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91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 11 Live Coverage 3
By Staff
Date: 5/21/2008
91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 11 Live Coverage 3

91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 11 Live Coverage 3
30 km to go and attacks at the front and in the chase group...

Stage 11 Urbania - Cesena 199 km
1705 CEST - Watch out, watch out! Riccò attacks!!  Il Cobra made a surprise (??) move on roads he knows damn well on the Monteleone climb. Di Luca covered his move first, the Astana duo (Kloeden/Contador) followed. As first result of the move, the "Gruppo Di Luca" is down to 8 riders.

And one of them is ... Gabriele Bosisio, caught by the "peloton" and immediately lifting the pace, working for his team leader Danilo Di Luca. LPR's tactics make sense in this case!  But Bosisio, Riccò and the others sat up, and more riders joined them again. (Most of) the peloton is together again with 30k to go.

Giovanni Visconti and Paolo Bettini, as well as Daniele Bennati, lost contact instead. The aformentioned moves made some damage on the frontrunners, taking the gap down to 03'28". Bettini/Visconti follow at 03'51".

1711 CEST - Now it's Colombia's Ardila Cano on the move as the going gets downhill again. Kloeden and Contador proved up to the challenge as Riccò attacked, Levi Leipheimer struggled a bit instead.

1713 CEST - The breakaway group are on the way to Sorrivoli. Efforts sustained thus far are starting to take toll on them, on Fortunato Baliani and Alex Bertolini in particular.  The gap was 03'10" at the last update. Is it enough? Time will tell.

Mauricio Ardila Cano fell and so did, in a separate accident, several other guys ...amongst them Giovanni Visconti, Leonardo Piepoli. Emuanele Sella and Levi Leipheimer!!! Visconti is back in the saddle. Sella and Piepoli are not! Sella has placed second in this year's Giro d' Italia bike toss competition, clearly agitated at crashing. Piepoli clearly injured his left hand. Sella got back in the saddle too. His legs and shoes are totally covered with mud.

In the meantime Baliani tried to attack the front group, but his (first ?) attempts didn't come to fruition. Now it's Pablo Lastras attacking, and Baliani covering his move.

1720 CEST - Piepoli is pedaling again. So is Leipheimer of course. Now Bettini stays beside Visconti. Mengel is struggling a lot in the front group. Ardila gets to the top of the climb, about 02'20" behind the frontrunners.

1722 CEST - Paolo Savoldelli tries to distance himself from the field as the summit gets near. Riccò, Contadorand a few others follow. Visconti's gap top them is increasing exponentially. 

Seven riders managed to counter the move from Il Falco: Davide Rebellin, Marzio Bruseghin, Gibo Simoni, Alberto Contador, Jurgen Van den broek, Riccardo Riccò and one more guy whose name we'll tell as soon as possible. He is not Andreas Kloeden.

1726 CEST - Kloeden, Menchov, Pellizotti, Pinotti, Nibali, Serpa, Valjavec, Vandevelde and a few others are behind the Riccò/Simoni/Contador group.

1728 CEST - 15 km to go, The breakaway was down to five men as Laurent Mangel could follow the tempo any longer. Visconti is having a hard time following Bettini in the chase. Leipheimer and some 15 more guys are with them. The gap to the Simoni Group increased to over one minute.

1730 CEST - The first "gruppo" are under 15 kilometres from the finish. But 4 kms to the start of the final circuit of 11 km. around Cesena. 3:45 the gap. The group contains only four riders at the moment: Tiziano Dall'Antonia and his CSF-Navigare teammate Fortunato Baliani plus Alessandro Bartolini and Pablo Lastras. They are cheered by crowds ten deep as they pass the finish on the circuit.

The Fab Four came across the line for the first time. The bell signalling the last (and only ...) lap of the Cesena circuit is ringing. Mangel and Veikkanen came in a few seconds behind.

1737 CEST - News came through that the Cricket is doing a good job and the gap of the Bettini/Visconti/Leipheimer group to the Ricco/Simoni/Contador bunch was cut down to slightly over the minute.

All groups are coming to the line for the first time, while the four guys still on the front already went under the 10k to go banner. They still hold on to a solid margin over the field.

1741 CEST - Dall'Antonia, Baliani, Bartolini and Lastras take regular turns, but the big news is that Visconti, Bettini and Leipheimer, and many others with them, made contact with the first chase (???) group again!!

1743 CEST - Skirmishes came in the front group. Bertolini attacks, Lastras and Baliani followed, but Dall'Antonia can't.  Bertolini didn't make the gap, but succeeded in "halving" the CSF-Navigare contingent in the breakaway and at the same time dropping the fastest member of the former quartet (Dall'Antonia). Bertolini and Lastras have to keep a high tempo in order to prevent Dall'Antonia from making his way back to the front.

Marco Pinotti launches an attack on the field. The reason behind such move goes beyond our knowledge. Di Luca, Riccò and Contador stay on the front of the pack.

1750 CEST - Baliani, Bertolini, Lastras lead the gruppo Maglia Rosa by four minutes. But the news is that Dall'Antonia is much more distant from them: 25 seconds. 

AARGH! It's Baliani's turn to fall! The CSF rider hit the tarmac in the last kilometre on a cobbled section
and BERTOLINI attacked as he fell Lastras couldn't follow the move.

Alessandro Bertolini on the way to victory. Only a few hundred metres to go. Bertolini, here he comes... Alessandro Bertolini is the WINNER!


Lastras second, Baliani third.  Dall'Antonia came in fourth.

Mangel and Veikkanen followed in fifth and sixth place respectively.

Baliani "What a silly way to finish the stage. Nothing goes right. I ended up like Sella the other day"

Five teammates of Daniele Bennati drive the peloton charge to the line. The Liquigas Tuscan is going to contest the bunch sprint for 7th place. The group was led across the line by Bennati and Zabel, almost four minutes behind.

Stage 11 Results
Urbania - Cesena
199 km - 5:44:22 - 34.672 km/h

1 BERTOLINI Alessandro ITA SDA 5:44:22 0:00 20"
2 LASTRAS GARCIA Pablo ESP GCE 5:44:27 0:05 12"
3 BALIANI Fortunato ITA CSF 5:44:27 0:05 12"

4 DALL'ANTONIA Tiziano ITA CSF 5:45:03 0:41
5 MANGEL Laurent FRA ALM 5:45:55 1:33 2"
6 VEIKKANEN Jussi FIN FDJ 5:45:55 1:33 6"
7 BENNATI Daniele ITA LIQ 5:48:15 3:53
8 ZABEL Erik GER MRM 5:48:15 3:53
9 LORENZETTO Mirco ITA LAM 5:48:15 3:53
10 REBELLIN Davide ITA GST 5:48:15 3:53

General Classification After Stage 11
1 VISCONTI Giovanni ITA QST 49:00:17 0:00
2 BOSISIO Gabriele ITA LPR 49:06:07 5:50
3 CONTADOR Alberto ESP AST 49:07:16 6:59

4 BRUSEGHIN Marzio ITA LAM 49:08:09 7:52
5 KLODEN Andreas GER AST 49:08:11 7:54
6 NIBALI Vincenzo ITA LIQ 49:08:21 8:04
7 SAVOLDELLI Paolo ITA LPR 49:08:26 8:09
8 RICCO' Riccardo ITA SDV 49:08:49 8:32
9 DI LUCA Danilo ITA LPR 49:08:50 8:33
10 LARSSON Gustav Erik SWE CSC 49:08:50 8:33

Danilo Di Luca was upset at the finish: "This was a pointless stage, all the climbs were far from the finish. The rest was all about the road going up and down. And we ran too many risks".

Leonardo Piepoli was amongst those bearing the worst consequences of such "risks": hit his left hand, hip and even injured his superciliary arch. "And all of this with the climbs just two days away. That's not good at all. I am not used to give up so easily, but we'll see ..."

Saunier's boss Pietro Algeri added: "there was a hidden turn, many pulled their brakes, the road was slippery, and several riders fell. I think Piepoli will get some stitches, but things could have been even worse. Riccò thought he could finish the stage on the front with a small group, but things didn't live to expectations".

A great win for our renaissance man 36 year old Alessandro Bertolini who got back to his winning ways last Fall that won him a berth on the Azzuri world championship squad. Bertolini noted in Barry Ryan's Giro team preview of Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli:

2007 Coppa Agostini: Alessandro Bertolini won the race and the "Triptyque Lombard"  series. The 36 years old veteran had a renaissance in 2007 gaining a place on the Italian national team where he was active in helping Paolo Bettini winning his second world championship. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

"Alessandro Bertolini finished 2007 with an impressive haul of six wins. Under normal circumstances, he would be given free rein to chases stage victories, but his primary brief this time around will surely be to protect the interests of his leader."

 It's never too late to win a stage, and Alessandro Bertolini proved this point as he opened his Giro d'Italia account at the age of 36:
"I came close to winning in the past, and was even second to Tonkov in 2004 . But I got it today, at last! I must thank my teammates, and Gibo in particular; this victory belongs to him too. I put team tactics into practice as I went on the attack early into the stage in order to anticipate the climb. Then (Simoni) gave me green light and told me to go and win the stage. I'm very grateful to Gianni (team manager Gianni Savio) too, because he picked me up in his squad and gave me the opportunity to do well in this race. Now I can look after helping Gibo make the podium or even win the race: he's got the right legs - and the right mind - to win. Baliani and his last kilometre fall? Well, things happen. I fell myself too today. Cycling is like that, you know".

Gilberto Simoni was pleased that his teammate dedicated today's stage victory to him, but Gibo didn't speak of himself as GC contender:
"Alessandro deserved to win a Giro stage. Today's leg didn't make much of an impact (on the overall), but this is no surprise. I experienced something similar three years ago, in another mountain stage in the Apennines, when everything happened ... and nothing changed. Had the rain fallen all the time today, we could have had some epic cycling, with the peloton breaking into pieces. But this was not the case. My next target is a stage victory at Pampeago, because it would be a "home win", but also as I just like the place. I like to win there".

Paolo Savoldelli gave some explanations about LPR's sometime questionable team tactics, and why he didn't put in one of his frequent downhill shows:
"We had planned an attack on today's hardest climb, so we wanted to have some men on the front. But when we realized that Danilo was a marked man and they wouldn't let him go, we got Bosisio on the move. Later I tried myself, but it didn't work. At some point, with all the rain and everything, I couldn't even hear the radio, I didn't know what was going on. I didn't attack on the descent because it wasn't worth the effort today. I knew that this stage wasn't going to change a thing, and I think that I was right".

Paolo had that right as we had no significant changes to the top 15 classification with Quick Steps Giovanni Visconti protecting his lead of almost 7 minutes and the Jersey leaders unchanged for another day.

Emanuele Sella was a true "mud-man" after the stage today. We lost count of the misfortunes he was marred by throughout the Giro, the times he fell, the bike problems he had, and so on, and so on ...
"Today was worse than a few days ago (the day he was in the winning breakaway and punctured a few kilometres from the finish...). The first time I fell there was that motorbike on the road, and I don't know why it was there. Visconti fell, and so did I. But I didn't realize what really happened 25 kilometres from the finish either: I just know that I found Piepoli's bike (on my way) in the middle of the road, then I ended up in a nearby wood. Well, when such things happen, in the end you're just happy that you're safe and sane and back in the saddle...".

Thanks for joining us for the live coverage of stage 11 with Fabio giving us the up to the minute race action. Join us tomorrow for stage 12 from Forli to Carpi - an almost pan flat 172 kilometers made for the sprinters to have a day in the sun (if it will be so accommodating tomorrow).

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