89th Giro d'Italia - GT
Italy, May 6-28, 2006
Results & report
Stage 12 - Friday, May 19: Livorno - Sestri Levante, 171 km
Live Commentary by Jeff Jones with additional reporting from Anthony Tan
Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:10 CEST
A transitional stage that goes through
Alessandro Petacchi's backyard, who will unfortunately be visiting the Giro
on crutches. With the steep Passo del Bracco 19km the finish, sprinters may
not make it to Sestri Levante together, and a breakaway is likely to make it.
Welcome back to the Giro for the
12th stage between Livorno and Sestri Levante. It's basically a flat one for
the first half, but the sprinters will have no joy as the second half is quite
hilly. Besides the Passo del Bracco after 147km, there is also a climb up to
Biassa after 103 km. The 110 La Gazzetta sprint point is at km 114 today, and
is also on an uphill drag.
After Der Kaiser, Jan Ullrich, crushed
a few souls during yesterday's TT, and Ivan 'il Terribile' Basso put time into
all his major rivals, especially the climbers, the Giro's general classification
has some gaping holes in it. Thus, we can expect a breakaway to go clear today
like it did in stage 10, although Paolo Bettini's Quick.Step men might be put
to work again to try to set up the win for 'Il Grillo'.
Today's stage started at 12:52pm
without Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux) and Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank).
After 8 km, William Bonnet (Credit Agricole) made the attack that would stick,
and was joined by Alberto Ongarato (Team Milram), Wladimir Belli (Selle Italia-Serramenti
Diquigiovanni), Joerg Ludewig (T-Mobile Team), Addy Engels (Quick Step-Innergetic),
Jonathan Patrick Mc Carty (Phonak), Mickael Delage (Française des Jeux), Patrick
Calcagni (Liquigas), Fortunato Baliani and Emanuele Sella (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare),
Arnaud Labbe (Bouygues Telecom), Joan Horrach Rippoll (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes
Balears), Manuel Beltrán Martinez (Discovery Channel), Manuele Mori (Saunier
Duval-Prodir) and Sven Krauss (Gerolsteiner) to make a break of 15.
The group has steadily been gaining ground over the peloton, and has 6'15 after
84 km. It covered 51.1 km in the first hour!
A crash after 10 km
took down Serguei Gonchar (T-Mobile), Cyrille Monnerais (FDJ), Daniel Navarro
(Liberty Seguros), Dario Cioni (Liquigas), and Roberto Laiseka (Euskaltel).
The latter abandoned the race as a result.
Of the breakaways, Emanuele Sella
(Panaria) is the best placed on GC, lying in 22nd position at 11'27 behind the
leader. So this six minute gap is not something that CSC has to be concerned
with. Maybe the other teams will be though.
14:52 CEST 90km/81km to go
The breakaway reaches
Alessandro Petacchi's home town of La Spezia as it travels down the west coast
of Italy. It's increased its advantage to 6'45, the biggest lead so far today.
Laiseka has been taken to hospital
to assess the damage from the earlier crash. Bad luck for him, as he was aiming
for a good GC place in the Giro. He was sitting in 21st position overall.
14:58 CEST 100km/71km to go
The average speed
after two hours is a very brisk 49.200 km/h, and the leaders commence the climb
up to Biassa with 6'50 over the peloton.
15:04 CEST 101km/70km to go
Belli forces the
pace on the climb, and the break is just 3 km from the top, with the gap going
up to 7'02.
There were also a couple of sprints today, at Viareggio,
won by William Bonnet, and at Marina di Carrara, won by Belli.
15:08 CEST 104km/67km to go
The break reaches
the summit of the climb to Biassa with Baliani taking the points ahead of Horrach
15:14 CEST 110km/61km to go
The leaders are now
on the climb up to Volastra, with Belli leading Horrach and Calcagni. It's quite
steep here. Let's see if Delage can take more points for the 110 Gazzetta competition.
Bonnet, who started this break, is
going off the back on the climb.
Meanwhile, the peloton is led by
Team CSC, protecting Basso. They don't want to give the break too much more
Mori now leads the break with 500m
to the sprint, and the pace lifts. Delage is still towards the back.
15:19 CEST 114km/57km to go
Calcagni is third
in the 110 Gazzetta classification, and he will take some points today. Delage
will have to work harder for his, as he's barely able to hold on.
The winner is Horrach from Calcagni, Mori, Belli, and Beltrán. That'll give
Calcagni the lead in the classification. Delage and Bonnet are still coming
up the hill.
15:20 CEST 115km/56km to go
CSC is doing all
the work now, with Lombardi and Sorensen on the front of the bunch. then Blaudzun,
Julich, Gustov, Voigt and Basso. Savoldelli and Danielson are right behind,
as are Sastre and Cuesta.
Baliani and Sella lead the break
now, as the peloton starts to break up on the climb. Guidi and Bramati are dropped
from the bunch as a result.
Looks like Labbe has been shelled from
the front group too, leaving: Alberto Ongarato (Team Milram), Wladimir Belli
(Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni), Joerg Ludewig (T-Mobile Team), Addy
Engels (Quick Step-Innergetic), Jonathan Patrick Mc Carty (Phonak), Patrick
Calcagni (Liquigas), Fortunato Baliani and Emanuele Sella (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare),
Joan Horrach Rippoll (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears), Manuel Beltrán Martinez
(Discovery Channel), Manuele Mori (Saunier Duval-Prodir), Sven Krauss (Gerolsteiner).
Bobby Julich sets the pace in the bunch, with Lombardi and Sorensen on his wheel.
15:26 CEST 118km/53km to go
Sorensen leads the
bunch past the 110 Gazzetta sign at 6'47. It's a pretty small bunch at that.
Schumacher is in the caravan, chasing back on.
The road continues to climb after
the La Gazzetta sign, so anyone with designs of rejoining the peloton will have
to wait for the descent in about 10 km. McEwen is one of those dropped, but
he is within striking distance.
At this stage, it does look like
the break will stay away, as CSC won't ride any harder than it has to and most
of the other times have riders in the break.
Mark Scanlon (AG2R) has abandoned.
Sorensen continues to work on the
front of the bunch, and Blaudzun on his wheel probably could do with a slightly
lower tempo. But now the climb flattens out (this wasn't even a categorised
climb) and Blaudzun can go at his own pace. Matt Hayman is hanging on the back.
15:34 CEST 120km/51km to go
It's foggy towards
the top of the climb, even if today is quite a pleasant day for riding: 25 degrees
or so with a light SW/SE wind blowing and 50-60% humidity.
Bonnet and Delage are already 1'40
behind the lead group of 12, while Labbe is at 3'10.
Baliani pushes the pace as the road
continues to climb into the fog. He has Sella on his wheel. At the back, Horrach
signals for his team car, a little urgently. He just needs a bidon. Now it's
getting very foggy.
15:44 CEST 125km/46km to go
This is rather a
nice section of the Italian coastline, part of the Cinque Terra.
Beltrán is sitting on 145/180 (80% of his max hr) at 40 km/h, as the break starts
to descend. Sella is at 144/197 at 56 km/h. Well, they're in the same breakaway
Krauss signals for his team car, and gets a bidon.
15:45 CEST 131km/40km to go
Under 40 km to go,
and through a tunnel. The dozen leaders are en route to Levanto, at sea level.
Then they will tackle the Passo del Bracco, the last climb of the day.
The peloton is over the top of the
climb now, riding through the mist, while the leaders have reached the sunnier
section of the descent.
Speaking of descents, the one off the Passo
del Bracco is a little tricky. There is a turn about halfway down into a narrow,
twisting, steep descent. Look for Paolo Savoldelli to try to take back some
15:51 CEST 137km/34km to go
The leaders are just
about at the bottom of the descent, as they twist and turn through Levanto.
It starts to climb almost immediately though. They have 6'55 over the CSC led
15:55 CEST 136km/35km to go
On a beach in Levanto,
umbrellas have been arranged to spell out "VV Il Giro"
in trouble immediately as the final climb starts. Baliani pushes the pace. Sella
and Beltrán are sitting on about 85% of their maximum heart rates.
The gap has grown to 7'04, the biggest of the day.
15:56 CEST 137km/34km to go
Belli asks the group
to continue to roll over. Krauss is hanging on, just. He's not really built
for this sort of riding. Ludewig is back with him and Horrach.
Pat McCarty takes another turn, looking
good. Ongarato is impressive too. He's easily the best sprinter of the group.
16:01 CEST 138km/33km to go
The average after
three hours is 44.3 km/h. This climb is 9.5 km, averaging around 6.5%.
Labbe is caught by the bunch.
Baliani is now pushing the tempo, putting
Ludewig, Krauss and McCarty out the back.
Sella is sitting on 190/197
(96%) at 29 km/h! Ouch. Baliani explodes, and Sella is left with Belli, Mori,
Calcagni, Horrach and a couple of others.
16:05 CEST 139km/32km to go
Krauss and Ludewig
make it back to the lead group. Not sure if McCarty does though. Yes, here's
the American rider now, fighting hard to rejoin. All together in front, with
Baliani working again.
Serguei Gonchar is getting dropped in the
peloton. That's a surprise, as we're not really into the climb yet. CSC is setting
a hard tempo, but it's not brutal yet. Gonchar moves up again, but he's not
good today. The bunch is still quite large.
Veikkanen (back with Gonchar) is
on 95% of his max, as Di Luca, Bettini, Cunego and another Lampre (Tiralongo)
attack. And Simoni. Of course they say that Gonchar was in trouble. Bettini
nearly hits a spectator who was waving at the TV camera like a fool. Oops.
CSC brings Basso up to the attackers.
16:08 CEST 140km/31km to go
the pace with Di Luca on his wheel, then Cunego and a host of CSCs. This could
be bad for Gonchar, but that's about it. 33 km/h. Ouch.
Danielson (5th on GC) is also dropped.
That attack might have taken him by surprise. He's towing a second group up
to the lead group of 30 or so.
Gustov is back on the front of the
bunch with Voigt, Cuesta and Basso.
16:11 CEST 145km/26km to go
Savoldelli is certainly
in the front group of the bunch, while Danielson still has to work to chase
Gonchar did crash earlier today, so it probably hurt him on this
Sella now sits on 88% of his max, working hard in the breakaway.
Beltrán, also in the break, is sitting
on 93% of his max. The leaders still have 6'00 over the bunch.
isn't in the front group any more. Now Krauss and Calcagni are dropped.
Jan Ullrich looks to be in the front bit of the peloton, or at least the second
group. He's sitting well back though.
16:15 CEST 146km/25km to go
The leaders reduce
in size, thanks to the work of Baliani, Sella and Belli. We now have: Wladimir
Belli (Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni),Fortunato Baliani and Emanuele
Sella (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare), Joan Horrach Rippoll (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes
Balears), Manuele Mori (Saunier Duval-Prodir), Addy Engels (Quick Step-Innergetic)
in front. They are 1 km from the summit.
Bonnet and Delage are absorbed
by the peloton.
Baliani and Sella lead on the curves
towards the top of this climb, as the trees thin out and the mist returns. Engels
digs deep to hold onto the back. This is hurting the Dutchman, but he just needs
to bite the bars for a bit longer.
16:17 CEST 147km/24km to go
Sella continues to
hammer on the front like an energiser bunny. But teammate Baliani takes the
sprint points ahead of him, with Mori third.
Ongarato, Ludewig and Beltrán come
over at 30 seconds.
16:19 CEST 148km/23km to go
Now we face the tricky
descent down to the finish. Baliani lets a gap open, but Engels closes it. The
six leaders are still together.
The bunch is sitting 5'52 behind
the leaders, and they definitely won't get them.
16:20 CEST 150km/21km to go
The descent hasn't
quite begun yet - it's still undulating for a few more km, through the trees,
before the drop back down to the coast.
Baliani works hard for his teammate
Sella, who is still sitting on 90% of his max at 40 km/h. A group of four with
Beltrán, Ongarato, Ludewig and Krauss are chasing at half a minute.
Horrach leaves a gap, with Mori wanting
him to close it. Engels and Horrach are doing the least work in the break. Mori
has to close it.
16:24 CEST 151km/20km to go
Another gap is created,
courtesy of Horrach, who is now last wheel. Sella and Baliani are doing most
of the work, now Engels does a turn. Horrach doesn't want to move out of sixth
The gruppo is at 6'05. Status quo.
16:25 CEST 152km/19km to go
They go under 20
km to go and Belli sits up, looking frustrated. The four chasers are not getting
closer, despite the lack of cooperation in the front group. It's 32 seconds.
Engels attacks. Doesn't get far though.
The peloton has regrouped and Ullrich
is there at the back, looking comfy. Danielson is certainly back with the front
group, but there's no sign of Gonchar.
16:28 CEST 153km/18km to go
Ullrich gives one
of the bidon carrying Saunier Duval domestiques a bit of a push to get up to
the front of the bunch.
Sella and Mori have attacked in front. Sella
is sitting on 90% (179/197) at 48 km/h.
16:29 CEST 153km/18km to go
Sella and Mori get
nine seconds, and they put their heads down and go for it. The real descent
is about to start.
16:30 CEST 156km/15km to go
Voigt, Gustov and
Cuesta are leading Basso in the peloton, with Sastre fifth wheel.
Sella and Mori are under 15 km to go, flying now.
16:31 CEST 157km/14km to go
The peloton is more
than 5 km behind the leaders, who are sitting on 68 km/h now. Sella continues
to push the pace, then Mori comes through for a turn. They have to keep pedaling,
as the descent isn't steep yet.
16:33 CEST 158km/13km to go
No sign of Baliani,
Belli, Engels and Horrach, who are chasing Sella and Mori. Ah, they're 13 seconds
behind. The Beltrán group is 28 seconds behind the leaders.
The descent is quite easy at the
moment, and Sella continues to sit on 90% of his max at 71%.
16:36 CEST 161km/10km to go
The leaders go under
10 km to go, working to the max. Sella asks Mori for a bidon after he just threw
his into the valley. He gets it, drinks, and throws it into the valley.
16:36 CEST 162km/9km to go
9 km to go, and the
descent will start to get tricky soon. They're still on the good roads now.
16:37 CEST 163km/8km to go
15 seconds and 53
seconds are the gaps to the two chasing groups at the moment. The bunch is at
Engels leads the first chasing group,
then Belli and Horrach.
Oh dear, Sella and Mori crash into the barriers.
Mori is worse off, but now he's back. They are passed by the chase group. Ouch,
16:40 CEST 165km/6km to go
The leaders are now
together again, with six riders. Amazing that Sella and Mori weren't hurt worse
than that. Mori pulled his foot out first, then just brushed against the barrier,
slipping down, Armstrong style, into the next bit of the descent. Sella hit
the barrier full on, but got back and remounted, but didn't cut the course.
Mori is still in front!
Jeez, Mori crashes again with Sella.
This is just not their day. Both of them are up again, chasing the remaining
four. Mori crashed first again. These corners are really sharp.
16:42 CEST 168km/3km to go
The leaders: Wladimir
Belli (Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni), Fortunato Baliani (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare),
Joan Horrach Rippoll (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears), Addy Engels (Quick Step-Innergetic).
Mori and Sella are chasing them at 10 seconds. Both of them crashed twice on
the descent. Of course Baliani isn't working much in front.
Baliani rolls through for a soft
turn. Marking Engels now. The other two might be able to come back. Belli rolls
through, softly. The others look back for the luckless Sella and Mori. They'll
be having nightmares about corners now.
16:44 CEST 169km/2km to go
The bunch had better
take it easy...
Engels attacks, as he has to. But everyone marks
him. Belli counters.
Baliani reacts after Belli. He can't
wait for Sella now. Engels and Horrach are stranded. Baliani gives it full gas
to catch Belli, and he gets him.
16:45 CEST 170km/1km to go
Engels and Horrach
have to work hard to get the two leaders back, but they should do it. Depends
on how they will work in front. They don't. All together.
Four leaders coming up to 1 km to
go and Engels attacks. But Baliani and the rest mark him. Mori and Sella are
almost back on too.
Horrach counters! Big attack, and
that might be it.
Horrach gets a 50m gap and the rest
stop chasing. But now there are five in pursuit. Caisse d'Epargne scores!
16:47 CEST 171km/0km to go
Joan Horrach celebrates
as Engels takes second ahead of Sella, Mori, Baliani and Belli. Great finish.
Krauss beats Ongarato for seventh,
then Ludewig and Beltrán. Calcagni rolls across for 11th, then McCarty at 2'36.
The peloton seems to have made it down the descent intact. Gonchar is not there,
but Kessler and Ullrich are.
The bunch rolls in at 7'02, led by
Bettini and Delage. That's going to move Sella up the GC to fourth, depending
on when Gonchar comes in.
Gonchar has lost at least four minutes,
so he's out of the top 10 on GC. Bad luck for the Ukrainian, who crashed earlier
today and rode a great time trial yesterday.
But the honours of
the day go to Joan Horrach (Caisse d'Epargne), who has given his team a much
needed victory after coming close on a few occasions. The biggest change on
GC was that Emanuele Sella moved up from 22nd to 4th, while Gonchar moved from
third to a fair way down. Gonchar is 13'40 behind the winner, thus has lost
6'40 to the GC men today.
Belli also moved himself up to fifth
on GC, while Beltrán will also climb up the rankings.
from us from a very eventful transition stage. Tomorrow, the high mountains...
1 Joan Horrach Rippoll (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 3.55.53
2 Addy Engels (Ned) Quick Step-Innergetic 0.05
3 Emanuele Sella (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare
4 Manuele Mori (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir
5 Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare
6 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni
7 Sven Krauss (Ger) Gerolsteiner 1.03
8 Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Team Milram
9 Joerg Ludewig (Ger) T-Mobile Team
10 Manuel Beltran Martinez (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team
11 Patrick Calcagni (Swi) Liquigas 2.25
12 Jonathan Patrick Mc Carty (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 2.35
General classification after stage 12
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 44.31.52
2 José E. Gutierrez Cataluna (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 2.48
3 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 3.26
4 Emanuele Sella (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare 4.21
5 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni 5.31
6 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 5.38
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