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
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
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
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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