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42nd Tirreno-Adriatico. Stage 7 Updated
 
By Fabio
Date: 3/20/2007
42nd Tirreno-Adriatico. Stage 7 Updated
 

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the seventh and final stage in the 2007 Tirreno-Adriatico. Keeping an "ancient" tradition, the last stage finishes into the Adriatic seaside town of San Benedetto del Tronto, in the Marche region of central Italy. The start town is Civitella del Tronto instead, and the distance to be covered today is a good 177 km.


Andreas Kloden and Kim Kirchen  Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

The stage got underway with Andreas Kloeden (Ger - Astana) in the lead, and Luxembourg's Kim Kirchen trailing by a mere two seconds. Even if today's parcours is good for the sprinters, and not for anyone wishing to take time out of the current GC leader, the bonus seconds awarded at the mid-stage sprints might put Kloeden's eventual overall win in jeopardy. His Kazakh team-mate Alexander Vinokorouv, a dozen seconds down on GC, could unlikely have anything to say on the overall side of the matter. But still his presence on the podium at San Banedetto would seal an excellent performance from him. The "Race of the Two Seas" was also an exhibition of young talent this year, with Riccardo Riccó, Alexander Arekeev and Matteo Bono stealing the show through their stage victories and (in Riccó's and Arekeev's case) days in the yellow/red jersey of the overall leader.

1517 CET We join the stage in progress with about 30k or so to go, and with six riders on a breakaway: France's Franck Renier (Bouygues) as well as the Italians Roberto Petito (Liquigas), Christian Moreni (Cofidis), Daniele Contrini (Tinkoff), Giuseppe Muraglia (Panaria)and ... Riccardo Riccó (Saunier Duval)!! They attacked not much after the Hot Spot Sprint, and are currently leading the bunch, led by the Lampres as well as Petacchi's Milrams (Alejet won the last three sprints held at San Benedetto, by the way ...) by some 24 seconds.


Andreas Kloden in the leaders jersey  
Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

1518 CET Earlier into the stage, it was Andreas Kloeden and not Kim Kirchen that took some time bonuses at mid-stage sprints: the German earned one more second and extended his lead over his closest challenger to four seconds. René Hasselbacher of Gerolsteiner won the sprint ahead of Markov and the same Kloeden. And such thing means that, barring a catastrophe, Andreas Kloeden is the winner of the 42nd Tirreno-Adriatico; he just needs to cross the finishing line in order to get the crown ...

1522 CET New gap update: the six leaders slightly extended their advantage over the field to thirty seconds with about 20 km to go. Cyclamen-jersey wearer and race revelation Riccardo Riccó is driving the front group.

1530 CET The peloton made small gains on Renier, Petito, Moreni, Contrini, Muraglia and super Riccó in the last thousand metres, and cut the gap down to 24 seconds. The six leaders keep working well with each other. 18 km left. Lampre and Astana take turns on the front of the chase machine. Yesterday's stage winner Matteo Bono is putting his legs at his teammates service today.

1535 CET The reason behind Riccó's presence in the front group in today's NOT hilly stage was his quest for the cyclamen jersey: his main rival in the points competition, Tinkoff's Daniele Contrini, got himself into the "breakaway of the day", and the Saunier Duval fighter from Modena just couldn't help but following his move. And now that they are away, why not having a shot a making it to the line? Contrini was winner in the last sprint of the day, but Riccó took second and will consequently keep the maglia ciclamino all the way to the eventual podium at San Benedetto!

1540 CET Four teammates of Lampre's appointed fastman Danilo Napolitano keep leading the chase under the cloudy skies of San Benedetto del Tronto and surroundings. Astana's current work is all about keeping Kloeden in the front places to avoid any risks instead.

1543 CET The field brought the gap down to twelve seconds as the last lap of the final circuit is just about to start. The chasers can see the escapees as they hit the final straight for the penultimate time. And the last lap bell is ringing ...

... and some reckless guy on his MTB moved across the road on the final straight, in between the escapees and the coming peloton. Thankfully his legs proved fast enough in taking him from one side of the road to the other side, and the peloton didn't find such man on their way.

1547 CET The peloton just caught the six fugitives. It's gruppo compatto with about 10k left! And with Robbie McEwen currently sitting inside the pack. Watch out for the Aussie in the upcoming sprint. And don't write off mister Thor Hushovd either ... AG2R also rushed to the front to help keeping the pace high in the last kilometres.

1549 CET A Discovery guy mistook a turn and had a hard time staying in the saddle, but thankfully he didn't fall. We think we have had enough of riders hitting the tarmac in this race ...

1551 CET AG2R's Elmiger and Usov took a few meters out of the bunch with 2 km to go. But the Milram chase machine is about to bring them back. Their final work just got started.

1552 CET Two Milrams leading, with one Liquigas in between. But it's Julian Dean that moved first! His move cannot go far anyway.

1553 CET Okay, so here's the bunch sprint. An unusual one. At least because of the name of the winner ... that is ...

KOLDO FERNANDEZ of EUSKALTEL EUSKADI


Koldo Gil Vittoria!   Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

The Basque beat Stuart O'Grady (Aus)
Italy's Gabriele Balducci was third.
Maxiimilian Richeze of Argentina took fourth
Another Aussie, Allan Davis, was fifth
and Danilo Napolitano finished in sixth place.
Robbie McEwen didn't get higher than seventh
and Thor Hushovd took spot number ten.

Koldo Fernández was good at following O'Grady's wheel in the final straight first, just to get past the Australian in the last few metres and ... take his first ever victory in the pro ranks!!. A perfect and logical way to seal a race dominated by young guns and "first-time winners" on the line honors side of the matter.

And Petacchi? No news from him yet. Sure he wasn't in the first 30 places, even though his Milram teammates did their usual leadout work, perhaps as they didn't realize AleJet wasn't there. Was the man involved in some pile-up in the last kilometres (one tooke place with 2k to go) or what? We'll tell you more as soon as we get some more news.

ANDREAS KLOEDEN (GER - ASTANA) is the winner of the 42nd Tirreno-Adriatico


The Podium: Kim Kirchen, Andreas Kloden and Alex Vinokourov  
Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

Kim Kirchen took second place, and Alex Vinokourov filled the remaining top three spot.

1559 CET The "mistero Petacchi" has been (partially) solved. Alejet DID cross the line ... only at the bottom of the pack. The man wasn't directly caught in the above mentioned pile-up, but such accident forced him to slow the pace, and notably lose contact to the front runners. That's the reason why he couldn't contest the sprint.

With Koldo Fernández as last stage winner ahead of Stuey and Italy's Balducci, and Andreas Kloeden as GC winner of the race ahead of Kim Kirchen and Vinokourov, dual stage winner Riccardo Riccó atop the points ranking and Salvatore Commesso on the podium both as King of the Mountains and member of best team Tinkoff, we can put an end to the current ticker. Links to detailed results and final standings of each classification, as well as our coverage of the past stages, are available down in the page.

See you soon with the upcoming Milano-Sanremo!

Complete Stage Results (pdf file)
42nd Tirreno-Adriatico: Final GC (pdf file)
Points: Final Standings (pdf file)
Mountains: Final Standings (pdf file)
Teams: Final GC (pdf file)

42nd Tirreno-Adriatico: Preview
42nd Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 1
42nd Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 2
42nd Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 3
42nd Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 4
42nd Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 5
42nd Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 6

 

 
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