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91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 12 Live Coverage Part 2
By Staff
Date: 5/22/2008
91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 12 Live Coverage Part 2

91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 12 Live Coverage Part 2
30 km to go, Dionisio Galparsoro is about to be caught after 145 kilometers on the escape... now the sprinters teams come to the front for their assault on the Carpi finish line.

Stage 12 Forlž - Carpi 172 km
1646 CEST -
Gap update: Dionisio Galparsoro's advantage was down to some 100 seconds with some 30k remaining. He has been away for 145 kilometres, but still has legs good enough to keep riding at 41 kph. Too bad that the bunch is flying at about 48 kph!! "

1652 CEST - The gap hovers around the minute as Galparsoro winds through the streets of downtown Modena. It seems the rain can't be stopped now. The peloton came into town too. They are currently tackling a cobbled section. Tonti, Visconti, Bettini and other Quick Step guys are on the front.

1659 CEST - 20 km to go, Good news on the weather side of the matter: things are taking a turn for the better: it stopped raining as the Giro got out of Modena. And it isn't raining over the line either. The finish is† technical and features everyone's favorite...cobbles!! Dionisio hasn't given up the fight yet with his gap falling to 40 seconds and back up to a minute as the peloton strings out toying with the optimistic rider in orange.

Bad news on the breakaway side of the matter: Galparsoro had his lead further reduced to 45 seconds with about 18 km remaining. The peloton will be happy to close the gap in the final 10 km. The roads look dry as we head to the finish and the riders have discarded their rain gear.

A few minutes ago High Road's (as in Mark Cavendish's) DS Valerio Piva talked of today's finish: "Bennati definitely proved that he's the best sprinter around now; but today's finish is more appropriate for those with some good knowledge of track cycling too, like Cavendish and McEwen".

1707 CEST - OOPPSSS, here comes the pile-up of the day!! Some riders, near the front of the field, fell. Amongst them Lampre's Lorenzetto and CSF's recent stage winner Matteo Priamo. Nibali from Liquigas was caught up in the carnage; but the white jersey wearer got back in the saddle. yes.. It looks like Mirko Lorenzetto took the biggest hit.. he is still on the blacktop,† now he is up trying to ride.

Showing some fair-play the peloton slowed the pace down. Lorenzetto soldiering on looks to be in agony however. Erik Zabel apparently was among those involved too. But, unlike his Italian teammate, "Ete" did not suffer any serious consequences.† Mickael Buffaz and Tony Martin also fell, but were back on the bike soon. Lorenzetto is currently riding too.

Erik Zabel lost some time to the peloton, but no Milram riders stopped to wait for him! Apparently Liquigas' Charly Wegelius also fell too. The Brit is trying to make his way back into the field, and so are many others. AT LAST! Marco Velo finally slowed down and waited for Zabel. The Italian is now pacing the German.

1714 CEST - Barloworld are moving up.. perhaps it is time for the former Italian Champion, Enrico Gaparotto to give the sprint a go today. The one who "benefited" the most from such misfortunes was obviously Galparosoro, still away as the bunch goes through Soliera town, about 8k from the finish.

1715 CEST - 7.5 km to go, More teammates helping Zabel now. Ete hasn't made contact with the "gruppo" yet. He will, sooner or later, but might well pay for such effort in the sprint.

1718 CEST - 6 km to go. The peloton is now being driven by the High Road guys. And High Road's High Pace is making things harder for poor Zabel.†

3.5K to go. Ete finally managed to get to the back of the field. But it will take more efforts for him to make it to the FRONT. Which is what he has to do! Cavendish is neatly tucked in the High Road train.

1721 CEST - 3 km to go. The race time has been neutralized. And escapee Dionisio Galparsoro finally caught.

1.7k to go. They are flying! Zabel is nowhere near the front of the strung-out field. But Bennati, Bettini, McEwen are there!

Nearing the finish... Bennati in front, McEwen and Cav coming on strong.
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1723 CEST - ULTIMO CHILOMETRO: 1 km to go. Wiggins is pacing Cavendish. Bennati hasn't got any teammates around.

Cavendish left in the wind too soon. Ongarato attacks! 400m to go... Here comes Robbie. And Bennati follows ... here's the sprint... Cavendish is there too! Its a two-man things: Bennati vs. Cavendish! WHAT A FINISH: DAMN CLOSE!

Daniele throws his bike, Cavendish powering in... Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti


Sure it was either Daniele Bennati or Mark Cavendish. The Italian sprinter is uncertain about his victory too "I don't know. I can't tell"

1726 CEST - here come the news: the winner is .... DANIELE BENNATI!


The Photo finish spoke in favour of the Italian, that notched up his third victory. Cavendish 2nd, McEwen 3rd. Koldo Fernandez in 4th. Paolo Bettini snatched 5th and Germany's Robert Forster was 6th. Daniele Bennati managed to hold off the oncoming Brit by a just couple centimetres or so so.

Benna takes it by centimeters... Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Benna had the early lead with Cavendish coming on the outside in a burst of speed catching Bennati at the finish line as both threw their bikes at the line. Amazing that Bennati held him off as Cav flew by with a much higher speed over the line.

Stage 12 top ten results
Forlž - Carpi 172 km
1 BENNATI Daniele ITA LIQ 4:05:29 0:00 24"
2 CAVENDISH Mark GBR THR 4:05:29 0:00 12"
3 MCEWEN Robbie AUS SIL 4:05:29 0:00 8"

4 FERNANDEZ Koldo ESP EUS 4:05:29 0:00
5 BETTINI Paolo ITA QST 4:05:29 0:00
6 FORSTER Robert GER GST 4:05:29 0:00
7 PAGLIARINI Luciano BRA SDV 4:05:29 0:00
8 BAZAYEV Assan KAZ AST 4:05:29 0:00
9 USOV Alexandre BLR ALM 4:05:29 0:00
10 SEROV Alexander RUS TCS 4:05:29 0:00

1740 CEST - So no changes to the G.C. or jerseys as expected after today's stage, with Daniele Bennati once again solidifying his lead in the points classification and taking his 3rd stage victory in this years edition of the Giro.

General Classification after Stage 12
1 VISCONTI Giovanni ITA QST 53:05:46 0:00
2 BOSISIO Gabriele ITA LPR 53:11:36 5:50
3 CONTADOR Alberto ESP AST 53:12:45 6:59

4 BRUSEGHIN Marzio ITA LAM 53:13:38 7:52
5 KLODEN Andreas GER AST 53:13:40 7:54
6 NIBALI Vincenzo ITA LIQ 53:13:50 8:04
7 SAVOLDELLI Paolo ITA LPR 53:13:55 8:09
8 RICCO' Riccardo ITA SDV 53:14:18 8:32
9 DI LUCA Danilo ITA LPR 53:14:19 8:33
10 LARSSON Gustav Erik SWE CSC 53:14:19 8:33

After finish interviews:

Daniele Bennati: "I've finished Vueltas and Tours already, so I want to make it to Milano this time. I know that tomorrow's stage and the one into Locarno will provide me with some more chances to win, and there's the Varese stage too; with fewer riders in the teams during the last week it's gonna be difficult for us to keep the race under control (and chase down breakaways), but I'll give it a go also in the Varese stage ...".

Giovanni Visconti: "With the Euskaltel guy on a solo breakaway basically all day long, today was a quiet day. Late in the stage we (as in "Quickstep") moved to the front and kept riding tempo; our goal was to avoid potential risks, wet roads are always dangerous, you know. I fell yesterday, but the pain was not that annoying at the end of the stage today, still, I know for sure that it will be hurting again tomorrow. But what matters to me now is that I still have the jersey ".

Andreas Kloden talked again of his (in)famous interview to the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper. The interview that got CSF-Navigare's boss Bruno Reverberi so upset, as the German reportedly accused "Priamo's team" (aka CSF-Navigare) of having poorer and less serious anti-doping policies than his own team Astana, CSC, High Road and Slipstream. Today Kloeden said that he was misunderstood, perhaps because the true meaning of his words got lost in translation. Commenting, that all he wanted was that all teams would undergo as many tests as Astana, Slipstream, High Road and Team CSC are currently doing (he added that he has done 24 tests so far this year, but this is no problem to him). AND said that he didn't name any names at all in the (in)famous interview.

Claudio Gregori, the Gazzetta dello Sport journalist that interviewed Kloeden, was at the Italian TV after-race talk show, and confirmed that Kloeden DID name names. But not with the intention to be offensive to anyone: the Astana rider was just expressing the hope that all those teams he NAMED might undergo the same amount of tests as Astana, High Road etc, etc.. Well, that was Gregori's version of Kloden's words at least.

Tomorrow's stage 13 travels 177 kilometers from Modena to Cittadella and surprisingly flatter than today's stage and another day for the sprinters to test Daniele Bennati's legs and determination. And perhaps try to keep the ciclamino wearing rider from adding another stage victory to his collection. So pick your favorite and cheer him on.

Thanks for joining us for today's live coverage. Join us tomorrow for Stage 13 for the sprinters duel... assuming some fast legs can make an opportunity to "cheat" the sprinters with a break away and beat them to Citadella first.

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