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91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 19 Live Coverage Part 2
By Staff
Date: 5/30/2008
91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 19 Live Coverage Part 2

91st Giro d'Italia - Stage 19 Live Coverage Part 2
7 riders away with a 16 minute gap on the maglia rosa group...

Legnano - Presolana-Monte Pora 228 km
1555 CEST - More details about today's Tour of Belgium stage will come later, but now let's get back to the wet and slippery roads at Giro d'Italia, with some significant news: the Seven Wonders on the front regrouped again on the Vivione descent!! The pouring rain strongly "advised" Kiryienka, Efimkin, Ermeti and Sørensen to take it easy and be careful in the downhill portion. Cummings, Missaglia and Sivtsov took advantage of it.

Contador leads a shrinking gruppo with Riccardo Ricco on his wheel.
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

And Alberto Contador drives the Gruppo Maglia Rosa over the top of the climb, about 16 minutes back. Paolo Bettini couldn't follow the tempo of the peloton in the last slopes, but he's about to regain the Contador group. The overall leader lost Bazayev, Iglinsky and Gusev on the ascent, and some teammates of Danilo Di Luca (Spezialetti included) got dropped too.

1602 CEST - Paolo Bettini made contact with the peloton again, but the big news is all about Paolo Savoldelli and Danilo Di Luca just making a move on the tricky descent. Il Falco has a perfect knowledge of the route, and any downhill attack from him would be no surprise today.  Steve Cummings made a mistake at a turn, but thankfully managed to stay in the saddle.

The LPR duo put some 20 seconds into the Contador group. About 45k to go for them. The descent is soon going to give way to a small uphill portion however. A Liquigas rider is together with Di Luca and Savoldelli: it's Vincenzo Nibali!

Savoldelli leads Di Luca and Nibali. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1609 CEST - Gap Update: The Falcon, The Shark and the reigning champion (who has some hard time following Savoldelli) increased their advantage over the Contador group up to 25 seconds. Lampre's Szymd fell, and Marzio Bruseghin lost a potentially precious helper.

1612 CEST - The Bergamo-based Russian Alexander Efimikin is on a solo lead. The Quick Step rider dropped his breakaway mates as the road is tilting upwards again.  Kiryienka, Missaglia, Ermeti, Sioutsou, Cummings and Nicki Sörensen follow at 30 seconds.

The same gap between Di Luca, Savoldelli, Nibali and the Contador group, currently down to just nine riders.  Kloeden and Colom are with their team leader, Sella, Simoni, Riccò are also there. Denis Menchov lost a few seconds, but keeps the nine-strong group within striking distance. Levi Leipheimer is far behind.

1617 CEST - Alexander Efimkin were caught by four more riders. Nibali, Savoldelli and Di Luca's advantage on Contador and Ricco' and Simoni ballooned to the minute. Giario Ermeti was told to sit up and wait for Savoldelli and Di Luca. Bruseghin, Pellizotti and Van den broucke are also part of the nine-man group, alongside Contador, Kloeden, Colom, Sella, Simoni and Riccò.

They are trailing Di Luca, Savoldelli and Nibali by 01'12". Di Luca halved his "start line" overall gap to the Maglia Rosa. At his turn Alberto Contador is apparently waiting for some teammates to get back in touch with his group.

1622 CEST - Gibo got some helpers back faster than Contador: Diquigiovanni's Ruslan Ivanov and José Serpa joined the Gruppo Maglia Rosa. Good job from the Falcon. Their lead went further up to 01 minute, 25 seconds. This put the defending champion of the race on the... virtual podium.  His 85-second time gain on Bruseghin and Simoni put Di Luca into third place on GC.

Will the man from Spoltore hold on?  Nibali was 12th in the GC, at the startline while Savoldelli is further back. Riccò keeps his eyes on Contador. Simoni doesn't look in top shape, he helped Serpa and Ivanov regain the field, but later had a difficult time moving back to the front of such group.

1629 CEST - 25k to go for the four frontrunners: Vasil Kiriyenka (Blr), Alexander Efimkin (Rus), Nicki Sørensen (Den) and Cummings.

30k to go for Savoldelli, Nibali and Di Luca, who lost 25 seconds to Contador and the other chasers over the last few kilometres; their "lead" is down to 52 seconds.  Kanstantin Sioutsou and Gabriele Missaglia couldn't follow Kiriyenka. Efimkin, Sørensen and Cummings. Giario Ermeti is still waiting his team leader Di Luca and the Falcon. Denis Menchov and Domenico Pozzovivo are joining the Gruppo Maglia Rosa too.

1635 CEST - Vasil Kiriyenka, Alexander Efimkin, Nicki Sørensen and Steven Cummings are 20k from the finish. Di Luca and Savoldelli (and Nibali) finally made contact to Giario Ermeti, who's now giving it everything he can to help the LPR capitano.  Di Luca's lead on Contador got back to its growing ways, and over the minute. And with Ermeti helping it could get even better. The Gruppo Maglia Rosa, driven by Kloeden and Colom (but without Levi) is up to 14 guys.

1639 CEST - Gap update; Di Luca, Savoldelli, Nibali and Ermeti took their lead over the "peloton" up to 70 seconds.  Their gap to the four-strong lead group (Vasil Kiriyenka, Alexander Efimkin, Nicki Sørensen and Steven Cummings) was a good ten minutes at the last time check. Sioutsou and Missaglia must be somewhere in between.

LPR lieutenant, Savoldelli gives his all for Di Luca's assault on Contador's race lead. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1642 CEST - Finally LPR are doing are great teamwork. Their often questioned tactics are 200 percent unquestionable now. Riccardo Ricco had some bike problems, that are currently being fixed.  LPR is doing fine, but Astana (Kloeden, Colom and Contador I mean) are apparently up to the challenge. At the moment.

1643 CEST - Vasil Kiriyenka, Alexander Efimkin, Nicki Sørensen and Steven Cummings hit the Presolana. Simoni's squad also told their former man in the breakaway (Gabriele Missaglia) to stop and wait his team leader.

1645 CEST - Kiriyenka on a solo lead. The Belarusian took some time out of the three other fugitives as the going got vertical again.

Our live coverage continues in: Stage 19 Live Coverage Part 3

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