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91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 5 Live Part 2
By Staff
Date: 5/14/2008
91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 5 Live Part 2

Giro d'Italia - Stage 5 Live Part 2
30 km to go and our fab five escapees have 4:30 on the chasing peloton... can Millar and mates evade capture?

Stage 4 Belvedere Marittimo - Contursi Terme 203 km
1558 CEST - A couple Liqui-guys raised the pace even more, resulting in ... their teammate Kjell Carltöm getting dropped. But notably resulting in the advantage falling down to about 04'30". The bunch have made some solid gains in this uphill section. But now that the race is back to its downhill antics, the escapees might well take advantage of the route and save some of their still decent lead.

Plus, LPR are not helping the chase that much: "we're a young team, and if we waste too many energies now could, it could backfire later in the race" said their DS Fabio Bordonali.

1603 CEST - The breakaway just went under the 30k to go banner. It's raining over Millar, Perez, Laverde, Fröhlinger and Brutt, who have been away for over 150 kilometres so far in the stage.

The peloton descends. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

The Giro d'Italia advertising caravan have reached the finishing line. The race is about 30 kilometres away. Both the five attackers and the group are taking on a dangerous (especially due to the wet roads) descent, with the gap between them still a good 03'40" at the newest check.

1610 CEST - The "Holy Alliance" of Quickstep and Liquigas made their way through a bunch of umbrellas as the pack, driven by the youngest rider around, Belgium's Kevin Seeldrayers - himself in a breakaway a couple days ago - crosses a small town in a false flat section. The sky turned from grey to black. And the rain got more annoying.

1613 CEST - The gap was down to 03'10" at the last check, while Liquigas reseized power on the front of the chase machine. Goldilocks sits in spot number four, with two teammates and one LPR-Ballan youngster riding tempo ahead of him.

Liquigas and Quick Step lead the chase. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Quickstep's Giovanni Visconti, proud wearer of the white-red-green jersey, joins the chasers. And the gap comes down again: three minutes.  But with the distance to the line being only 22 kilometres, chances for the Fab Five to succeed stay the same. And maybe even grow bigger.  The fugitives have never given any sign of stopping, of losing confidence. It's gonna be a great battle until the finish today.

 Di Luca thinks that HE can do it though. Basically all of his teammates captured the front of pack and started driving the chase. It stopped raining, but the gap didn't stop shrinking: 02'40" with 20k to go.

Gap 02'40" with 20k to go. And the recent news about Team LPR finally getting very serious about the chase could deal the breakaway group's victory hopes a big blow.

The peloton completed the last downhill portion, the "fuggitivi" are tackling the next climbing thing already, with 15k to go. But Millar, Laverde (a dual stage winne rin this race) and the four others are going through some hard time. The latest advantage is 02 minutes, 18 seconds.

Francisco Perez is about to surrender the "Maglia Rosa Virtuale". Liquigas fulfilled their first and main objective as they stopped the Spaniard from claiming the race leadership. But Di Luca seems more interested in stage victory than his former teammates are. That's why LPR completely replaced the lime green contingent as chase-drivers. Still, the escapees keep taking turns and desperately try to hold off the oncoming bunch, to avoid what might be unavoidable. And perhaps is not yet that unavoidable. LPR has been on the front alot so far.. I wonder how this will affect them the last week.

1631 CEST - Geez? What's wrong with LPR? They rode like motorbikes all through the descent, but once it was over, they slowed their pace!! Did they rush "en masse" to the front and ride their legs off just in order to keep Di Luca in the first places and far from danger? As a result, chances for the breakaway, now on a descent 7.5 km from the finish, kept growing again. And grew A LOT! The advantage stays over two minutes!! LPR ran over Bailetti's stricken bike in their hurry to get going. That's one way to ruin a $5,000 bike.

1638 CEST - Less than FIVE to go for the breakaway. The winning breakaway. Or is it too early too tell? Practically any of them could win, but perhaps Giro stage winner Laverde Jimenez and Perez Sanchez are the favourites? That said, Brutt can't be ignored... Funnily, Laverde and Perez Sanchez were breakaway companions also two years ago, in the stage from Aosta to Domodossola. The Colombian took line honours that day.

1640 CEST - The gap is 1'46" as the peloton goes under the 5k to go banner. The Spaniard might want to take revenge. But Laverde and three more guys might not agree with him.

The hard working break on the final climb as Laverde looks over his shoulder for the peloton. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1640 CEST - The Fab Five hit the final ascent.  3 crucial kilometres to go for our leaders; the first escapees to stay away in this year's race?  The peloton, that basically gave up the chase (Serramenti-Diquigiovanni are leading!) hasn't yet. The gap was 01'40" at the most recent check. The fugitives ride neck-to-neck on the first slopes. They're expected to make some more time losses here.

Millar and the others could really make it!  Why were Simoni's teammates setting the pace? Because Raffaele Illiano was about to attack. The "home rider" from Campania made a solo move. Frohlinger attacks.

Fröhlinger gave it a go at breaking away from the others, but Perez Sanchez countered. And this move didn't prosper. Perez Sanchez attacks immediately, but Millar marks it. Neither Illiano's attack succeed, the group brought him back. The deficit is 1'05", the peloton will need wings to get them back now.

Brutt attacks and gets a gap Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

HOLY MOLY!!  Pavel Brutt attacks!!  He makes the gap on the others, but Perez Sanchez countered. And this move didn't prosper. Perez Sanchez attacks immediately, but Millar marks it.

....and Millar completely throws his bike off the road!! Millar had some bike problems indeed.

Perez Sanchez can't bring back the young Russian by himself. Brutt is muscling up the climb toward the finish his gap growing the others incapable of catching him.

Millar has lost all of his chances. Pavel Brutt attacked and DID make the gap.  Only a few metres to go for the Russian - Brutt squeezes all the speed he can out of his bike; Frohlinger is now leading the chase.

150 ... 100... Pavel is doing it... But his gap is fine.


Brutt acknowledges the cheers of the tifosi. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

He crosses the line with barely enough energy to raise his right arm over his head, Frohlinger takes 2nd
Laverde 3rd, Perez 4th

Millar will be kicking himself. How odd... And Bettini wins the sprint for fifth place at about 34 seconds. Had Quickstep worked more in order to bring the escapees back. Bettini might have even won the sprint for first place.  I wonder how Slipstream will report that...

And in his first post-race interviews, Bettini honestly took the blame for that: "MEA CULPA" he said. "To win a sprint for fifth place and to win a stage is not exactly the same thing" Il Grillo admitted. But even more upset than Bettini should be Millar, brought down ... by his own shoe. Whose problems cost him the chance to compete for stage victory.

Results Stage 5
1. PAVEL BRUTT 05h04'52"

5. PAOLO BETTINI - at 31"
Brutt's winning speed: 39.951 kph.

Millar had a mechanical in the final 850 meters which preceded him tossing his bike over the barriers. Nice tantrum, Ricco-esque. He did something similar at the 2002 Vuelta, losing a shoe on the Angliru, crashing, getting almost run over and then abandoning on the finish line. It all took place in the last 1,000 metres, so will Millar be awarded the same time as the other top finishers?

The GC stays same, at its top at least. A bit more work from LPR and maybe the break would have been caught? With Pellizotti leading Vandevelde that leads Di Luca that leads Possoni that leads Nibali etc etc and the gaps are the same as always, and the gaps are the ones you all know well, don't you?

It's the maglia ciclamino again for Daniele Bennati. As well, Emmanuele Sella keeps the green jersey for his lead in the climbing ranks. Morris Possoni comes to the stage to receive his maglia bianca for top U23 rider, so all the jerseys remain the same this afternoon.

 Unbelievable but true: Millar lost the stage like that EVEN WITHOUT BEING PICKED BY GIGI AS WINNER earlier today. Apparently Millar's chain broke? We aren't sure what happened, but rotten luck.

Thanks for joining us for the live report for stage 5 with Fabio and Andy calling the race action. Join us tomorrow for the live coverage of stage 6, the longest stage of the Giro at 265 km from Potenza to Peschici, with a rolling profile one Categorie climb of the Rionero in Vulture, that comes early in the stage 47 km... a rather curios name for a climb. The race finishes on the Circuito del Gargno with another 3 km climb to the uphill finish.

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