89th Giro d'Italia - GT
Italy, May 6-28, 2006
Results & report
Stage 5 - Thursday, May 11: Piacenza - Cremona TTT, 35 km
Complete live report
Welcome back to Cyclingnews' Live coverage from the Giro d'Italia! On the menu
today is the much-anticipated team time trial, which will certainly see a CSC-Discovery
Channel battle on the dead-flat roads south of Milano, while climbers' teams
will lose minutes to the powerhouse squads. On a distance of 38 kilometres,
the Giro teams will be put to the ultimate test in the discipline against the
clock, although big time differences are not expected. It's a matter of prestige
- and precious seconds nevertheless - to win here, and German team Gerolsteiner
will be on a mission to preserve its overall leadership with Stefan Schumacher
against the high profile favourites' teams, especially CSC and Discovery.
Today's team time trial from Piacenza
eastwards to Cremona - home of the famous violin maker Antonio Stradivari, by
the way - is taking place in the pancake-flat region south of Milan. The roads
of the parcours are straight, wide and as untechnical as they possibly could
be: perfect for true power machines. Just a few kilometres from the finish line,
the riders will be crossing the river Po on a long steel bridge.
Let's take a look at that start list.
A 5min-gap between the teams will be observed, with the last team to depart
in Piacenza being Gerolsteiner around the pink-clad Stefan Schumacher. Team
CSC will precede Discovery Channel by 15 minutes. Here are the starting times
(CET of course) in detail:
14h45: Selle Italia, 14h50: Bouygues Telecom,
14h55: Euskaltel, 15h00: Panaria, 15h05: AG2R, 15h10: Cofidis, 15h15: Milram,
15h20: Davitamon, 15h25: Liberty, 15h30: Saunier Duval, 15h35: Rabobank, 15h40:
Crédit Agricole, 15h45: Phonak, 15h50: Quick Step, 15h55: Française des Jeux,
16h00: Liquigas, 16h05: Lampre, 16h10: CSC, 16h15: T-Mobile, 16h20: Caisse d'Epargne,
16h25: Discovery Channel, 16h30: Gerolsteiner
A word on the weather conditions,
which are considerably better than the first few days the Giro spent in Belgium!
It is about 25° Celsius and the sun is out, with puffy summer clouds hanging
in the sky! That should make the riders cheer up after those unpleasant last
few stages and especially the long transfer they had to Italy. All the teams
were upset about the fact that the planes left Liège very late on Tuesday evening,
and many riders only got to bed at 2am in the morning. Fortunately, there was
that rest day yesterday.
There is also very little wind at the moment,
but the light breeze of about 10 km/h is blowing from WSW, so it will be in
favour of a fast race: It's a tailwind.
The Discovery riders were really
psyched this morning, and are looking for a good battle with CSC. We spoke with
Discovery's Pavel Padrnos, who was really looking forward to today. "The CSC
guys are going to be tough but we really want to win today."
Savoldelli, too, was smiling and relaxed when we asked him how he felt. "Great.
I think we're going to have a good ride today."
The first teams have thus already
started, and we are waiting for the first time checks to see how they are coming
Bjarne Riis, too, is in a winning mode today. "I don't care
how we win, all that counts is that we do," he told a German TV reporter. "Getting
second would be disappointing." Guess the battle between CSC and Discovery is
We can see AG2R on the road now -
all nine riders are nicely aligned as they race through the green Italian flatlands.
Panaria, on the other hand, only has 7 riders left as Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio
already lost contact.
A word on the TTT rules: the time
of the fifth incoming rider will be the team's time counted for GC, so each
team needs to get at least five riders into the finish together. It's a good
idea to leave behind those who are not strong enough - but not too soon, either.
Panaria, who has 15 km left to go,
have lost another rider to a mechanical, and are now down to six. Ouch!
Selle Italia is coming into the finish: 38.33! That's very fast for 38 kms!
There is a new information on the
course - it seems the total distance is only about 35 kms instead of 38, as
Selle Italia's average speed was 54.4 km/h.
Liberty Seguros has left
the start ramp, now, too. Bouygues clocks a new best with 38.19 with 55,8 km/h.
The next team getting into the finish
is Euskaltel, but they are losing time on Bouygues - 38.52, grinding teeth.
Cofidis is on the course now. The
French squad should be stronger than the previous teams. Liberty just passed
the first intermediate time check at 10.1 kms after 11.02 mins - that's not
a new best time at all... Maybe they can turn on the turbo later.
Panaria powers to the finish line
with five men left. They are third now behind Bouygues and Selle Italia.
Team Discovery is now also starting
to warm up outside of their team bus. Tommy Danielson was his usual amiable
relaxed self when we spoke to him this morning. "The team is great. I'm really
looking forward to having a good Giro because last year things didn't go so
well for me."
Meanwhile, AG2R clocked a new best, beating Bouygues
by one second! Talk about short gaps!
Saunier Duval are riding a 'Belgian
circle' instead of lining up one behind the other. Every team has its own methods
against the clock. They do look efficient on that straight, wide road, but not
everyone's taking turns anymore.
Cofidis power to the finish with
six riders left, giving it full steam, but they won't beat AG2R's time - no,
they are third at the moment.
It's the first day of "grand caldo"
in Italy today, as the temperatures now reach about 30° Celsius. Huge crowds
have gathered in Cremona, the home of violin maestro Stradivari, awaiting the
arrival of Team Milram... and the Italian-German squad puts up a new best time
Saunier Duval is having trouble keeping
up it's circle, but now they're keeping it going again.
arrives in Cremona, they're also having a good day: 38.05, as the last three
riders broke off the back with only 200metres to go. Robbie McEwen led his team
in the final sprint.
Wow - Liberty Seguros might not even
end up in Top Ten later on, clocking only 38.21. At the moment, the sprinter's
teams clearly have an advantage over this course.
A few readers have
asked about the Belgian circle: it is also referred to as a rotating pace line.
Imagine a circle of riders pacing in clockwise direction - then narrow it down
to two lines beside each other. That's what it looks like, and the efficiency
is about the same as when the riders form one straight line, even if there are
many different theories and opinions. Some think a single pace line is better,
but it depends on the wind.
Saunier Duval, the team rotating,
is now getting into the finish: 38.22, currently sixth place. That's a decent
time for Gibo Simoni, who looked at the great clock hanging on top of him as
he raced over the finish line...
CSC is on the ramp! Now we will
what happens! They're off, straight into a single line...
Phonak also seems to have a good
ride, clocking best times at the different intermediate checks. But at the moment,
Rabobank comes into the finish, led out by Marc Wauters. 38.13 for the Dutch
team, that's currently a third place.
T-Mobile sets off! They have
excellent time triallists in their ranks like Serguei Gonchar and the reigning
World Champion Michael Rogers.
Team Lampre around Damiano Cunego
is also on the course now, with the 'Little Prince' just taking a turn. They
will be trying not to lose too much time...
Crédit Agricole sets
up a new best by another tiny second, coming in just before Phonak.
Liquigas' Charles Wegelius' heart rate is at 183 bpm at 55 km/h.
And CSC is 9 seconds faster than
Liquigas at the first intermediate time check! They are really hammering, but
smoothly like they should. Bobby Julich is leading.
Phonak gets into the finish! They
drop off their last riders within the last kilometre, and come in with five
men after 38 minutes exactly. Gutierrez took the last turn before the line.
That's a great performance!
Discovery is out of the start ramp
now, followed by Lance Armstrong in the team car. That will be a great motivation
for the riders to know he's there behind them, possibly yelling, too...
Quick Step - again, a sprinter's
team! - beat Phonak by another second, clocking the first time under 38 minutes
on this course. A very impressive performance by the Belgian team.
Liquigas is the next team for a new best, but they will still take some 15 mins
before they get here. Meanwhile, the last team, Gerolsteiner, has left the start
Lance Armstrong sits on the passenger's seat in his team car
behind the riders, window closed, focused and unmoved, it seems.
Francaise des Jeux really powered
during the last kilometres it seems, as they clock a new best time. But for
how long will it last, since the best teams are yet to come?
And Discovery seems to have trouble
finding its rhythm in this first part of the race, as they are currently 24
seconds down after 10 kms of racing - only eighth behind CSC.
Lampre is also riding a rotating
pace line, while Liquigas showed a great performance with 37.38 in the finish
- good thing for Danilo Di Luca, who also hopes for a podium placing at this
Gerolsteiner lost 20 seconds already
at the first intermediate time check. Ivan Basso needs 43 seconds to take the
pink jersey, while Savoldelli only needs 13.
Lampre came in after
38 minutes exactly - not too bad for Cunego.
Discovery is now 6th, 33 seconds
down on CSC after 16 km, so Basso is now ahead of Savoldelli on GC - Discovery
have always been slow starters though.
But now CSC gets into the finish
straight, with Blaudzun in the lead before Voigt. They're hammering: 36.56!
Incredible! That time is going to be very hard to beat...
Gerolsteiner has already lost 43
seconds at time check # 2. So Schumacher has already lost the pink jersey to
T-Mobile is on the bridge crossing the river Po, with
Ullrich taking a turn now. Only a few kilometres to go for the magenta team.
Basso is interviewed in the finish
by Italian TV - he looks like he wants to sit down!
Rogers leads T-Mobile into the finish.
Kessler has to let go, but he is the fifth man! He gets in two seconds behind
his teammates: 36.57, just one second behind CSC - that's an impressive performance
for the German team - Jan Ullrich will be happy.
Basso is still the
Erratum - it's Gonchar in Pink right
now, as he is only 31 seconds down on GC, and Basso was 43 seconds.
Gerolsteiner is now 52 secs slower
after 22 km - that jersey is definitely gone. But will Discovery Channel be
able to make up the time they've already lost to CSC and T-Mobile? They're on
that steel bridge now, we will know in a few minutes.
Discovery is still hammering with
nine riders together as they come into Cremona.
58 seconds back at the last time check.
Now they're on the last straight...
but they won't make it: 37.35, 39 seconds slower than CSC. Gonchar is now definitely
So the new GC will be Gonchar (T-Mobile)
before Voigt (CSC), Rogers (T-Mobile), Pollack (T-Mobile, and Basso (CSC), if
we're not mistaken.
Rebellin is powering for Gerolsteiner,
but it won't help. They have fought bravley, but CSC and T-Mobile were outstanding
today. Discovery couldn't live up to the expectations - we will surely collect
some explanations for their performance later on.
Hadn't it been for poor "Matze" Kessler,
T-Mobile would have won today! But still they take the maglia rosa, so they
will be happy. Discovery's Savoldelli is now 6th at 20 seconds, Cunego 25th
at about 1'20. Basso and Savoldelli are only 9 seconds apart.
CSC guys are on the podium now, grinning. They've made it come true again after
that disappointment last year at the Tour de France, where they lost only by
a few seconds. Basso shakes the bottle!
That's all from us for today - Gonchar
takes a good sip of champagne on the podium! We will be back tomorrow for stage
6 from Busetto to Forli, another flat stage made for the sprinters. See you
Time check 1 - km 9.7
1 Team CSC 10.32
2 T-Mobile 0.08
3 Liquigas 0.09
4 Francaise des Jeux 0.16
5 Phonak 0.18
Time check 2 - km 16
1 Team CSC
2 T-Mobile 0.10
3 Liquigas 0.22
4 Francaise des Jeux 0.29
5 Lampre-Fondital 0.31
Time check 3 - km 22.4
1 Team CSC 24.09
2 T-Mobile 0.15
3 Liquigas 0.31
4 Discovery Channel 0.37
5 Lampre-Fondital 0.44
Time check 4 - km 27
1 Team CSC
2 Liquigas 0.36
3 Discovery Channel 0.40
4 Lampre-Fondital 0.55
5 Phonak 1.00
Finish - 35 km
1 Team CSC 36.56 (56.859 km/h)
2 T-Mobile 0.01
3 Discovery Channel 0.39
4 Liquigas 0.42
5 Francaise des Jeux 1.00
6 Gerolsteiner 1.03
8 Lampre-Fondital 1.04
10 Credit Agricole 1.07
11 Davitamon-Lotto 1.08
12 Milram 1.13
13 Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 1.14
14 Rabobank 1.17
15 AG2R-Prevoyance 1.22
16 Bouygues Telecom 1.23
17 Liberty Seguros-Wurth 1.25
18 Saunier Duval-Prodir 1.26
19 Cofidis 1.34
20 Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni 1.37
21 Ceramica Panaria-Navigare 1.41
22 Euskaltel-Euskadi 1.56
General classification after stage 5
1 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) T-Mobile Team 15.30.23
2 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 0.06
3 Michael Rogers (Aus) T-Mobile Team
4 Olaf Pollack (Ger) T-Mobile Team 0.10
5 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 0.11
6 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel Pro 0.20
7 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team CSC 0.29
8 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner 0.31
9 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC 0.33
10 José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) Discovery Channel 0.38
11 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 0.44
12 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas 0.49
13 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 0.54
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