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93rd Giro d'Italia - Stage 20 Live Part 1
By Nick Bull
Date: 5/29/2010
93rd Giro d'Italia - Stage 20 Live Part 1

93rd Giro d'Italia - Stage 20 Live Part 1
A break of 16 is away and chasing the dream...

© 210 Gazzetta dello Sport

2010 Giro d'Italia
Jersey Leaders - After Stage 19

Maglia Rosa Ivan Basso Liquigas/Doimo
Maglia Rossa Points: Cadel Evans BMC Racing
KOM Maglia Verde:  Ivan Basso Liquigas/Doimo
U26 Maglia Bianca:  Richie Porte Saxo Bank
Team:  Liquigas/Doimo
Current General Classification
Saturday 30 May

Stage 20: Bormio - Passo del Tonale, 178 km
Welcome to our live coverage. The peloton can almost breathe a sigh of relief. They are one day away from finishing the Giro. Sadly for the riders, today is another leg-breaker, with five climbs lying along the 178km from Bormio to Passo del Tonale.

The big news at the start this morning was Stefano Garzelli, who tried in vain to win into Aprica yesterday has retired; the 2000 Giro winner is suffering from his fall on the Mortirolo yesterday afternoon.

© 210 Gazzetta dello Sport

We have already climbed the Forcola di Livigno, most of which saw the riders pass into Switzerland.

A breakaway group went away on this climb: in it we have Carlos Sastre, Dan Lloyd, Marcel Wyss (Cervelo), Hubert Dupont (AG2R), Jose Serpa (Androni Giocattoli), Gorazd Stangelj (Astana), Johann Tschopp, Damien Guadin (Bbox), Xabier Zandio (Caisse d'Epargne), David Moncoutie (Cofidis), Stefano Pirazzi (Colnago), Matthew Lloyd (Lotto), Peiter Weening (Rabobank), Marco Pinotti (HTC-Columbia), Laurent Didier (Saxo Bank), Massimo Codol (Acqua & Sapone).

Lloyd wears the green KoM jersey today, but is now only second because of Ivan Basso's ride yesterday. He has taken the points over the Forcola di Livigno and the Passo di Eira. As a result, we predict that Lloyd should now leapfrog Basso in the competition, with 44 pts to Basso's 35. Obviously Basso has bigger objectives today.

1517 CET - The picture has changed slightly upfront; Alexandre Vinkourov (Astana) has got across to our leading up. We now only have Dupont (Ag2R), Serpa (Androni), Vinokourov (Astana), Tschopp, Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues),, Zandio (Caisse d'Epargne), Sastre, M.Wyss (Cervelo), Moncoutie (Cofidis), Pirazzi (CSF), Simoni (Lampre), Lloyd (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Weening (Rabobank), Pinotti (HTC-Columbia), and Didier (Saxo Bank)

1520 CET - We are 81km from the finish, and the leaders only have a gap around one minute  We're currently on the 2291m Passo di Foscagno, which has sections of 10% in it.  Liquigas are unsurprisingly setting the pace, with four riders helping race leader Basso.

A look at our top ten today:

1 Basso Ivan Ita Liquigas/Doimo 81:55:56 
2 Arroyo Duran David Esp Caisse d'Epargne - 0:51
3 Nibali Vincenzo Ita Liquigas/Doimo - 2:30
4 Scarponi Michele Ita Androni Giocattoli 2:49
5 Evans Cadel Aus BMC Racing 4:00 Maglia Rossa
6 Sastre Candil Carlos Esp Cervélo TestTeam - 5:32
7 Porte Richie Aus Saxo Bank 6:00 Maglia Bianca
8 Vinokourov Alexandre Kaz Astana 6:22
9 Kiserlovski Robert Cro Liquigas/Doimo 12:44
10 Pinotti Marco Ita Thr HTC/Columbia 13:40

David Arroyo, now in second place overall, is trailing the Maglia Rosa closely. Snow lines the Foscagno, and it is even heavier by the side of the road on the next climb of the day, the almight Passo di Gavia. The organisers did plan an alternate route in case the climb was impassable, but at the moment, the road to the top of the Gabia (2618m above sea level) is fine.

1524 CET - Stefano Pirazzi (CSF) has taken a flier and has taken the maximum points on offer at the top of the Passo di Foscagno. The summit of the climb means we have 80km to go. The lead group will now descend for around 22 km before starting the day's fourth climb.

Pirazzi has a good gap on his former breakaway companions. This is his first year as a professional, and the 23 year old currently lies 138th overall.  He was involved in the break on the second day of this race, from Amsterdam to Utrecht. That stage seems an awfully long time ago now!

1528 CET - Lloyd took second place over the climb, with Sastre and Pinotti following closely behind. If the Omega Pharma - Lotto rider can score over the Gavia, I suspect he may hold on to win the KoM prize. Pirazzi leads the peloton now by 1:45, though we don't know how far ahead of the Sastre/Vino group he is.

1530 CET - The Gavia today represents the Cima Coppi, marking the highest point of the race. American readers will be fully aware of the passing of the climb: on 5 June 1988, when the race passed over Gavia in a snowstorm. Andrew Hampsten finished second to Erik Breukink that day, and became the overall race leader. He went on to win the race.

Hampsten's victory was the second Grand Tour that an American won; the first coming from Greg Lemond in 1986. Those were heady day's for the sport on this side of the pond inspiring many young men to enter the sport on the weels of Lemond and Hampsten.

The Liqi boys are holding the gap to the Sastre group in check. With the Spaniard around 1'45" up the road, Basso's team have no cause for concern right now.

1534 CET - Interestingly, Ivan Basso has only opted for the pink jersey, and not the full (and rather spectacular) complete matching pink mits/shorts/bike etc.....

Our lone leader is looking comfortable on the descent of the Passo di Foscagno. After a brief detour into Switzerland, we are firmly back on Italian soil. Expect a lot of Liquigas-supporting Tifosi along the roadside.

1538 CET - 65km to go. We've not had a time check between Pirazzi and the chase group, but it appears to be around 15 seconds. Parts of this descent are almost as narrow as that of the Mortirolo - room for two abreast, but not much space on either side.

We're only a few kilometers away from starting on the fearsome Gavia. It's not quite as tough as the Mortirolo (climbed yesterday) or the climb used to finish last Sunday's stage, the Zoncolan.  The Gavia averages 7.9%, is 17.3km long and has sections of 12% at 7.5km into the climb.

1545 CET - 63km to go. Our leader and the chase group are on the lower slopes of the Gavia. The climb starts steadily; the difficulties begin 3.5km in when the road rises to 7.5%.

Our Live Coverage Continues in Part 2

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