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61st Tour de Romandie - Stage 3 Live
By Staff
Date: 5/4/2007
61st Tour de Romandie - Stage 3 Live

61st Tour de Romandie - Stage 3 Live
The mountain man festival starts today on the road to Chamey en Gruyere....

Welcome to the live ticker of the stage 3 tour of Romandie. The riders have to 1,690 meters of climbing with 3 climbs, one cat 2. and two cat 3 in the second half of the 163 kilometer stage. The final climb of the day has it's KOM at about 3 km before the finish where it levels off to the finish. By the end of the day we should have the final selection of the race leaders that will determine the winner in Lucerne on Sunday.

Etape 3 - Moudon - Charmey 163 km
1,690 meters climbing Profile

We join the race with 70 kilometers to go and three riders up the road. According to the tour radio, Enrico Gasparotto of Liquigas did not start today. We have three leaders; Fumiyuki Beppu, Matteo Bono and Marco Pinotti The gap is 17.00 with 70 km to go Beppu is from Discovery, Bono from Lampre and Pinotti from T-Mobile.

15:51 CET - Saunier Duval is working in the bunch together with some other teams like Astana the max gap of the three was over the 19 minutes before the chase was started in earnest today. Rubiera and Duque have also left the race. Borut Bozic has also abandoned the race.

68 km to go and chase is closing the gap to 16:18 now. Talking about the three leaders. Beppu is the present champion of Japan, Marco Pinotti was Italian TT champion in 2005 and Bono won the 6th stage in the Tirreno Adriatico this year. Pinotti is the best ranked rider in the general classification. He is 98th at 4.01 of leader Savoldelli.

15: 58 CET - Saunier, Liquigas, Cofidis and Gerolsteiner are working well together in the bunch, the gap continues to come down to the trio of escapees and is now 16.10

Pinotti announced this morning that he would try to be in a break and he succeed in that. Chapeau for him. They are now on the climb of the second Catégorie du Gibloux. Pinotti is leading the pace on that climb followed by Bono and Beppu. The gap is now down to 15.12

16:09 CET - 1km to the KOM and the gap is 14:45. Pinotti takes the max KOM points ahead of Bono and Beppu. The trio is into the descent and flying now trying to stabilize there gap on the bunch. In the peloton  Leonardo Piepoli is one of the Sauniers leading the chase.

Wielinga (Saunier Duval) dropped out of the bunch while his team mate Piepoli is leading the bunch.
Ah no it's Rinero not Piepoli who is leading the pace in the bunch.

The 3 leaders are still working well together, they are still on the long the descent after the climb.

16:25 CET - With 50 km to go to the finish line the gap of the 3 went slightly down to 13.10. Still a healthy gap so it's still possible that the stage win is for one of the three riders in front. The trio have two cat three climbs with the major difficulties past and both Pinotti and Bono are strong climbers. Meanwhile back at the peloton the former team mates of Pinotti of Saunier Duval lead the chase of the magenta clad rider and his companions.

43 km to go, The peloton has to chase on the next climbs if they want to chase this break down the 3 leaders will not loose that much time normally, in fact the three in front have maintained their advantage at 13 minutes. The trio is about six kms from starting the penultimate cat 3 climb of the stage.

40 km to go, Liquigas (Albasini) and Euskaltel (Landaluze) are leading the bunch. Pinotti, Bono and Beppo escaped 3 km from the start so they've been in the wind for 118 kms; the gap is 12:30 as the effort begins to weigh on their legs.

It looks like Astana approves of the break leaving it up to the other teams to chase, maybe it has something to do with the fact that Savoldelli and Pinotti are both from the region of Bergamo. And that they are really good friends. Either way it is a wise move for Astana to let the other teams tire themselves and save Savoldelli and company for the final climb where the attacks will be made. It's not going that fast in the bunch as the same riders are active in the chase for the last 20 km.

16:45 CET - 35 km to go and the gap is still 11.53, the 200 meter climb of  the cat 3 Trevaux looms ahead in the next 8 kms.

Pinotti, Bono and Beppo don't appear to have weakened at the moment as they continue to work well together. The gap goes down to another minute to 11. with 32 kms to go.

30 km to go - the gap 10.50... Pinotti with 4 minutes separating him from the race lead has upped the stakes for the leaders they will have to take 7 minutes back from our virtual leader on the road by the finish. Of course we have to expect the major fireworks to happen on the final climb 4 km climb to the finish.

17:00 CET - Pinotti seems to be the motor of the 3 leaders, in less than 3 km they begin to climb again on the Trevaux. 25 km to go and the gap still hovers at over ten minutes. Through the last intermediate sprint and Pinotti takes the max boni seconds there, then  Bono and Beppu

Astana has joined the chase and put a few riders on the front of the bunch as well with Morabito. The escapees start the climb of the Trevaux the first of the two cat three climbs on the agenda today. Lets see if the trio can stay together over the summit with a good enough gap for victory.

17:09 CET - The gap is down to 9.36 but the 3 in front are still working well together. All three riders are in great shape. Bono won a stage in Tirreno, Pinotti was 4th in the GP Pino Cerami and is a good time-trialist, and  Beppu as well.

1 km to the KOM now, Pinotti attacks! Beppu and Bono can't follow.

20 km to go, Pinotti is on top of the Trevaux he collects the KOM points and now attacks the  descent. Pinotti is still going strong and it's all descent until the final 4 km climb of the day...18 km to go and still 9.00 on the bunch now led by Astana. Bono and Beppu struggle on the climb.

13 km to go, T-Mobile's magenta rider Marco Pinotti in front, still riding strong. Lampre/Fondital's Matteo Bono and Discovery Channel's Fumiyuki Beppu are riding for 2nd place. Bunch is on top of the Trevaux now at 8.20 from Pinotti. Pinotti looks to be capable of staying away for the win. If he can maintain a 4:10 gap he may be in the yellow jersey by the end of the stage.

17:21 CET - 10 km to go, Beppu and Bono follow Pinotti at 12 seconds.

7km to go and Pinotti leads with a 7:50 He could pull it off today! Now on the final climb of the day, Beppu and Bono at ten seconds with 6 km to go. Rain starts pelting the riders...

The gap remains 10 seconds, as the former two time Italian time trial champion fights through the rain for the summit. 4 km to go, about 2 km to the KOM and the bunch is at 7:14!

Bono and Beppu back with Pinotti, three leaders again and 1 km to the KOM. Beppu attacks but Pinotti and Bono bring him back. Pinotti and Bono are having a quick chat but it seems they are not agreed with each other.

3 km to go, The the gap of the 3 is down to 7.00 minutes to the peloton. Pinotti takes the max KOM points ahead of Bono and Beppu.

2 km to go, as the road flattens out to the finish line. Behind them Astana is in full chase mode and the gap on the bunch down to 6.30

Final kilometer... the pace in front is gone, the three leaders watching each other now

500 mt to go... 200 mt to go as the three wait for the others to start the sprint. Pinotti starts the sprint but Matteo Bono is strongest passing Beppu and Pinotti for second and third.

1. Matteo Bono (Lampre/Fondital)
2  Fumiyuki Beppu (Discovery Channel)
3. Marco Pinotti (T-Mobile)

Final km for the bunch, as Pinotti watches the clock for the final result. The bunch comes in at about 3.50 it seems Paolo Savoldelli remains in the lead with 1 or 2 seconds on Pinotti.

Moreau won the sprint of the bunch for 4th with Thomas Dekker 5th. Savoldelli remains in the lead. Pinotti now 2nd at 4 seconds and Kreuziger 3rd. If Pinotti can manage the gap on tomorrows climbing stage he may have a shot at overall victory in with the final time trial in Lucerne.

Thanks for joining us for the live report. Complete results and photos to come.

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