Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage six in the 42nd
Tirreno-Adriatico. The penultimate (and prolly decisive) effort in the 2007
"Race of the Two Seas" goes from San Benedetto del Tronto to San Giacomo Monti
della Laga, over 164 km. and with the mountain top finish at the end of an
ascent of a dozen kilometres in the Abruzzo region.
Germany's Stefan Schumacher of Gerolsteiner, winner of Sunday's
Civitanova Marche ITT, is the new leader of the race, with a three second
advantage on compatriot Andreas Kloeden, whom he beat by a mere second
yesterday, and Alex Vinokourov in third at 09".
Two-stage winner Riccardo Riccò had a very bad day in the saddle and lost
over two minutes (e.g. more than he expected to) and the yellow-red jersey,
but might give it a go at making the headlines again today, on a parcours that
certainly suits his mountain goat skills more than any flattish challenge
against the clock could ever do.
Stage 6 (S.Benedetto del Tronto to S.Giacomo Monti della
Laga, 164 km)
15:20 CET - We join the race in
progress, with eight guys in the "breakaway of the day": Oscar Freire,
Stephane Goubert, Matteo Bono, Enrico Gasparotto, Giovanni Visconti, Christian
Knees, Daniele Contrini, Vasil Kiriyenka attacked at km. 17, along with some more athletes who later got dropped. They built up a maximum advantage of seven minutes and two seconds by km. 89. In the meantime Tyler Hamilton (Tinkoff C.S.) dropped out of the race. Vasil Kiriyenka of
Belarus was first at Imposte KOM Prime (km. 127), with the peloton 5 minutes behind. And
now, at the foot of the final climb, the escapees can still enjoy a
three-minute lead on the pack, led by Vinokourov's Astana and Riccardo Riccó's Saunier
15:25 CET - The battle has broken out
both in the lead group and the bunch on the final climb to the line. Matteo
Bono of Lampre made a surprise move on the first slopes of the San Giacomo
ascent and went away on his own. More updates soon.
15:36 CET - Back to live updates after
we had some difficulties (our apologies for that): more riders (Kiriyenka,
Visconti, Goubert and Gasparotto) countered the move from Bono and joined him
up front, with Giovanni Visconti very active. Nine kilometres to go for the
five leaders, while the peloton also broke into pieces, with the top riders
overall in a first group that trails the escapees by slightly under three
15:40 CET -
Discovery's Vladimir Gusev attacked the chase group and gained a few hundred
metres on them. He's working for Janez Brajkovic though. In the meantime also
Oscar Freire rejoined the front group. But STEPHANE GOUBERT (Fra - AG2R)
attacks and puts a few seconds into the five other frontrunners. Taking in a
small downhill section, the French leads the bunch by 02'40" with 6k to go for
15:42 CET- Has Oscar Freire
secretly developed some climbing skills? The Spaniard distanced himself from
the other five chasers and got across to join Goubert. We've got two men in
the lead now, and neither figured among the main suspects to steal the show
15:44 CET - Vladimir Gusev is trailing
Freire and Virenque's former top domestique by 02'35", with the 40-man peloton
a further 10 secs back. Oh wait, Oscar attacks again! The Spaniards is alone
off the front now!
15:46 CET- Not for a long time
though; Gasparotto, Bono, Visconti and Kiriyenka, as well as Goubert, have
caught him. But Oscar tries to ride away one more time. Fruitlessly.
15:47 CET - Matteo Bono attacks the
break as the going gets back to his uphill ways. Back in the first chase group
of about 40 riders we can see two Sauniers setting the pace for Riccó.
No moves from any GC contenders yet. Gasparotto tries to follow Bono's move,
while Goubert is having a hard time staying with the others in the steepest
part of the ascent. And Freire has to give up the fight.
15:49 CET - 4k
to go: Bono in the lead, Gasparotto just behind him. Then Kiriyenka
and Visconti, with Goubert and Freire a little further behind.
15:50 CET - Riccardo Ricco' attacks the
group with 3.8 k to go. Michele Scarponi and Alex Vinokourov follow his move
(or just try to). Ricco broke the field apart. The situation is still very fluid
15:53 CET - Matteo Bono in the
lead, increasing his advantage. Gasparotto, Goubert and Kiriyenka are his three
closest chasers. But we've got another helluva trio behind: Riccó, Scarponi
and notably Vinokourov, who is blatantly going for the overall. Janez Brajkovic leads
the chase to such trio a dozen seconds behind them. Schumacher sits in fifth
wheel of the Brajkovic group. Kim Kirchen, another GC contender, attacks the
15:55 CET - Bono extended his advantage
over the nearest pursuers to over 30 seconds with about 1k from the line. His
first ever win with the big names is very close.
1557 CET - Freire bonked big
style and lost two minutes to Bono in just few kilometres. The Spaniard is caught by
Vinokourov, Scarponi and Riccó. Brajkovic, Schumacher, Kloeden and the others
caught Kirchen btw.
15:58 CET - MATTEO BONO WINS THE STAGE!
Gasparotto comes in second at 32" then Visconti at 44", Kiriyenka fourth,
Stephan Goubert in fifth. Riccardo Ricco' attacked again in the last few metres, but so did Kirchen, twelve seconds down on Schumi ij the GC. And so did
Kloeden too! Schumacher is having a hard time in the last kilometre.
16:02 CET - Schumacher bonked in the last
uphill portion and lost the yellow/red jersey. The GC lead turned into a
matter of two: Kirchen and Kloeden. In the end the Luxembourgian finished
01'37" behind stage winner Matteo Bono, and the German crossed the line a
further six seconds back. Enough for Kloeden to assume the race leadership,
with a three-second margin on Kirchen. Vinokourov follows at 12 seconds,
Stephan Schumacher was kicked down to fourth at 22", and the overall top five
is made complete by Janez Brajkovic, currently sitting in spot number five,
his gap to new race leader Andreas Kloeden being a good thirty secs.
16:03 CET - Many, many others have made it to the end in the meantime, amongst whom was also Paolo Bettini.
16:15 CET - Lampre's stage winner Matteo Bono didn't just say what one may expect from a guy who just opened his account in the professional cycling ranks "I still can't believe what I did". He also sounded like he really meant it! The young gun from the Brescia area of Lombardy added that "I struggled to get into the right breakaway early into the stage. But in the end I realized that my legs were still okay, so I gave it a try, and ... things just couldn't have gone better. Honestly, I thought that Freire was going to drop us all today, but when I noticed that his legs weren't that good any more, that he was struggling in the saddle, I made my move".
Stage 6 (San Benedetto to San Giacomo, 164 km): Top 10 Places
1. Matteo Bono (Ita - Lampre-Fondital) - 04h25'07"
2. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita - Liquigas) - at 32"
3. Giovanni Visconti (Ita - Quick Step) - at 41"
4. Vasil Kiriyenka (Blr - Tinkoff Credit Systems) - at 45"
5. Stephane Goubert (Fra - AG2R) - at 51"
6. Riccardo Riccó (Ita - Saunier Duval-Prodir) - at 01'32"
7. Kim Kirchen (Lux - T-Mobile) - at 01'37"
8. Michele Scarponi (Ita - Acqua & Sapone-C.Mokambo) - at 01'39"
9. Andreas Kloden (Ger - Astana) - at 01'43"
10. Janez Brajkovic (Slo - Discovery Channel) - at 01'49"
42nd Tirreno-Adriatico: GC after Stage 6 - Top 10 Places
1. Andreas Kloden (Ger - Astana) - 23h52'44"
2. Kim Kirchen (Lux - T-Mobile) - at 03"
3. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz - Astana) - at 12"
4. Stefan Schumacher (Ger - Gerolsteiner) - at 22"
5. Janez Brajkovic (Slo - Discovery Channel) - at 30"
6. Jens Voigt (Ger - Team CSC) - at 33"
7. Vasil Kiriyenka (Blr - Tinkoff Credit Systems) - at 54"
8. Evgeni Petrov (Rus - Tinkoff Credit Systems) - at 58"
9. Michele Scarponi (Ita - Acqua & Sapone-C.Mokambo) - at 59"
10. Michael Boogerd (Hol - Rabobank) - at 01'11"
Complete Stage Results (pdf file)
Full GC after Stage 6 (pdf file)
Points: Standings after Stage 6 (pdf file)
Mountains: Standings after Stage 6 (pdf file)
Teams: GC after Stage 6 (pdf file)