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90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 10 Live Coverage
 
By Staff
Date: 5/22/2007
90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 10 Live Coverage
 

90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 10 Live
The climbers festival continues with a medium mountain stage for the mountain goats half way through the twelve day marathon to the next rest day. A day for another G.C. shake-up? Can the "Engineer " stay in pink?

The 10th stage in the Giro D’Italia is a stage over 250 km between Camaiore and Santuario Nostra Signora della Guardia. The finish of this stage is on top of a tough climb. Marco Pinotti started the stage as race leader, but it will be tough for him to defend his lead.

Courtesy Gazzetta dello Sport
Stage 10 Camaiore - Sant Nostra Signora Della Guardia 250 km
Five riders have abandoned the race this morning; Yohann Gene (Bouygues Telecom), Juan José Haedo (CSC), Greg "Hendy" Henderson (T-Mobile), José Joaquin Rojas (Caisse D’Epargne) and Alexei Markov (Caisse D’Epargne). Gene still suffers from his crash in the final sprint yesterday and with the abandon of Henderson, T-Mobile has 4 riders left in the race to support there leader Pinotti. I'll be watching for Henderson to weigh in later this year when the course favors his skills a bit more. Thanks for joining us today, we pick up the race with 70 km to go, Fabio and Bart Hazen will provide our race commentary today.

After about 70 km in the race, despite some early attacks of a bunch of riders with Bettini and Mayo, Ivan Parra (Cofidis) attacked. Later he was joined by Alberto Losada (Caisse D’Epargne), Mauricio Ardila (Rabobank), George Hincapie (Discovery Channel) Hubert Dupont (Ag2r) and Fortunato Baliani (Panaria). This is the break of the day with the sextet quickly getting a gap and rolling up the road ahead of the peloton.

The escapees maximum lead grew to 5 minutes after 129 km of racing and after almost 160 km of racing there gap is down to 4.20. Lampre, Liquigas and Saunier are leading the chase.

15:12 CEST - The gap of the 6 leaders is down to 3.21 George Hincapie in his red, white and blue national champions jersey is the virtual leader on the road, takes a break at the tail of the break to eat as Dupont leads the escape. So we have Ardila, Parra, Hincapie, Dupont, Baliani and Losada in front with 3.21 on the bunch.

Alberto Ongarato (Milram) was another rider who did not start this morning. The 6 leaders are still working well together. Their gap is down to 3.10 with Lampre and Liquigas at the head of affairs in the peloton. T-Mobile and Pinotti will be happy to have help after three days of leading the peloton with little help other than Milram yesterday.

Marco Pinotti still looking good with 3 team mates escorting him (Bernucci, Merckx and Rabon). Arnaud Labbé (Bouygues Telecom)  has abandoned the race.

15:20 CEST - 55 km to go, The riders still have to do a 3rd cat climb before they will get to the main gravity test of Nostra Signora della Guardia. Para took the points on the Passo della Bescia earlier today.

The best ranked rider in the break is George Hincapie. The riders in the break in the GC before the stage:
14 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 3.04
44 Ivan Ramiro Parra Pinto (Col) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 6.44
53 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance 7.23
60 Mauricio Alberto Ardila Cano (Col) Rabobank 8.00
61 Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 8.01
80 Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Ceramica Panaria - Navigare 12.42

The final climb to the finish in Nosta Signora della Guardia is 8.8 km long in distance according to the roadbook, but the climb is very tough and steep and will make a selection among the best.

Lampre offers Vila and Stangelj and Liquigas Vanotti and Gasparotto to lead the chase. The gap continues at 3:08 as the escape rides along the rocky coast with villas perched above them on the steep cliffs. The average speed is 42 km/h in the first 2 hours they had an averaged a speed of around the 50 km/h.

15:40 CEST - Correction, Vila is not working in front of the bunch for Lampre. He and Bruseghin are in escort duty for their team leader Damiano Cunego. Lampre leads with Liquigas, a Raborider, Tinkoff and then the T-Mobile team in tow. The gap is down to 2:52. So Hincapie is no longer virtual maglia rosa.

48 km to go, Ivan Parra wins the famous Garibaldi sprint over Losada and Hincapie who follows. The gap of the 6 leaders is down to 2.34 at the Garibaldi sprint. Liquigas is towing the chase group.

15:46 CEST - 40 km to go,  CSC is coming to the front with Andy Schleck. I'm wondering what the younger Schleck can do on the Nostra Signora della Guardia.

The gap of the 6 in front is down to 2.20. The 6 are still together; Ardila, Parra, Dupont, Hincapie, Losada and Baliani.  And the distance to the line is slightly under 35 kilometres now. The teams with the GC riders are moving up to the front.

16:00 CEST - The gap is down to 1.50. The break will probably be caught before the final climb. The break is now on the Campi, a climb of the 3rd category. The teams are moving their climbers to the front; expect the launch of attacks by the teams soon.

Interviewed "on the road" a few minutes ago, T-Mobile's DS Valerio Piva said that Marco Pinotti is very determined today, even if the Maglia Rosa holder is going through a very, unusual (for him) situation. Piva also admitted that, in his opinion, the Italian is not unlikely to surrender the jersey to someone else at the end of the stage, but still he's proud of what Pinotti has done so far.

30 km to go, A lot of riders drop out of the back of bunch on the climb. The gap of the 6 is down to 50 sec. Hincapie has been dropped, Ardila and Dupont dropped as well.

Baliani is on the front, dancing up the climb, with Parra just behind. Hincapie had a flat at the worst possible time and got dumped. Alessandro Petacchi was one of the riders that lost contact to main group. 55 seconds for Losada, Parra and Baliani on the chasers. Behind, Ardila loses Hincapie's wheel and falls 10,20... 50 metres behind.

Baliani is a man on a (green) mission: to steal the KJOM leader's jersey from the shoulders of his teammate Laverde. The Italian keeps forcing the pace, but the Colombian and the Catalan that are with him do not look that impressed. 2 km to the top of the 3rd cat climb. Marco Pinotti is struggling big style off the back of the field now. Fabian Cancellara and white-jersey holder Arekeev lost contact already. Marco Pinotti was moving up, but it will be indeed a tough one to stay in pink. Which seems impossible. The camera pans to the back of the bunch, and we see Rubens Bertogliati (Saunier Duval) right at the rear.

1 km to the KOM of the Campi; Lampre have several men near the front of the gruppo. Five and a half hours in the saddle have passed and they're not even on the final climb yet... Hincapie is coming back to the three leaders, the bunch is 1.15 down on them. Hincapie is just 10 seconds behind the trio.

Hincapie is showing a lot of "grinta" in this hard portion of the third category climb. At this rate, he'll make up the deficit on the downhill afterwards. And Hincapie is back, 4 leaders. Mission accomplished for Big Hink. Baliani takes the max KOM points on the Campi ahead of Parra, Losada and Hincapie. The Peloton is about to come too, the gap should be down to one minute or so.

16:12 CEST - 25 km to go, DuPont stays in between. 30" down to the leaders, Ardila is caught by the bunch, The gap at the summit is still a good 70 seconds. Losada and Baliani have a slight gap on Hincapie and Parra in the downhill, but nothing serious. Marco Pinotti stays at the bottom of the peloton; that is currently led by a Lampre quartet, with Damiano Cunego sitting in fifth wheel.

Iban Mayo (Saunier) is still riding well in the bunch. But he has to fit himself in a role as helper for either Ricco or Simoni today. Paolo Savoldelli is obviously on the front of the group while taking on the last downhill portion of the day. Dupont has not given up yet, but his comeback into the field is just a matter of a few minutes. Or even less.

20 km to go, The breakaway are descending like demons; Baliani almost comes to grief on a tight corner. I bet Hincapie's delighted to be descending right behind him after the injury luck he's had this year...

Gap Update: Big Hink, Baliani, Losada and Parra lead Dupont by 44 seconds, the 70-strong bunch stays slightly over one minute down.

17 km to go,  Dupont reeled in by the bunch now. The descent is over, now there's just nine flat kilometres leading the race all the way to what many consider the "real start line" of the 90th Tour of Italy: the foot of the Nostra Signora della Guardia climb. The gap is now 54 seconds between the jail-breakers and the prison wardens. And seeing how many prison wardens there are, they don't stand a good chance.

The Lampres keep driving the chase, whilst Perez Cuapio is surprisingly on the back side of the field, but his manager Bruno Reverberi just told TV journalists that the Mexican is fine, and ready to have a go at making his mark on the stage.

15 km to go, And six kilometres to the first slopes of the "Our Lady of the Guardia" ascent. Acqua & Sapone are wedged just behind the Lampre train, as their leader Garzelli is passed a bidon. The gap is up to 59 seconds.

16:25 CEST - Flat tire for Simoni at a bad moment, Gibo is back chasing through the team cars. Bertogliati and Canada are waiting on Gibo they bring him back to the bunch before the first slopes of the Guardia. Simoni is back in the bunch, he now has to pick his way to the front.

Next on the microphones was Cunego's boss Giuseppe Martinelli, who made some surprising statements: "We rushed to the front of the group and started riding tempo because nobody wanted to take over the chase, so we did. But it's not up to us to do the lion's share of the work. The parcours suits all climbers, not just Damiano, and I do expect a hard-fought battle on the last climb". Hmmm ... was Martinelli just playing poker? Bettini is near the back of the gruppo, alongside Veikkanen and Berthou.

1628 CEST - 10km to go, Simoni looks about as calm as you'd expect a favourite who just had a puncture before the first big climb of the Giro d'Italia to be... The gap's gone up to 1'09... is Martinelli right? The next addition to the "flat tire" list was Frantisek Rabon of T-Mobile. But the Czech rider has made his way back into the peloton already.

8.7 km to go, And less than one thousand meters to the ... "90th Giro d'Italia kickoff"! They are on the climb now,  the gap is 1.00. Let battle commence. The front group hit the climb. the chasers are about to. Acqua & Sapone, Liquigas and Lampre riders tries for the front position. The start is a tough one, with the first slopes having their gradient up to a good nine percent. Charly Wegelius is on the front for Liquigas. What a Great Briton he is.

Attacco di Parra! The peloton started their climbing ways too. With FIVE Liqui-boys in the top seven places.

7.5km to go - Losada leads the breakaway, it's still together. NOW Parra goes!  Ivan Parra attacked the front quartet from behind, and surprised Hincapie, Losada and Baliani. Bettini, Laverde and Bertogliati are amongst those who lost contact to the main group; and now there are five Liquigas riders leading, and already riders are falling off the back. Hincapie came back to Parra, but the Colombian attacks again. Only 30 seconds lead for the breakaway.

Maglia Rosa, Marco Pinotti struggles and Rebellin gets dropped as the Liquigas army on the front cranks up the pace again. Pinotti, Rebellin and others dropping out of the bunch, Dave Zabriskie haslost contact too. Parra now leads Hincapie by 15 seconds. The peloton is 40" down. The chasing group is reduced to about 25 riders strong. Nibali dropped as well, he is with Pinotti now

 Is that a tactical move of Liquigas? or does Nibali not have the best legs today? All previous escapees but Parra and Hincapie have been caught, but George will be soon. Hincapie is chased down too. Only Parra left ahead.

DI LUCA ATTACKS! Di Luca chased down Parra. Everyone was expecting Danilo to make a move after his teammate forced the pace like that. And the move came. Quite early into the ascent too. A sign that Danilo has great legs. And confidence.

5 km to go, Riccó and Simoni chatting. The former is prolly asking Gibo "what should I do now? go chase him or attack myself?" Di Luca and Parra have 8 seconds on the others. Riccó looks to have legs good enough for him to go on the attack, but he lives up to his status of Simoni's first lieutenant. Ricco, Simoni, Mayo and Piepoli still in the chasing group for Saunier. Di Luca and Parra chased down by them.

Andy Schleck still hanging in there as well, Leonardo Piepoli attacks now, Paolo Savoldelli stays with the best ones, even if struggling a little bit. Down the road, Pinotti is leading several riders - no help for the Maglia Rosa. Tiralongo on the front can see Piepoli up the road. Pinotti is already 1.05 down on Piepoli.

Tiralongo on the front. It's Saunier's Piepoli, two-time stage winner in the past Giro, aiming for a new addition to his Corsa Rosa tally? Or is the "Flying Trullo" from Apulia just working for Simoni and/or Riccó ?  Petrov is still in there for Tinkoff. Andy Schleck in the counter now.  Emanuele Sella and Schleck set off in pursuit.

The Italian attacked first, the CSC youngster countered. Sella and Schleck together in the chase at 9sec away from Piepoli. Sella has to dig in to follow the wheel of the Luxembourger. Andy is just 22-year-old but a very talented rider.

Sella dropped by Schleck. Stefano Garzelli is having a hard time staying with the best ones. Now he gets dropped. period. Andy Schleck is just 50 metres or so down on Piepoli. Schleck is riding strong and fast and is almost on Piepoli his wheel

2km to go! Di Luca attacks again! Savoldelli also struggles to stay with Simoni, Riccó etc. Ricco, Simoni and Popovych are trying to follow, Cunego can't follow. What a move from Saunier Duval! Simoni dropped Popovych and Ricco.

1.4 km to go. Di Luca passed Schleck Piepoli still in front. So it's Piepoli in the lead, Di Luca and Schleck follow, Simoni in fourth ... and Popovych fifth!

1 km to go... Ricco sixth! Cunego, Pellizotti folllow in 7th and 8th, Cunego. Piepoli looks back, he's worried... Cunego, Arroyo, Savoldelli and Sella are now going under the red pennant, and are about to catch Popovych. And so is Andrea Noé ... who's likely to be the NEXT MAGLIA ROSA WEARER. And at the age of 38! Di Luca looks composed, still with Schleck.

400m to go for Piepoli! He pumps those veteran legs out of the saddle... Piepoli keeps flying (and looking back) in the last, steep 2-3 hundred metres.

LEO, LEO , LEO ... LEONNNNNNNNNNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARDO PIEPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLI WINS!!!!

And the winner of stage 10 is Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval)

Di Luca comes in second at 17"  Schleck is 3rd, Simoni 4th, Gibo came in at 32", Ricco 5th, Savoldelli 6th, Cunego 7th, , Pellizotti 8th, Popovych 9th, Noe 10th.

Arroyo and Sella finish too. The riders are so tired they are coming to a near-standstill after the finish line.  Pinotti has 600 mt to go, Evgeni Petrov finishes and comes to a stop, leaning on a railing for support literally 5m after the finish line. Noe is the new leader.

AND MISTER ANDREA NOE' - AGED 38 - IS THE BRAND NEW LEADER OF THE OVERALL CLASSIFICATION!!

The peloton veteran came in at 58 seconds, and climbed to his second ever Maglia Rosa, nine years after taking it for the first time at San Marino back in the days of 1998.

Pinotti comes in at 4.31 and stays in the top 20 of the GC. Pinotti bravely fought to limit his losses, and somehow succeeded. Kudos also to him. Pinotti is now 9th in the GC at 3.11 of Noe.

Arroyo and Petrov should move up significantly too. Andrea Noé now leads Marzio Bruseghin by 01'08", with Arroyo a further five seconds back. And if we're not mistaken, the brave veteran from the town of Magenta near Milan is the oldest ever rider to wear the Maglia Rosa. The favorites finished within 30 seconds of each other.

The "gruppetto" with Petacchi and the other top sprinters just crossed the line, 23 minutes behind the winner. Danilo Di Luca receives the climbing competitions maglia verde for his effort today.

What a difference one day makes: yesterdays stage winner Danilo Napolitano finished on the opposite side of the ranking today, as he crossed the line last, some 35 minutes behind Piepoli. He finishes inside time limit, so he'll be in the saddle again tomorrow.
Complete official results, after race interviews and photos to follow....

Official Result Stage 10
1 PIEPOLI Leonardo ITA SDV 6:19:07 0:00 20"
2 DI LUCA Danilo ITA LIQ 6:19:25 0:18 12"
3 SCHLECK Andy LUX CSC 6:19:34 0:27 8"

4 SIMONI Gilberto ITA SDV 6:19:39 0:32
5 RICCO' Riccardo ITA SDV 6:19:48 0:41
6 SAVOLDELLI Paolo ITA AST 6:19:48 0:41
7 CUNEGO Damiano ITA LAM 6:19:50 0:43
8 PELLIZOTTI Franco ITA LIQ 6:19:52 0:45
9 POPOVYCH Yaroslav UKR DSC 6:19:59 0:52
10 NOE' Andrea ITA LIQ 6:19:59 0:52

Official General Classification after Stage 10
1 NOE' Andrea ITA LIQ 46:06:09 0:00
2 BRUSEGHIN Marzio ITA LAM 46:07:17 1:08
3 ARROYO DURAN David ESP GCE 46:07:24 1:15

4 VILA ERRANDONEA Francisco J. ESP LAM 46:07:47 1:38
5 PETROV Evgeni RUS TCS 46:07:57 1:48
6 SELLA Emanuele ITA PAN 46:08:13 2:04
7 YAKOVLEV Serguei KAZ AST 46:08:15 2:06
8 DI LUCA Danilo ITA LIQ 46:09:07 2:58
9 PINOTTI Marco ITA TMO 46:09:20 3:11
10 RUBIERA VIGIL José Luis ESP DSC 46:09:31 3:22

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