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91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 14 Live Coverage Part 3
By Staff
Date: 5/24/2008
91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 14 Live Coverage Part 3

91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 14 Live Coverage Part 3
20 km to go and on the approach to the final climb of Alpe de Pampeago...

Stage 14 Verona - Alpe de Pampeago/Val di Fiemme 195 km
1647 CEST - 20 km to go, Sella has 10 minutes on the favorites and 2'30" on the chasers; it's difficult to see how such an experienced rider could mess this one up. In 12 km Sella starts the final climb up to Alpe di Pampeago. Sella's gap on Kiryienka and Rodriguez is down to 1.55. Two LPR riders in front... looks like Bosisio in first place.

In Olympia Tour the penultimate stage was won by Lars Boom. He also extends his lead in the GC. Tomorrow the queens stage through the hills here in the Netherlands.

15 km to go - Sella is still riding hard in the front. Impressive. 2'32" between Contador and the pink jersey. Visconti will need to battle for his jersey if he is to keep it. Bosisio is also in with a good chance. The rest of the break that was with Sella are about 2 minutes back from Sella.

The final rider in the race is already at 30 minutes down on Sella. Contador's group still contains all the favorites and GC aspirants (except Pinotti); if you want to call Pinotti a GC contender or are a fan of his. LPR puts on the pressure. Di Luca is loading for something. We're waiting for some action in the gruppo with favorites on the Pampeago. This is the still before the storm; the favorite group is stretched out now.

10 km to go - Di Luca doesn't look happy with the state of things; not fast enough for him? in 2 km the final climb up to the finish will start 10 km to go for the favorites.

 Sella is on the first slopes of the Alpe di Pampeago. The final 7,5 km up to the finish... the bunch is 10.29 down on Sella at the 15 km mark. The peloton is still riding at a pedestrian pace. LPR still leads, but nothing is happening. Sella is 24 minutes down no threat to Visconti. Danilo tightening up his shoes.. hmm.. Di Luca has renewed his contract with LPR until the end of 2011. Someone will attack soon for sure, only question is who will go first.

1709 CEST - 6 km to go, Sella looks tired, but who can blame him. Rai is going crazy with admiration for Sella's riding today. A touch of black and white TV in the coverage. LPR team are flat out leading the chase. Sella goes under the 5 km to go flag as the gap comes down to 10 minutes. LPR's work is paying off. Sella is in a steep section laying over the handle bars climbing strongly as the fans cheer him on . Kiryenka and Rodriquez soldier on behind Sella.

4 km to go - Sella breaks out with smiles as he drives through this steep section, knowing victory is not too far away. Sella bares his teeth in a grimace as he steps up the serious ascent. He will enter the Italian cycling pantheon today with this impressive ride. And here is El Diablo as Sella denies the devil.

1717 CEST - LPR is trying to control the peloton, but the pace is not enough to shake anyone. Perhaps Di Luca is on another relatively bad day... trying to threaten with his team so that the others do not attack. At any rate the men in grey and green get no help from the group who continue to sit on.

3 km to go for Sella - Everyone knows Di Luca will attack... so they'll wait for it. Il Falco looks a very serious riding alongside Danilo, behind them Kloden rides looking fresh. Savoldelli looks worn out to me. I'm suspecting Di Luca too... he looks focused but not fresh.

1722 CEST - Sella continues his attack bent over the front of the bike out of the saddle giving everything to the mountain as he weaves through the mass of cheering fans.

Sella drives forward through the fans. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

5 km to go for the favorites, Sella still has 9.45 on them. I will not be surprised if Di Luca is dropped when the inevitable attack comes. Sella inside the barriers now. Ricco looks focused as he climbs. LPR is keeping the pace just hard enough to make attacks a risky business. Everyone is suspecting Di Luca will go, but perhaps he does not have it in him today. Everyone is also thinking that it will be an extremely hard day tomorrow, some will want to save something for the stage. Look at the size of the favorite group. Unusual, for such a hard stage.

1726 CEST - Visconti loses almost 4.00 on the gruppo with Favorites. Bosisio still needs 1.50 for the maglia rosa. What an achievement by Sella today. While the favorites are riding stupidly. No one is willing to challenge Contador. Leipheimer and Larsson dropped off the back of the bunch. The gradient is 16% at its worst the climb today.

Gilberto Simoni leads the chase.        Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Gibo to the front now leading the pace. About 10 riders strong the group Simoni now as Gibo ups the pace riders go off the back and fight to hang on. Di Luca is there, but Savoldelli is gone. Bruseghin is gone too, Pellizotti attacks.

500 meters for Sella ... 200 mts... 100 mt ... 50 mt...

And the winner is EMANUELE SELLA!!

A second stage win for CSF Group after the win by Priamo. Sella beats his heart and cries and smiles. A wonderful win after a long day in front.

Vittoria Emmanuele Sella!!!     Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Vandenbroeck brings back Pellizzoti. Klöden in crisis too. Kloden is dropped. Contador in problems too. Pozzovivo Attacks! Piepoli throws out an anchor and is dropped. Vandenbroeck also leads the chase after Pozzovivo, Menchov closes the gap now. Di Luca is gone. Menchov powers past Pozzovivo and goes to the front. We see Simoni, Pellizotti, Ricco and Vandenbroeck chasing. 1800 mt to go for them.

Here comes Kiryenka in for 2nd place at 4'36". What an awesome ride today from the World Track Points Champion!!

Menchov catches Vandevelde. Simoni leads the chase. Kiryienka is in for second now at 4.37 of Sella Di Luca in trouble, but still ahead of Contador. Ricco is in trouble. Pozzovivo in trouble too. Vandenbroeck is back and leads Simoni and Pellizzoti. 

Joaquin Rodriguez is third at 5.10

Final km for the favorites - Menchov increases his gap. Simoni still has Menchov in his sights, though. Ricco is not too far behind Simoni. Di Luca and Contador in no mans land. Ricco comes back to the Simoni group. Impressive riding from Ricco. Piepoli, on the other hand is out at sea somewhere far behind.

José Rujano comes in at 4th.

Di Luca trying to catch Bruseghin. Paolo Bettini comes in as 5th Bettini face is a mask of pain coming in at 8 minutes down on Sella.  Simoni drops off as Pellizotti and Ricco attack. Simoni and Vandenbroeck can't follow. Hell of a ride by Paolo Bettini!

Menchov comes in as 6th at 8.47, Pelizotti is 7th, Ricco 8th, Simoni 9th,Vandenbroeck 10th. Di Luca comes in at 9.14, he loses 30 seconds on Menchov. Contador is in at 9.33.

Christian Vandevelde caught by Contador near the finish.
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Christian Vandevelde is the first American just behind Contador. Klöden and Valjavec are in at 9.56. The Falcon Savoldelli is in at 10.10. Chris Sorensen is in at 10.22; Nibali and Baliani are in now at over 10.30 down.

Gustav Larsson is next to finish. Sivtsov, Szmyd, Nicky Sörensen and Tinkoff GC man Petrov are in. The big question, now, is how far behind the pink jersey is - and the question where is Bosisio?

Bosiso is the new leader overall with 5 seconds on Contador (provisional) Meanwhile a spectator gives Visconti a long push as he climbs the final. There is no energy left, and in a few seconds he will lose the jersey. Visconti still needs to do 500 mt... No... no way that Visconti will hold the jersey today. He already lost it - Bosisio came in at 10.37

1748 CEST - Bosisio is the new overall leader

Visconti is in at 18.02. Visconti drops back to 8th overall if I'm counting correct. A brave attempt, but all fairy tales have to end. Visconti is 10th overall at 1.35 of new leader Bosisio. 

Top Ten Stage Results
1. SELLA Emanuele CSF
2. KIRYIENKA Vasil TCS 04'36"
3. RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim GCE 05'07"

5. BETTINI Paolo QST 07'57"
6. MENCHOV Denis RAB 08'46"
7. PELLIZOTTI Franco LIQ 08'57"
8. RICCO Riccardo SDV 08'57"
9. SIMONI Gilberto SDA 09'00"
10. VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen SIL 09'00"

Bosisio comes to the stage to take his first Maglia Rosa. Bosisio has his moment of glory. Tomorrow he may well  lose that jersey to one of the favorites; but a great Giro for him with a stage win and the Rosa jersey.

The penultimate stage in the Volta a Catalunya is won by an Italian. A surprise, someone other than a  French rider! Liquigas rider Chicchi won the bunch sprint. Pauriol remains in the lead.

Grinta Di Luca gives it all to the finish, Christian Vandevelde follows.
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Di Luca was asked about Contador and him being in difficulty on the climb. He said the climb was really hard for everyone. 

Gabriele Bosisio comments, what a great job Spezialetti did today, and goes on to say, that just because he is the maglia rosa in the LPR-Ballan squad, Di Luca and Savoldelli are the true team captains. In any case, what a ride by Sella today... and what a good day for Bosisio, who definitely deserves his day in the pink jersey.

Tinkoff's Maini speaking after the stage, "The team is unbelievably thrilled at the outstanding performance today of Kiryenka. The stage was extremely difficult and very important for the general classification, and from the very outset of the Giro, we stressed to our riders to be attentive at opportunities to escape, even if the distance was a sizeable one from the finish. Kiryenka rode beautifully and cleverly to finish second."

GC: (provisional)
1 Bosisio
2 Contador +00:05
3 Bruseghin +00:28

4 Ricco +01:02
5 Di Luca +01:07
6 Klöden +01:11
7 Menchov +01:18
8 Simoni +01:31
9 Pellizotti +01:32
10 Visconti +01:35 

Tomorrows stage to the Passo Fedaia/Marmolada will be a very tough stage. the queens stage in the Giro. They will have to do over 5 climbs inclusive the tough Pordoi and the Passo di Gao; it will for sure be another stage to shake things up in the GC.

Simoni and Menchov will want to take further time on Contador, and today they saw that he can be beaten. The race will probably explode on the second to last climb, with Menchov, Simoni or Ricco taking the honours.

I agree that it will be a battle between the big guns tomorrow and that a early break will not be allowed a  10 minutes as we saw today. Di Luca has shown lots of brass - as always - but none of the climbing skills he displayed last year. This will not be his Giro, unless the final week sees a total turn-around. The Astana trio were rather weak today, though Contador's time loss was acceptable. He'll have to be at his very best tomorrow, though.

Contador will be up there, but I really can't see how he will beat Simoni, Menchov and Ricco who look very, very strong. Right now, Menchov has sailed up to the favorite for the victory but there is a solid pack of riders still in the running. Pellizzoti was also impressive today.

Well, no matter what happens tomorrow it should be as exciting as today's race with Emmanuele Sella's epic ride. Thanks for joining us today as Fabio, Bart, Michael and Alicia called the action. Join us tomorrow for the 153 km climbers fest from Arabba  to Passo Fedaia/Marmolada with six categorized climbs and the finish on the Cat 2 Marmolada a 13.3 km climb with an average gradient of 8% with the worst sections at 18% that should make a further selection of who will wear the crown in Milano.

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