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93rd Giro d'Italia - Stage 18 Live Part 1
By Nick Bull
Date: 5/27/2010
93rd Giro d'Italia - Stage 18 Live Part 1

93rd Giro d'Italia - Stage 18 Live Part
Levico Terme-Brescia, 151km Live - The final hurrah for the fast men of the peloton

© 210 Gazzetta dello Sport

2010 Giro d'Italia
Jersey Leaders - Stage 17

Maglia Rosa:  David Duran Arroyo Caisse d'Epargne
Maglia Rossa: Cadel Evans BMC Racing
KOM:  Matthew Lloyd  Omega Pharma/Lotto
U26:  Richie Porte Saxo Bank
Team:  Liquigas/Doimo
General Classification After Stage 17
Thursday 27 May

Stage 18: Levico Terme - Brescia, 151km

© 2010 Gazzetta dello Sport

Giles Belbin: "At last, a nice short and simple stage for the riders. The stage starts in Levico Terme and runs south-west to Brescia. It's predominantly flat with just a couple of bumps along the way. If any sprinters have any energy left after dragging themselves kicking and screaming over the mountains then they will surely contest the win. If not.... well we might just have a slow-motion bunch finish."

Stage 18 (Levico Terme-Brescia, 151km) Live Ticker
Weather: Rain, rain, rain......
Non-starters: All 151 riders took the start today.
Today's climbs: No climbs today.
1445 - Welcome to Stage 18 of the Giro. With the stage today (almost) as flat as a pancake, we can only assume that it will be a day for a sprint finish - the last time we can say such a line in this race.

Before the start the Playboy "Playmate" poses beside the car she will ride in for the pre race caravan. Something else in pink to chase for the riders.  Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti 

At 151km, this is the shortest non-time trial stage of the race. As a result, the riders only left Levico Terme around 1400 CET, much later than a usual start.As has been tradition in this race, the weather is awful, with more rain greeting the riders.

1446 CET - After a quiet opening 20km, we now have two men - Oliver Kaisen (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Alan Marangoni (Colnago-CSF Inox) - clear of the peloton by one minute.

Marangoni is a former Italian junior Individual Pursuit and Time Trial champion. Kaisen also had success as an espoir; he took the 2003 U23 Belgian National Time Trial Championships.

1447 CET - Their lead is now 53 seconds.

So, who are you betting on today then? I've heard a few people predicting that Greg Henderson will take the honours in Brescia....

1454 CET - The lead has increased to 2'54".

There have been thunderstorms at the finish in Brescia today.... let's hope the conditions improve in the next hour or so.

1455 CET - Andre Greipel was present on the lower slopes of the yesterday's final climb, so he must be feeling relatively O.K. He's not had a great Giro thus far; can he salvage it by taking the victory this afternoon?

Tazmanian, Saxo Bank's Richie Porte at the start yesterday.
Photo © 2010 Fotoreporter Sirotti 

1457 CET - A few commentators are predicting that this will be David Arroyo's penultimate day in the Maglia Rosa; the majority seem to feel he will lose the race lead on Saturday's Queen stage to the Passo del Tonale. Luckily for the Spaniard and his team, today should be considerably easier than the past week.

1502 CET - 92km to go. Upfront, our two leaders have a comfortable gap and the rather tired peloton are not bothered by them at all right now.

HTC and Columbia are at the front of the main field, however they are not chasing hard. The weather is still overcast and cold; luckily the rain has stopped falling.

1507 CET - Race radio reported it was Roman Kireyev (Astana); however it definitely is Oliver Kaisen (Omega Pharma-Lotto).

Apologies for any confusion, or any moments of excitement this caused for any Kireyev followers....

1510 CET - And guess what? The rain has just started falling again. The latest time check gives our duo upfront a lead of 3'08".

Kaisen and Marangoni seem to escaped this latest shower, which passed through earlier judging by the wet roads they find themselves on.

I'm sure the riders could find a better way to relax before three decisive stages than a ride in cold and wet conditions.

Chris Froome is setting the pace right now. Sky and HTC-Columbia are making sure the lead for our escapees does not become untouchable.

Tyler Farrar has been the bunch sprint "King" of this race in 2010; however in his absence Sky will want to take their second victory of this race. Columbia also have one win to their name; Matt Goss' sprint victory in Cava de' Tirreni on Stage 9.

1518 CET - Lying before the vital days of this year's Giro, it is hardly surprising that very little is occurring this afternoon. Even the RAI TV feed is more interested in the local scenery

1521 CET - Some historical knowledge for you: Brescia is called "the Lioness of Italy" after an uprising that occurred there in the spring of 1849 against Austrian oppression.

1523 CET - 80km to go.  Our two leaders have just gone through a beautifully designed town piazza - but I'm not sure the wet cobbles would have been a pleasant experience for the duo upfront.

1526 CET - Following on from what I said earlier, the TV feed is now focusing on a pleasure boat passing across Lake Garda. That shows how much is not happening this afternoon.

1532 CET - The city is rectangular, similar to many American towns and cities; the streets intersect at right angles. This has been the case since Roman times.

As a result, the approach to the finish includes a handful of 90 degree turns.

The rain is still falling on the peloton, which could make the finish slightly dangerous. Two quick tyre changes for a Liquigas and Caisse d'Epargne riders. Matt Hayman (Sky) also has to replace his rear wheel.

1536 CET - 70km to go. We've not had any time checks recently, so we can only assume the lead for Marangoni and Kaisen is still around the three minute mark.

1537 CET - Having said that, I've just heard the gap is now 2'24". The efforts from Team Sky and Columbia are definitely keeping our two upfront in check.

1543 CET - Kaisen and Marangoni have 65km to go; one doubts they'll get the finish line alone. The peloton are darting their way through a tunnel next to a lake; the cut away sections provide a nice angle to see the Maglia Rosa group from.

Cadel Evans is just trying to get back onto the peloton. I guess he's had a puncture; trying to catch the field back up through these darting tunnels won't be too much fun for the current Maglia Rossa. A lot of riders have suffered from punctures in the last few minutes. Michael Schar, who had been pacing Evans back up to the peloton, has also had to change his wheel now. I guess the rain has moved a lot of stones and gravel onto the road.

1549 CET - Kaisen is currently alone, and he has dropped Marangoni. I wonder if the Italian has had a puncture, or simply not been able to follow his breakaway companion. Yes, Marangoni has had a mechanical and is back with Kaisen upfront.

1550 CET - 60km to go. A mechanic is adjusting something to the rear of Marangoni's bike; possibly his rear-mech.

 The last 10km have been full of tunnels, so nothing is there nothing to report on, there is very little to see too...

1557 CET - Good news!! The sun is starting to emerge from behind the clouds. Several riders, including Michele Scarponi, have shed their rain jackets.

That's the end of the excitement for the time being.

1600 CET - It seems that Marangoni's bike problems have subsided, and him and Kaisen are free to press on. Unfortunately for them, the peloton are ensuring their lead does not exceed the three minute mark.

As we have 50km remaining, our live coverage continues in PART TWO

Giles Belbin's Parcours Preview Week 3
93rd Giro d'Italia - Favorites Preview
Giro d'Italia - Big Mountains
2010 Giro d'Italia Team & Rider Start List
2010 Giro d'Italia - At a Glance
93rd Giro d'Italia - Start List

Stage 1  ITT
Stage 2
Stage 3
Stage 4 TTT
Stage 5 Report
Stage 6 Report
Stage 7 Report
After Stage 7 Interviews
Stage 8 Report
Stage 9 Report
Stage 10 Report
Stage 11 Live
Stage 11 Interviews
Stage 12 Live
G.C. After Stage 12
Stage 13 Live
Stage 14 Report
Stage 15 Live
Stage 16 ITT Live
Stage 16 Results
Stage 16 Reactions
Stage 16 G.C
Stage 17 Live
Stage 17 Results
Stage 17 C.C.

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