go
Fertonani was second
over the climb at 57 seconds. Then Halgand, Rodriguez, Zampieri, then Rujano
six at 1'15. The groups are slowly coming together on the descent. But it's
still Koldo Gil in the lead!
Bettini's group is at 2'32.
16:50 CEST 199km/12km to go
OK, an attempt to
clarify the situation. Basso is not looking good, and is 40 seconds behind a
group with Simoni, Cunego and Di Luca, who have caught everyone in the early
break except Koldo Gil. The Spaniard still has 1'05 as he flies down the descent.
Basso is in a group with Sella, Moreni, Ardila and Garzelli at 1'42.
The Simoni, Cunego, Di Luca group
of about 10 is just 1'02 behind Gil, who is getting close to 10 km to go. Basso's
group is at 1'35. It also has Garzelli, Sella and Cioni in it. Unsure where
Savoldelli is - he should be in the front group.
Bettini's group is still at 2'30,
which means Di Luca could find himself back in pink again. This first chase
group has Simoni, Cunego, Di Luca, Zampieri, Fertonani, Halgand, Kessler, Petrov,
Lefevre, Parra, Rujano, Brandt, Casar, Eltink.
Wegelius has gone
back to help Garzelli and Cioni, 30 seconds back.
16:55 CEST 206km/5km to go
It's five km to go
and Lampre is hammering! They have Basso and the Liquigas boys on the ropes.
Apart from Di Luca.
Savoldelli is in the front chase group.
16:56 CEST 207.5km/3.5km to go
Gil should be
able to stay away for the victory - fantastic ride by him. But it ain't over
yet. He has 50 seconds.
16:57 CEST 209.5km/1.5km to go
Gil is working
as hard as he can now, looking back, gritting his teeth. He's on the outskirts
of Pistoia and en route to a big victory. Basso's group is still 32 seconds
behind Simoni's mob.
Gil is getting close to 1 km to go.
He's won it!
16:58 CEST 210km/1km to go
Koldo Gil (Liberty)
goes under 1 km to go with a 50 second lead over the Cunego/Simoni chase group,
which only has Di Luca and Savoldelli of the main GC riders in it. Interesting.
Crash in the chase group as Liquigas drop themselves. Garzelli is down, as is
Cioni. Garzelli sits on the ground.
16:59 CEST 211km/0km to go
But it's Koldo Gil
who wins the stage!! Excellent ride by the Liberty rider. He looks back with
a big smile on his face and celebrates over the last 75 metres. Great ride.
Cunego and Di Luca fight it out for
second and it's Cunego, Di Luca, Halgand, Celestino and Casar in roughly that
order. Cunego got second anyway, and Di Luca should be in pink. The gap is some
25 seconds, and Basso's group comes in at 53 seconds.
Bettini comes in at 1'47, while Garzelli
finishes at 2'32. But he might get the same time as the bunch he was with.
As Danilo Di Luca puts back on the
pink (and now the purple) jersey with a great deal of satisfaction, we leave
you once again. Who will Liquigas work for now, as both Garzelli and Cioni were
dropped on that last climb, while Di Luca could follow? We'll find out after
tomorrow's 45 km time trial in Florence.
1 Koldo Gil (Spa) Liberty 5.08.16
2 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre 0.20
3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas
4 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Domina Vacanze
5 Patrice Halgand (Fra) Credit Agricole
6 Sandy Casar (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux
7 Matthias Kessler (Ger) T-Mobile Team
8 Christophe Brandt (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto
10 Theo Eltink (Ned) Rabobank
11 Ivan Parra (Col) Selle Italia-Colombia
12 Marco Fertonani (Ita) Domina Vacanze
13 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita
14 Evgeni Petrov (Rus) Lampre-Caffita
General classification after stage 7
1 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas 35.06.41
2 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre 0.26
3 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Domina Vacanze 0.54
4 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita
5 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 1.06
6 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 1.14
7 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Liberty Seguros-Wurth 1.16
8 Mauricio Alberto Ardila Cano (Col) Davitamon-Lotto
9 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel 1.26
10 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 1.27
the commentary team
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