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90th Giro d'Italia - GT

Italy, May 12-June 3, 2007

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Stage 9 - Monday, May 21: Reggio nell'Emilia - Lido Di Camaiore, 177 km

Complete live report

Live commentary by Gregor Brown

Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 18:00 CEST

14:27 CEST   
Hello and ciao! Welcome to Cyclingnews' coverage of the 90th Giro d'Italia. Today the is the ninth day of the 2007 Corsa Rosa.

14:34 CEST   
Today, Monday, the race started in the capital of Reggio Emilia province, Reggio nell'Emilia. It then heads west, up and over the Apennines, then south along the flat sea coast of the Tuscan Riviera to finish in the resort town of Lido di Camaiore, where Petacchi will be seeking another win to go along with his first place from 2004.

14:39 CEST   
181 riders departed today at 12.55.

After one hour of racing, Andrea Pagoto (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare) took the city sprint in Casina (km 24). The average speed for the first hour of racing was 26.5km/h.

A reminder, Marco Pinotti is in the Maglia Rosa.

14:42 CEST    42km/135km to go
The pace continues to be 'tranquilla'. We have just seen the riders pass the Castelnovo ne' Monti (km 40.3) city sprint, where Frédéric Bessy (Cofidis) took the sprint.

Maglia Ciclamino
Photo ©: Gregor Brown
(Click for larger image)

14:46 CEST   
These sprints don't count for the Maglia Ciclamino but are simply town sprints. The local comune puts up money for these sprints.

The Maglia Ciclamino derives its name from the Cyclamen flower, which has a purple colour. Similar to the Tour de France green jersey, the Maglia Ciclamino is the domain of the sprinters, and is determined by points earned on the finishing line of each day's stage. The rider with the most consistent finishes throughout the race is awarded with the final purple jersey.

The classification is determined by stage finishes which are scored 25 for first, 20 for second, and then 18, 14, 12, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. The points for the T.V. Garibaldi sprints also factor into this competition down to six places at 8 points for first, 6, 4, 3, 2, and 1 for second through sixth.

The maglia ciclamino doesn't always go to the pure sprinters, however, and because the points are the same for mountain top finishes and flat stages alike, the parcours can determine who takes the final prize home.

Read Cyclingnews' article Giro d'Italia classifications demystified

14:55 CEST    50km/127km to go
Alessandro Petacchi is hot-favourite today but we should also look out for Paolo Bettini, as the race finishes closer to his home and in HIS region of Tuscany. Ale-Jet lives just across the region border, in Liguria.

The race will turn right at five kilometres to go where it is a dead-flat run-in along the shores of Camaiore. There are two semi-curves at 500 and 300 metres to go. The first bends to the left and the second to the right, for the finish on Viale Sergio Bernardini.

We are 50 kilometres into affairs and the race is still 'gruppo compatto.'

15:01 CEST    54km/123km to go
The average after two hours of racing is 27 km/h.

Rabid Riccardo Riccò
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

15:08 CEST   
Yesterday was a hot day for Saunier Duval. Its up-and-coming boy wonder, Riccardo Riccò was forced out of the winning escape. "Finally, I was in an escape, they were not working well. It was constant attacking and counter-attacking. However, when I dropped back everything went with love and harmony."

His DS, Algeri was not so happy. "Riccardo is young," commented he commented. "He found himself in his first complicated situation. As a matter of fact, a situation that overpowered him. Also, he found himself outside of radio contact [with the team car].

"The first thing I had said was to stay there and not pull. Anyhow, he made a mistake because before he let go he should have sought my advice, instead, he made the decision on his own."

Read more from Cyclingnews' Latest Edition news.

15:11 CEST    61km/116km to go
The only climb of the day, the Passo del Cerreto, tops out at kilometre 71.7. The riders are about ten kilometres away from the top.

Expect to see an escape go in the next few kilometres.

15:22 CEST   
Kurt-Asle Arvesen won in 2003 and 2007 on the exact same day, May 20. Only three Norwegians have won stages in the Giro, and none of them settled for just one. Knut Knudsen, who was a pursuiter and the first real professional cyclist in a country famous for its skiers, won stages in 1975 and 1977 and a prologue plus two stages in 1981. Dag-Erik Pedersen, a pure climber, won mountainous stages in 1984 and 1986. That was all before Dag-Otto Lauritzen brought to Norway their first win in the Tour de France (Luz-Ardiden, 1987).

15:23 CEST    69km/108km to go
The riders are slowly making their way up this pass.

15:24 CEST   
Stefano Zanini (Predictor-Lotto) was just involved in a small crash. He is up and going again.

15:26 CEST   
It looked like some Bouygues Telecom rider was taking a 'break' on the side of the road, and this caused the tumble of Stefano Zanini (Predictor-Lotto).

15:26 CEST   
There is an attack!

15:27 CEST   
Wait, that seemed to be the TV motorbike.

The riders are riding at 6-across on the front of the gruppo.

15:29 CEST   
Here is an update on the riders who are no longer with us on this Giro. Maybe some of them are along he beach here in Camaiore.

DNS Stage 1: Carlos Da Cruz (Française Des Jeux)
DNS Stage 2: Michael Barry (T-Mobile)
DNS Stage 3: Adam Hansen (T-Mobile)
DNS Stage 3: Andrea Tonti (Quickstep-Innergetic)
DNF Stage 3: Volker Ordowski (Gerolsteiner)
DNF Stage 3: Graeme Brown (Rabobank)
DNF Stage 4: Ian McLeod (Française Des Jeux)
DNS Stage 5: Joan Horrach (Caisse d'Epargne)
DNS Stage 6: Thomas Ziegler (T-Mobile)
DNS Stage 6: Patrice Halgand (Crédit Agricole)
DNF Stage 6: Leon Van Bon (Rabobank)
DNF Stage 7: Timothy Gudsell (Française Des Jeux)
DNS Stage 8: Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom)
DNF Stage 8: Cyrille Monnerais (Française Des Jeux)

15:31 CEST   
Luis Felipe Laverde (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare) leads the mountains competition by three points over Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas), 18 over his 15. We expect to see the Colombian dart out of the group for the points at the top of this pass.

Laverde in the 'verde'
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

15:33 CEST   
Maglia Verde (Climber's Jersey)

Unlike the Tour de France, the climber's jersey in the Tour of Italy doesn't have any of those gaudy polka dots. Instead, it's a subdued green, like the verdant hills of Tuscany or the forested Dolomiti. The climber's jersey is determined by points accumulated at the top of each classified climb along the route.

Bigger mountains earn a rider more points, and the rider having the most accumulated points is awarded the jersey at the end of each stage. Category 3 climbs have three places (3, 2, 1), category 2 also have three (5, 3, 1), category 1 have five scoring places (10, 6, 4, 2, 1) and finally the highest point in the Giro (this year the Colle dell'Agnello) has six places (20, 15, 12, 10, 6, 4 and 2 points).

Similar to the Tour de France climber's jersey, the maglia verde favours the rider who isn't afraid to go on a suicidal breakaway on the most torturous stages of the race. Diminutive rides from South and Central America have dominated in recent years, with Venezuela's José Rujano taking home the green jersey in 2005, Fredy González (Columbia) winning the mountains classification in both 2003 and 2001, and Julio Pérez carrying his snaggle-toothed grimace to the top of the competition in 2002.

Read Cyclingnews' article Giro d'Italia classifications demystified.

15:35 CEST    70km/107km to go
We are passing the Pagoto fan club. His 'tifosi' are going mad on the side of the road.

15:36 CEST   
Elio Aggiano (Tinkoff Credit Systems) takes off. He is followed by Laverde. Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff Credit Systems) is chasing too.

15:36 CEST   
Sella is there to help out Laverde. Pietro Caucchioli (Crédit Agricole) is joining in on the action at -500m to the summit.

15:37 CEST   
Andrei Kunitski (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo) is there too but he has some chain problems and has to chase back on.

15:38 CEST    71.7km/105.3km to go
It is Laverde followed by Sella over the top. Pietro Caucchioli (Crédit Agricole) takes third.

15:43 CEST   
Mario Cipollini is here at the finish.

Cunego's wife and daughter are also here but, unlike Mario, they are on the beach.

15:46 CEST    78km/99km to go
Nicolas Crosbie (Bouygues Telecom), Frédéric Bessy (Cofidis), Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff Credit Systems), Andrei Kunitski (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo), Simone Masciarelli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo) have formed an escape on the decent.

But Brutt sis up and waits.

15:51 CEST   
Nicolas Crosbie (Bouygues Telecom), Frédéric Bessy (Cofidis), Andrei Kunitski (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo) and Simone Masciarelli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo) are leading with 40"

15:52 CEST    83km/94km to go
Crosbie just overshot a corner and ended up in a driveway. The Frenchman is chasing to re-join. The group has 54".

15:53 CEST   
T-Mobile leads the chase with Pinotti in fourth position.

15:55 CEST    87km/90km to go
The four now have the magic one minute.

16:03 CEST    96km/81km to go
Regarding yesterday escape: "It was a very interesting escape but with Riccò it would not work," said Paolo Bettini (Quickstep-Innergetic) from the team bus of Saunier Duval this morning.

"Like I said yesterday, no one said anything to me but it was the actions. I am young and maybe I made some mistakes," Riccò added, sitting next to the World Champion.

"Maybe he made a mistake of inexperience," continued Bettini. It was a light atmosphere. "May I have a caffè corretto with Grappa!?" Bettini joked. Gilberto Simoni gives Bettini a chocolate treat and the caffè, un-corrected, arrives.

16:05 CEST   
The water and soap team have an advantage with Kunitski and Masciarelli. Those two are up against two Frenchmen.

Merckx is leading the peloton in the 'chase.' It will let the four have some space and then allow the sprinters' teams take over.

The gap is now 1'50".

16:11 CEST    103km/74km to go
"It is interesting," said Cipollini of the Riccò affair. "I think is a young rider that needs to grow up a little and gain some more experience.

"A hard rider would not have left."

Regarding today... "Who will win today? Alessandro Petacchi should do well, he knows the roads well. I also like Napolitano for today."

16:15 CEST    103km/74km to go
The four are rotating in a counter-clockwise motion. They now have over 2'48" over the T-Mobile-led peloton.

16:18 CEST   
22 year-old Kunitski has yet to score a win in his career. This is his first year as a pro, last year he rode as a stagiaire for Acqua e Sapone.

Milram is lending a hand in the chase.

16:22 CEST    108km/69km to go
We are entering the feed-zone of Aulla. The race crossed some nasty train tracks and our leading four almost lost it in the left-hander that followed.

16:25 CEST   
Lunch time! The riders are grabbing their feed-bags. The gap is just under three minutes.

Frankly speaking, this escape faces a zero percent chance of survival. Milram is hungry and its sprinter, Super Ale-Jet, is anxious to fly along the coast of Mar Tirreno.

16:32 CEST    115km/62km to go
The best young rider, Alexandr Arekeev (Rus) Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo, is having his lunch. Let's hope he does not get any of the spaghetti sauce on his white Maglia Bianca.

The front four are in S. Stefano Magra.

Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

16:37 CEST    116km/61km to go
27 year-old Masciarelli has one win, the mountains competition of the 2004 Méditerranéen Tour.

We are very near where Petacchi was born.

16:38 CEST   
Milram and Lampre are at the front of the chase. The gap is down to 2'02".

16:39 CEST   
Iban Velasco Murillo (Euskaltel-Euskadi) has it the deck as the peloton makes its way around a round-about. He is making his way back to the gruppo.

16:48 CEST   
Two-six-two. We currently have two Milrams, followed by six T-Mobiles (Pinotti last) and then two more Milrams.

Ag2r Prévoyance is putting its boys in the mix for the sake of Alexandre Usov.

16:50 CEST    132km/45km to go
The gap is down to two minutes with 50 kilometres to go.

The four bikes up front are two De Rosas and two Times. Cofidis and Bouygues Telecom both use French-made Time.

16:52 CEST   
Lancaster and Petacchi are talking (in Italian). He leads-out Ongarato, who leads out Petacchi.

16:54 CEST   
The race is going though Marina di Montignoso, which is the home to many of the Tinkoff Russians.

16:58 CEST   
It is a lovely day here in Italy. It is 26°C and there are many people on the beach (or 'lido').

The riders are four hours into the race. The gap is 2'05".

17:01 CEST   
If the riders look off to their left they will see the Cave di marmo. The Alpi Apuane mountains appear to be covered in snow but this is white marble. The same marble that Michelangelo so famously used.

The gap is now 1'42".

17:04 CEST    142km/35km to go
The Garibaldi sprint is approaching.

17:06 CEST   
Nicolas Crosbie (Bouygues Telecom) gets the sprint over Frédéric Bessy (Cofidis) and Andrei Kunitski (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo).

17:07 CEST   
Ivan Parra (Cofidis) stops for a bike change. Remember him? He won two stages two years ago.

17:14 CEST   
Milram is putting the hammer down.

17:16 CEST   
The gap is holding at 1'55".

17:19 CEST   
No, that is not the Italian champion, that is the Hungarian Champion Laszlo Bodrogi (Crédit Agricole). He is moving up for teammate Thor Hushovd. Next to the big Norwegian is the Small Aussie, Robbie McEwen (Predictor-Lotto).

Hushovd's last win was a grand one, on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

17:22 CEST    153km/24km to go
Milram hold the gap at 1'47". The Italian team is playing this sprint very smart. If it pulls back the escape too soon it risks too many counter-attacks.

Look to see the four nailed in the final six kilometres, before the right-hander on to the final straight of 5000 metres.

17:25 CEST   
T-Mobile is at the front with Milram but it will soon be washed away by the muscle of the sprint teams.

17:26 CEST    157km/20km to go
The four are in the town of Pietrasanta with 1'22".

17:33 CEST   
Why is the average so slow today? Yesterday was too fast! The riders are taking a bit of a rest day. :)

17:34 CEST    162km/15km to go
Ivan Rovny (Tinkoff Credit Systems) jams the accelerator. To make up for no Tinkoff in the escape, the first time of this Giro, the race's youngest rider has gone on the attack. He is joined by Mikhail Ignatiev.

17:36 CEST   
The Tinkoff duo knows the roads well, they live near by. But so does Ale-Jet. There are now about six Milrams on the front leading this bunch at 61km/h.

17:39 CEST    167km/10km to go
This is an impressive effort by the Tinkoff duo.

Acqua e Sapone is moving up to help Milram.

17:42 CEST    168km/9km to go
Mikhail Ignatiev and Ivan Rovny (Tinkoff Credit Systems) are caught. The front four only have 30".

17:42 CEST   
There is a bit of slowing in the 'gruppo.'

17:44 CEST   
Julian Dean (Crédit Agricole) is moving up. Thor Hushovd is going to give Petacchi a hard challenge today.

17:45 CEST   
'Gruppo compatto' after almost 100 km of freedom for the front four.

17:46 CEST    171.2km/5.8km to go
There is one Milram on the front, followed by three Acqua boys for Bernucci.

17:46 CEST   
We are now in Viareggio.

17:47 CEST   
The gruppo is really strung out under the power of the sprinters' lead-out men. Alessandro Cortinovis (Milram) is on the front. They make the right-hander to start the final 5000 metres.

17:47 CEST   
There are two semi-curves at 500 and 300 metres to go. The first bends to the left and the second to the right, for the finish on Viale Sergio Bernardini.

17:47 CEST   
Garzelli is on the front for Gabriele Balducci.

17:48 CEST    173.2km/3.8km to go
Bettini is up in the mix; he is next to Napolitano.

17:48 CEST   
José Joaquín Rojas (Caisse d'Epargne) is there, so is Alexandre Usov (Ag2r Prévoyance).

17:49 CEST   
Three Milram milk men are on the front.

17:49 CEST    174.2km/2.8km to go
Here we go... Brace yourself.

Napolitano is on Jet's wheel. Look out for him.

17:50 CEST   
Gatto is moving up for Robert Förster (Gerolsteiner).

17:50 CEST   

17:50 CEST   
Bettini is fifth wheel.

17:50 CEST   
Milram re-take the lead.

17:50 CEST   
Lancaster and then Ongarato for Jet.

17:51 CEST   
Followed by Napolitano and then Bettini.

17:51 CEST    176km/1km to go
A Tinkoff man moves to the front. It is Commesso!

17:51 CEST   
Dean is on the front with -800

17:52 CEST   
CA has the lead in the sprint. Petacchi in fourth.

17:52 CEST   
-300... Petacchi goes.

17:52 CEST   
There is a crash on the left!

Napolitano takes it!

17:53 CEST   
Yohann Gène (Bouygues Telecom) is on the floor.

18:00 CEST   
Dean departed at 800 metres to go with with teammates Angelo Furlan and Hushovd on his wheel. At that time Napolitano was in about fifth position. The riders made the left curve at 500 metres, where Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) moved up to third spot.

Petacchi was marked by McEwen and then Napolitano. Petacchi departed early with McEwen coming on his left, and Napolitano further left. It was an impressive sprint by the Lampre rider. He nailed his first Giro win.

18:11 CEST   
Thanks for joining Cyclingnews in our coverage of stage nine. Please join us tomorrow for another big day. We could see the GC changed with the race's second mountain-top finish.

Provisional Results

1 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
2 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Predictor-Lotto
3 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Milram
4 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quickstep-Innergetic
5 Koldo Fernández (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
6 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole
General classification after stage 9
1 Marco Pinotti (Ita) T-Mobile
2 Andrea Noè (Ita) Liquigas

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