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
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
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
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
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
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)