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90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 1 Live
By Staff
Date: 5/12/2007
90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 1 Live

90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 1 Live
The Giro rolls out for the first test in Caprera

Cronometro a Squadre

Welcome to our live coverage of the first stage of the The 90th edition of the Giro d'Italia. The first Grand Tour of the season is set to kick off with a prologue against the clock - a Team Time Trial of 24 kms. on the tiny island of Caprera, off the northern coast of Italy's - and the Mediterranean's - second largest island Sardinia, which welcomes the race for the third time. The course is a twisting and rolling contest.
Stage map and Profile

Predictor-Lotto is off, for there TTT. Predictor won the TTT in the Settimana Coppi & Bartali this year so they might be one of the contenders for today.

The Spanish squad of Euskatel is ready to leave. 5 minutes after they start the Danish power team of CSC will start. So Euskaltel has too look out not to be swallowed by them

 We will see some big time differences already after today's stage. La Francaise des Jeux will start with 8 riders. Carlos Da Cruz their 9th rider will not start, the reason isn't clear yet. CSC the big favorite of today is ready to start. With Cancellara, Zabriskie, Blaudzun, Gustov, Breschel, Arvesen and others they have a real hammer team. that should set the time to beat.

 The real time differences will be used in the Giro, no time gaps like in the Tour de France of 2 years ago. So if CSC wins with let's say 40 sec. on the second, they will lose 40 seconds and not 20 seconds like in the Tour too make it a bit more exciting

Team Milram on the ramp now, this team is build round one man, Alessandro Petacchi. Milram is off and moving smoothly down the course.

Gerolsteiner has the best time at the first intermediate point. Lotto (2nd) and Euskaltel (3rd) are the others who have crossed that point. Euskaltel lost 12 seconds. There is already a crack in the Euskaltel team, three riders with difficulties to follow the pace of the others.

16:01 CET - Rabobank on the ramp now. With Rasmussen and Ardila they have two potential riders for a good GC. But they are not in really good shape so far. I think they have to hunt for stage wins with Brown in the sprints and the others in a break... and Rabobank off the ramp now

After 8,7 km CSC is 8 sec. faster than Gerolsteiner. Saunier Duval on the ramp now. With Simoni they have one of the top favorites for the final win in the Giro. And with Bertogliati, Canada, Belohvosciks and Gomez they have some really good riders for a TTT. Saunier Duval is off the ramp and ready to limit the time loss on the other GC Contenders. And why not take some time in this difficult sage

Gerolsteiner has lost already 4 riders on the 2nd climb.  CSC has lost three riders as well, 6 riders left for them.

T-Mobile on the ramp now, after the withdrawal of Honchar they haven't a real GC rider. But for this event they still have a good team with Pinotti, Rabon, Ziegler, Bernucci and others

16:08 CET - Gerolsteiner in the difficult final kilometer it has a twisting descent and that's really dangerous. Gerolsteiner is crossing the finish line in 35:10 and set the first time.After 8,5 km Rabobank set the 6th time at 28 sec off CSC

Predictor-Lotto crossed the finish line in 35:06 and set the first time. Gerolsteiner 2nd at 4 sec now. La Francaise des Jeux rider Carlos Da Cruz did not start as he injured his foot.

 Euskaltel is coming to the finishline, and they have lots of problems as well. There time is 36:28. An Euskaltel man comes round the last corner with 75m to go at warp speed and goes into the barriers.  Four guys from the Basque team crossed the line ... too bad that it's the time of the FIFTH rider that matters. Like we said the final km is irresponsible, way too dangerous. He's quickly up and across the line though. Ouch. 5 riders of Euskaltel. One was in front, a small gap then 3 others and then the crashed one.

CSC in the final km now. Euskaltel got off to a very unfortunate start of the race, with thgeir "fifth man" Anton Luengo hitting the barriers in the last turn. Euskaltel, that famous TTT outfit. Last place in 2006... with that kind of recklessness, it might happen again.

CSC is about to make it to the finish, they are going to smash the best time... They did it, and their time was 34'07" - 58sec faster than Lotto. Exactly 45km/h - not the kind of speeds we're used to in TTTs, but it's a tough course today. Fabian Cancellara crossed the line first, we wouldn't be surprised to see him wear the Maglia Rosa later today.

Panaria get ready to go - their team this year includes pint-sized Emmanuele Sella, Luca Mazzanti and sprinters Paride Grillo and Maximiliano Richeze. Panaria off the ramp, their leader is Emanuela Sella.

16: 23 CET - On the course, Saunier Duval are all out of the saddle uphill, shakin' that ass... The red bird team is about 10 km from the finish. They were losing some 30 secs to CSC at the latest time check. T-Mobile not good at the first check point. 9th at 30 sec of CSC

David Canada's only doing 30km/h, After 16k Saunier "extended" their gap to CSC to 38 seconds. They limited their losses in the uphill section. The Milramen are taking on the last kilometre.

Lampre on the ramp, lets see how much time loss Cunego will have in the end. Frankly, Lampre will be looking to gain time on rival teams Saunier Duval and Astana - an early psychological blow.

400m to go for the blue train ... 300.. 200.. Milram crossed the line. Milram sets a time of 35.11 and loses 1.03 on CSC, A fraction of a second less than Gerolsteiner, it's fourth best time so far.

Next on the road will be Tinkoff. Regardless of Mikhail Ignatiev's skills, Tinkoff have few or no chances to win today, but they got first to Sardinia in order to prepare well for this opening stage, so ... you may never know.

The reason of the non start of Da Cruz is a broken foot. Yesterday due to the team presentation he sprained his foot. But today they diagnoses a broken foot for the french guy.

16:30 CET - Gap Update: Acqua & Sapone are doing fine. The Italians lost just six seconds (10'54" v. 10'48") to flyin' CSC at the km. 8 check. The Scarponi-less team got off to a good start indeed. AG2R is doing much worse at the same km.8 check, their time there being a poor 11'27".

Some age facts - the oldest rider in the race is Stefano Zanini (Predictor-Lotto), the only 1960s birth riding, who 38 years old. The youngest is Ivan Rovny (Tinkoff Credit Systems), exactly half his age. Wow.

Rabobank in the final km now, Rabobank there time 35:23 and loses 1.17 on CSC. The Rabo-time is the fifth one at the moment.

Looks like Cancellara has taken a serious option for the maglia rosa. Saunier Duval has 5 riders left. The final climb is 1100 mt long but with parts of 10%.

16:34 CET - Final km for Saunier red birds, Saunier finishes with a time of 35:03 and loses 55 sec on CSC. but it's good for the 2nd rank so far. Ricco, Piepoli, Simoni, Bertogliati and Mayo are the riders of Saunier who where left in front. That last kilometre is ridiculously twisty - the riders didn't look happy crossing the line. Iban Mayo was the fifth rider across the line; it's good to see the Basque (partially) back to ancient form on his Tour of Italy debut. Bertogliati was the fifth

The next time check saw Garzelli's Acqua & Sapone limit their losses to Team CSC: the gap went up to just 22 seconds. A & S flying towards the line. 5 k to go for them. Lampre set the third best time at the km. 8 check: 10'55" Only seven seconds down on the CSC TT machines.

The Panariamen are not that good instead: their time loss at the same point was no less than 37 seconds! Marzio Bruseghin is conspicous in his Italian TT champion's jersey - a class act all the way, and can get over the mountains too.

A&S on the steep final climb now. They're putting Saunier's position in the stage ranking highly in danger.

Astana team on the ramp now, ready to set a good time for Il Falco.
T-Mobile in at 35:23 and loses 1:19 on CSC, the 6th time so far

16:43 CET - They may have five Kazakhs on the team, but the one national TT jersey is Luxembourg's for Benoit Joachim... after 8, 5 km Tinkoff set the 2nd time at 2 sec of CSC. Lampre loses two riders with Napolitano and I believe Matteo Bono

What a difference one year makes! Today's T-Mobile performance was not as nearly as good as that put in by the Magenta squad at Piacenza in 2006. But their Giro squad the past year contained a certain Sergei Honchar, and notably a certain Jan Ullrich. T-Mobile might be a bit better if Honchar was allowed to start.

WATCH OUT FOR THE TINKOFF BOYS! Their time at the first time check was 10'50". Only two seconds down on CSC. Seven riders left for Acqua & Sapone as they enter the final kilometre.  they really have a good time, maybe Garzelli can do well in the final GC again after his final win in 2000.

The time of Acqua & Sapone is 34:38 and loses 32 sec on CSC, the 2nd best time thus far. They did better than Saunier by 25 seconds. Superb riding by one of the wild card selections.

Cofidis off the ramp. For the riders who dropped already in the early parts of the race it will be a battle against the time-limit. It would be cruel to be eliminated so early. Lampre is doing well, they lost 12 sec. over half way the race on CSC

16:50 CET - Tinkoff has six riders left, Damiano Cunego is winning his first battle with Gibo Simoni, as at the latest time check the Lampres were leading Saunier by a good 27 seconds: 22'04" for the boys led by the mighty Marzio Bruseghin, and 22'31" for the "red bird" team.

Ag2r come up to the finish now, well down on CSC already... AG2r crossed the finish line in 35:55 and they lose already 1.47 on CSC

Astana set a good 10'53" at the first check after 8 kilometres. That's only five seconds worse than Team CSC's. The Falcon got off to a good start too. The Astana paceline is looking pretty slick - as I type that, two of them nearly crashed into each other. Astana's Muraveyv complained with the Italian TV motorbike that follows the team, finding its noise annoying.

16:56 CET - the time-limit is about 8.30 of the winning time thus far; not that good for riders like Napolitano and Brown who were dropped by their teams quite fast.

Bouygues Telecom off the ramp now. If enough riders are eliminated, the judges may take pity and reinstate them though. The uphill section took a toll on Mikhail Ignatiev and the Tinkoff boys. who saw their gap to CSC increase to 19 seconds (22'10" vs. 21'51") at the second time check.

17:00 CET - Smart tactics from Lampre, with their flatlander Gorazd Stangelj riding like a motorbike in the first portion of the stage, and later sitting up and getting dropped by the others once he was done with his daily job. Such tactics is paying off. The fifth Lampre man has been gapped by about 15m as they approach the finish line...34'17 for Lampre, a mere 12 seconds down on CSC. That puts them second place on the road.

The Lampres even made some time gains on CSC in the last part of the stage.Il Piccolo Principe has been ably supported by his servants today. Now just 3 more weeks...

17:05 CET - And speaking of "what a difference one year makes" ... last year at Piacenza the Lampres lost over a minute to the mighty TTists of CSC. This year things went well differently. The course is mighty difference, but yes, absolutely right Fabio.

ASTANA SET THE FIRST TIME AT THE "UPHILL" TIME CHECK! They're down to five men though. They gained some 16 secs in the hilly part of the race, but the problem for them is that there's only five riders left up front. Tinkoff comes in 34:42 and sets the fourth time.

CSC's Fabian Cancellara gave his first after-race interview a few minutes ago, and was very critical of the stage parcours "This was not the right course for a Team TT. The parcours was too tough and dangerous". But he also sounded satisfied with his own and his team's performance "I think we all did fine. Also the younger riders at their debut in a big stage race had a good performance. Now we'll just wait and see".

 So CSC leads ahead of Lampre, Acqua & Sapone, Tinkoff and Saunier Duval. The "Fab Five" of the team named after Kazakhstan's capital city (Astana) are flying on the way to the last uphill portion of the stage, the Crocetta "ascent".

17:10 CET - Quick Step on the course as well.  Their team leader Paolo Bettini, interviewed before the stage, "confessed" that Quick Step's main goal today is just to limit their time losses. Astana on the final climb now, while Discovery is off the ramp. Just two more teams to go - Liquigas and Francaise des Jeux

Liquigas off the ramp, Quick Step gap update: they got of to a quiet start, their time being just 11'08" after 8 kilometres, losing 20 seconds to CSC in the first piece.

17:15 CET - Astana sets a time at the finish of 33:47 and has the best new time Savoldelli in virtual rosa. CSC now on 17 sec of Astana, Lampre at 29 sec already. Saunier at 1.12 with Gibo.

All the teams are on the road; in about 30 minutes we will know who won the TTT and is the first leader in the rankings. At the moment we have Astana in the lead, with CSC 17" down, Lampre in third, and Acqua & Sapone, TinkoffCredit Agricole and Saunier Duval following in the top spots.

17:20 CET - Discovery Channel set a good time at the first time check. After 8 kilometres they were just 4 seconds down on Team CSC, and basically in the same time as Astana. 

Cofidis at the finish now, there time 35:16 Their time was the 11th time thus far, 01'25" worse than Astana's.  Discovery is down to seven men, after Van Goolen and Padrnos got dropped in the uphill section. Popo and Hincapie are leading their charge now. Liquigas has the 3rd time at the first checkpoint at 2 sec of CSC. Padrnos dropped with Disco already

17:25 CET - Liquigas has the 3rd time at the first checkpoint at 2 sec of CSC. The Liqui-time was a great 11'50" after 8 kilometres. Whether they'll keep such fast pace into the second half of the parcours is something we'll get to know later.  Danish TT Champion Brian Vandborg dropped with Disco too, that's quite fast

Matthew White too drop too with Discovery Channel, it's not going solid with that team. Disco with 5 riders left and they are even not half way the race I suppose; problems for Disco, their 5th rider with problems too on the climb. They have to slow down to take that guy with them.

Caisse d'Epargne finishes, the time of the team in black and red at the finish is 35:01. They lost 01'10" to Astana

It's a bit like a war on the road today, a lot of riders who fall in the war towards the end. Vladimir Miholjevic of Croatia was finished with his pace-setting job done for Liquigas and lost contact to the other "lime green boys". The old warrior Andrea Noé is hanging tough instead.

17:32 CET - Discovery are doing fine even with just five men on the front: they were down to Astana by only 07" at the km. 16 check, but one second ahead of Team CSC. Bouygues Telecom still climbing and have now already the time of Astana at the finish. So they will lost around the 2.00/3.00 I think on Astana. Liquigas down to seven men as also Di Luca's loyal lieutenant Alessandro Spezialetti got dropped.

 Danilo is working hard on the front instead. He's very serious about his 2007 Giro bid. Meanwhile Bouygues Telecom at the finish in a time of 35:45 and lost about the 2.00 on Astana.

In the 4 jours a Dunkerque Mathieu Ladagnous (FDJ) wins the penultimate stage. Young gun of Predictor-Lotto,Dominique Cornu is the new overall leader.

OUCH! Liquigas set the best time at the km. 16 check: 21'36". That's 09 seconds better than Astana's time, with Discovery 16 seconds down, and Team CSC a further second behind.  PLUS, Liquigas has still seven men left.

 The current standings at the finishing line are as follows: 1. Astana, 2. CSC at 17", 3. Lampre at 29", 4. Acqua & Sapone at 49", 5. Tinkoff at 53"

Quick Step comes in with a time of 35:04

17:39 CET -  Liquigas are still riding like motorbikes, and still with seven men left.

Disco in the final km, while Popovych crashes, a disaster for them! And now his teammates have to slow down and wait for him! Popovych is the 5th rider who has to cross the line to set there time. They're losing second after second as they are getting near the finishing line. Popo flying ... just joined them The time of Disco is 34:37 and they lose 46 sec on Astana Much of it was lost in the last few hundred metres.

Discovery has the fourth best time at the line now, but Liquigas (down to six men) is coming ... final km for Liquigas... Who will came across the first and take the jersey? Di Luca? Nibali? Pellizotti? Maybe Wegelius?  IT'S GASPAROTTO!!

Liquigas comes in with a time of 33:35 and they are 13 sec faster than Astana. It seems that Gasparotto will be the leader after today. Di Luca is mad at Gasparotto, so that will be not fun at the table tonight. Enrico Gasparotto got across the line first, and Di Luca YELLED at him!! Danilo really WANTED that first Maglia Rosa.

17:47 CET - La Francaise is the only team not to cross the finish line.

But Di Luca's anger at Gasparotto vanished quickly: he was smiling and sounded satisfied - also with all of his teammates - in his first after-race interview.

17:55 CET - Enrico Gasparotto sounded worried about Di Luca's reaction. and almost apologetic for taking the Maglia Rosa: "I rounded the last turn in first place, then I looked back and noticed that I had opened up a gap on Di Luca and the others. I slowed the pace as much as possible but the gap was just too big". He praised Danilo ("he has great legs") and Pellizotti for making most of the work today, and said that after his good perfomance at the recent Tour de Romandie he knew he was in excellent form, but the whole team did fine. "It was a true team victory"

So Enrico Gasparotto is the first overall leader in the 90th Giro d'Italia. His teammates Danilo Di Luca, Vincenzo Nibali, Franco Pellizotti. Andrea Noé (!) and Charles Wegelius follow in the top spots.  Liuigas pulled off a surprise victory over Astana and Team CSC. Their excellent "division of labour" was the secret of their success. Liquigas finished with six riders, and had up to seven men left with only few kilometres remaining.

Things went differently for Team CSC, with only five riders left as they crossed the line. Not to mention Discovery, that also lost several seconds after their top overall contender Popovych hit the tarmac in the very last portion of the ride.

The "enlarged" podium is now hosting the whole "lime green army". Liquigas celebrating their well-earned success.

The brand new Maglia Rosa holder, Enrico Gasparotto, was born on March 22, 1982 at Sacile near Pordenone in the Friuli Venezia-Giulia region of northern Italy (he was a fellow townsman of the poor Denis Zanette ...).  Gasparotto's career highlights include the Italian National RR Title he won two years ago, at his debut season in the pro ranks, and one Volta a Catalunya stage victory in the same year, as well as a success at Memorial Cimurri the past season. This year he made the top three in Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour of Trentino and Tour de Romandie stages, and snatched seventh in the Tour of Calfornia leg finishing into San José.

Giro d'Italia Stage 1 Results
Team Time Trial Caprera - La Maddalena

25.6 km - 45,668 km/h
1 LIQUIGAS 33:38 0:00
2 ASTANA 33:51 0:13
3 TEAM CSC 34:08 0:30

4 LAMPRE - FONDITAL 34:20 0:42
8 CREDIT AGRICOLE 34:51 1:13
9 CAISSE D'EPARGNE 35:01 1:23
10 SAUNIER DUVAL - PRODIR 35:03 1:25

12 PREDICTOR - LOTTO 35:06 1:28
13 GEROLSTEINER 35:10 1:32
14 TEAM MILRAM 35:11 1:33
16 RABOBANK 35:25 1:47
17 T-MOBILE TEAM 35:27 1:49
19 BOUYGUES TELECOM 35:45 2:07
20 AG2R PREVOYANCE 35:55 2:17

21 FRANCAISE DES JEUX 36:28 2:50
22 EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI 36:28 2:50

This concludes our live report. Thanks for joining us. Full individual results and photos when available.

Related Articles
Giro d'Italia - Liquigas Team Preview
Giro d'Italia - Lampre/Fondital Team Preview
Giro d'Italia - Tinkoff Credit Systems Team Preview

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