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90th Giro d'Italia - GT

Italy, May 12-June 3, 2007

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Stage 2 - Sunday, May 13: Tempio Pausania - Bosa, 205 km

Complete live report

Live commentary by Gregor Brown

Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:25 CEST

14:38 CEST   
Welcome to Cyclingnews' coverage of stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia. The riders are making their way from Tempio Pausania to Bosa, for a total of 203 kilometres.

The race has already entered its second hour of racing with an average speed of 43.2km/h. There are currently five men in an escape, Frédéric Bessy (Cofidis), Mauro Facci (Quickstep-Innergetic), Simone Masciarelli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo), Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff Credit Systems) and Arnaud Labbe (Bouygues Telecom).

The five went away at kilometre 25, just before S. Maria Coghinas.

14:43 CEST   
The race leader, Enrico Gasparotto, signed-in wearing pink. In addition to his race leader's Maglia Rosa, he had pink shorts.

"I slept right away, I was tired from yesterday. I woke up before the others because of my emotions for the Maglia Rosa," said Gasparotto at the start line. "It is something I will never forget, my first Giro and my first Maglia Rosa."

14:45 CEST   
Starting in the small northern Sardinian town of Tempio Pausania, the stage heads east along the Gulf of Asinara, then through Sassari, the main town of that area, then it goes south over the Villanova Monteleone climb before descending to the finish in Bosa. Yes, the Corsa Rosa in Bosa!

Milram's Ale-Jet Petacchi will be looking for the sprint win, but he'll have to get past CSC's emerging fast man JJ Haedo (see interview) and fend off Predictor's Rockin' Robbie McEwen.

14:47 CEST    90km/115km to go
The day is warm with the sun beating down on the riders. We are getting reports that it is 24°C with a light wind of 10 km/h.

The escape is near Sassari and the first feedzone.

14:48 CEST   
"It will be a hard Giro here in on the island of Sardinia but it will be difficult for all of the riders," said Alessandro Petacchi (Milram). "It will be nervous.

"We have a good team and we will be at the front in the finale today."

14:51 CEST   
A reminder to our readers, it is Mother's Day. Tell you mom 'hello' and give her a big hug. Also here in Italy it is mother's day, or 'la festa della mamma.'

14:59 CEST   
There were 196 riders to start today. Canadian Michael Barry (T-Mobile) did not start the race. He was a late addition to the T-Mobile team, added in at the last minute to replace Honchar. (Read our pre-Giro interview with Barry.)

15:02 CEST   
Wearing the pink jersey is Gasparotto, or Giallo (his nickname), but Simone Masciarelli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo) is in the virtual lead right now. He finished sixth with his team in yesterday's team time trial at 1'02" behind Liquigas.

Masciarelli (from Le Marche) races on the team with two of his brothers, who are not here, and the team is managed by his dad.

15:04 CEST   
"Today we will defend the jersey," said Danilo Di Luca at the start. "Enrico and I talked this morning and everything is fine between us."

The rider from Abruzzo is second overall in the classification and is happy his teammate took the lead although it did not look that way when he finished the stage yesterday.

15:07 CEST    101km/104km to go
The leaders passed the feedzone in La Landrigga. The five have a lead right at five minutes. A reminder on our five escapees: Two Frenchmen Arnaud Labbe (Bouygues Telecom) and Frédéric Bessy (Cofidis), Italians Mauro Facci (Quickstep-Innergetic) and Simone Masciarelli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo) and Russian Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff Credit Systems).

15:13 CEST    107km/98km to go
"It is good nonetheless," said Paolo Savoldelli (Astana) regarding yesterday's team time trial. His team was just beaten by Liquigas, denying Il Falco of the Maglia Rosa.

"It will be a very hard Giro that will be decided on the climbs. ... I hope to arrive on the podium."

Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) is our leader for the young riders' classification. He wears the Maglia Bianca, which is making its return to the Giro. (Read related article.)

"Today we will want to be on the front and avoid any difficulties."

15:14 CEST   
The five are working well together; they are rotating in a clockwise motion. Brutt's long hair is blowing in the wind. The Russian lives and trains near Pisa.

15:19 CEST   
The five are approaching the races first GPM ('Gran Premio Della Montagna' or classified climb) in Villanova Monteleone. The peloton will not catch the five so whoever is over the GPM first will take the Maglia Verde of the best climber. It is a green jersey that is like the Polka Dot Jersey of the Tour de France ('Maillot Blanc à Pois Rouges').

15:22 CEST   
In this area there is spoken a dialect that is very similar to Catalan.

The escape is in Alghero, at kilometre 132. Arnaud Labbe (Bouygues Telecom), two-time French 'Cross Champ, took the sprint points in Alghero.

15:24 CEST    132km/73km to go
Liquigas leads the peloton. It has about three riders on the front with one rider there from Milram. Saunier Duval is right behind these four with its yellow armada.

15:31 CEST   
Stefan Wagner, T-Mobile press spokesman, confirmed that Barry had a fever last night. "Yes, he got fever during the night - probably a virus. He will go back to Spain now to have it checked."

15:35 CEST   
In the world of track, Chris Hoy will have another attempt at the world record for the kilometre at altitude today in Bolivia. Please check with Cyclingnews later in the day for an update on that.

"I am a little nervous with this first stage," said Bettini at the start. "I will need to understand my force and see what happens in this first week. The pink jersey is a bit out of my reach but we will see."

15:38 CEST    143km/62km to go
Gasparotto looks so cool in his all pink kit (including helmet). He sits in sixth position of the peloton. Right behind 'Giallo' is 'Litu,' Ángel Gómez Gómez (Saunier Duval-Prodir).

The peloton is following the twisty roads that lead to the GPM. We are at three and a half hours in to the stage.

15:40 CEST   
David Zabriskie (Team CSC) is at the back of the peloton pouring water over his helmet to cool down his body temperatures. The American has worn the Maglia Rosa and the Tour's Maillot Jaune. Another American and wearer of the Maillot Jaune, George Hincapie (Discovery Channel), is near the front in his stars-n-stripes jersey.

15:42 CEST   
We have reports that Volker Ordowski (Gerolsteiner) has dropped out of the race. He has been suffering from food poisoning since Thursday night.

15:47 CEST   
The peloton is now 3'20" behind the front five on the climb of Villanova Monteleone. Over to the right is the ocean but none of the riders are taking in the view, instead they are focusing on the wheels in front of them.

15:50 CEST   
The sprinters to watch in the finale today will be Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC), Alessandro Petacchi (Milram), Danilo Napolitano (Lampre-Fondital), Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole), Robert Förster (Gerolsteiner), Graeme Brown (Rabobank), Robbie McEwen (Predictor-Lotto) and Paolo Bettini (Quickstep-Innergetic). Enrico Gasparotto (Liquigas) also packs a mean sprint and with the Maglia Rosa he will be surely find extra strength.

15:52 CEST   
Paolo Bettini is back at the team car and getting new water bottles.

The five escapees are eyeing each other as the GPM approaches.

15:54 CEST   
Arnaud Labbe (Bouygues Telecom) has lost contact, leaving two Italians, one Russian and one Frenchman in the front.

16:01 CEST    152km/53km to go
The peloton is all lined-out here. The peloton is 3 minutes back with 53 kilometres to race.

16:06 CEST    153km/52km to go
The four are 1 km from the GPM.

16:08 CEST   
Brutt puts in an attack and looks likely to take the Giro's first GPM points and the Green Jersey.

He is successful. Mauro Facci (Quickstep-Innergetic) and then Frédéric Bessy (Cofidis) follow.

16:10 CEST   
Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole) has been dropped as the peloton continues to climb. A teammate has dropped back to help him out.

The gap to the leaders is at 2'40".

16:12 CEST   
The Giro di Sardegna used to be the season's opener during the good old days from 1958-83 with Eddy Merckx winning four times. It was reinstalled in the pro calendar briefly in 1996 and 97 but hasn't been held since.

Some years the first stage was on the main land with the rest on the island.

16:15 CEST   
Liquigas continues to set the tempo of the peloton. They are followed by Euskaltel; the orange Basque team is working for Koldo Fernández. The Basque won the final stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico this year and should not be counted out when a race comes down to a bunch gallop.

16:17 CEST   
Frédéric Bessy (Cofidis), Mauro Facci (Quickstep-Innergetic) and Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff Credit Systems) have dropped Simone Masciarelli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo).

This is the third time for the Giro to visit Sardinia. The last time it was here Sprinter Mario Cipollini won.

16:19 CEST    161km/44km to go
Aussie Adam Hansen (T-Mobile) has crashed. He is back up and gets going. Also involved were Oscar Gatto (Gerolsteiner) and Ian McLeod (Française Des Jeux).

16:23 CEST   
Simone Masciarelli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo) is really suffering here and will soon be back into the main peloton.

Antton Luengo (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is riding at the back of the peloton is is completely bandaged from yesterday's crash.

16:27 CEST    168km/37km to go
Euskaltel now has two of its men leading the peloton. The roads continue to twist but have flattened which should suit Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole).

And update on Adam Hansen (T-Mobile), he is flying through the team cars to get back on to the back of the peloton, which is approaching Montresta.

16:34 CEST   
The Italian, Russian and French trio is working well but it will be hard for it to keep the sprinters' teams at bay. They are now at 2'15" behind.

Brutt is doing huge pulls which should make Team Owner Oleg Tinkov very happy. He will want to measure his efforts because he could be taken advantage of in the finale.

The roads here in Sardinia are amazing. Many Italians come to this island for their August vacation and it would also be a great place to come with a bike and ride.

16:40 CEST    180km/25km to go
Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff Credit Systems) will be in the Maglia Verde tonight and perhaps he is inspired by this fact. He continues to lead the escape, which is at two minutes over the peloton.

Mauro Facci (Quickstep-Innergetic) has taken off his sunglasses and tucked them into his jersey.

In the peloton Laszlo Bodrogi (Crédit Agricole) is visible in his Hungarian national champ jersey, which is similar to the Italian version, green, white and red.

16:43 CEST   
Montresta was once a colony of Greek. One of the fans here in this area was just running along the side of the peloton and has fell and then rolled.

Hushovd is back off the peloton and it looks like he is having cramps in his left leg. He has a teammate with him but he does not look like a possible stage winner.

16:43 CEST   
At Montresta the gap is at 1'30".

16:45 CEST   
Facci has some problems with his chain. It skipped off the rings but he was able to fix it and he continues with Brutt and Bessy.

16:49 CEST   
Aketza Peña (Euskaltel-Euskadi) has crashed with others. He is waiting on the left-side of the road for attention to his bike.

16:49 CEST   
The Basque, pro since 2004, is rolling along again. He feel on his right back side and now his shorts are ripped and there is a lot of skin showing.

Adam Hansen (T-Mobile) could have been involved in that crash as he is back in the line of team cars and making his way to the peloton.

Hungarian Laszlo Bodrogi (Crédit Agricole) and American George Hincapie (Discovery Channel) are riding side by side in their respective national jerseys.

16:52 CEST    185km/20km to go
Russian Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff Credit Systems) attacks his escape companions. Mauro Facci (Quickstep-Innergetic) and Frédéric Bessy (Cofidis) are not responding. They are now fading fast.

16:55 CEST   
The road surface here is superb. Also at the finish, in Bosa, the road is very, very smooth.

25 year-old Brutt has won twice this year, including the Swiss one-day race, the GP Chiasso. However, it looks like a mission impossible for the long-haired rider.

17:01 CEST    191km/14km to go
The Russian from Saint Petersburg looks so smooth on his Colnago machine. His form is like that of Michele Bartoli, also known as 'Il Gatto.' Brutt's elbows are bent and his back is flat and aero.

On this slight descent into Bosa, he holds 18" over his former escape companions, Facci and Bessy, and 38" back to the peloton.

17:04 CEST   
Bosa sits at 205 metres and drops straight down to the ocean.

Today's sprint will feature a curve at 300 metres to the line. This could suit Australian McEwen.

Facci is caught and Bessy crashes.

17:04 CEST   
Leonardo Scarselli (Quickstep-Innergetic) and Emanuele Sella (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare) try an attack as Facci gets caught.

17:05 CEST   
Emanuele Sella (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare) is now on his own trying to catch Brutt but it looks like a dispirit move. That was Giovanni Visconti (Quickstep-Innergetic) with Sella and not Leonardo Scarselli (Quickstep-Innergetic).

17:06 CEST    198km/7km to go
Sella catches Brutt on a light climb. The small Italian moves to the front.

17:07 CEST   
Pablo Lastras (Caisse d'Epargne) counter-attacks as Sella and Brutt are caught. Both Lastras and Sella are former Giro stage winners.

17:09 CEST    199km/6km to go
Pablo Lastras (Caisse d'Epargne) is passing some hard corners here. Let's hope for no crashes!

The fans are out in large numbers here in Bosa (for the Corsa Rosa).

17:10 CEST    200km/5km to go
The Spaniard is hammering on this descent but is caught. It is now 'gruppo compatto' as the races passes the five kilometre banner.

17:12 CEST    201.5km/3.5km to go
Liquigas and Lampre are on the front of this group of ninety riders. There is a small group behind.

Milram is now moving up the front with five of its riders.

17:12 CEST   
Emanuele Sella (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare) and Evgeni Petrov (Tinkoff Credit Systems) try a small move but Milram has this peloton all lined-out. Robbie McEwen (Predictor-Lotto) sits on the wheel of Alessandro Petacchi (Milram).

17:14 CEST   
Australian Brett Lancaster (Milram) is on the front.

Bettini is on the wheel of McEwen.

17:14 CEST   
Gasparotto is way back.

There is a crash at -1300m.

17:14 CEST   
Mirco Lorenzetto (Milram) and then Alberto Ongarato (Milram) lead Petacchi.

17:15 CEST   
Ongarato leads at 300 metres.

17:15 CEST   
Petacchi and McEwen go head to head.

17:16 CEST   
Bettini is moving up on the two on the right at -50m but the Australian holds them off and wins stage 2.

17:17 CEST   
Andrea Tonti (Quickstep-Innergetic) is on the ground and does not look good. He was involved in the crash at 1300 metres out. Manuele Mori (Saunier Duval-Prodir) and Charles Wegelius (Liquigas) were also involved.

17:17 CEST   
The second big group comes in, led by Bodrogi.

17:19 CEST   
Ongarato led out of the last corner with Petacchi on his wheel. Once Ongarato pulled off McEwen started moving up with Bettini. The Aussie held off the World Champion with no problems.

17:25 CEST   
Danilo Di Luca has now moved into the overall lead. It is believed that Gasparotto was held up in that crash.

Thanks for joining Cyclingnews in our coverage of stage 2. Please stay tuned for a full report and results.

Provisional Results

1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Predictor-Lotto
2 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quickstep-Innergetic
3 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Milram
4 Assan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana
5 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare
General classification after stage 2
1 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas
2 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Liquigas
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas
4 Charles Wegelius (GBr) Liquigas
5 Andrea Noè (Ita) Liquigas

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