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91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 16 Live Coverage Part 2
 
By Staff
Date: 5/26/2008
91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 16 Live Coverage Part 2
 

91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 16 Live Coverage Part 2
All the favorites are on the climb...  José Rujano has set the early time to beat

Stage 16 San Vigilio di Marebbe - Plan de Corones 12.9 km ITT

1637 CEST - Again, the current top places at the finish: José Rujano leads second place Jens Voigt by 01'06", with Petrov in third at 01'28" and Noé and Larsson sharing fourth place one further second behind.

Simoni bettered Pellizotti's halfway time by 4 seconds. Gibo did worse than Sella by 18".  Kloeden has the eighth "best" time to the finish, 01'51" down on Rujano; yet another poor performance by the German. Sella is tackling the last part of the route.

Simoni is in the toughest part of the route too, with those 13 switchbacks, each of them dedicated to one great rider of the past. Sella struggles against the 22 percent section, pushing a 36x29!. Come on, the finish line is not far. 600m to go for the Italian. He's well ahead of Rujano. He's going to have the best time to the finish. 450m for him.

1643 CEST - Update: Contador was gaining 29 seconds over Riccò in the first 5 kilometres!  Menchov's Furcia time: 21'26". 5th time there, 50 secs behind Sella.

The Green jersey is finally making it to the end, one next sprint and.. here is: 40 MINUTES 32 SECONDS. BY FAR THE BEST TIME. BRAVO SELLA!


Marzio Bruseghin in the final mile. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Marzio Bruseghin makes it to the first check too. His time was worse than Sella's by slightly over 30 seconds. Gotta wait for Riccò and Contador now to see how the top plays out...

1648 CEST - Simoni is 3 kms from the finish. Di Luca and Menchov set the same time after seven kilometres: 21'26". Both of them trailing Emanuele Sella by 50 secs. Sella comfortably leads the "stage finishers", even if Rujano had the best performance in the last, steepest piece of this helluva stage.

Ricco's time after 7kms : 20'53". Worse than Sella by 17 seconds. Better than Gibo by one second only.  Pozzovivo set the third time to the finish. but well over the minute behind his teammate Sella. The tiny climber of CSF-Navigare kicked Voigt down to fourth place.


Levi Leipheimer in the final section, finished 4 minutes down on the day. Saving something for the final week? Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Under 6k to go for Alberto Contador. He's reaching the seven-kilometre check. Pellizotti is on the 20 percent part of climb.  Contador set 20'48" at the Furcia check. He lost plenty of time to Riccò and saw his advantage over the Italian drop to a mere five seconds. But - even more significantly - he's losing a dozen seconds to Sella.

1653 CEST - PELLIZOOOOOOOOOTTII!!! 40'26" THE BEST TIME TO THE FINISH. By six seconds. Goldilocks made up for his previous 22-second deficit, and ended up setting a better time than Sella. Some say a Rasmussen-style haircut would have saved him even more time; Pellizotti won't care. Il Salbaneo's hat-trick hope has vanished.

400m to go for Gibo. He's not looking that good in the saddle though. Update: Contador was leading Ricco by 09" at the most recent check. It's a close race indeed

Here comes Gibo ... 100m to go ... 50m ... 20m... here he is. Third best time: 40'43" 17 seconds behind Pellizotti, 11 seconds behind Emanuele Sella.

Menchov and Bruseghin will be next to the line. But it's gonna be hard for them to make the top three today. The Russian is going very slow. He has a hard time staying in the saddle.  Di Luca looks waaay faster than him. But the two guys are on very different sections of the climb.

The battle goes on: new switchback, new update - Contador leads Riccò by 05 seconds now.


Menchov suffers as he approaches the finish. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1700 CEST - Menchov is struggling his way to the finish; he has lost 01'20" to Pellizotti already, but he hasn't crossed the line yet. Menchov's finishing time: 42'15" worse than Goldilocks by 01'49".  Bruseghin to the finish. Almost. That's one man the Liquigas leader will leapfrog in the overall; who else? Contador looked like he was struggling a lot, but the clock said he extended his lead to Ricco to 14 seconds.

Bravo Marzio Bruseghin: 41'30" Lost just 01'04" to Pellizotti. The fifth best time to the line as for now. Ricco goes under the flambe rouge as Contador is exactly 1,000 metres back.  Di Luca looks a bit exhausted, but who wouldn't on that part of the climb.


Danilo Di Luca finishes. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1705 CEST - The LPR leader is about to reach the finishing line. Ricco's bike slipped a bit on unpaved road. It might have cost him a few seconds. Di Luca to the finish: 42 minutes 11 seconds.  Lost 01'45" to his former teammate.

And the battle goes on: Contador held on to a 10-second advantage over Ricco at the last kilometres check Neither of them is going to win the stage we think. Line honours are a thing of Pellizotti. Yes, they are! Ricco is doing worse than Gibo too!!  The Saunier leader sets 40'56"  Fourth time, he lost 30 seconds to the STAGE WINNER FRANCO PELLIZOTTI!!


Contador nears the finish. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Okay, Contador still has to cross the line, so let's wait and see... 500m to go for the man from Madrid, who's gonna maintain the overall leader's jersey anyway. Nope, the Spaniard can't do it.

PELLIZOTTI HAS WON THE STAGE!!!

And it's 4 STAGE WINS for Liquigas. Contador's finishing time: 40'48" That is the fourth best time. 22" down on Pellizotti. And better than Ricco's by eight seconds. Contador slightly increased his overall advantage to Riccardo Ricco to 41 seconds.

Pellizotti's victory lifted him two places up into fifth, 02'05" down on Contador. Simoni's solid performance put Gibo in spot number three. While today's main losers were Denis Menchov and Danilo Di Luca.

Again: here are today's top five results:
1. Franco Pellizotti - 40'26"
2. Emanuele Sella - at 06"
3. Gilberto Simoni - at 17"

4. Alberto Contador - at 22"
5. Riccardo Ricco - at 30"

The top 10 places overall after the stage are as follows:
1. Alberto Contador
2. Riccardo Ricco - at 41"
3. Gilberto Simoni - at 01'21"

4. Marzio Bruseghin - at 02'00"
5. Franco Pellizotti - at 02'05"
6. Danilo Di Luca - at 02'18"
7. Denis Menchov - at 02'47"
8. Emanuele Sella - at 04'25"
9. Jurgen Van den Broeck - at 04'26"
10. Domenico Pozzovivo - at 05'25"

25 year old Jurgen Van den Broeck is proving to be the surprise of the race; he finished 74th in last year's Giro, and hasn't shown many signs of such ability in the mountains till now.

With seven riders within three minutes, the race is still finely balanced. We have two more climbing stages with both the Gavia and Mortirolo in stage 20; and if it isn't decided there, the 28.5 km ITT on the last day into Milano will make the final selection. So its going to be an exciting week of racing ahead in the Giro.

On this evidence, Pellizotti is a danger man, but it's so hard to tell; it seems to change with every day. Even Sella could be a problem to others G.C. hopes.

Tomorrow is a rest day so have a great day and hope you can get out and ride. Thanks for joining us for the live ticker of stage 16. Join us Wednesday morning when the peloton will be off for a 146 kilometers of a mostly rolling stage 17 with one category climb from Sondrio to Locarno. A day for the sprinters? or a day for the long break with the stage hunters looking to add a Giro win to their palmares?

Will Astana get help controlling the race for leader Alberto Contador from the sprinters teams or will the peloton be looking for a day of rest with three hard stages of climbing in their legs and two more to follow on stage 19 and 20? Perhaps, Cofidis' Mickael Buffaz will once again take a solo flyer to lock up his hold on the Trofeo Fuga Cervelo... whatever happens, this Giro is going to be a battle to the very end as the clock ticks down in Milano at the finish of the 91rst Corsa Rosa.

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