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91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 9 Live Coverage - Part 3
 
By Staff
Date: 5/18/2008
91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 9 Live Coverage - Part 3
 

91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 9 Live Coverage - Part 3
The heat is on and the gap down to 2 minutes...

Stage 9: Civitavecchia - San Vincenzo 218 km
23 kilometres to go. Filippo Savini starts riding, he's clearly in pain. Great courage from the Giro virgin; it will be a lonely 30km ride to the finish if he makes it. The Tifosi will love him for this. Meanwhile Liquigas' Dario Cataldo powers the peloton. Savini has given up the ghost and entered the ambulance. He rode about a kilometre before realising it was impossible. Meanwhile, as the bunch tears across the finish line, their deficit is now only 2'05".

The squad of Danilo Hondo look confident in him today.. taking to the front. There's a rise up to San Carlo (158m), topping out at 16 kilometres to go. It should prove the breakaway's undoing, as well as providing an interesting launchpad for any attacks. It seems to me that the chancers don't have a hope though, as many teams fancy a bunch gallop today. Bettini is lurking in 7th position, though. Will he attack, as he has promised?

Gilberto Simoni leads the pack; Sella is also up there menacingly. 1'31" from the breakaway to the bunch. There is a section of 10+% in this climb, so we'll see how the sprinters do. Cavendish's climbing is still weak, but he should be able to handle this.

Quick Step sprint up the grade to break things up behind; Andrea Tonti is doing good work for his capo Bettini. Di Luca, Contador, Ricco, Simoni.... all are up front. They know that there may be fireworks. Bettini is second wheel, then Ricco, Pellizotti and Di Luca. In front, Krivtsov leads Buffaz over the top. 16km left, and it means the pair have been in front for 200 kilometres. Bravo. Bettini is gone. Ricco, Bettini, and Sella have a small gap

Four men behind them. The deficit to the breakaway is now only 30 seconds. Have the sprinters kept the pace? The deficit to the breakaway is now only 30 seconds. Have the sprinters kept the pace?

Sella pushes the pace.  Ricco isn't riding with them; this will annoy Sella and local lad Bettini. Sella attacks... neither Bettini nor Ricco are willing to fight. Emanuelle Sella lighting up the Giro yet again.

In the pack, Liquigas lead the chase; clearly Bennati is still there. And they are not far behind. After that puncture the other day, Sella has unfinished business.  Sella is right at the break now.. He is about to catch today's valiant breakaways, Mickael Buffaz (Cofidis) and Yuriy Krivtsov (Ag2r-La Mondiale). But no more than 10 or 15 seconds down to the peloton.

Sella attacks straight away, but Krivtov is awake and ups the pace right as Sella arrives.

15km to go - Sella attacks the pair, and they can only watch him go. The gap is just 10 seconds. But only for a while, then Sella is off. Lovely riding from Sella. Headless... but lovely.

Bingen Fernandez, a DP favourite, has suffered a crash on the descent. He's very dazed; apparently an ambulance has been called. Christian Pfannberger of Barloworld and Eros Cappechi of SD have apparently crashed according to race radio. They got off a tad lighter than our man Bingen! Yes, pictures show a neck brace being put on Fernandez. This has been a bad Giro, so far, in terms of crashes.

As the pack turn on to a straight road, they can see Sella up the road. It can't be more than 5 seconds. The lime-green boys are all on the front looking for Bennati to take the win, Check out Sella's style, though. He doesn't look back for a second until they catch him, just on the big gear and goes for it.

1717 CEST - Cavendish starts to move up, on the wheel of Greipel. 10 kilometres to go. Velo is helping Zabel just behind the Liquigas train. So, a day for the sprinters. Who do we bet on? Mark Cavendish! I'm biased. But I think he's the fastest in this peloton. I'd like to say Bettini, today, but I have to go with Cavendish as well.

The way they've set this up, it is really Liquigas's to lose. Lampre bring up Mirko Lorenzetto; he could be a player today. Yes - Liquigas is really working the peloton over. It's a long time since we've seen a team do this properly. Bettini looked to be further back in the pack looking after the maglia rosa. The Liquigas team has been derailed by one led by High Road - Hansen, Wiggins then Cavendish.

Slipstream are nearer the front too, with Millar working for Julian Dean, both in their national championship togs. The battle has begun... will we see Milram?

7km to go. Now High Road have taken this by the scruff of the neck. Visconti bringing the World Champ to the front.  But where is Robbie McEwen? He won't get a much better chance than today. He has a canny knack of popping up very late. High Road is really laying the smack down now, though. Almost the entire team is up there. Surely McEwen won't have ridden 215 kilometres to roll in with the pack though. There he is, McEwen

3 kilometres to go. Small groups of riders have lost contact, with the pace going up and the climb up to San Carlo. More and more High Road riders dropping off... 3 left... have they gone too early.

World champion individual pursuit champ Bradley Wiggins takes over; a handy man to have for your sprinter when his track discipline is only 4,000m long... Round the last corner and Cavendish is second wheel. Gerolsteiner are making a late push for Robert Forster.  Julian Dean is moving up on the right... it's all happening. Tonti is bringing up Bettini; the High Road train has been derailed.


From the left - Zabel, Bennati, Bettini, McEwen, Dall Antoni, Cavendish, Dean and Forster...

1 km to go... Bettini on the wheel to Cavendish... Cavendish is behind Zabel and Bennati. A big mess up front... who will go first. Martin is on the front, but Cav isn't on his wheel. Gatto goes on the left early... Förster coming fast on the left


Zabel pocketed by Bennati as he and Bettini fly toward the line. An irate Cavendish points back to the field.

Bennati vs Zabel and Bettini came through very late....
Bettini came up Did he win it? Cavendish got pushed out of contention, he wasn't strong enough and High Road may have gone a bit early.

DANIELE BENNNATI.... I think. I think Bettini took it. It was close...

 Bettini is being congratulated... BUT

Daniele Bennati wins!

By a wheel width. McEwen third, then Zabel and Koldo Fernandez, Euskaltel's fast man, Bennati and Bettini exchanged some great embraces after the finish.

"That's incredible. I took incredible risks, but I have a good condition. I hesitated a moment about whether I'd won," two-time Giro stage winner Bennati smiles at the finish. Good sprint.


Benatti, Bettini and McEwen throw their bikes across the line. Zabel holds in for fourth with big Koldo Fernandez of Euskaltel fifth.

Bettini almost pulled of the home win. Bennati pinned Zabel to the barriers, good riding. Cavendish went left on the wheel of Gatto when everyone else flicked right. At the finish, the Briton pointed angrily at someone. In fact, he was pointing a good 30m before the finish line! Temper, temper.  He should have kept riding... The win wasn't his anyway, and he knew it. Dean and a CSF Gruppo (dall'Antonia or Priamo surely) rider were up there too. Not sure if they made it into the top ten.

Stage 9 Results
1 BENNATI Daniele ITA LIQ 5:30:06 0:00 22"
2 BETTINI Paolo ITA QST 5:30:06 0:00 12"
3 MCEWEN Robbie AUS SIL 5:30:06 0:00 8"

4 ZABEL Erik GER MRM 5:30:06 0:00
5 FERNANDEZ Koldo ESP EUS 5:30:06 0:00
6 FORSTER Robert GER GST 5:30:06 0:00
7 CAVENDISH Mark GBR THR 5:30:06 0:00
8 DALL'ANTONIA Tiziano ITA CSF 5:30:06 0:00
9 DEAN Julian NZL TSL 5:30:06 0:00
10 USOV Alexandre BLR ALM 5:30:06 0:00

General Classification
1 VISCONTI Giovanni ITA QST 42:14:16 0:00
2 RUSS Matthias GER GST 42:14:50 0:34
3 BOSISIO Gabriele ITA LPR 42:20:09 5:53

4 DI LUCA Danilo ITA LPR 42:21:43 7:27
5 SELLA Emanuele ITA CSF 42:21:48 7:32
6 RICCO' Riccardo ITA SDV 42:21:49 7:33
7 CARDENAS Felix Rafael COL BAR 42:22:02 7:46
8 CONTADOR Alberto ESP AST 42:22:12 7:56
9 PELLIZOTTI Franco ITA LIQ 42:22:27 8:11
10 NIBALI Vincenzo ITA LIQ 42:22:31 8:15

Bettini asks his daughter whether she wants to ride bikes. A firm "non" from her! Quite emphatic she was.  Just centimetres from a dream Tuscan victory for Bettini. Another second place from Il Grillo, but he seems happy and acceptant... of the compliment from Benatti. 

No Giro tomorrow, a well-earned rest day tomorrow for all the corridori.  I think Cavendish, at a guess, was pointing at the CSF Gruppo rider; during the last 1000m, he and Cavendish's leadout man Greipel clashed, and the German pushed him. Perhaps the young Brit needs lessons from McEwen in finish line elbow ettiquette?

Bennati is back in the maglia ciclamina, happy days. Giovanni Visconti is on the podium to receive his maglia bianca jersey as the man in white and best U23 rider. He'll be back again in a minute for the maglia rosa, as there will be little change in the general classification today.

After a day of rest the race resumes with stage ten from Pesaro to Urbino with a 39.4 km individual time trial where the another revolution at the top of the leaders board can be expected and we will see if young Giovanni Visconti can hold on to the Maglia Rosa as we start the 2nd chapter of the corsa rosa.

Stage 10 starts at sea level and runs up a false flat (see graphic below) for 18 km and finds its major difficulty with the 4.6  km climb of Monte Coboradolo averaging 6.5% with a section of 10% that summits - 23.4 km. A set of rollers follow for  7 km, then the final 8 kms of 400 elevation to conquer in the 8 kms to the uphill finish that will make for some time deficits and changes in the G.C.

Thanks for joining us for the live coverage today; thanks to Andy and Michael for their commentary and we hope you will join us Tuesday for the ITT. Discuss this race and the sport with other cycling fans from around the world on the Daily Peloton.com Forums and Chat Room.  Sponsor the daily peloton & advertise your product or service to cyclists and cycling fans on www.dailypeloton.com - contact us.

Discuss this race and the sport with other cycling fans from around the world on the Daily Peloton.com Forums and Chat Room.  Sponsor the daily peloton & advertise your product or service to cyclists and cycling fans on www.dailypeloton.com - contact us.

 
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