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90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 13 Live Coverage Part 1
By Fabio
Date: 5/25/2007
90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 13 Live Coverage Part 1

90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 13 Live Coverage
Santuario di Oropo Individual Time Trial another day for the mountain goats... this time in a race for truth, but what truth will it be at days end... gained time on your rivals or... or a more bitter truth?

Courtesy Gazzetta della sport
Stage 13 Biella - Santuario di Oropa 12.6 Individual Time Trial

Hello everyone and welcome to our live coverage of Friday's thirteen stage in the 2007 Tour of Italy, an uphill ITT from Biella to the nearby sanctuary of Oropa over 12.6 km.
The altitude difference is a good 734 metres, resulting in 5.8 % as average gradient, but also 13% as maximum gradient.

The first rider to take the start, at 0145 PM local time, was the American Aaron Olson (T-Mobile Team), while his compatriot - and one of the main suspects to take line honours today - David Zabriskie will be underway two hours later, at 15:45. The main overall contenders are set to kickoff their challenge against the clock, and against each other, well after four PM.

Gibo Simoni is scheduled to start at 16:24, CSC's young sensation Andy Schleck eight minutes later. 0436 PM will be Marzio Bruseghin's start time, while Maglia Rosa holder Danilo Di Luca, who hopes to make some further time gains on his rivals today, is going to come next at 0438 PM.

Yaroslav Popovych will not take the start instead; perhaps still suffering from the consequences of his fall across the line Wednesday, the Ukrainian decided to pack his bags and drop out of the race. We'll se him back into action at the next Tour de France come July anyway.

Current competition Jersey leaders after Stage 12: Maglia Rosa of race leader and climbers competition, Danilo Di Luca, Maglia Ciclamino - Alessandro Pettachi, and Giro sensation Young Gun in the Best Young riders Maglia Bianca Any Schleck of CSC.

We join today's "race of the truth" in progress with Giovanni Visconti having the best time at the finish: the Liquigas Sicilian covered the route in 31 minutes and 12 seconds. France's Christophe Kern (Credit Agricole) follows no less than 29 seconds behind, with Alessandro Vanotti (at 43"), the Russian Ivan Rovnyi (Tinkoff, at 47") and the Lampreman from Slovenia Gorazd Stangelj (at 49") in the other top five places. Julian Dean has the tenth best time, 01'47" behind Visconti. Steven Cummings is currently 20th, and Aaron Olson 32nd at 02'42".

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1530 CEST - Some more guys crossed the line, and amongst them the Belarusian Andrei Kunitski (Acqua & Sapone), who recorded the second best time as he clocked a good 31'20", only eight seconds worse than Visconti's time. As soon as new additions to the list of stage finishers were made, Julian Dean was kicked down to place number seventeen, Cummings was down to 29th, and Aaron Olson is currently sitting in spot number 43, but they will be dislodged in a short time...

1535 CEST - Fabian Cancellara is not going for a further addition to his palmares today, as the Swissman pulled out of the Giro yesterday. Pablo Lastras is still in the bunch instead: the Caisse d'Epargne Spaniard just got his race started. Next at the start line is Britain's Charles Wegelius.

Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio is doing fine today; the Mexican started his ITT one minute after Mauro Facci, but it took just about fifteen minutes for him to pick up - and drop - the Italian.
Merckx comes across the line!! It's Axel Merckx of course, and he sets the sixteenth best time: 32'36", one minute and twenty-four seconds behind Giovanni Visconti.
Pavel Brutt cannot better his time: the Russian records 32'46" (that's the 19th time thus far).

1544 CEST - Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio is flyyiingggg: he bettered Giovanni Visconti's time by 01'13" at the km. 9.4 check! And the first part of the stage was the "easiest" and flattest one, that doesn't suit his skills that much.

The Tour de Life,  by Saul Raisin, with Dave Shields is available for pre-purchase at this time due to special arrangements with the publisher. Click on the image of the book above for more information.

1545 CEST - David Zabriskie is off the blocks too! Alessandro Spezialetti is across the line already. Danilo Di Luca's #1 domestique set the twelfth best time at the finish. Watch out for Christophe Riblon: the French co-protagonist of yesterday's "breakaway of the day" made it to the line and set the fourth best time: 31'40"; 28 seconds down on Visconti. He threw his compatriot Kern down to fifth.

1550 CEST - But watch out for Perez Cuapio too. He's about to finish his race today. He caught and dropped Aketza Peña of Spain, who started two minutes earlier than him.  Well, he did not really catch the Spaniard, just got very close to. But so what? The Mexican had a helluva performance. And set a great time at the finish: 29'38". It means he bettered Visconti's record time by one minute and thirty-four seconds! 6:54 AM. Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio has taken over the stage leadership, and we think not many riders will be able to improve his time.

1555 CEST - Felipe Laverde, stage winner at Spoleto, is now underway.  His teammate and fellow Latin-American Perez Cuapio had an outstanding performance. We'll see if Zabriskie can do better than him. The U.S. TTing sensation and the Mexican basically had the same time at the first check, but the opening, flatter kms were supposed to favour the former, the USA time trial champion.

Another Panaria man has made it to the finish, but with a worse result: Fortunato Baliani fell out of the (provisional) top ten spots, as he clocked 31'50", finishing 02 minutes a dozen seconds behind Perez Cuapio. Paolo Tiralongo (Lampre) is the next rider in the saddle today.

1601 CEST - Proudly wearing the jersey of US National ITT Champion, David Zabriskie is taking on the steepest part of the Oropa ascent. We'll give you some more time updates about him and the others as soon as possible.

1605 CEST - "I gave it everything I could today. I hope I can keep the best time, even if I don't think I will, as all best riders have yet to come" were Perez Cuapio's first words after the race in the front of the Italian TV cameras.

Marco Marzano (Lampre) comes to the line and sets the second best time: 30'26"; that's 51 seconds down on the Mexican.

Surprisingly enough, "Zman" Zabriskie pushed the accelerator in the steepest section of the stage, and gained up to sixteen seconds on Perez Cuapio. Not surprisingly at all, the man has the best time at the second check.

Paolo Bettini is done with his ITT efforts: his finishing time was 31'25" (the seventh best time so far). His gap to Perez Cuapio was 01 minute and 47 seconds. He didn't play the tourist on the slopes leading up to Oropa. Paolo Savoldelli started his ITT.

Poland's Szmyd finished the stage with the third best time thus far: 31'08". He did worse than Perez Cuapio by 90 seconds, but his time was a few seconds better than Visconti's, and he kicked the Sicilian down to fourth place.

1612 CEST - Watch out, watch out, the Z-man is coming to town: David Zabriskie is about to get to the finishing line. His lead over Perez Cuapio is clear now. He made some gains also in the last part of the stage. Just a few more metres to go in the last, cobbled portion and ... here he is. Z-MAN'S TIME : 29 mins 14 secs. Z-MAN'S PLACE: 1st of course. Z-MAN'S advantage on Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio: 24 seconds.

1616 CEST - Riccardo Riccó is off the blocks. He's anything but a TTist, but today's course could be of help to him. Leonardo Piepoli established the best time at the very first check: he bettered Zabriskie's by 4 seconds!  Marco Pinotti, Italy's former national ITT champion, is not having his best day in the saddle: the man from Bergamo and former GC leader lost 20 seconds to Piepoli at the first check.

1620 CEST - Green-jerseyed (but the KOM leader is Danilo Di Luca) Leo Piepoli is about to finish his stage. And about to better Zabriskie's time. 300m to go for the Flying Trullo. He takes in the last cobbled section, one last sprint and... there he goes. 28 MINUTES AND 56 SECONDS! P-Man set the best time. Eighteen seconds better than Z-Man's!

1623 CEST - Stefano Garzelli got off to a fast start, as he had the fourth best time at the opening check. 10 seconds down on Piepoli. Savoldelli follows in fifth. And Gibo Simoni is off and running. Emanuele Sella is next at the start line.  Piepoli had the best time at the SECOND time check - and the finish of course - but NOT the first anyway ...

Zabriskie and Perez Cuapio still keep the best time at the opening check (km. 5), but Riccardo Riccó lost just 15 seconds or so to them, his time being better than Piepoli's at that point. And Riccó being a good climber ... why shouldn't he aim for victory in the "Saunier Duval ITT champs"? (which is what this one stage might come down to ... even though a certain Danilo Di Luca might not agree with that)

Both Garzelli and Riccó are tackling the ascent, whilst also Eddy Mazzoleni set a good time at km. 5: seven seconds worse than Zabriskie's and Perez Cuapio's time, but one second better than Garzelli's, and 03" better than Franco Pellizotti's.

1631 CEST - Another ITT specialist is doing great: Evgueny Petrov (Rus - Tinkoff) established the bestestest time after five kilometres, throwing both Z-man and Perez Cuapio down to second at that point. Piepoli still keeps the best time at the km. 9.4 check instead, Paolo Salvodelli did worse than him by almost one minute.

Live Coverage of Stage 13 continues here in Part 2...

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