Stage7: Innsbruck (Austria) - Chiavenna 244 km
1546 CEST It's Raining Men! Hallelujah!
(Hallelujah ????). The race found some wet roads in the last minutes.
55 km to go for the breakaway. The four
escapees are making their way to Sankt Moritz. Again, the fugitives are:
Bartosz Huzarski (Pol - ISD);
Mauro Facci (Italia - Quick Step);
Sergey Klimov (Rus - Team Katyusha);
ladimir Isaychev (Rus - Xacobeo-Galicia)
Stage 7 © 2009 Gazzetta dello Sport
Milram, Garmin, Columbia, Barloworld stay in power at the front of the pack.
1555 CEST Mauro Facci won the Hot Spot
"Sprint" at Saint Moritz. Huzarski came in second ahead of Klimov. The only one
really sprinting there was Alessandro Petacchi, who got two precious points for
his Maglia Ciclamino bid as the peloton came in 01'50" behind.
1600 CEST The escapees ride alongside the
Silvaplana lake, their lead further shrunk to a hundred seconds.
1605 CEST News came through that, due to
poor weather conditions, the OVERALL times of the riders will be taken three
kilometres from the finish. A recent choice of the race organizers. Danilo
Di Luca might even lose half an hour to the pack in the last three thousand
metres, and still he would retain the overall leadership.
The team cars of the four escapees have been stopped. Their lead is under the
minute. Bye, bye, mates, you're going to get caught soon. It is NOT raining on
the race now, by the way. But it's still soooooooo cold up there. And some water
is falling back at the finish line instead.
1615 CEST It's raining heavily on the race
now, with the Maloja summit only 1000 metres away.
The fugitives are about to get caught. Facci puts in a last attempt to stay
clear as long as he can.
The peloton is sooooooo meaan: they didn't even let poor Facci have a KOM
sprint victory as little prize for his efforts. THE PACK IS TOGETHER AGAIN!
1620 CEST Manuel Quinziato of Liquigas-Doimo
drives the bunch over the top of the climb ahead of Franco Pellizotti and
Stefano Garzelli. The Maloja was sooooooooooooooooooooo steep that no riders got
really dropped there.
But now comes a tricky, dangerous and selective descent, with plenty of turns
and switchbacks, especially in the early miles, and the wet road to make it
1620 CEST The descent is starting to break
the field apart. Alessandro Bertolini (Ita - Diquigiovanni-Androni) launched the
first attack and opened up a gap. He gained over two minutes on the bottom of
the field already.
This descent is food for Paolo Savoldelli. But Il Falco is a former
rider now, busy looking after his small building company. We might well find the
2002 and 2005 Giro winner at the Bergamo finishing line tomorrow, anyway ...
1625 CEST Bertolini is acting like a true
Savoldelli too. His advantage ballooned to 53 seconds in the space of just 6
kilometres, He's not new to great performances on wet and/or dangerous descents
though. The bunch is not trying hard to bring him back. They chose to avoid
taking risks, Marco Pinotti punctured. A Garmin man leads the first part of the
pack, while his teammate Cameron Meyer is probably one of the slowest "wet
descenders" in the Giro peloton.
1630 CEST The most difficult part of the
descent is over, but the peloton is still taking it easy. Bertolini keeps a
1635 CEST The Italian veteran, a pro since
the 1993 season, extended his advantage up to the minute with 25 km to go. The
guy is over one hour down in the GC, so LPR have no interest in wasting their
legs in a chase. That's all up to the sprinter's teams now.
Pavel Brut (Rus - Katusha) tries to get away from the pack. The route is
easier now, and the pace is high, so that Bertolini lost a dozen seconds. But
when the descent gets more difficult, the Italian puts the pace up and does
better than anyone else.
1640 CEST Bertolini lead Brutt and
Barloworld's Robert Hunter by 48 seconds as the race is about to move onto
Italian soil. Boasson Hagen and Vigano' also rode way from the pack.
The two main pursuers are making significant gains, Bertolini's lead is under
A quartet of chasers formed as Boasson and Vigano' joined Brut and Hunter.
THEY ARE IN ITALY, now.
1645 CEST Bertolini was joined by his four
chasers. FIVE in the lead. Why is the Italian Tv showing SCARPONI's name as part
of he lead quintet instead of Bertolini's? Did they make a mistake or what? hmmm
The rain abated again, thankfully.
1649 CEST Ten to go. Andriy Grivko attacked
the peloton and is just 20 seconds down to the leaders, with the bunch a further
dozen secs behind.
1650 CEST Eight to go. The gap is getting
bigger. Grivko is down to 30 seconds, and the Liquigas-led peloton at 40" or so.
Petacchi is not hungry for risks, so LPR is not giving it everything in the
The race just passed through a 50km zone doing 71km! FINE THEM ALL!!
1654 CEST The guys are into Chiavenna. The
five escapees, two and a half great sprinters among them, are working well
together. Boasson could be a good pick for victory, but he'd better watch out
for Hunter. And Vigano' ain't that slow either ... Brutt might even try a late
attack. All of them should watch out for a roundabout some 500m from the line,
and for a tricky turn with 200m left. Again, the last few metres are slightly
1654 CEST The escapees slowed their pace a
little. Has the chess game started already? Grivko's being caught by the
oncoming gruppo. 1,200 metres to go.
1657 CEST Last kilometre action. Bertolini
attacks. Brutt tries to counter him. Bertolini caught. It's a sprint.
Better, it's the Edvald Boasson Hagen Show!!
The Norwegian easily accounted for his rivals, Hunter included.
Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaageeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen is the winner!!!
Hunter was 2nd. Brutt 3rd. Vigano 4th. Bertolini 5th
6. Andriy Grivko at 31". 7. Matthew Goss at 40". 8. Allan Davis at 40"
Just like yesterday, the 22-years-old "motorbike" from Lillehammer even
dropped his rivals in the sprint. But today ... it was the sprint for stage
victory. GRATULERER, Edvald!!
In fact, Boasson Hagen will turn 22 the next Sunday, May 17. Which happens to
be Norway's National Day too. Sure the guy will be hungry to give it a go in the
Milan 100 Show sprint. Hey Mark (Cavendish), how about letting him have a
With the GC times "frozen" three kilometres from the finish, there were no
major changes to the leader board at all. Di Luca hold on to the jersey and his
five-second advantage on Lovkvist, with Rogers in third at 36" and Levi
Leipheimer 4th at 43 seconds. Chris Horner sits in eighth place, 01'17" behind
the Maglia Rosa wearer.
Well, speaking - in front of the TV cameras - of Sunday's stage,
Boasson Hagen said that he'd be more than
glad to put himself at Mark Cavendish's service in case of a bunch sprint in
Milan. Neither the "birthday" nor the "Norwegian National Day" factors seem to
persuade him to go ask for the "Team Columbia's #1 sprinter" status, even if for
just one day. He also admitted that, when it comes to massive sprint
finishes, he (still?) doesn't think he's good enough, while he thinks that he
has got more chances in smaller bunch battles like today's.
Thanks for joining us for the live report of stage 7 today. Join us tomorrow
for Stage 8 from Morbegno to Bergamo over
209 kilometers with two categorized climbs on the menu for the climbers and
The first gravity test comes at 30 km with a first test and then the
climb of the Culmine di San Pietro of 25 km with an elevation of 1254 meters
with an average 4.8% with sections of 11%; a few bumps along the road and the
final climb of the day the 6.2 km climb of the Coll del Gallo a mere 763 meters
in elevation follows at the 176 km marker, but with an average gradient of 7%
and sections of 11%. Once over the climb any adventurers will have 27 kilometers
to hold off the peloton for victory.
A day for the adventurers, or shall we say dreamers who don't mind
challenging the sprinters teams for a shot at Giro glory.
Stage 8 © 2009 Gazzetta dello Sport
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