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90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 9 Live Coverage
By Staff
Date: 5/21/2007
90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 9 Live Coverage

90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 9
A day for the long break... and the continuing sprinters duels with T-Mobile looking for allies to defend the maglia rosa of Marco Pinotti.
Courtesy Gazzetta dello Sport
Reggio Emilia - Lido Camaiore 177 km
Today stage is similar to yesterdays stage starting in an uphill challenge from the start to the summit of Passo del Cerreto at 71.2 kilometers less than half way through the stage. After 18 km on the long descent to Aulla the riders will have 100 kilometers of flats and rollers to the finish.

The major climbing test today and only opportunity for GPM points is the Passo del Cerreto a 12.53 km climb after the long uphill grind of 55 kilometers from the start. The climb of Cerreto averages 5% with sections of 9% not the toughest of climbs but after yesterdays stage and the long run up to the climb it will present an opportunity for those who missed the break yesterday to attempt the long breakaway to the finish on the west coast of Italy. With more than 100 kilometers to the finish the much of it along the coast winds may play a part in any escape making it all the harder for an early escape to finish ahead of a chase led by the sprinters teams to bring the fast men to finish.

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That is assuming they can guide their sprinters over the initial climb. At any rate, with the shakeup of the general classification yesterday it will be harder for those teams who missed the break yesterday to launch an early attack and we'll most likely see a more united defense by the teams who have found a perhaps momentary grasp on the top 20 spots on the standings. T-Mobile and Marco Pinotti will have their job cut out for them to protect the Maglia Rosa's lead of 28 seconds, but with any support from the other teams in discouraging breaks we might see Marco slipping into the pink for his third day in the lead.

Saunier Duval had some comments on missing the break yesterday after the race.
Riccardo Riccò: "At first I managed to be part of the breakaway group, but there were some 20 riders in that escape and there was not much agreement," Riccò recalls. "We were heading nowhere. The other riders were leaving gaps and trying to get me out of the break. Eventually, my director told me to come back and I decided on my own to do so: the riders didn´t want me in that escape. Now I think I probably made a mistake to go back and join the peloton, because as soon as I left the breakaway group, they came to an agreement and opened a considerable gap."

Pietro Algeri: "It was a little bit of everything. We couldn´t hear the radio very well, so Riccardo didn´t get my instructions as clearly as I´d have liked him to. We were telling him to stay in the lead without taking the other riders over, and this is what he was doing, until he fell behind and the leaders broke clear. It´s quite obvious this has not been a good day to us, but I can´t believe what some teams did. Our men´s attitude was the right one: they narrowed down the gap and minimised harms in a race that could´ve decided the Giro. It´ll be difficult to recover from this time loss, but as of Tuesday we´ll give it a try."

The peloton looks to be saving themselves today as the gruppo is still together today at 52 kilometers with a good mix of all the teams with mountain king Laverde attentive at the front ready to protect his maglia verde as we approach the GPM on the Passo del Cerreto summit.

Last kilometer to the GPM and Elio Aggiano of Tinkoff attacks, followed by the attentive Laverde, Pietro Caucchioli (Credit Agricole) and Aggiano's mate Pavel Brutt joins the assault. Kunitski of Aqua & Sapone follows but struggles with a mechanical problem. Sella joins the fight for the points.

Laverde leads at the summit followed by Sella an Caucchioli, with the peloton following in a group 43 seconds after Laverde. The climbing is finished for the day and we have 105 kms to the finish with the riders flying down the descent to the coast.

Four away on the descent considering the course ahead its a brave but futile attempt to beat the peloton to th coastal finish at Lido Camaiore. Andrei Kunitski and Simone Masciarelli of Acqua &Sapone/Caffe Mokambo Nicolas Crosbie of Bouygues, and Frédéric Bessy (Cofidis), are the quartet away. Crosbie overcooks a turn and rides off the road, but stays upright. The peloton follows unconcerned by the attack gruppo compacto 40 seconds in arrears. Crosbie rejoins his breakaway companions and we have the four away with Masciarelli leading the quartet on the descent.

80-km to go, the quartet have 1:12 on the peloton as it strings out on the twisting descent. One has to believe that the break will only add time to the Fuga Gilera Trophy chances of the quartet and some TV time for their sponsors.

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So with 76 kms to go it is T-Mobile at the front leading the chase with the break 1:55 advantage. T-Mobile has to hope the sprinters teams will join the chase as the riders finish the descent. As the peloton reaches the flats they let the gap rise to 2:20 to the quartet working well together in the coastal valley.

Milram move to the front with a few riders to help the magenta riders of Valerio Piva in the chase. The gap of the quartet continues for the moment to grow, now 2:48. Three Milram riders at the front lead the chase with Aaron Olson next line. Milram are intent to give Petacchi another opportunity to add his third stage victory and 23rd Giro stage victory.

69 km to go, and the gap bends to three minutes as the four away are riding two abreast sharing the effort evenly among them as they approach the feed zone. The quartet have 2:50 lead on the peloton as they ride through the feed zone. The peloton strings out to pick out their feed. 3 hours and 30 minutes into the race the last stragglers over the climb ride through the feedzone.

A duo of T-Mobile riders lead the chase with a duo of Milram riders assisting. Marco Pinotti is in fifth position with several Lampre/Fondital riders in attendance.

60 km to go, The chase is closing in on the break as the gap falls to 2:22. Axel Merckx and Aarron Olson lead the chase for T-mobile with Milram switching with the duo. A smiling Maglia Rosa, Marco Pinotti sits in 5th position attentive at the front as his chances to stay in the lead look excellent today. The scarlet jersey of Petacchi is close in attendance.

An Euskatel rider falls but is back up and chasing back to the peloton. The gap falls to just 2 minutes as the chase continues to close to the lead quartet.  A few of the stragglers are working their way through the cars behind the peloton. Milram and T-Mobile escorting Pinotti, lead the chase followed by Lampre and Quickstep following. Cunego is inside the Lampre escort with Bettini and Garzelli lingering at the back of the peloton enjoying a chat.

45 km to go, Pinotti takes to the front to pick up the pace, the gap is 2:08. Quickstep/Innergetic have moved closer to the front with Paolo Bettini having moved back up to the front of the pack. Milram and T-Mobile still sharing the chase effort changing off at the front. The break continues working well together as they approach the Tropeo Garibaldi sprint.

The race is now riding along with the beaches on their right with sunbathers enjoying the fine weather on tap today. Marco Pinotti moves to the front setting the pace. The gap falls to below one minute.

40 km to go, the gap is 1:45 as the gap it falls shortly after to 1:18... J.J. Haedo, Petacchi, McEwen and the sprinters are present in the peloton. T-Mobile and Milram still lead the chase.

35 km to go, Bouygues rider Crosbie starts the attack for the Garibaldi points and leads Simone Masciarelli who takes second, Frederic Bessy of Cofidis third Kunitski. The gap is 1:18 as the peloton follows.

39 km to go, as the break rides over a lagoon bridge and palm lined streets with the Tifosi lining the roads and sitting on roof tops to watch the race fly by below; our cameraman is distracted by a topless sunbather coming out of the water on the beach. The quartet at the front continues to work well together with the same teams leading the chase, with Credit Agricole and Predictor/lotto teams moving closer to the front with McEwen and Thor Hushvod in escort.

25 km to go, the peloton passes under the banner 1:21 after the break who continue to press on working well together. Ale Jet is now following in the wake of the Milram and T-Mobile led peloton with Olson, Bernucci and Merckx leading.

20 km to go, the break rolls up a small hill through Pietrasanta with 1:15 lingering in the wind no doubt until the sprinters teams take the wheel to take command of the finish. The peloton is stringing out as the chase picks up speed.

15.8 km to go, 58 seconds the gap... ATTACK two Tinkoff riders Ignatiev and Rovni as Liquigas moves closer to the front of the chase. The Tinkoff duo gets a gap of 43 seconds the gap to the break is 56 seconds. Milram puts 5 riders on the front.

17:37 CEST - 10 km to go, the Tinkoff duo are time trialing and are pulling the quartet back. The break has doubled its efforts at the front. The sprinters teams are quick to reply with Quickstep leading the chase and the duo is pulled back. 38 seconds the gap with the peloton on the heels of the break as the Tinkoff duo are swept up.

6 km to go, Predictor/Lotto joins the chase the break is pulled back. Gruppo compatto.

5 km to go, The riders are racing along the ancient harbor, Predictor/Lotto and Credite Agricole take the lead

4km to go, Bettini, Forster, Rojas, Petacchi and McEwen move to the front, all the sprinters are present in the first 20 riders.

3km to go, the peloton is in full flight with Lotto, Milram and Credit Agricole lead, an attack by a Tinkoff rider is chased down as fast as it happens. Bettini moves to follow on the right.

2km to go, Julian Dean leads with Thor Hushvod on his wheel. Gerosteiner tries to make a move on the inside but is blocked out of the action by Quickstep.

1km to go, Dean pulls off and Hushvod makes the early move, Petacchi, Napolitano, and McEwen follow.

500 metres - Petacchi launches around the final turn, Bettini tries to follow but he is trapped on the left in a late move. Thor and Ale Jet side by side, McEwen on Ale Jets wheel. Petacchi first position, Thor has attacked too early.

150 meters and the sprinters are a mass approaching the finish, a crash as a Bouygues rider hits the barrier. Luckily it is only one rider down as the peloton avoids the danger.

At the line it is Danilo Napolitano coming through the center of Petacchi, McEwen in a photo finish. Some how Paolo Bettini has evaded the trap, and follows but to late to count.

Giro d'Italia - Stage 9 Results
Reggio Emilia - Lido Camaiore
177 km - 35.741 km/h

1 NAPOLITANO Danilo ITA LAM 4:57:08 0:00 20"
2 MC EWEN Robbie AUS PRL 4:57:08 0:00 12"
3 PETACCHI Alessandro ITA MRM 4:57:08 0:00 8"

4 BETTINI Paolo ITA QSI 4:57:08 0:00
5 FERNANDEZ Koldo ESP EUS 4:57:08 0:00
6 HUSHOVD Thor NOR C.A 4:57:08 0:00
7 RICHEZE Ariel Maximilian ARG PAN 4:57:08 0:00
8 DUCLOS-LASSALLE Hervé FRA COF 4:57:08 0:00
9 FORSTER Robert GER GST 4:57:08 0:00
10 HAEDO Juan José ARG CSC 4:57:08 0:00 

T- Mobile and Marco Pinotti have successfully protected the Maglia Rosa with the major help coming from Ale Jet Petacchi's Milram squad. The top of the general classification remains unchanged from yesterday.

General Classification
1 PINOTTI Marco ITA TMO  0:00
2 NOE' Andrea ITA LIQ  0:28
3 YAKOVLEV Serguei KAZ AST  0:54

5 VILA ERRANDONEA Francisco J. ESP LAM  1:10
8 PETROV Evgeni RUS TCS 1:51
9 CIONI Dario David ITA PRL  2:13
10 AREKEEV Alexandr RUS ASA  2:17

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