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90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 8 Report & Photos
 
By Staff
Date: 5/20/2007
90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 8 Report & Photos
 

90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 8
Another day for the climbers or an escape in the mountains and a fight against the sprinters teams to bring the break back before the finish?

Courtesy Gazzetta dello Sport

Stage 8 Barberino di Mugello - Fiorano Modenese 200 km
The first obstacle of the day came at the start with the 13.1 km climb of Passo Dela Futa a climb with an average gradient of 5% with sections that max out at 11%. The course continues through the first half of the 200 km stage through the mountains, the second GPM is the Sistola a 6.7 km test averaging 6.2% with some final sections of 10%. Shortly after the summit the riders start the long descent passing through the feedzone a bit more than halfway with 90 kms to go. This is followed by a generally downhill ride for the next 30 kms and then rolling terrain for 50 kilometer to a slightly uphill finish in the last kilometers.


T-Mobile sets the pace with Pinotti at 5th wheel. Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

The stage is described as a medium climbing stage, with the opportunities for escape high in the beginning of the stage expect to see the attacks to come after the early summit or in the final fireworks on the Sistola. Any escapes will face the chase mounted by the survivors of the peloton have almost a 100 kilometers to chase the escapees down before the finish to release the sprinters on the final 26.2 kilometer finishing circuit in Fiorano Modenese.

The Break of the Day:
The peloton split on the climb of the Passo dela Futa with a group of 20 riders forming a break over the summit and solidifying their gap to over two minutes over the T-Mobile and Saunier/Duval led peloton with the sprinters suffering a minute or more. The gruppo on the attack includes Discovery Channel's George Hincapie, José Luis Rubiera. Liquigas trio Charles Wegelius, Alessandro Spezialetti and veteran Andrea Noè.

A quartet of Lampre/Fondital riders Patxi Vila, Paolo Tiralongo, Marzio Bruseghin and Marco Marzano. Predicor/Lottos Mario Aerts and Dario Cioni, Tinkoff's Pavel Brut, Emanuele Sella of Panaria, Ag2r's Rinaldo Nocentini, Euskatel's Galparsoro, David Arroyo of Caisse d'Epargne, Astana duo Sergei Yajolev, Assan Bazayev and Acqua Sapones Alexandre Arekeev, CSC's Kurt Arvesen, Francis Mourey of Francaise des Jeux... but the most famous and strongest rider for the finish, in the break is Paolo Bettini looking for an opportunity for a stage win no doubt in a finish that favors his skills.

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Over the Sistola Panaria/Navigare climber Emmanele Sella led Lampre's Paxti Villa and Rabo's young AussieWilliam Walker for the GPM points. The gap was up to over six minutes as the riders rode through the feed zone on the long descent to the finish with approximately 95 kms to the finish.

Saunier Duval missed the break and is helping T-Mobile in the chase, but with so many other teams in the the break they couldn't expect much help from the other teams to bring back the small army of escapees ahead. With 50 kms to go, the escape has almost 7 minutes on the peloton led by the lads in red birds of Saunier Duval in their bright yellow jerseys and Axel Merckx and Bernucci in the magenta of T-Mobile with one Milram rider.

The peloton is a long stream of riders sitting on the Saunier and T-Mobile led chase.


The peloton enters the Pista Fiorano. Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

30 km to go, As the escape entered the Ferrari test track for the final approach to the finishing 26.2 km circuit to the finish with George Hincapie riding the tail of the group the gap is down to 5:15.

The escape continues to work well together with Bettini riding mid the gruppo. But the Pinotti group now with two Milram riders leading the chase is pulling back the gap to the Bettini group. As the peloton leaves the Ferrari track the gap is down to 4 minutes. Bettini moved to the front of the escape to lead the effort to stay away.

The riders in the break are starting to show weakness of the long attack. The gap goes up again with 14 km to go to 4:45. T-Mobile will want to control that gap in defense of Marco Pinotti's Maglia Rosa. The advantage is for Paolo Bettini with the final 2 km uphill finish and that isn't missed by the riders in the break.

Hincapie takes the point to lead the break, George has the advantage of three team mates in the break. Lampre and Predictor/Lotto riders trade off with Discovery as the group continues to work well together with 10 kms to go. Behind the escape the Saunier and T-mobile led group are finally getting some help from Milram again.

12 km to go, and the gap is still near 5 minutes, Rubiera leads the break with the Lampre duo, Bettini moves to the front watching for an attack.

4 km to go, Attack by Lampre rider ... Rabo's William Walker attacks gets a gap Bettini chases him back. Panarias Sella is the next to attack.

3km to go, and Mario Aerts attacks and get a hundred meters he too is pulled back the gap to the peloton drops to 3: 20.

2 km to go, Aerts attacks again and passes Sella.

Back at the peloton Marco Pinotti leads the chase in full our time trial mode. The peloton stretches out looking like a 50 man team time trial.  Frantisek Rabon is doing a journeymen's day trading the lead with his leader.

Final kilometer, Bettini attacks at Arvesen follows, at 75 meters to go Bettini passes Aerts at ten meters to go CSC's Arvesen comes around Paolo on his right for the victory. Bettini gives a gesture of surprise as he sees Arvesen come past him with a few meters to go and Kurt has it at the line and celebrates with a "thumbs up"!


CSC's Kurt-Asle Arvesen Celebrates his triumph. Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

Official Result Stage 8
1 ARVESEN Kurt-Asle NOR CSC 4:44:59 0:00 20"
2 BETTINI Paolo ITA QSI 4:44:59 0:00 12"
3 BAZAYEV Assan KAZ AST 4:44:59 0:00 8"

4 PETROV Evgeni RUS TCS 4:44:59 0:00
5 GALPARSORO MARTINEZ Dionisio ESP EUS 4:44:59 0:00
6 HINCAPIE George USA DSC 4:44:59 0:00
7 SPEZIALETTI Alessandro ITA LIQ 4:44:59 0:00
8 NOCENTINI Rinaldo ITA A2R 4:44:59 0:00
9 SELLA Emanuele ITA PAN 4:44:59 0:00
10 ARROYO DURAN David ESP GCE 4:44:59 0:00

Pinotti leads the chase in the final km fighting the time gap, saving seconds to keep his jersey. An exhausted Frantisek Rabon leads the final pull as Pinotti takes over the race against time.  The gruppo finishes 4:19 after Arvesen, Pinotti will have another day in pink.

Marco Pinotti steps to the podium to receive his Maglia Rosa with 28 seconds over Liquigas rider Andrea Noe, a Astana's Yokovlev in third.
Once again the top ten of the general classification has made a big shakeup.

General classification after Stage 8
1 PINOTTI Marco ITA TMO 34:48:34 0:00
2 NOE' Andrea ITA LIQ 34:49:02 0:28
3 YAKOVLEV Serguei KAZ AST 34:49:28 0:54
4 BRUSEGHIN Marzio ITA LAM 34:49:40 1:06
5 VILA ERRANDONEA Francisco J. ESP LAM 34:49:44 1:10
6 RUBIERA VIGIL José Luis ESP DSC 34:50:10 1:36
7 ARROYO DURAN David ESP GCE 34:50:17 1:43
8 PETROV Evgeni RUS TCS 34:50:25 1:51
9 CIONI Dario David ITA PRL 34:50:47 2:13
10 AREKEEV Alexandr RUS ASA 34:50:51 2:17
11 SELLA Emanuele ITA PAN 34:51:01 2:27
12 AERTS Mario BEL PRL 34:51:32 2:58
13 NOCENTINI Rinaldo ITA A2R 34:51:38 3:04
14 HINCAPIE George USA DSC 34:51:38 3:04
15 SCHWAB Hubert SUI QSI 34:52:04 3:30
16 WALKER William AUS RAB 34:52:40 4:06
17 DI LUCA Danilo ITA LIQ 34:52:46 4:12
18 PELLIZOTTI Franco ITA LIQ 34:53:12 4:38
19 NIBALI Vincenzo ITA LIQ 34:53:21 4:47
20 MARZANO Marco ITA LAM 34:53:39 5:05

The sprinters bus arrives with McEwen and company 21:23 down.

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