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90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 15 Live Coverage Part 2
By Staff
Date: 5/27/2007
90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 15 Live Coverage Part 2

90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 15 Live Coverage Part 2
The "queen stage" continues as the riders arrive at the Tre Croci climb as they join in the final battle to the uphill finish at Tre Cime di Lavaredo. The escape continues...

courtesy Gazzetta Della Sport
Stage 15 Trento - Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Auranozo 184 km

1549 CEST 30 km to go, Marzio Bruseghin was two minutes down on Di Luca, Gibo, Cunego, Schleck and Mazzoleni at the Giau summit instead, with Il Falco in between. Savoldelli is back in the gruppo Di Luca; what an awesome descent by Il Falco. He gained 50 seconds in the space of six kilometres only! Spain's Jufre and Arroyo have also regained the wheels of the Di Luca group, now up to eight men.

Di Luca, Cunego, Mazzoleni - that drove the bunch for most of the descent- Schleck and Simoni made some significant losses also to the frontrunners, as the gap to Riccó and Piepoli rose to three minutes as the lead duo is about to make it to Cortina town. Sorry, lead TRIO. Perez re-joined the Saunier pair! The finish is 23.4 kilometres away for them, and 15 of them are climbing ones.

Di Luca took a smart attitude on the downhill section, not taking any unnecessary risks. The descent is over for his eight-strong group too. Savoldelli is towing the group, with Mazzoleni following and the others some 15-20 metres behind.

1559 CEST - Also Ivan Parra managed to regain the wheels of the leading group. the gruppetto is already 20 minutes down on the break, and in the meantime, the weather is changing often at the line: sunny, then cloudy, later rainy, then even some light snow made his appearance, and now is back to somehow more pleasant ways ....  They are on the Tre Croci now, "Three Crosses".

1602 CEST - Savoldelli and Mazzoleni rode away from the others in the last portion of the descent. They even succeeded in making contact with former escapees Rasmussen and Baliani, resulting in a four-strong first chase group. Savoldelli and Mazzoleni are alone in the chase as Rasmussen and Baliani are dropped. They brought the gap to the leaders down to only 02'33". Savoldelli his work is done, Mazzo remains alone in the chase. Petrov regained the Gruppo Maglia Rosa in the meantime. Leonardo Piepoli forced the pace again as the road kept tilting upward again.

20km to go, Piepoli leads Ricco, Parra and Perez Cuapio under the banner. What a group. Leonardo Piepoli forced the pace again as the road tilts upward again, Riccó has got no problems in following him on the Three Crosses Pass. Parra and Perez Cuapio seem to have some instead. Mazzoleni leads the Di Luca group by 01'15" already.

1611 CEST - The Lombard rider is making significant gains on the leading quartet too. 1'50" that is under the 20 km the gap is 3.14, Mazzoleni has 1.30 on the Di Luca gruppo.  Schleck attacks again, the others follow. It seems that Simoni is not having one of his best days. Perhaps yesterday took a lot out of him... Either that or Gibo will be waiting for the final ascent to the line. The road will tell ...

1612 CEST - Riccó and the Trullo Volante (Flying Trullo) are doing the lion's share of he work in the leading quartet, but the two Spanish-speakers with them are not getting dropped at all. Cunego, Simoni, Petrov and Schleck ride together at the back as Di Luca ratchets up the pace in their group... Schleck was quickly pulled back into the Gruppo Maglia Rosa, indeed, a group that got two new members, both wearing Panaria's orange mantle, and both being decent climbers: Emanuele Sella and Domenico Pozzovivo.

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3 km to the KOM of the Tre Croci, Mazzoleni at 1.10 of the lead, Mazzo is coming closer...  3'29" is the gap to the leaders now.  Di Luca drives his own group, Jufre and one Panariaman follow. And then comes the rest.  Eddy Mazzoleni was eighth on GC at the stage start, trailing Di Luca by 03'16". He's making veeery significant gains on the overall side of the thing. David Arroyo attacks in the maglia rosa group. Schleck follows and attacks again, Di Luca follows and the others too.

Eddy Mazoleni was born in the month of July, 1973. He turned a pro in 1995. He lives at Palazzago town near Bergamo ... and you can easily guess where his first name (Eddy) comes from. He's the provisional runner-up on GC "on the road", as Eddy Mazzoleni was leading the Di Luca/Schleck group by over two minutes at the latest check. Michael Rasmussen stands in between Mazzoleni and the Di Luca/Schleck/Simoni/Cunego group. That just reeled in Paolo Savoldelli.

Tour de Life,  by Saul Raisin, with Dave Shields is available for pre-purchase at this time for readers through special arrangements with the publisher. Info & purchase here.

1623 CEST - Riccó, Piepoli, Parra, Perez Cuapio .. the four guys at the front stay together. Mazoeni follows one minute behind.  Simoni, Cunego, Petrov, Arroyo, Jufre, Schleck, Pozzovivo and Sella are the men with Di Luca in the chasing group. And Paolo Savoldelli should be still with them.

The final stage and the final ranking in the Lorraine is won by reputed Fuentes customer and Tinkoff rider Bella Jörg, Jorge Jaksche. Were rumors about him strong enough to keep Jacksche out of the giro, but not other races? hmmm ... Exactly my thoughts Fabio. Sounds like hypocrisy to me. Either you sideline him 100% or let him race the Giro. Period.

1626 CEST - The lead quartet rides under the 10k-to-go banner.  The leaders are over the top of the Tre Coci, Andy Schleck has replaced Di Luca as pace-setter in the nine-man chase group with most of the top overall contenders. The gruppo Di Luca gap is stated at 4.00, Mazzoleni at 1.20. Former legend Gianni Bugno, now helicopter pilot, reports that it's started raining. This is going to be a fun climb...

Attacco di Parra!! Piepoli tries to cover the move from the Colombian. Parra is reeled in again by Piepoli, Ricco and Cuapio.  Mazzoleni had a back-wheel slide cornering UPHILL. These conditions are grim and getting worse. Eddy is surprising many a good ones at the moment. But the last 4 kilometres will prove decisive. if Mazzoleni takes the maglia rosa, the jersey remains in the family Basso. By the way, this last section up to the finish of Tre Cime di Lavardeo is 7.2km at 7.6%.

It's raining big style on the Giro. And the gruppo maglia rosa gets bigger, with one more "orange" addition: Fortunato Baliani of Panaria. Di Luca goes to the front, and it's Cunego, Savoldelli, Schleck, Simoni, Arroyo in that order on his wheel.

Pozzovivo, Baliani and Sella are the three panaria guys in the Di Luca group. Mazzoleni, but also the leading group, keep making time gains on Di Luca. Neither Cunego nor Simoni are giving him any help in the chase; and Schleck is not much helpful either of course...

1635 CEST - THREE SECONDS . JUST THREE SECONDS ... The leaders now have 4'36" on Di Luca, and Mazzoleni has 3'12 on them! The break is on the Tre Cime di Lavaredo now. What are they waiting for??? as Ricco attacks. THREE SECONDS ... THAT'S THE CURRENT GAP BETWEEN EDDY MAZZOLENI AND THE (VIRTUAL) MAGLIA ROSA!

Riccardo Ricco attacks, but Parra is leading the chase. The talented Saunier Duval youngster has about 100m lead. The man in yellow is making the gap on the tough early slopes of the last climb. But the finishing line is a good 6.5 km. away though. It's steeeeppy there. Riccó leads Parra, Piepoli and Perez Cuapio (who's struggling) by 15 seconds. Again, Riccardo Riccó was 06'50" behind Di Luca at the start today. Ricco is chased down by the other 3.

6 km to go, Schleck drives the Gruppo Maglia Rosa on a flat section along the Misurina Lake. They're about to make it to the uphill section too. If Piepoli has anything left, it's time for one of the oldest tricks in the book - the one-two, the group Di Luca at 4.52 now

1640 CEST - Piepoli, Parra, Riccó and Perez Cuapio have been in the breakaway for over 90 kilometres. Still, they have the legs to battle it out.  EDDY MAZZOLENI IS VIRTUAL OVERALL LEADER ON THE ROAD! He is 1'22 down on the leaders - he leads Di Luca by 15 seconds on the road now!

5 kilometres to the finish for this quartet of climbers! More precisely Mazzoleni is leading Di Luca by 03'30" in the stage (He was 03'15" down at the start). Di Luca has split the group though! The going got hilly again for the Di Luca group too. Baliani, Pozzovivo, Sella (the Panaria trio) and Petrov got dropped. Arroyo dropped too.

It's Di Luca, Schleck, Cunego, Simoni, Savoldelli and Arroyo just regaining contact. The four breakaways are side-by-side for a brief moment, all out of the saddle, all playing mind games. This is great! Perez Cuapio is on the front now. Did Riccardo Riccó attack too early? Is such recent move going to take toll on his legs? We don't think so, but you may never know ... Mazzoleni's style is looking a bit more ragged, but he must know his position and will be so encouraged by the potential of maglia rosa. None of Fab Four up front dares to attack. Or maybe they just CAN NOT. It's way too steep for their legs.

Mazzoleni is 1'15" behind the leaders, he's slowly gaining again! Riccó pushes his 39x27 as the gradient is up to 15%. The Fab Four are still together. 3k to the top. 5k to go for the di Luca group, with Mazzoleni still in between, but still making time gains on everyone!

1647 CEST - 2.4 km to go, Riccardo Riccó looks like he's going to put in some attacks again ... let's just wait and see. Ricco draws alongside Perez Cuapio, they're side-by-side leading the escape. Rasmussen is about to be caught by the di Luca group. The group Di Luca is riding at 3:54. Mazzoleni no longer virtual leader.

And 02'40" down on Mazzoleni, Danilo has "regained" the jersey indeed. His chase bore fruit. Simoni, Schleck, Cunego and Di Luca alone in the chase. Savoldelli and Arroyo are out the back! The others have been dropped (Rasmussen included). Cunego attacks!!  Ricco just accelerates slighty... Di Luca, Schleck and Simoni are following,  it's very steep now

1650 CEST - Perez Cuapio struggles to stay with the best ones. But the news is that Damiano is on the move at last! This is the start of the last week - just as Il Piccolo Principe decreed, he'd be at his best here. Cunego's move might result into further time losses for Mazzoleni though. Rasmussen reeled in by the Di Luca group. The four in front are still together, still locked in this battle to the finish. Mazzoleni loses time, now 1.27 down on the break

Di Luca attacks!! 2K to go for Mazzoleni, his does not look as good as he did some time ago. Mazzoleni is starting to weave, the Tifosi scream his name, but his legs look weaker. Cunego and Schleck are dropped. Simoni reacts on Di Luca, Gibo is a tough guy; but he is only able to hang on when Danilo made his move. Damiano and Andy are trying hard to come back.

1500meters to go for the leaders, you can see the pain on their faces; it really hurts! Danilo keeps a ten-metre margin on Gibo. Simoni has not closed the gap on Di Luca, a few meters between them; Schleck follows further behind. Gibo puts in a hard effort but he just cannot close on Danilo! Ricco leads Parra, Perez Cuapio and Piepoli. Who is it going to be? actually it's now 1 km to go Mazzoleni plods on, it's painful to watch - body rocking, in a world of pain.

The lead quartet approaches the final kilometer, Riccardo Ricco' leads Parra, team mate Piepoli and Cuapio. Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

1654 CEST - 1km to go, 02'40" between Mazzoleni and Di Luca. Eddy's not going to take the jersey but is going to make impressive gains on GC.  Perez Cuapio off the back in front as Ricco puts on the pressure. Parra attacks again. Ricco can't follow, Piepoli tries to chase down Parra. Piepoli and Parra together. Ricco comes back as well.

RICCAAARDO RICCCCCOOOOOOOO is on the move again. Vainly: the little big climber form the Andes Parra, counter-attacked.

800m to go, The Tifosi run alongside Di Luca, screaming support. Simoni loses more time to Di Luca. Perez Cuapio is dropped and dropped definitively. It's Saunier Duval vs. Parra. Line honours are a matter of three riders at this point. Di Luca is climbing like a man possessed.

900m to go for Mazzoleni, 1,400m for Di Luca. It looks like Ricco or Piepoli are just hanging on Parra, waiting to pounce. The Tifosi are getting a bit in the way, as the riders ride through a gauntlet of the cheering fans.. It wouldn't be the Giro without such passione though. True, but this is too dangerous... they only open a gap as the riders approach. Cunego caught and dropped by Schleck, but they are both far behind Di Luca. And there's Gibo still in between.

Piepoli starts the sprint. Leonardo Piepoli takes over he ups the pace... Three riders side by side... Probably a 1-2 by Saunier. Parra lost a few metres as Piepoli takes the pace up a notch.

350m to go! yes, it's a 1-2 for the red birds! Parra dropped. They look at each other and see that Parra is a beaten man! And we think Ricco is going to win! He needs the time bonuses more than Piepoli.

200m to go! Is Piepoli going to give this to his teammate?

100m to Ricco's victory!

The "Red Birds" Sing. Riccardo Ricco' and Leonardo Piepoli of Saunier Duval/Prodir cross the line on Tre Cime, Ricco gains the bigger time bonus as top Saunier rider. Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti


Ricco leads Pieopoli over the line... The top 4 guys crossed the line Piepoli second, Parra third and Perez Cuapio 4th. Here comes Mazzoleni, he can see the finish almost, 200 meters to go, Mazzoleni comes in at 5th . He is 1.28 down on Ricco.What a brave ride.

Di Luca is coming next. Di Luca has come under a lot of pressure today, and yet has emerged the best for it. Cunego comes back with Simoni, 50 meters between the former team mates and rivals.

Di Luca comes in as 6th at 2.52 after Ricco, If The Killer is dead as he crosses the line, what about his victims? Simoni is 7th at 3.30
Cunego 8th at 3.36
Simoni passed Cunego in the GC but they both lose 40 sec on Di Luca
Schleck is in as 9th, Young Gun, Andy lost one minute to Di Luca. 3'52" for Schleck.

They look ashen-faced as they cross the line, exhausted by their effort. Arroyo is 50m ahead of Savoldelli and Sella. But now they catch the Spaniard, who is pedaling squares.

Sella is in for 10th at 6.03, Arroyo 11th, Savoldelli 12th

So Eddy Mazzoleni moved up into second at 01'50", Schleck third at 02'56", Simoni and Cunego made the top five places overall complete at the end of a day of TRUE and EPIC cycling. 

Sella fights over the line at 6'03", just ahead of Arroyo and Savoldelli. Rasmussen is in as 13th, Pellizotti 14th, Petrov 15th all at more than 7.00

What a picture - Piepoli shakes his fist in delight, Ricco sits up for a brief moment to celebrate, then flops back down on the handlebars across the line and shakes hands with his teammate.

Nibali is in as well. Still no sign of Bruseghin, Vila, Baliani is in as 17th I believe

One by one they are struggling in as Samoilau finishes in the top 20 too; Bruseghin comes in together with Mario Aerts at 11.28. There's a rest day to look forward for the riders tomorrow. Pinotti is coming together with an Astana rider at 12.26, finishing in the top 25 I suppose.

1709 CEST - It was a day of great, epic cycling, and of extraordinary team work. Riccó and Piepoli shook hands after crossing the line. And the first thing Paolo Savoldelli looked after once he had his efforts done was asking about Eddy Mazzoleni's result.

Garzelli is in at 17.30
22'00 have gone by already as Marzano comes in. Merckx and Knees are in at almost 25', still no Gruppetto in sight of the finish. Mayo in at 25 minutes too.

51 riders crossed the finish line so far. Aaron Olson (T- Mobile) will be 52nd in this stage at 26.37, well done for the laterne rouge in this Giro d'Italia. The time-limit is about 52 minutes today the laughing group will be pacing their effort to be within that time.

After stage 15 rider interviews.

Top 29 of Stage 15 (Provisional)
1 - Ricco
2 - Piepoli
3 - Parra 10"

4 - Perez Cuapio 32"
5 - Mazzoleni 1'29"
6 - Di Luca 2'52"
7 - Simoni 3'30"
8 - Cunego 3'35"
9 - Schleck 3'52"
10 - Sella 6'03"
11 - Arroyo 6'06"
12 - Savoldelli
13 - Rasmussen 6'27"
14 - Pellizotti
15 - Petrov 7'11"
16 - Nibali 7'34"
17 - Baliani 8'09"
18 - Pozzovivo 8'43"
19 - Jufre 9'52"
20 - Mizourov 10'20"
21 - Samoilau
22 - Perez 11'20"
23 - Bruseghin 11'27"
24 - Aerts 11'31"
25 - Pinotti 12'26"
26 - Muravyev
27 - Vila 12'43"
28 - Laverde
29 - Commesso 13'

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