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90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 21 Live Coverage
 
By Staff
Date: 6/3/2007
90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 21 Live Coverage
 

90th Giro d'Italia - Stage 21 Live Coverage
The triumphant entry of Danilo Di Luca and Liquigas into Milano


courtesy Gazzetta della Sport
June 3 - Stage 21: Vestona - Milan 185 km
Total kilometres: 3486.2 km

Hello everyone, welcome to the 90th Giro d'Italia's final stage, one sure to be the triumphant parade and arrival into Milan and celebration for the Liquigas team and Danilo Diluca who has met every challenge in the last 21 stages and 3, 486 km for a satisfying and well earned victory in the Corsa Rosa's 2007 edition.

Today's route takes us from Vestona to Milan over 185 km with a few climbs with one last Grand Prix Montagne points available on the Category 3 Passo di Termini early in the race with a 10 km climb with an average grade of 3.4% that will not change the king of the mountains jersey with Leonardo Piepli of Saunier Duval/Prodir holding a 33 point advantage over Fortunato Baliani of Panaria and the final winner of the Maglia Verde.

The final trofeo Garibaldi sprint is in Cambagio after 108 kilometers where we may see a bit of a skirmish between Cofidis' Mickael Buffaz and serial breakaway Mikhail Ignatiev of Tinkoff credit systems both with 13 points.

The arrival in Milan after 142 kms has 10 circuits of 4.8 kilometers where the honor of winning the final sprint will be decided at the finish.  Either way Alessandro Petacchi win or lose will be the final wearer of the Maglia Ciclamino jersey with a 30 point lead over race leader Di Luca and Paolo Bettini.

141 riders started today under sunny skies (finally) with CSC's Kurt-Asle Arvesen and and Daniele Contrini of Tinkoff Credit systems off on the early flyer taking an advantage of 1:40, but  both stopped along the road before the first climbing of the day to say hello to their families as the bunch followed with Liquigas setting the pace with enough time for the boys to visit with family and fans.

Average speed over the first hour of racing was 26 km/h as the riders approached the first mountain points it was Stefano Garzelli, Andirotto and Codol leading the peloton by one minute as the trio also made a stops to for short family reunions, we finished the second hour of the parade to Milan averaging 28.2 km/h.

37. 4 km - Passing over the Passo Tre Termini it was Frenchman, Frédéric Bessy of Cofidis taking the max mountain points with Astana's Dario Adriotto second, and Elio Aggiano of Tinkoff Credit systems third... though it makes no difference in who will wear the final Maglia Verde after today's stage with veteran Leonardo Piepoli having locked up the honor some days and stages ago. The riders rejoined the peloton after that brief flurry of activity at the front.

With 53 kilometers done it was gruppo compatto, continuing into the 80th km. Another classification that won't change today is the Maglia Bianca currently on the shoulders of race sensation CSC's Andy Schleck with Riccardo Ricco' of Saunier Duval/Prodir almost six minutes behind. Schleck's performance in the time trial only increased his lead over Ricco' but closed the gap to race leader Di Luca to under 2 minutes. We're sure to see this duo of Young Guns in many more battles in the future.

Speaking of Young Guns, Saul Raisin has finished his autobiography Tour de Life, from Coma to Competition with Dave Shields, the book is available for pre-purchase by Daily Peloton readers through special arrangements with the publisher. Info & purchase here. You can also read a synopsis of the book and the opening chapter by following the link.

15:27 CEST - 100km to go, T-Mobile, Lampre and lead the Liquigas escort with Di Luca riding comfortably among his mates as the pace picks up a bit (but not much) on anticipation of the circuits in Milan. We won't be seeing any fireworks until the race reaches the final circuits in Milan.

15: 35 CEST - In Brembate Marco Pinotti of T-Mobile and wearer of  the Maglia Rosa for three stages leaves the peloton to take a visit with with his family... three hours into the race the average speed of the peloton shows the increased speed raising to 30.7 km/h.

1542 CEST - 97 km to go, Cunego and Lampre lead the bunch through Trezzo as they chat and share a smile with the camera, Liquigas and Milram riders in attendance; as Danilo takes a minute to do an interview on the road riding alongside the moto. Di Luca is more than happy and looks forward to the worlds as his next objective. Current World Champion is next to drop to the back of affairs and waxes philosophic on not winning a stage, but eh the race is not over and he has one more chance for a stage victory in Milan, something to discuss with his team mates before the finish.

15:55 CEST - 85 km to go, Gruppo compatto with about 37 km to go to the triumphant entrance into Milan for Danilo Di Luca and his lime green Liquigas mates.

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The peloton into the feed zone in Ornago, passes the Specialized Angel who is handing out small pastries to the riders as they pass. Liquigas in control on the front with a few Milram riders attending no doubt holding their place in line to control the final circuits for Ale Jet looking to tie the record for stage wins today.

1605 CEST - Tinkoff takes the lead as we approach the Intermediate "Trofeo Garibaldi" Sprint and it is Fuga Gilera leader Mikael Ignatiev who takes the final Garibaldi prize with Serrano and Contrini in that order. This gives the Tinkoff rider the final lead of for the Garibaldi Trophy in Milan breaking the tie with Cofidis rider Mickael Buffaz in that contest for the final classification.

1615 CEST - 69 km to go, The peloton are all together. Tinkoff has certainly showed itself well in this Giro with plenty of TV time for their sponsor while animating the race with attacks. Ignatiev will take two Trofeo's home after the race, the Garibaldi and the Fuga Gilera for his activities in the breakaways during the race. We might expect the launch of one more attack by the yellow and black squad when we arrive on the finishing circuits. Indeed the peloton is briefly led by a few Tinkoff riders at the moment with Di Luca, Andy Schleck, and the rest of the leaders close in the parade.

1624 CEST - Visconti and Bettini ride at the tail of the pack... perhaps hatching a plan for Paolo's attempt for the final stage victory and to guide him through the peloton in the closing laps. Six Liquigas smiling lads lead the peloton with the tempo slightly raised. Andrea Noe smiles for the camera and gives the victory sign to the camera as he leads the pace.

1633 CEST - 60 km to go, Gruppo Compatto with Liquigas at the front with Danilo Di Luca, then Andy Schleck prepared for the ceremonial and traditional lead of the first circuit for the leading team and leader of the corsa rosa before turning control of the race over to the teams that will contest the finish. Bettini and Visconti still riding near the end of the peloton...

Crash with 59 km to go, Tosatto, Pantanchon, Michael Rasmussen and Petrov.

16:44 CEST - 49.7 km to go, Crowds line the finish as Liquigas leads the entry of the peloton into Milan to the cheers of the Tifosi.  Average speed 32km/hr so far; and unlike the past two stages, it's not raining! Should make for some safer conditions for the riders, especially when they are riding in close quarters on the 4.8 km circuit.

Liqigas leads the first circuit controlling the front; with the circuit being shaped the way it is today, the final sprint in Milano should be an interesting one. There is a right-hand turn at 400 m to go which could make the final sprint of the 2007 Giro a messy one, but let's hope not.

1655 CEST - 42.2 km to go,  and the peloton rides "gruppo compatto" through the circuit, almost like a large colourful snake; the final kilometer is ten deep with the tifosi flying banners of support for their favorite riders.

1700 CEST - 8 circuits to go (so about 38.4 km) and Liquigas is still on the front of the peloton, enjoying their parade through Milan. Tucked in behind Liquigas is the rider in all white -- Andy Schleck of Team CSC... Bettini still at the back of the group looking good in the rainbow jersey of world champ... when will he or won't he make his move to the front?

1704 CEST - No sign yet of the other jersey winners, Leonardo Piepoli in the Mountains jersey and Alejandro Petacchi in the purple points ciclamino jersey at the front yet... three riders from Milram in attendance after the Liquigas lime green sextet.

1709 CEST - The riders are just crossing the "finish line" to signal that there are 7 circuits left to go. Liquigas still sets the pace at the front discouraging attacks. Milram and Tinkoff in attendance, behind. Saunier Duval-Prodir are the winners of the Fast Team Classification and Lampre-Fondital looks to take home the Super Team Classification this year with an unassailable lead in points. It would be good to see their colours on the front before the fireworks hit and the sprinter's teams get to go work.

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1715 CEST - Bettini continues at the rear of the peloton with Visconti. Perhaps they are discussing strategies for the upcoming sprint finish. More likely they are planning where they are having dinner tonight. Gilberto Simoni comfortable in the peloton, riding along, very relaxed and smiling. Probably glad that this year's Giro is done and extremely happy with his win atop the monster of Mount Zoncolan. The sprint teams are massing behind Liquigas ready to take command of the race.

1718 CEST 6 circuits to go, Liquigas strings out the gruppo, not ready to give up control yet as they go under the finish banner again. Andrea Noe' of Liquigas on the front at the moment. The oldest man in the Giro this year still managed to wear the Maglia Rosa. He is known as "Il Brontolo" or "the grumbler", but he is probably not complaining today!

Gerolsteiner, besides a stage win this year with Robert Forster, have managed to pick up one of the most prestigous awards of the Giro. Oscar Gatto will finish today in last place and be awarded the "Maglia Nera", or the black jersey for the last rider on the general classification.

27 km to go,  Mikhael Ignatiev off the front  Finally an attack on the final circuits in Milan. Ignatiev of Tinkoff takes off to animate the race. The Tinkoff team has animated many of the stages of this years Giro, certainly justifying their selection as a wildcard. His attack comes just before the line to signal 5 circuits to go in this 2007 edition of the Giro d'Italia. You might say Mikhael is earning his own triumph lap as the Fuga Gilera and Garibaldi sprints firmly in his grasp.

Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi) takes a flyer off the front to join Ignatiev... who has a 17 second gap. Will they make it? Probably not, but their sponsors will be glad of the camera time! Irizar's break away attempt was short-lived as he has been swallowed by the pack. Ignatiev pours it on at the front giving it all in his final attack, I would think? in this edition of the Giro.

1731 CEST 4 circuits to go, Ignatiev continues his assault. Ignatiev has increased his lead to 20 seconds with 18km to go. Ignatiev has been a professional since 2004 and has 7 victories. Steven Cummings of the Discovery Channel has decided to take his chances off the front of the peloton and bridge to the energizer bunny Ignatiev.

5 hours into the race and Cummings has a hundred meters on the peloton with CSC added to the teams in attendance behind Liquigas.

1737 CEST - Cummings is swallowed up by the peloton. Liquigas is unforgiving. The peloton is in two parts with Liquigas leading with the sprinters teams in one group with the rest of the survivors of the last 21 days spread out keeping the gap close.

With 14.4 km to go and just 3 circuits left, this is shaping up to be not the final we all were expecting if the sprinter's teams don't act soon! Bettini is no longer at the back -- he has made his way up to about 20th position. Maybe he wasn't making dinner plans after all!

Bettini is riding just behind his arch-nemesis, Ale-jet Petacchi. With 2 laps left the gap is down to 16 seconds Bettini marks Ale Jet's wheel. Planning something devious? We'll have to wait and see at the finish! Ignatiev out of the saddle at every corner with his effort, still a 20 second lead. Liquigas drives the peloton with Schleck and CSC escort and the sprinters behind. Ignatiev sits up as he sees the peloton closing the gap, the final attack of il animatore is over.

1748 CEST - 4.8 km to go, Final circuit Quickstep, Milram, T-Mobile and CSC moving to the front. Liquigas leaves the front as Milram takes the point.

1750 Cest 1 km to go, Milram in control...
Last kilometer! Petachhi 3rd position.
Bettini just behind him
Lancaster on the front with 500m
Around the corner!
400 meters Petacchi launches his attack from around Lancaster...

Alessandro Ale Jet Petacchi wins the final stage of the 90th edition of the Giro d'Italia!!!!

They were all over the road, but it was clear that Petacchi was going to take it, Ale-jet had time to sit up and celebrate. As Lancaster pulled off Zanini tried to come around Petacchi but Ale-jet turned on the after burners and left him in the dust. 2. Richeze 3. Bettini , 4. Palumbo, and Zanini in that order.

And now the rest of the peloton rolls in to their final destination of Milan, Danilo in escort to arrive as not surprising victor of the Giro.

 

Salut!!! Danilo Di Luca winner of the 2007 Giro d'Italia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Provisional Result Stage 21
1 Alessandro Petacchi Milram 5:18:54
2 Maximiliano Richeze Ceramica Panaria/Navigare
3 Paolo Bettini Quickstep/Innergetic

4. Giuseppe Palumbo Acqua & Sapone/Caffè Mokambo
5. Stefano Zanini Predictor/Lotto


Danilo Celebrates stage 20! Photo c. Team Saunier Duval/Prodir

Di Luca stands on the podium receiving his final Maglia Rosa with a broad smile as his team mates beat on the podium stand floor with the crowd cheering and Danilo lifts his arms in a final salute to the fans. Congratulations to a hard fought and well deserved victory to Danilo Di Luca and the Liquigas Team.

No change to the General Classification today or other classifications....

90th Giro d'Italia
General Classification after Stage 20
Classifica generale
1 DI LUCA Danilo ITA LIQ  Maglia Rosa
2 SCHLECK Andy LUX CSC  1:55 Maglia Bianca
3 MAZZOLENI Eddy ITA AST  2:25

4 SIMONI Gilberto ITA SDV  3:15
5 CUNEGO Damiano ITA LAM  3:49
6 RICCO' Riccardo ITA SDV 7:00 
7 PETROV Evgeni RUS TCS  8:34

8 BRUSEGHIN Marzio ITA LAM  10:14
9 PELLIZOTTI Franco ITA LIQ  10:44
10 ARROYO DURAN David ESP GCE  11:58

Thanks for joining us for the final stage of the Giro, Photos and results to follow. Thanks to Walt Armstrong and Paula Andrist for calling the race today. We look forward to Fabio and Alicia Hopkins reports from Milan later today. Enjoy your ride today!
Discuss this race and the sport with other cycling fans from around the world on the Daily Peloton.com Forums and Chat Room.  All links to our race coverage in the: 90th Giro d'Italia - 2007 Race Program & Index
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