89th Giro d'Italia - GT
Italy, May 6-28, 2006
Results & report
Stage 13 - Saturday, May 20: Alessandria - La Thuile, 218 km
Live Commentary by Jeff Jones with additional reporting from Anthony Tan
Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:10 CEST
Stage 13 is the next real mountain
stage of the '06 Giro. The course heads from Alessandria across Piemonte, gradually
climbing to Val d'Aosta, then climbing out of Morgex to the Colle S. Carlo at
1951m, before a 7km to finish to the La Thuile ski station. Climbing kid Jose
Rujano will test his legs on the ascent, but watch out for daring descender
and defending Giro champ Savoldelli to take a dynamic win.
Welcome to the good ship Cyclingnews
for our live coverage of the 13th stage of the Giro d'Italia. Today marks the
start of a fairly mountainous last week, even if there is only one climb in
the 218 km stage. But what a climb it is... The Colle San Carlo is 10.52 km
in length and averages a very nasty 9.8%, with maximums of 15%. Although the
summit is not quite at the end of the stage, with a descent to the finish, you
can be sure that most of the damage will be done on the climb.
in Alessandria this morning were Michael Rogers (T-Mobile), Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto,
and Marcos Serrano (Liberty Seguros). McEwen was expected to go home, and although
he wanted to stay until Brescia, a light stomach problem caused him to change
The 110 Gazzetta sprint point today
is in Ivrea at km 103, and today's breakaway has already passed it. The results:
Benoît Poilvet (CA), Christian Knees (Milram) and Olivier Bonnaire (Bouygues).
But we should backtrack first. The stage started at 11:47 with 176 riders. The
first hour was run at a crazy average speed of 53.2 km/h, and after two hours,
the average was still just under the 50 km/h mark. The old days of piano
for four hours are definitely gone, a direct result of the ProTour and the more
international flavour of the Giro.
The breakaway took some time to
get established, as a result. After 87 km, Benoît Poilvet (CA), Christian Knees
(Milram), Olivier Bonnaire (Bouygues), Jose Cayetano Julia Cegarra (Caisse d'Epargne),
Marzio Bruseghin (Lampre-Fondital), and Jose Serpa (Selle Italia) attacked,
and have been steadily gaining time over the peloton since then. The last time
check was 5'30 at km 120.
The best placed rider in the break
is Marzio Bruseghin, who is 12'50 down in 27th place, so there are no big threats
14:43 CEST 130km/88km to go
The six leaders have
pushed their advantage up to 5'48 with 88 km to go, but they'll need a lot more
than that to stay away. Bruseghin and Serpa are the best climbers here. Knees
goes alright too.
14:57 CEST 145km/73km to go
The leaders start
to find it hard going, as the road continues ever upwards. It's not so steep
yet, but they've climbed nearly 500m in today's stage. The advantage is more
or less stable at 5'18.
15:06 CEST 150km/68km to go
The big peloton rolls
along, with the average speed now dropping to 46.6 after three hours. That's
a big drop, considering the first two hours were at 50 km/h.
of the riders in the bunch are using this opportunity to refuel from their team
cars, before the final climb starts.
The day is overcast, and there
are clouds covering the mountains. Bruseghin pulls a wind jacket out of his
back and puts it on.
15:08 CEST 152km/66km to go
billows out like a parachute, but he ignores it and rolls through for his turn.
The race is heading up a long valley, by a river, towards Aosta.
Gianni Savio gives Serpa some food from the team car.
In the peloton, Di Luca goes back
for some food and is paced back on by a teammate. Up front, it's CSC and Saunier
Duval leading. Obviously Gilberto Simoni has to make a move today if he's to
take back some time on Basso and co.
It is raining and foggy at the finish,
which will make the final descent very interesting.
Ivan Basso is carrying a rain jacket
in his jersey as well. He's got most of his team in front of him, while three
Sauniers, including the chin-damaged Manuele Mori.
A band has struck
up a rousing tune at the finish. Again. Maybe they need a viola section to balance
15:14 CEST 155km/63km to go
The reason for Rogers'
abandon was given by T-Mobile. His toothaches have gotten worse, and he now
has an infection. Thus, it was decided that he should pull out. The team believes
his Tour start will not be in jeopardy.
T-Mobile's main GC man Serguei
Gonchar had bad luck yesterday, crashing after 10 km and hurting his back. That
cost him his third place on GC, but he is continuing with the race.
15:17 CEST 157km/61km to go
the rain is starting
to fall lightly, just a few spots. Liquigas is on the front, helping out CSC
and Saunier Duval set the pace.
Bruseghin decides that he doesn't
need the rain jacket yet, and puts it away. The gap is still 5'12.
Basso has his rain jacket on though,
as he has heard the weather report from up ahead. It's not pretty. It's cold
and wet, and seven degrees at the finish.
Bruseghin does another turn, then
Bonnaire comes through.
On top of the mountain, it's 3 degrees wit
mixed rain and snow. Ouch.
Serpa puts his jacket on now.
Liquigas and Saunier continue to lead the bunch, at a steady/hard tempo.
Some tidbits on today's stage. Just
before the riders make the left hand turn onto the climb, they will pass through
a little town called Morgex, which is the home of the highest winery in Europe
(923m), and produces 'Blanc de Morgex'.
Morgex was actually a coal
mine until the 1960s.
Thomas Vaitkus (AG2R) has abandoned,
suffering from tendonitis in his knee.
15:36 CEST 170km/48km to go
Cunego sits towards
the front of the peloton, not far from a rugged up Danilo Di Luca.
Jan Ullrich is sitting back a bit, with a rain jacket stuffed in his back pocket.
Riders now stop for nature breaks en masse.
Now it's Liquigas riding on the front,
pegging the leaders back to 4'35. Bobby Julich sits in fourth wheel for CSC,
ahead of Blaudzun.
CSC has a couple of soigneurs placed
on the side of the road, handing out bidons to its riders. The peloton is now
in Aosta, climbing steadily.
Today would have been the 74th birthday
of legendary Adriano "The Voice" De Zan, acknowledged as the greatest cycling
TV commentator of all time. De Zan died in 2001 of leukaemia.
15:44 CEST 176km/42km to go
The break exits Aosta
with a steady 4'35 advantage.
Before the riders reach Morgex, they
will pass through Arvier. One the roundabout, there is a monument to Maurice
Garin, who was originally from Aosta. Both his Paris-Roubaix victories were
won when he held an Italian passport, but then he became a Frenchman. Garin
also won the first Tour de France in 1903.
15:46 CEST 178km/40km to go
The break's advantage
drops to 4'15 as it continues to ride steadily uphill towards the fog capped
mountains. They go under 40 km to go, and the average speed has dropped to just
under 45 km/h.
15:50 CEST 181km/37km to go
It's the calm before
the storm as the peloton rides through St Pierre. Simoni has his yellow Saunier
Duval men on the front, while Di Luca has the green/celeste Liquigas boys there.
This is a good climb for Simoni, and good weather for the man from Palu. di
The Paolo Savoldelli fan club is enjoying the music at the
15:52 CEST 182km/36km to go
The gap is now under
four minutes as the break rides past another ancient castle. Julia does his
turn, then the small Jose Serpa.
Another miscellaneous tidbit about
today's stage (we're full of them today). The finishing town of La Thuile has
some of the best trout fishing in Italy, straight out of Dora la Thuile.
The peloton rides through St Pierre,
past the castle at 3'22 behind the breakaways. The old town is spread out in
15:59 CEST 184km/34km to go
Calcagni has the
tempo cranked up on the front of the bunch as it rides up the valley of Aosta
alongside the river. The terrain is becoming more barren, with rocky crags looking
down on the race as it passes through in a sea of colour. Quelle contrast.
Leonardo Scarselli's heart rate is 137/190 (72% of max) and he's sitting on
Looks like the Paolo Savoldelli fan club is singing to maybe
stop the band from playing again.
16:02 CEST 185km/33km to go
The green and yellow
led peloton riders over a bridge and onwards towards the final climb, which
starts in about 17 km. The roads are wet here, but it's not raining. The bunch
is fairly stretched, but not in one line yet.
16:05 CEST 188km/30km to go
The mountains look
pretty imposing and bleak, but the race only goes over one of them today. The
chin-bandaged Manuele Mori leads the bunch, unfortunately looking like a yellow-clad
Santa Claus. He pulls off from his turn, having reduced the break's advantage
The break goes under 30 km as the peloton rides past the
Maurice Garin memorial in Arvier.
16:07 CEST 190km/28km to go
Simoni's men have
all fallen away from the front, and it's Di Luca's Liquigas boys now, with CSC
always close in the second rank.
At the finish, all the fans have
umbrellas out. At least they have music to entertain them in the rain.
16:08 CEST 191km/27km to go
Now some Phonak riders
move to the front, but it's just to protect Gutierrez and Pena, not to take
over the pace making.
Some heart rate updates:
Scarselli sits on 142/190 (74% of max) at 31 km/h, while Guido Trentin is almost
identical, on 142/195 (72% of max).
16:10 CEST 192km/26km to go
The road steepens
a bit now, but we haven't hit the main climb yet. There's still a good 7 km
to go before then.
16:13 CEST 194km/24km to go
The six leaders:
Benoît Poilvet (CA), Christian Knees (Milram), Olivier Bonnaire (Bouygues),
Jose Cayetano Julia Cegarra (Caisse d'Epargne), Marzio Bruseghin (Lampre-Fondital),
and Jose Serpa (Selle Italia). They have just 2'35 of their advantage left,
and will get to the foot of the climb with maybe 1'30.
16:13 CEST 195km/23km to go
Basso is now riding
senza rain jacket, clad in the maglia rosa. It's not raining at the moment,
down here in the valley.
Now the battle for position is beginning,
with Rujano's teammates moving him up, then Savoldelli's Discovery teammates.
Basso is always near the front.
16:18 CEST 197km/21km to go
The roads are wet
again thanks to a recent shower, but the riders won't be feeling the cold yet.
Everyone is working pretty hard. White brings Savoldelli near the front of the
16:20 CEST 198km/20km to go
Garate has also moved
up with Bettini not far behind, clad in the purple points jersey. White is now
doing a turn with the Liquigas boys next to him, and Danielson on his wheel.
1'42 is the gap. Stangelj and di Luca are there, then Voigt brings Basso up.
Voigt has Basso on his wheel as he
hammers on the front of the bunch. White drops off.
rate: 159/190 (83% of his max) at 33 km/h. It's getting hard.
The break goes past 20km to go at
a much slower pace than the peloton. Left turn, and the climb starts. 10.5 km
at 9.8%, see you at the top...
16:22 CEST 199km/19km to go
The leaders ride
on wet roads, and it's flat for a bit longer. The peloton is a minute back at
the 20 km sign.
Voigt is doing all the work in front
of the peloton as the break goes over the bridge over the river, and starts
the climb. Bruseghin gets to the front and the break starts to shatter.
Now the peloton is over the river,
with Voigt still leading Basso and Sastre. 45 seconds.
16:25 CEST 200km/18km to go
The first riders
to attack in the break are Bruseghin and Sella. No surprise there.
In the bunch, it's Cuesta, Di Luca and Efimkin. Di Luca chucks his rain jacket
on the side of the road.
Trentin's HR is now 169/195 at 23 km/h.
Cuesta catches the first of the breakaways,
Jose Cayetano Julia.
Basso sits in second wheel behind
Cuesta, then Gutierrez and Di Luca, Tiralongo(?), Rujano...
breakaways have been caught, save for Bruseghin and Serpa, who will get caught
Rujano moves up to third wheel, ready
to pounce, but now is not the time. Basso looks good as he sits on Cuesta's
wheel. Gibo is in about 10th wheel.
Rujano moves up again, but Cuesta
moves to the left and doesn't give him any room.
Serpa drops Bruseghin as Rujano finally
16:31 CEST 203.5km/14.5km to go
Serpa and rides with him for a bit, with Bruseghin just off their wheels. The
peloton is led by the impassive Iñigo Cuesta. No panic here.
gets paced by Serpa, before the latter blows a gasket and lets Rujano go.
Ullrich has been dropped (no surprise), as has Sella.
16:32 CEST 204km/14km to go
Rujano keeps going
at 19 km/h as Sastre takes over in the peloton, which is down to less than 20
riders. Savoldelli is in difficulty already.
Savoldelli is just riding at his
own tempo, not suffering yet, but having to let the Basso group get a bit of
Rujano is caught again by the Basso
Savoldelli is with Danielson, who will do the job as pacer
16:34 CEST 205km/13km to go
Cunego isn't with
the Basso group either! There are perhaps eight riders left with the maglia
rosa, including Gibo, Gutierrez and Rujano.
The lead group: Basso, Sastre (CSC),
Gutierrez (Phonak), Simoni, Piepoli (Saunier), Rujano (Selle Italia), Caruso,
Simoni can move himself up a bit today, as most
of the top GC riders have been shelled.
16:38 CEST 206km/12km to go
Basso has made his
move off the front now, with Simoni and Piepoli, leaving the rest of the front
group at 15 seconds.
Cunego, Di Luca, Pellizotti and Savoldelli have
And after 4.5 km of climbing, Basso
has attacked Simoni and Piepoli, and is alone. Piepoli was able to hang on to
him for a little longer. Gutierrez is at 8 seconds.
Basso and Piepoli are back together,
with Simoni at 18 seconds, Gutierrez chasing at 25 seconds. Di Luca is already
at 50 seconds, and Savoldelli is already at a minute.
Bettini is with Savoldelli now, at
1'30. Il Falco's descending skills might not save him today.
16:45 CEST 207km/11km to go
It's still raining
at the finish, albeit lightly. Basso and Piepoli lead Simoni and Gutierrez by
about 20 seconds, with Scarponi, Caruso (Liberty), Rujano (Selle) a bit further
back, then Cunego (Lampre), Belli, Gadret and Pellizotti in another group, then
Di Luca, then Savoldelli's group.
16:49 CEST 208km/10km to go
Basso continues to
set the tempo, and it's doing damage. Gibo is still at 40 seconds, then there's
a group with Perez Cuapio, Gadret, Scarponi, Gutierrez, Rujano, Belli at 48
seconds. At 1'00, there are Cunego and Caruso, then Di Luca at 1'30, then Savoldelli
and Danielson at 2'10.
This mountain has exploded the race. But it's
not over yet. There's still a descent.
Don't try this at home, kids:
Basso (CSC), Piepoli (Saunier)
Simoni (Saunier) at 0'48
(Phonak) at 0'55
Scarponi (Liberty), Belli, Rujano (Selle Italia), Gadret
(AG2R), Pellizotti (Liquigas) at 1'10
Caruso (Liberty), Cunego (Lampre)
Di Luca, Savoldelli, Danielson at 2'10
Well, once again, Ivan Basso is doing
a lot of damage to the rest, as they get to 10 km to go. Piepoli is sitting
on the maglia rosa's wheel, then there's Simoni in third at 50 seconds.
16:55 CEST 209km/9km to go
Gutierrez has caught
Simoni again, but they're 1'15 behind the two leaders, who are 1 km from the
summit of the Colle san Carlo.
The situation now:
(CSC), Piepoli (Saunier)
Gutierrez (Phonak), Simoni (Saunier) at 1'15
Scarponi (Liberty), Perez Cuapio 1'50
Gadret (AG2R), Pellizotti (Liquigas)
Belli, Rujano (Selle Italia), at 2'00
Caruso (Liberty), Cunego
(Lampre) at 2'05
Di Luca, Savoldelli, Danielson at 2'45
16:56 CEST 210km/8km to go
Basso leads all the
way towards the summit, as a sodden supporter chases him for a bit. Piepoli
looks good on his wheel. He's the only rider who was able to stay with the CSC
man today. Now Gutierrez is attacking Simoni, but no dice.
Basso reaches the top of the climb
first, as Simoni fights hard to keep with Gutierrez, who is pedaling a big gear.
Simoni gets his rain vest out and
tries to put it on while going up hill.
Piepoli went for the points
there, but Basso might have got him. The descent starts and Basso is very very
careful, while Piepoli isn't.
16:59 CEST 211km/7km to go
Basso is super careful
on the descent as the first chasers come up at 1'24, with Gutierrez third then
Piepoli has opened up a gap. Basso is not going to even bother
chasing the suicidal Saunier man.
Scarponi and Perez Cuapio are next
at 2'00. Basso is picking up speed, but taking it gingerly on the wet corners.
He has all the time in the world.
17:02 CEST 214km/4km to go
Basso continues his
slow run down the mountain as Cunego and Perez Sanchez pass over the top at
17:03 CEST 215km/3km to go
Savoldelli and Di
Luca were over the top at 3'10.
Gutierrez has opened up a small gap
on Simoni, and they are definitely going quicker than Basso. But they haven't
caught him yet.
Basso is 22 seconds behind Piepoli.
17:04 CEST 216km/2km to go
Basso is pedaling
now as the descent gets a bit easier. Another corner, and he brakes, takes it
steady, and is now 35 seconds behind the leader Piepoli. But on the straights,
he picks it up.
The rest of the front riders are
making their way down the descent now, into La Thuile.
in his biggest gear, still keeping over a minute's gap over Simoni and Gutierrez.
That's not bad at all.
17:06 CEST 217km/1km to go
The worst of the descent
is over, as Piepoli flies under 2 km to go. Basso should take second, while
Gutierrez and Simoni are working together to reduce the gap to Basso.
Basso slows around another dangerous
corner, as Piepoli goes inside the final kilometre. He will win the stage, taking
the final corners (basically a U turn) very carefully.
17:07 CEST 218km/0km to go
Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier
Duval) wins the stage into La Thuile with a handy gap over Ivan Basso. He's
delighted with the victory, which was not easy in these conditions.
Basso comes across after yet another
great and smart ride at 43 seconds. He stayed on the bike, and that's what counts.
Gutierrez leads Simoni up to the line, and pummels him in the sprint at 1'18.
They picked up about 50 seconds on Basso on the descent.
Scarponi leads the next group at
2'08, with Pellizotti, Gadret and Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio. Then Cunego beats
Savoldelli for ninth at 2'36. Basso has done it again, put time into all his
Gutierrez is now second on GC at
3'27, then Savoldelli at 5'30. Belli is doing well for Selle Italia at 7'35
in fourth, then Gibo at 8'00, ahead of Pellizotti, Danielson, and Cunego. Serious
damage, and there have only been two big mountains in the Giro.
Ullrich comes in a group at 10'00, and we shall leave you on that note. Another
mountain stage tomorrow, between Aosta and Domodossola. 223 km, two big climbs,
and a downhill finish.
1 Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir 5.21.12
2 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 0.44
3 José E. Gutierrez Cataluna (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 1.19
4 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir
5 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 2.08
6 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas
7 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R Prevoyance 2.12
8 Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (Mex) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare 2.17
9 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 2.36
10 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team
11 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team
12 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni
General classification after stage 13
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 49.53.36
2 José E. Gutierrez Cataluna (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 3.27
3 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 5.30
4 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni 7.35
5 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir 8.00
6 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas 8.14
7 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 8.35
8 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 8.58
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