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91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 8 Live Coverage Part 2
By Staff
Date: 5/17/2008
91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 8 Live Coverage Part 2

91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 8 Live Coverage Part 2
The chase is on with Quick Step leading the peloton as they close the gap the quintet of escapees... 37 km to go and the gap goes under three minutes can the five win in Tivoli?

Stage 8 Rivisondoli - Tivoli 208 km
1547 CEST - Under 40k to go, and the gap is running down. Steadily. It hovers around three minutes.

1549 CEST - The Fab Five on the front under the 35k to go banner. The stage is presumably going to finish around 0430-0445 PM today, quite earlier than expected. They are going faaaaast today.

1554 CEST - The more the breakaway gets closer to the finish, the more it looks doomed. Their advantage heavily fell under three minutes.

The break led by Perguet and Baliani. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

 Again, the five escapees are: Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita - Team LPR), Daniele Nardello (Ita - Serramenti Diquigiovanni-Androni), Mathieu Perget (Fra - Caisse d'Epargne), Fortunato Baliani (Ita - CSF Group-Navigare) and Adam Hansen (Aus - Team High Road). They took over six minutes out of the peloton, but in spite of this Visconti's race leadership was not seriously in danger.

1601 CEST - gap 2 minutes, The escape goes under the 20 km to go banner, still working well together. Saunier has moved to the front with a few more riders to push the pace. So is Riccó determined to try and win also today?

1602 CEST - Contador slipped on the asphalt at Sora, and hit his wrist, but unlike teammate Morabito (who had to pull out of the Giro after falling for the third time in the race...) he didn't suffer any major consequences.

The race hit the town of Palestrina. But there's no time for the peloton to stop and visit the town's magnificent Temple of Dea Fortuna. The five up front look more like a team time trial as they try to deny the efforts of the chase; but it doesn't look good for the lads. The peloton will want to time the catch in the last 6 km as the climb to the finish looms ahead.

1611 CEST - LPR also rushed to the front of the field ... to stop the chase. Pointless effort: the combined work of Quick Step and the "Red Birds" of Saunier is bearing fruit. The gap is on its way to a minute. Not that Hansen, Spezialetti, Baliani, Perget and Nardello are giving up the fight again. They keep taking turns on the front. But resistance to such a mighty chasing machine is apparently futileAdam Hansen leads the break at the moment. Liquigas is moving up through the peloton to the front.

1616 CEST - The breakway entered the last 15 kilometers in the stage. But there's no way they can make it: Quick Step learned from their past (as in "the Peschici stage") mistakes and stepped up the chase in time today.

Hansen Attacks! He has a 10 second gap and left his breakmates behind.

Approaching the finish the favorites move to the front. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1618 CEST - Adam Hansen seems to have realized it. The Aussie time trial champion stopped helping his breakaway mates and attacked on his own. Hansen made the gap and is currently on a solo lead; he'll try to avoid the unavoidable as long as possible. The four escapees hang off the front with the peloton ready to make the catch.

1621 CEST - They were fast for real today: the average speed with 10 km left was 44.463 kph despite all past ascents. 7.9 km to go.  It's over for Spezialetti, Baliani, Perget and Nardello. They stayed clear for some 150 km. but were just reeled in by the peloton.

Skilled TTist Adam Hansen is the only one not yet waving white flag. There's only 7 kilometres between the boy from Queensland and stage honours. Oh well, there's also a flying bunch, making stage honours hard to get for him. Astana's Toni Colom is doing his best to keep Alberto Contador in the front. No more risks the guy should take, one fall is enough, isn't it?

One fall is enough for Damien Monier too. Only, it came right now ... the French made a mistake at a roundabout and ended up on the tarmac.

1626 CEST - The going got vertical again, and this is no good news for young Hansen, who' still giving chasers a run for their money. He's 24" clear of the pack with 4k to go.

1628 CEST - 3.8 km to go, Hansen continues on his attack, but is showing the effort.  But things are getting complicated for the Aussie, who lost 09" over the past 1,000 metres. Uhh, Danilo off the back of the bunch. Struggling. WHY? Di Luca has got a few members of the LPR royal guard around, trying to pace him back in the middle of the field.

1631 CEST - Hansen suffers and looks to be blown... he pounds his handle bars with disappointment he wants to continue but his legs are gone, he sits back. Adam Hansen is caught by the peloton. And another CSF guy counter-attacked: Tiziano Dall'Antonia. Dall'Antonia moves didn't bear fruit. Now it's Piepoli driving the chase.

Bettini leads over the brutal grade onto the lower finishing grade.
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

The pack arrive... Bettini is there too. Di Luca is NOT!!

1632 CEST - 1k to go. Rabon tries and attack. Pointless. It's likely going to be a sprint today, a sprint of a group of 40. And Danilo Di Luca is not one of them.

Riccardo Ricco leads Bettini and Rebellin... Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1633 CEST - Good news for Danilo: he regained the peloton. But the sprint starts.. Danilo starts his sprint as Bettini comes around on the left passing Ricco. Danilo is caught by Bettini, Ricco and Rebellin..

 It's a two-man battle. Bettini vs. Riccó. It's a close one, and the winner is ....


Like a motorbike, like a man in great shape. He denied Il Grillo the joy of victory. Rebellin snatched third. Danilo went WAY to early.. . And Di Luca's teammate Pietropolli in fifth.

First comments from Riccardo Ricco:  "I didn't think I could make it today. But Algeri told me to give it a go because those twenty-second bonus could be useful. So I tried. Piepoli helped me a lot also today. Piepoli is just GREAT".

 Danilo Di Luca made a helluva effort to regain the peloton in the last hundred metres. He succeeded, but ran out of steam in the final sprint. And he finished even behind Pietropolli in the sprint. But, well, why was Pietropolli doing his own sprint instead of giving Di Luca a leadout? Again, questionable tactics from LPR-Ballan...

Bettini regretted not delivering today, but also praised Riccò: "He was good, smart and sharp".

A Cofidis rider gets a push on the brutal climb while a High Road rider hasn't the legs to push after a very fast 200 kilometers of racing. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Di Luca gained over 100 places in the last 2 kilometers, and snatched sixth in the stage, an amazing feat in itself; but not good enough to take the victory.

So, here's the top 6 places.
1. Riccardo Riccò (Ita - Saunier Duval)
2. Paolo Bettini (Ita - Quick Step)
3. Davide Rebellin (Ita - Gerolsteiner)

4. Franco Pellizotti (Ita - Liquigas)
5. Daniele Pietropolli (Ita - Team LPR Brakes-Ballan) (!?!?!?!?)
6. Danilo Di Luca (Ita - Team LPR Brakes-Ballan)
All in the same time. The average speed to the finish: 44.663 kph!

Riccardo Ricco steps to the stage for his kisses from the misses for his stage wins. The next up is Giovanni Visconti who arrives in his tricolore jersey of Italian champion to get another maglia rosa... there is no change in the leaders classifications again today; and no marked change to the G.C. today.

Whoops Riccardo Ricco with the win moves into the lead of the points competition and takes the purple jersey off the back of Daniele Bennati! Bravo Riccardo.

General Classification - (updated official)
1 VISCONTI Giovanni ITA QST 36:44:06 0:00
2 RUSS Matthias GER GST 36:44:40 0:34
3 BOSISIO Gabriele ITA LPR 36:49:59 5:53

4 DI LUCA Danilo ITA LPR 36:51:33 7:27
5 RICCO' Riccardo ITA SDV 36:51:39 7:33
6 SELLA Emanuele ITA CSF 36:51:42 7:36
7 CARDENAS Felix Rafael COL BAR 36:51:52 7:46
8 CONTADOR Alberto ESP AST 36:52:02 7:56
9 PELLIZOTTI Franco ITA LIQ 36:52:17 8:11
10 NIBALI Vincenzo ITA LIQ 36:52:25 8:19

Thanks for joining us for today's live report of stage 8. Join us for tomorrow as the 218 kilometer stage from Civitavecchia to San Vincenzo we a day clearly made for the fast finishers on a mostly flat stage with one cat 3 climb Campiglia Marittma that comes 37 km from the slightly down hill finish. Sure to be an early break but the odds will be against the brave and optimistic against the sprinters teams. Perhaps a day for Bettini to fulfill his desire for a stage win, but he will have to contend with Bennati, Rebellin and the other fast legs in the peloton.

Complete results and after race comments to follow...

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91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 8 Live Coverage Part 1
91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 8 General Classification & Photos
91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 8 Results & Photos

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