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91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 7 Live Coverage Part 2
By Staff
Date: 5/16/2008
91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 7 Live Coverage Part 2

Giro d'Italia - Stage 7 Live Coverage Part 2
The break of Bosisio, Sella, Baliani, Kiryienka and Cardenas... a gap of 5;48 on the chase, can the fab five hold on till Pescocostanzo?

Stage 7 Vasto - Pescocostanzo 180 km
1546 CEST - 45 km to go, The bunch was slow on the pass, perhaps because the main squads were careful not to get many of their domestiques dropped, and lost about half a minute to the leaders. And further ballooned to 06'45" as the bunch went under the 45k to go banner.

The break flies through Castel di Sangro, a town of 6,000 in the province of L'Aquila; there is a very  narrow corridor there at the finale before the climb in the city, it will be a factor today. They're about to bring Cataldo and Noé back, whilst the Sivtsov-Garate gruppo, a little be over two minutes down on the leaders, are not giving up the pursuit.

1551 CEST - 35km to go for the fugitives, they have 2'52" on the Horrach/Rujano group.  Serramenti and Astana are on the front of the maglia rosa group, it looks a bit more serious again. The big question is: what rider are Astana currently working for? If things go on like this, with LPR's smartly saving their legs inside the field, there's some that the answer is ... Di Luca! If Kloden still has form from Romandie, he'd be the most logical option. Clearly it is Levi.. with that time protest yesterday... Combined efforts from several teams in the field are starting to take toll as the gap significantly moved back to its dropping ways.

Piepoli could be very useful to Riccó and/or Saunier today. The Flying Trullo can attack and force Astana and LPR into a counter-chase, or play the part of great pace-setter, picking up the tempo as things get vertical again later in the stage. He might well be useful ... to himself and his own career tally, of course.  But he's more likely to work for the man now caught by the TV cameras, Riccardo Riccó.

1604 CEST - 24km to go for the break, Cardenas gets aerodynamic as he keeps the pace up on the front. The peloton gained something on Bosisio, Sella, Baliani, Kiryienka and Cardenas... but "something" was in fact just 17 seconds in five kilometres. The gap is still a solid 05'48".

Gianni "The Prince" Savio, interviewed "on the road" sounded upset at the fact his team Diquigiovanni, Astana and Saunier had to do the whole chasing job. Still, with Bosisio in the front group, we can't blame LPR for sitting in the middle of the pack and saving their legs.

Baliani, Bosisio, Kiriyenka, Cardenas and the Goblin from the Vicenza woods (Sella, that is) hit the toughest climb so far in the race, Pietransieri. It's the penultimate uphill thingy of the day. Two Sauniers and as many Gibo-men drive the pack, with the group containing Garate, Van den Broek etc still somewhere in the middle.  Saunier are riding darn hard now.

1612 CEST - 20 km to go, The frontrunners were climbing at 20 kph on the opening slopes. Same place, much better speed for the field: 24 km/h. They'd better hurry anyway, or Riccò would lose any chances to compete for stage victory.  Bosisio leads his companions under the 20km-to-go banner. Let's see what this climb does to their cohesion. If Sella wants the KOM jersey, he'll be first over the top... and from there, he may as well try to win the stage.

1617 CEST - Ricco', Di Luca and Contador are marching neck-to-neck in the front group. Now LPR move to the front, bringing their amazing colour, and start to work. Now LPR move to the front, bringing their amazing colour, and start to work. With Di Luca's most loyal lieutenant Alessandro Spezialetti cranking up the pace, Visconti is having a very hard time staying in the gruppo.

The Maglia Rosa lost contact, whereas Matthias Russ looks able to stay with the best ones (so far). Bettini is pacing the maglia rosa. The pack are only about 20 seconds behind the Vandenbroeck/Horrach group. Ardila slipping back through the bunch.

1619 CEST - Di Luca sits in second wheel, still led by Spezialetti, with Colom (Astana) and Riccó following his rear wheel. Kloeden and Contador are a little behind. Courtesy of Spezialetti's work, also Garate and Sioutsou have been reeled in. And the gap to the Fab Five on the front dropped a lot in this first part of the climb: it was just three minutes. Nardello is struggling to stay with Visconti, who at his turn regained the "Gruppo Matthias Russ".

1621 CEST - Baliani dropped: the breakaway is down to four men only. Di Luca doesn't look great in the maglia rosa group, but perhaps he's just practicing his "Killer" look. Bettini is doing a remarkable job trying to pace Visconti back into the main field. Nardello just can't follow the tempo. This gap is going down faster than Savoldelli with a GPS - 2'33" now. Russ successfully "sprinted" to regain the Di Luca group, but such effort may backfire on him. He should have stayed with Bettini and Visconti and use their help to make his way back into the field.

1624 CEST - Leonardo Piepoli attacks!  Pushing a 53x16 while on a six percent portion, the master climber from Apulia powered away from (what was left of) the pack. Meanwhile. behind, maglia bianca hopefuls Possoni and Seeldraeyers hang grimly to Visconti's wheel. The Maglia Rosa and his "domestique" Bettini are hanging though. No way the peloton is dropping them.

1628 CEST - Perhaps the gap was slightly optimistic before - apparently it's 3'10" to the quartet now. Piepoli's deficit to the quartet amounts to 160 seconds (02'40"if you like). No further news from the 40-strong Gruppo Di Luca.

DI LUCA AATTTTAAAACKS!! AND RICCOOOO IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWS!!!!! AND SO DOES CONTADOR!! Joaquin Rodriguez was the only one capable to follow the three wonders as they made the most signifcant move thus far in the Giro d'Italia 2008. But the Spanish National champion has a hard time staying with them.

1630 CEST - Rodriguez gets dropped while Piepoli is joined by Ricco, Di Luca and Contador. Ricco accelerates up to Piepoli and Saunier Duval's "Old Faithful" puts the pace high. Piepoli forcing the pace again. Di Luca is the one struggling now. But to his fans' delight, the end of the climb is near. Meanwhile, in front, Emmanuele Sella leads Bosisio and Cardenas over the top to increase his maglia verde tally!

Contador comes round Di Luca with grace on to the wheel of Ricco! The breakaway is just a dozen kilometres from the finish. Their advantage is still solid enough: about two minutes. Di Luca gets onto Contador's wheel, his face screwed up in pain. The Killer indeed...

Kloeden, Leipheimer, Simoni, Pellizotti also crested. Chasing behind, Bruseghin and Menchov are in front. While Soler is further behind. The Colombian was perhaps one of the main victims of the recent fireworks.  2'30" behind are Ricco, Piepoli, Contador and Kloden over the top - the chasers are about 30 seconds behind.

1637 CEST - Di Luca made a wicked move, but perhaps it it is backfiring. Di Luca has to resort to all of his well-known "grinta" to stay with the Saunier duo. The "home rider" and Contador take turns behind the wheels of Piepoli and Ricco.  The Nibali/Pellizotti/Simoni/Rebellin group (there's some fifteen more riders inside) are 15 seconds behind.

10km to go for the leading four, led by Sella at the moment. With Kloeden and Levi also part of such group, Contador is obviously sucking the wheels of the Saunier duo. The going is vertical again, and Sella attacks. Bosisio follows. Cardenas doesn't. The Colombian is dropped.

1641 CEST - 9K to go,  Ricco is looking hungry for a new attack. Watch out Danilo! Three men left up front: Vasil Kiryenka, Emanuele Sella and LPR's Gabriele Bosisio. Sella apparently has cramps! Or did he have a flat? In any case, it's TWO men only now: Bosisio and Kiryienka.

Now Bosisio gives it a dig in the drops.  Kiryienka, a handy time-trialist, is not far behind, but not quite on terms. The Italian is successfully trying to ride clear from the Belarusian. Ricco/Di Luca/Contador/Piepoli caught Baliani and extended their advantage over Simoni, Nibali, Pellizzotti, Levi etc. to 28 seconds.

1644 CEST - Only 5k to go for solo leader Gabriele Bosisio (Ita - Team LPR Brakes-Ballan). Apparently, the Ricco/Di Luca group only have 24 seconds. Let's see what the last uphill does. Yes, 24 seconds OVER the Nibali/Levi/Rebbelin group though. Their gap to Bosisio is well bigger.

Di Luca leads the group under the 5km to go banner, 2'34" behind Bosisio. Contador and Baliani are mere passengers, unwilling to get in the driving seat. 

1648 CEST - Bosisio in the lead, Kiryenka in second place, Sella 40" behind, Cardenas in fourth and the "Di Luca group" coming next. Menchov, Pozzovivo and a few others attacked the "gruppo Simoni". 

Less than 2k to go for the Lombard rider. He looks unstoppable. He's marching towards stage victory. Bosisio won the prestigious Giro del Lazio last summer, but this will be even sweeter.  Bosisio got a huge help from Di Luca as the former won Giro d'Oro some time ago. Many thought he was going to pay his team leader at the Giro, starting from today, but it is not happening.

Bosisio goes under the flambe rouge. Behind, Di Luca pushes the pace again, with that diabolical mask of pain briefly showing. A few more switchbacks and Gabriele Bosisio will get the more prestigious success so far in his career. Tinkoff got yet another rider into a breakaway today, but unlike two days ago their efforts are not being rewarded.

Here comes Bosisio,
500 more metres for Bosisio, then his maiden Giro stage win... he's across the line now.

HE WINS! 04h45'05" his time

GABRIELE BOSISIO is the winner!!!

Kiryienka comes in second at 46" - Unfortunate Sella third at 01'02"

200m to go for Cardenas. here he is. His final gap being 01'32".

Di Luca wins the sprint for fifth place at about two minutes, eight seconds. Ricco 6th, piepoli 7th. Contador got dropped a bit in the last slopes. Davide Rebellin pacing the next group across the line at 02'55". Menchov, Kloeden, Gibo, Llevi, Nibali, Valjavec and a few others follow.

1700 CEST - Visconti also came to the finish. He maintains the jersey, and even gained some over Russ. Nardello hasn't crossed the line yet.

Gigi took his cursing power to new heights, yesterday he predicted Danilo as stage winner, but... he predicted (and of course cursed) Diluca. But, as Gigi is a smartass, and apparently has enough of everone mocking him for his failure to guess the winners... He started talking like, "yes, but also Ricco,Contador, Simoni can do fine." and basically added 82% of the peloton to his list of favorites. Maybe he was thinking, 'Oh well, if I name almost all the field I'll finally get it in anyway. So he mentioned everyone... but guess who? Bosisio!!

1702 CEST - Today's superb (and unexpected) performance might well have put Gabriele Bosisio in the top three overall. More details in a moment. Oh my, Sella is impressiva, he's crying. He was confident he could win after all his efforts ... but punctured; he's been looking for a stage victory for five years, and he thought he was finally got to get it today. Then ... the flat.

Emmanuele Selle comes forward to accept another maglia verde as leader of the climbers competition after solidifying his lead today. Riders stream in to the finish at 4:45 from the leaders as the podium ceremonies go on and Giovanni Visconti receives his maglia rosa, and next the maglia bianca of U23 leader.

Meanwhile the grupetto or laughing group finishes, while Daniele Bennati is awarded the Ciclamino jersey. So we have no changes in the jersey leaders today.

Stage 7 Vasto - Pescocostanzo Results
180 km - 4:45:05 - 37,041 km/h

1 BOSISIO Gabriele ITA LPR 4:45:05 0:00 26"
2 KIRYIENKA Vasil BLR TCS 4:45:51 0:46 12"
3 SELLA Emanuele ITA CSF 4:46:07 1:02 8"

4 CARDENAS Felix Rafael COL BAR 4:46:38 1:33 2"
5 DI LUCA Danilo ITA LPR 4:47:09 2:04
6 RICCO' Riccardo ITA SDV 4:47:09 2:04
7 PIEPOLI Leonardo ITA SDV 4:47:12 2:07
8 CONTADOR Alberto ESP AST 4:47:15 2:10
9 REBELLIN Davide ITA GST 4:48:00 2:55
10 PELLIZOTTI Franco ITA LIQ 4:48:00 2:55
11 KLODEN Andreas GER AST 4:48:00 2:55
12 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin ESP GCE 4:48:00 2:55
13 MENCHOV Denis RUS RAB 4:48:00 2:55
14 BRUSEGHIN Marzio ITA LAM 4:48:00 2:55
15 SORENSEN Chris DEN CSC 4:48:00 2:55

General Classification After Stage 7
1 VISCONTI Giovanni ITA QST 32:03:01 0:00
2 RUSS Matthias GER GST 32:03:10 0:09
3 BOSISIO Gabriele ITA LPR 32:08:44 5:43

4 DI LUCA Danilo ITA LPR 32:10:28 7:27
5 SELLA Emanuele ITA CSF 32:10:37 7:36
6 CARDENAS Felix Rafael COL BAR 32:10:47 7:46
7 RICCO' Riccardo ITA SDV 32:10:54 7:53
8 NARDELLO Daniele ITA SDA 32:10:54 7:53
9 CONTADOR Alberto ESP AST 32:10:57 7:56
10 PELLIZOTTI Franco ITA LIQ 32:11:12 8:11
11 NIBALI Vincenzo ITA LIQ 32:11:20 8:19
12 SORENSEN Nicki DEN CSC 32:11:29 8:28
13 SAVOLDELLI Paolo ITA LPR 32:11:31 8:30
14 PIEPOLI Leonardo ITA SDV 32:11:39 8:38
15 LARSSON Gustav Erik SWE CSC 32:11:40 8:39

Thanks for joining us today for the live coverage, join us tomorrow.
Tomorrows stage 8 from Rivisondoli to Tivoli is a 208 km trek, with one Category 2 climb of the Forca d'Acero a 10 km climb averaging 4.1% with steeps reaching 9%. The summit comes at 56.8 kilometers into the stage. A mostly rolling affair after the climb, with a 5 km climb to the finish in the Piazza Garibaldi in the province of Roma.

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