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90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 19 Live Coverage Part 1
By Staff
Date: 6/1/2007
90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 19 Live Coverage Part 1

90th Giro d'Italia -
Stage 19 Live Coverage

A quiet ride before tomorrow's ITT storm? No way, perhaps ... Two climbs, one long descent in between and the rain could make for a tricky day in the saddle. Be careful, Danilo! And be careful you other riders too!

Courtesy Gazzetta della Sport
Stage 19: Treviso - Comano Terme, 179 km

Hi everyone, and welcome to our live coverage of stage nineteen in the 2007 Giro d'Italia, going from Treviso to Terme di Comano in the Trentino region over 179 kilometres. Sandwiched in between the Sprinters Show at Riese and the final battle for the overall in Saturday's ITT, and with Petacchi and the other fast wheels left having the ceremonial stage into Milan at disposal today's leg provides the breakaway men with one last chance for glory.

The stage kicks off in pure flat style, and stays easy throughout the first 80 kilometres. The road starts tilting upwards at Pian delle Fugazze, a first category ascent of 11.4 km. (elevation gain: 820 metres. Average gradient: 7.2 %. Maximum gradient: 14%). That could be the ideal launch pad for wannabe solo winner, of a small group of attackers to go clear.

But watch out for the long (36 km.9 descent into Rovereto, where the likes of Savoldelli, Mazzoleni and – why not ? - Gilberto Simoni could try something. And – why not ? – the same overall leader Danilo Di Luca could be given some hard time in the saddle. The presumably wet roads (it was raining over most of the parcours at the start time …) could make it even harder. And as if it wasn't enough, there is one last climb a few kilometres from the finish, the third category Passo del Ballino, that might prove to be challenging enough to turn such potentially tricky stage into a potentially trickier one.

Pian delle Fugazze climb profile.

1250 CEST The stage got underway in rainy Treviso exactly 31 minutes past midday, as a group of 282 legs - 141 riders if you prefer - started challenging each other and the nasty weather. The bunch stayed together over the first ten km. while winding through the Veneto flatlands.

Interviewed a few minutes before the stage kick-off, Danilo Di Luca sounded well aware of the potential risks posed by today's parcours "Yes, I'd better be careful. The route is a tricky one, and the weather is not fine at all. I think I'm going to have to struggle today too, but this would just make my eventual victory in Milan even nicer. I'm confident anyway, as I have got a strong team on my side. Our goal today is to let a breakaway group go clear early into the stage, so that we can take it easier inside the bunch".

Gilberto Simoni also seems to know well that today's is no easy ride: "It's going to be an intense stage. Nobody likes the rain, you know. I'll try something it if it's not too cold. But my first goal will be staying in the saddle. We'd better watch out for riders like Savoldelli and Mazzoleni, I think they'll be giving a shot at animating the race. Cunego? Well, if he's aiming for a podium spot, he should do something too (today)".

1310 CEST Yesterday's third place getter Matti Breschel (Den - CSC) made the news by launching the first attack of the day after about 18 kilometres. His move was rapidly covered by the peloton, that kept a high pace all through the first portion of the leg.

1325 CEST Maybe we're speaking too early, but it looks like we have got the "breakaway of the day": fourteen riders, one of whom being Paolo Bettini (is it news?) attacked at km. 27 and put up to 25" into the field in the space of just five kilometres.

The Fab Fourteen who made the gap are:

  • Paolo Bettini (Ita - Quick Step-Innergetic);
  • Mauro Facci (Ita - Quick Step-Innergetic);
  • Assan Bazayev (Kaz - Astana);
  • Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz - Astana);
  • Angel Gómez Gómez (Spa - Saunier Duval-Prodir);
  • Iban Mayo (Spa - Saunier Duval-Prodir);
  • Stefano Garzelli (Ita - Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo);
  • Branislau Samoilau (Blr - Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo);
  • Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg - Panaria-Navigare);
  • Pietro Caucchioli (Ita – Crédit Agricole);
  • Julian Dean (NZl - Crédit Agricole);
  • Volodymir Gustov (Ukr - Team CSC);
  • Lorenzo Bernucci (Ita - T-Mobile Team);
  • Axel Merckx (Bel - T-Mobile Team).

    1335 CEST Oh wait ... nobody from the Tinkoff team in the breakaway? The guys immediately made up for such miss: two Tinkoffs rode clear of the field and got across to the leaders, resulting in a sixteen-strong front group, with

  • Daniele Contrini (Ita - Tinkoff Credit Systems);
  • Pavel Brutt (Rus - Tinkoff Credit Systems
    as the most recent additions.

    1345 CEST Their advantage over the chasing peloton, led by the Beneluxian alliance of Rabobank and Predictor-Lotto, rose to 43" by km. 39. But the time gains stopped there, maybe because a dangerous guy like Stefano Garzelli was in the breakaway, and maybe that's the reason why the Bergamo stage winner just sat up and waited for the peloton to catch him at km. 42, bringing the lead group down to fifteen men.

    1350 CEST Perhaps Garzelli was just the first one to realize the move was going nowhere: the chase didn't stop after he was brought back, and Paolo Bettini and Iban Mayo were the next ones to be swallowed up. Such that only thirteen riders were left on the front, but with the gap down to a mere dozen seconds at km. 54.

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    1355 CEST Six more former fugitives have been reeled in. Only Mauro Facci, Assan Bazayev, Angel Gómez, Branislau Samoilau, Axel Merckx and the Tinkoff pairing (Daniele Contrini and Pavel Brutt) stay clear. But their attempt looks doomed anyway, with just 13 seconds to hold on to at the km. 58 check.

    1405 CEST Note to self: please NEVER said "we have got the breakaway of the day" again, thanks. What was supposed to be the winning move was completely nullified by km. 61, as also the seven riders above had to surrender to the Peloton Power.

    But skirmishes are far from over: next on the attack at km. 66 were the Sicilians Giovanni Visconti (Quick Step-Innergetic) and Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R Prevoyance), but it took a very short time for the guys to realize their efforts were just pointless. It was Gruppo Compatto again, and so it was after Andy Schleck had a flat but quickly rode his way back into the field, that maintained their fast pace as the town of Thiene – near Vicenza - welcomed the Giro seventy kilometres into the stage.


    As usual ... press the F5 key on your keyboard to refresh the page for updates from this (initially at least) rainy stage.

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