STAGE 10: MAY 22 (Wednesday) - Maddaloni/Benevento 118 km
It could be another day for the sprinters!
The 10th stage of the Giro d'Italia is a short one at just 118 kilometres, from Maddaloni to Benevento with three manageable climbs, ending with three laps of a 6 km circuit in Benevento.
The big news today is, of course, Garzelli's disqualification from the race following his positive B sample for probenecid. As if that weren't enough, now it is revealed that Gilberto Simoni has tested non-negative for cocaine, of all things. The test was taken before the Giro del Trentino on April 24.
Simoni is still in the race while he waits for his B sample testing, but it is possible, and even likely that the defending champion will soon be ejected from the race as well!
Live coverage will begin at 6:30 AM PST
6:37 AM PST - The riders have just passed the Intergiro, and it was Phonak's Massimo Strazzer followed by Fabrizio Guidi on the line. The attacks begin just after the Intergiro with Frank Hoj (Coast) and Mariano Piccoli (Lampre) and another Phonak rider attempt to breakaway.
6:48 AM PST - The chase is on in earnest. Tyler Hamilton has had a mechanical difficulty, but is being paced back into the peloton, and Mario Cipollini is having his handlebars tightened... Good thing! I'm sure we'd all hate to see him go down!
It's a hot day, nearly 90 degrees Farenheit!
6:55 AM PST - The Peloton is all together, and stretched in a long ribbon. Telecom are on the front, and the race is fast. Ivan Quaranta (Alexia) seems to be having a bit of trouble staying with the group.
Heppner, if he remains in pink today, matches the German record for days in the Maglia Rosa set in 1932 by Herman Buse.
7:05 AM PST - Hector Mesa Mesa, of Formaggi Trentino has gone off the front and has a lead of about .15 seconds, but the peloton isn't sitting up, with Telecom and Acqua e Sapone keeping a close eye on the proceedings. Quaranta's problems continue, he is losing ground whenever the peloton picks up speed.
7:12 AM PST - Sciandri (Lampre) and Seniushine (Panaria) make a break for it.
Robbie McEwen is right on Cipollini's wheel as the first Acqua e Sapone guard comes to the front.
7:24 AM PST - The peloton is all together, and the pace is high. Riders are going back to the team cars to get helmets on in preparation for the sprint.
Pantani takes up the rear with his Mercatone Uno team while Telecom leads the peloton. About 36k to go.
7:30 AM PST - The peloton has slowed; the calm before the storm?
7:33 AM PST - Ivan Quaranta's problems look serious. He has been dropped by the peloton and is trying to chase back up with teammates. Unfortunately for him a small break has gone off the front, Gigli (Formaggi Trentini) and Marin (Selle Italia) have a lead of .15 seconds, and the Acqua e Sapone led peloton will chase.
7:44 AM PST - The peloton is all together and on the finishing cicuit.
7:51 AM PST - Coast is setting the pace at the front. 17km to go in three laps around the circuit in Benevento. There is a sharp uphill just before the finish, which could figure into the outcome.
7:54 AM PST - Quaranta is just now arriving at the finishing circuit.
8:00 AM PST - Still all together, and the pace is high on the tricky circuit! Cipollini is looking good up the climb, and there are two laps to go.
8:02 AM PST - Rolf Sorenson flats. The main field is charging around the circuit.
8:12 AM PST - Cipo in diffculty, he can't organize a good train, and Milan Kadlec of Lampre leaps off the front after the final corner, pounding up the climb. The peloton breathing down his neck!
He's caught! McEwen wins it!
Results and News to follow! Keep checking back with the Daily Peloton!
Provisional Results, Stage 10
1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Adecco
2 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Team Coast
3 Giovanni Lombardi (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo
4 Mykhaylo Khalilov (Ukr) Colombia-Selle Italia
5 Massimo Strazzer (Ita) Phonak Hearing Systems
General classification after stage 10
1 Jens Heppner (Ger) Team Telekom 48.49.48
2 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 3.50
3 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi 3.57
4 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 4.08
5 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 4.09
6 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Index Alexia 4.27
7 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 4.29
8 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 4.39
9 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio 4.41
10 Juan Carlos Dominguez (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 4.43
11 Fernando Escartin (Spa) Team Coast 4.44
12 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC Tiscali 4.46
13 Cadel Evans (Aus) Mapei-Quick Step 4.47
14 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 4.49
15 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 4.52