91rst Giro d'Italia - Stage 3 Live Coverage Part 2
40 km to go as the peloton led by Liquigas are slowly closing the gap
to the six escapees...
1646 CEST - 40k to go for the breakaway.
Paolo Bettini rides as cool as you like alongside Andrea Tonti at the back of
the pack. Piano, piano. Now the pack goes under that 40k banner, the gap
has gone out slightly to 1'45".
As some of you may recall, Cofidis' Mickael Buffaz, one of the guys on the
move today, put in his "show" last year in the "hot" stage into Pinerolo.
When on he went on a solo attack, gained a lot on the field, then all of a
sudden stopped, and didn't want to continue any longer and such ... Then he got
back in the saddle and finished his stage. Still, he provided some further drama
to a stage marred by the heat on a Italian late spring day. Nothing similar is
going to happen today.
Buffaz played his part in the breakaway and he's likely going to be reeled in
together with the other escapees. One of whom (Jurco) is the son of a former
professional rider that happened to be a teammate of RAI's current (legendary)
commentator Davide Cassani. Those were the days of the Supermercati Brianzoli
team, back in the mid-80s. One minute for the escape as the gap slowly comes
1700 CEST - Barloworld's DS Valerio Piva
also talked to the RAI journalist Pancani about Cavendish and Greipel. The
former just needed a wheel change to his bike, and will give it a try at the
sprint if possible; the latter injured his left hand and knows that he can't be
a factor late in the stage. That's why the German is giving it everything in
order to help his teammates right now.
1703 CEST - The peloton is regrouping ...
all together. The adventure of Jérémy Roy, Mickael Buffaz, Riccardo
Chiarini, Matei Jurco, Pavel Brutt and Kevin Seeldrayers is over. Still, kudos
to them. And also a big "thank you" for providing us tickerers with something to
write about in a stage like this ...
1710 CEST - Strangely enough, a woman
welcomed the regrouped peloton into Spatafora town by waving a flag of Sicily's
"rival island" Sardinia. Much less strange is the fact no teams have taken
matters into their hands after the breakaway men were brought back.
1713 CEST - Oh here we go .... another
pile-up! Many riders were caught in. Amongst them Brad McGee. A Tinkoff
rider (Kiryenka) fell first, perhaps after mistaking one turn. Graeme Brown and
Magnus Backstedt also went down. McGee is in a great deal of pain. And other
guys fell after the Belarusian. McGee was run over by a Lampre rider.
Backstedt was used as a leaning post by a Saunier Duval man too - as in, he
came to a stop on top of him.Bad cornering by Kiryienka, he was right at the
front of the pack but went too wide, onto dirt and his back wheel slid out. His
legs were just sticking out onto the road from some shrubbery, and that's how it
happened. Surprising Kiryenka should know how to corner, he is a track rider...
Kiryenka did something wrong, but the impact of his mistake was made much bigger
by the sand on the asphalt, always a danger to watch for when you ride along the
beach. Tinkoff will be short one rider to lead out Loddo.
Sadly enough, McGee could have broken his collarbone. Rotten luck for the
Aussie, who has won the Giro prologue before - he was coming back to form after
a few years on the fritz.
1725 CEST - After the second pile-up of
the day, Team LPR joined, and perhps even replaced Liquigas on the front. Di
Luca's teammates are now outnumbering's Pellizotti's in the first places. Paolo
Bettini also made his way to the front places. No way the Cricket is going to
stay off the back of the gruppo today any longer.
Some red jerseys of Barloworld are also seen on the front. Gasparotto leads
them, possibly in order to keep Soler as far from problems as possible. The
Colombian needs anything but another fall today. Davide Rebellin was also
involved in the pile-up but he was paced back into the field by 2 teammates of
this. Also Backestedt has regained the peloton.
A Tinkoff man leads the peloton and corners gingerly. I'm not at all
surprised after the Kiryienka incident... Andrea Tonti (Quick Step) almost
unwillingly took some time of out the field. He didn't even realized that. But
when he did he thought "why not giving it a try"? and tried to continue on a
solo lead. Perhaps to soften up the group for Bettini If Tonti wanted to
have the peloton waste some energies into a chase, he may have hit the target.
The field embarked on a pursuit and reeled him in.
9km to go - An Astana rider pops off the
front. Antonio Colom? Yep, it's Toni Colom of Spain... But NIBALI counters
his move. The SHARK on the attack!!
SHARK ATTACK!! And the crowd at
Milazzo go wild! The home rider knew that he had no chances in a sprint, so he
decided to give it a go by breaking away solo, Plus, he's forcing other teams to
chase, and Bennati and the other Liqui-guys can take it easier and save their
legs for a possible sprint. LPR and High Road are driving the pursuit. Only six
seconds for this local hero. A brave effort though from Nibali.
6km to go - High Road are visible up
there for Mark Cavendish, with Liquigas also going great guns for Bennati. The
shark is reeled in. Still, he managed to get some exposure in his first time in
front of his home crowd (in such a top race)
1734 CEST - 4K to go now. The pace his
much higher. VANDENBROEK attacks. The mighty "rouleur" from Belgium was next on
the move. It was short-lived though, he's been reeled in.The attack from the
Silence-Lotto was nullified fast. The peloton are tackling today's last uphill
Just 3km to go, Milram have a strong
presence up front too. Erik Zabel's time to shine? It's official now: Brad McGee
broke his collarbone. His Giro d'Italia 2008 is over, unfortunately.
Lilien Jegou (FDJ) is the next one trying to break away from the field. Come
on, man. You're not going anywhere! The peloton has no intention to let him take
any advantage. With the speed the peloton is traveling, he barely had 20 seconds
out in front.
1739 CEST - ULTIMO CHILOMETRO! Yes, it's
flambe rouge time. And it's gonna be sprinting time soon ...
400m to go.. Hondo is fighting with
Forster and a CSF man - well, pushing. Bennati is second place .. Zabel follows
Bennati attacks. Zabel follows ...it's a 2-man thing. and the winner is ....
Zabel takes second. Bennati celebrated his comeback to the Giro after 4 years
with a great and easy win over Zabel Hondo Fothen and Loddo. McEwen didn't make
it into the top 20 either. Both Trussov and Brown hit the barriers and
crashed during the sprint.
Top ten results (official)
1 BENNATI Daniele ITA LIQ 5:37:01 0:00 20"
2 ZABEL Erik GER MRM 5:37:01 0:00 12"
3 HONDO Danilo GER SDA 5:37:01 0:00 8"
4 FOTHEN Thomas GER GST 5:37:01 0:00
5 LODDO Alberto ITA TCS 5:37:01 0:00
6 FERNANDEZ Koldo ESP EUS 5:37:01 0:00
7 DALL'ANTONIA Tiziano ITA CSF 5:37:01 0:00
8 PEREZ ARANGO Marlon A. COL GCE 5:37:01 0:00
9 CAVENDISH Mark GBR THR 5:37:01 0:00
10 GATTO Oscar ITA GST 5:37:01 0:00
The G.C. is largely unchanged for the top ten. Full
results and photo to come.
After Race Rider Comments
In his first comments right after crossing the line,
Daniele Bennati was darn happy at his first ever Giro victory, and
did nothing to hide it. "It's just great. Wonderful. I benefited from the job
done by Milram. That was the only thing I could do".
Riccardo Riccò, on the other hand was
darn upset instead, and did nothing to hide it. "I'd better not speak, or I
would say some unpleasant things". Still, he spent some words to criticize the
race organizers because, in his opinion, today's parcours was too dangerous.
Franco 'Goldilocks' Pellizotti comes to the podium to collect his second
maglia rosa, its a Liquigas day with Bennati taking the stage; and the lead of
the race albeit an unchanged G.C. the Liquiguy's on top. Vandevelde still
in second place only a second back. Liquigas also add the maglia ciclamino
jersey to their treasures with Bennati taking the points jersey.
Next in front of the microphones was Enrico
Gasparotto, one of the leaders of the Barloworld legion. He shared
Ricco's criticisms of the parcours ("Us riders have been on strike in order to
get safer courses, but apparently it was pointless") and also used some colorful
expressions to praise his teammates Soler ("Mauricio proved how gutsy he is. Few
ones would have been able to finish such a hard stage like today's in his own
Even without directly mentioning race organizers or naming names, Gilberto Simoni was not much more indulgent: "If a few raindrops proved enough for us to see the bunch (fall) on the tarmac, we must be thankful that it didn't start raining seriously.
More comments from stage champion Daniele Bennati
and his strong Tuscan accent: "I'm a very happy man today. I couldn't ask for
more. I've won stages at Tour de France and La Vuelta in the past, but a Giro
stage success is always something extraordinary to an Italian. I've also
finished Tours and Vueltas, so this year, as I got back to the Giro after a long
time, I want to honour the race, hopefully winning the cyclamen jersey".
And again: "I'm happy for the team too. They've been working hard throughout
the stage, and still they were there, in front, to help me also at the end. I
tried to take advantage of Milram's leadout work, threading my way between Velo
and Zabel, but without running too many risks. I don't like taking excessive
risks. Then I started my sprint about 250m from the line. And everything went
Bennati admitted that he didn't need teammates leading him out to win, but
also said (perhaps half-jokingly, we think ...), that he would not be unpleased
if (Liquigas team manager) Roberto Amodio would provide him with a good leadout
Last, but not least, speaking of today's "tricky" parcours and its "impact",
Bennati said that "the first stages of a Grand Tour are usually quite dangerous.
But today's was in fact dangerous enough, especially the last kilometres. I was
in the front places, but I think those at the back of the field must have had
some very hard time in such narrow roads. I've been following many Giros, you
know, and I've heard the same complaints all the time. Every year is the same
story, unfortunately ...".
Franco Pellizzotti joined the Liquigas
celebrations ("We got a nice stage win and held on to the jersey ... I think the
team was great today") with the Maglia Rosa still on his shoulders. He kept the
overall leader's mantle another day and joked about it ("I'm starting to get
accustomed to this jersey"). Sure he thinks that he can surrender the jersey in
the next stages, whose course is more appropriate to the likes of Riccó and Di
Luca than to the "Dolphin from Bibione", but still aims at having it back (in
case of really losing it) when harder stages come.
Liqui-DS Roberto Amodio echoed his words
and didn't rule out the chance of losing the race leadership soon, but also
warned any other wannabe Maglia Rosa holder: Pellizotti and Liquigas are not
going to give up the jersey that easily; if the Di Lucas and Riccos of the
peloton want to get it, they will have to earn it.
Thanks for joining us today for the live ticker of the third stage of the
Giro. Special thanks to our commentators Fabio in Italy and Andy McGrath in
London. Join us tomorrow for the fourth stage as we return to the mainland of
Italy for stage 4: Pizzo Calabro - Catanzaro-Lungomare 183 km
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