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90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 17 Live Coverage Part 2
 
By Staff
Date: 5/30/2007
90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 17 Live Coverage Part 2
 

90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 17 Live Coverage 2
On the Zoncolan!

Stage 17 Live Coverage Part 1

1626 CEST Game over for Pellizotti. And Gibo moves to the front to pick up the pace. Perez Cuapio is up there, Sella is not, sorry. 

Di Luca and Cunego follow his wheel. Piepoli and Riccó are a little behind instead. The Tre Cime di Lavaredo winner is not having his best day in the saddle, or so it seems. Perez Cuapio is dropped now. Mazzoleni and Garzelli also struggling.  Schleck is just behind Piepoli and Ricco. Nope. Just ahead of Riccó.Was that slow-motion? Either way, Cioni is climbing slowly on these horribly steep hairpins.

Riccardo Ricco loses contact! Panaria's Pozzovivo was dropped too. The "gruppo" Maglia Rosa literally broke apart (as expected). Simoni, Di Luca, Cunego, Piepoli, Schleck - five men fighting now. Solo leader Dario Cioni holds on to his 700-metre margin on such small group.

Gibo opens up a very small gap on Di Luca and the others. Danilo is not wasting his leg in an immediate response to Gnbo's move. 03'19" is a very solid margin after all.  Gibo keeps a small lead on Di Luca, but is unable to make the gap for real. Their gap to Cioni at the latest check was 02'30". Under six kilometres to go for Simoni.

5.5 km to go, Le Boulanger tries to keep up with Simoni for a few metres, but is jettisoned. Di Luca seems to have a hard time now. He loses a few metres to Damiano Cunego too.  But maybe the Maglia Rosa wearer is just handling his legs the best way possible.

Di Luca under pressure in difficulty - for the first time this Giro. Now Simoni sweeps up Ardila. Gibo is swallowing many former escapees. Di Luca trails him by 25-3 metres, with Cunego in between.

1634 CEST Damiano Cunego seems to be struggling too now, paying for his previous acceleration, whereas both Andy Schleck and Leonardo Piepoli are hanging on. 5km to go for Cioni; behind Schleck opens up a tiny gap on Piepoli! Now Mauro Facci's turn to be passed by Simoni!

Gibo is not making gains on Schleck. Quite the opposite. Schleck and Piepoli caught Gibo! Di Luca lost 30 seconds to Gibo and Schleck. Cioni's time losses to them are even bigger of course. Gibo leads the trio. Andy Schleck, climbing "the Indurain way", follows, with the Flying Trullo in third wheel.  Di Luca is around 25 seconds down on the Simoni group.

Cunego is swimming five seconds clear of the Maglia Rosa wearer. Veikkanen is the next poor rider to be caught and passed. He looked to be suffering terribly.

1640 CEST 4k to go for Dario David Cioni. Gibo, Schleck, Piepoli picked up Fortunato Baliani too. And quickly dumped him. The next to fall will be Paolo Bettini. Here they are: the Cricket was caught too. Baliani is doing 8km/h on this mountain. Danilo Di Luca stays a few metres behind Cunego, he just cannot nullify the gap. But the guys are "only" 22 and 18 seconds down on the Simoni/Schleck/Piepoli trio respectively.

Dario Cioni is not going to make it: he lost over a minute in the last thousand metres. His margin was dramatically down to a mere 40 seconds. Massimo Codol will be the next rider chased down by the trio. Oh wait, Codol caught Cioni! The two guys made contact again. Danilo Di Luca has joined Damiano Cunego. Their gap to the trio hovers around 20-30 seconds.

1645 CEST Cioni dumped by Codol. The Acqua & Sapone rider soloed away, with 3k to go. Di Luca just has to ride sensibly and limit his losses, he has a fair bit of time in hand. . But Gibo, Schleck and Piepoli are on his heels. It's the Flying Trullo driving the trio now, Gibo third, the white jersey holder still sandwiched in between.

Cioni caught dropped by the trio. Di Luca and Cunego are still just 20 seconds behind the three. But Cioni is having a very hard time going ahead now!  No legs left for the UK-born athlete yet.  I don't blame him - this is 17% crazy gradient. 

Schleck is still in a Saunier Duval sandwich, but they can't drop him. They will at least want this stage, probably the most prized in the 2007 Giro.

1651 CEST Codol caught by the Fab Three. 2km to go for the three leaders!  But Cunego and Di Luca managed to cut the gap to them all down by 16 seconds. The tifosi are going nuts, Codol almost crashes into one overzealous fan. Still four leaders as Codol struggles to stay with them. Successfully, thus far. Lots of people tipped Piepoli for success, but what about his captain Simoni?

Piepoli never stops to set the pace for Gibo (and Schleck). Cunego and Di Luca are just 15 seconds down. The overall leader halved his gap to Simoni in the last few kilometres.

1000m to go, Piepoli leads Schleck and Simoni still. We think Danilo Di Luca can see the top of the Milan podium all the way from the Zoncolan! Now Di Luca and Cunego pass gutsy Codol under the flamme rouge!

1655 CEST The leaders enter one tunnel ... 500 m to go. Piepoli forcing the pace as they get out of it. But can't drop Schleck.  Out of the tunnel, 400m to go, it's Piepoli, Schleck, Simoni. Piepoli attacks again. Gibo follows. 150m to go.  Schleck dropped now! Di Luca has dropped Cunego...

ITS 1-2 FOR SAUNIER AGAIN

SIMONI 1ST,  PIEPOLI 2ND,  SCHLECK THIRD AT 06"

DI LUCA 4th and 29"
Cunego fifth at 37"
Codol sixth at 58"
Perez Cuapio comes next.
With that, Leo Piepoli must have won the maglia verde for sure now! So deserved too.

Now Pellizotti at 1'38"
Then Bruseghin at 2 minutes, and Ricco at 2'10"
Mazzoleni! 2'26"
And Cioni at 02'55".
and Bettini soon after. This climb really hurt.

If we're honest, we'd have hoped for the favourites to be separated by more than 40 seconds - but a steep climb is steep for everyone, it doesn't necessarily make it harder.

1700 CEST So Danilo Di Luca easily retained the jersey, while both Schleck and Simoni made overall gains. The young talent from Luxembourg moved up into second, albeit his gap to Di Luca is a good 02'24"  Gibo made it into the top three, and is just four seconds down on Scleck. I just don't believe Schleck... he has barely faltered all race long

Cunego is fourth, 03'29" behind Di Luca. And a minute down to Gibo. Mazzoleni dropped to fifth place, while Riccardo Riccó, despite paying the price of his Tre Cime di Lavaredo efforts, stays in spot number six.

Thanks for joining us for the live coverage today. Sorry for the brief outage today as the server crashed due too many requests, we were back up in five minutes. Luckily we didn't miss any of the race action in the live coverage in the report.
After race interviews, results and photos to follow.
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