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89th Giro d'Italia - Stage 1 ITT Prologue Live Ticker
By Locutus
Date: 5/6/2006
89th Giro d'Italia - Stage 1 ITT Prologue Live Ticker

89th Giro d'Italia Prologue Live Ticker
Stage 1 (ITT Prologue: Seraing - km. 6.2):
Seraing (158m asl)

As we start the stage with our live coverage, some riders have already gone through the 6.2km time trial course and there are already some pretty big time gaps because of the climb.
The current leader is Philippe Gilbert of Francaise des Jeux, not suprising that the Belgian would do well on his home turf, and his time is 8' 29". 2nd is Evgeni Petrov (Lampre) @ 1", 3rd. is Francco Pellizotti (Liquigas) @ 7", 6th is Emanuele Sella (Panaria) @ 13", 8 is Slava Ekimov (Discovery Channel) at 15".

These are the more well-known rider who have gone, and as you can see, this course already seems to be suiting the climbers... how else would a guy like Pellizotti be able to beat a time trialing legend like Ekimov? These riders are also the early guys who go through, give it their best shot, and report back to their team leaders regarding the road conditions and details of the course.

Ekimov, of course, is hampered by this horrible, horrible Euro-mullet that he is sporting... not aerodynamic at all, that. Probably a time penalty for crimes against sporting fashion as well

Well, now, we have a new best time! It is a climber... Jose Luis "The Punisher" Rubiera of Discovery Channel has smoked the course in a time of 8' 24", which is 5" better than Gilbert! That shows 2 things: yes, this is a climber's course, and Rubiera is on good form.

Joining us is Jan Janssens in Belgium.

New top time guys: Marzio Bruseghin SHATTERED Rubiera's time by 10 seconds, it looks like ge set the mark for all the specialists

The faces of the riders as they finish tell the tale... they are dying on that course, tongues out and grimacing like they don't get enough fiber. The big guns towards the end should turn in some great times, but this will sort out things and provide some interesting gaps right off.

Marzio Bruseghin (Lampre) is going to be an important part of the Lampre team time trial effort, so this bodes well for his mate Cunego and their efforts for the overall win.
In fact, Bruseghin broke Rubiera's time by 14", putting in a time of 8' 10". Can someone break the 8' mark? We'll see...

Yes Locutus, this is a very tough prologue with some serious climbing! It wouldn't surprise me in the least that we see someone who can climb take the stage win here. Savoldelli, Cunego, Di Luca, even Simoni? who knows!

Interesting what Saunier Duval DS Matteo Algieri said about Simoni spending time in the wind tunnel in San Diego over the winter. It helps to have an American bike sponsor willing to work with them on things like that, eh?

This area is historically very Italian-minded: a lot of people of Italian descent live here still, their parents and grandparents used to work in the mines here. Just to say how much respect they have for the Italian riders: when Simoni came to scout the prologue here a few months ago, he got a police escort and they even closed off the parcours just so he could properly check it.

1) Bruseghin
2) Rubiera (+14)

Good riders like Pellizotti and Botcharov have already lost over 25"... these time gaps will only get bigger too

McEwen taking off now...usually sprinters do pretty good in prologues, but this course is just too heavy for them. maybe a Boonen or a Hushovd could do well here, but McEwen and co are probably above their head. McEwen has a much nicer looking time trial helmet this year. Last year he had this big black monstrosity that made it look like he had some giant, ugly black beatle eating his brain. This helmet looks much more aerodynamic, and stylish too.

This course is pretty much just a power climb... not many bends, not difficult technically, just a leg-breaking gradient.
We aren't far away from the start of the Jan "U-Boat" Ullrich (T-Mobile)... he is a rider who could destroy this course if he was on form, but he hasn't exactly been setting the roads on fire yet this year. He's coming back from a knee problem, so he's probably going to just ride through this race for the miles. Still, if he gets a bug, he could destroy the times set so far.

Good time-trialing from Jurgen van de Walle: the Quick Step man has moved into third place, with a time of 8'29", still 19 seconds off Bruseghin's standard.

Inigo Cuesta (CSC) is off soon, and he could set a good time. Then Ullrich is a couple of men after that.
McEwen coming in at the finish, 36 seconds slower than Bruseghin who's still in first position...not too bad for Robbie really.
Ullrich lining up
McEwen comes in at about 40th so far... he'll be satisfied with that. He's waiting for later.

Ullrich, like Ekimov, is a man in desperate need of a hair cut. His legs look mean and well-shaven, but his hair looks like he's been alone on an island for the past year, and he just woke up.

Perez Sanchez is gonna break Bruseghin's time! 8'06", 4 seconds faster than Bruseghin!! he looked a bit like he was using the cars to get ahead tho... He was about to catch Lobato of Saunier Duval, and he was in the cars (Perez Sanchez), so it'll be interesting to see if he gets a penalty for that.

Ullrich is not pushing it hard, it looks like. He's spinning... for him... turning over a moderate gear. He'll still probably set a good time. Ullrich is looking a bit heavy, actually... looking like a U-Boat plowing through the water. Still, he is probably going twice as fast as I could up that hill.
The big guns start shooting in about 15 and 20 minutes - watch out for men like Julich and Verbrugghe.
I'd say this course suits both of them well.

At the 5 km mark Ullrich is 18 seconds behind Bruseghin. 32nd place

American rider Aaron Olsen (Saunier Duval) came in at 9' 07" back, at 1' 01" behind the current best time. He's looking for some good things in the breakaways later in the week.
Ullrich comes in to the finish... not near the best time. 21st time for Ullrich; 33 seconds slower than Perez so far. 8' 39" for Ullrich. He's going okay, it looks like. And I'll bet that in the last time trial, he is much closer to the top.

On the lookout for other English speakers, Iker Flores kindly knocked Graeme Brown out of virtual lanterne rouge, while Brown's countrymen Davis (T-Mobile) and Hayman (Rabobank) are also well down the list.

It's still waiting for actual contenders to make us excited, but in the meantime we got a nice editing of crashes (minor ones) and even a bike falling off a DS car into the crowd and slapping some spectators around the face!
So if you're at the Giro, look out for bikes flying in your face Yes, a pregnant woman and a small child were among those injured; only lightly wounded though. Keep those straps fastened, directeur sportifs!

Vladimir Efimkin (Caisse d'Espargne) and Andoni Aranaga (Euskaltel-Euskadi) have crashed in the one sort of hard corner today. They both hit the barrier, but neither looked to be hurt... just annoyed.
Nursing road rash and bruises even before the first road stage won't be much fun; especially considering that the first two road stages are where the peloton is most "twitchy", and where crashes are most common.

Andy, By the way, Cuesta finished 23 seconds down, provisionally fifth.
Once Bobby Julich (CSC) goes in a few minutes, we should start to get a realistic idea of what the winning time will be like. This course is quite good for Julich's skills and style.
yes, he's one of the two or three top favorites, together with Verbrugghe and McGee

Current standings:
1) Perez
2) Bruseghin
3) Wielinga
4) Rubiera

Jan: I'll be an ignorant prat and say that Danielson (Discovery) will win it. He smoked that ITT in Georgia, and has improved a lot in that discipline. He is super-strong right now too, and his climbing legs are scary.
Andy: I'll put my money on Danielson's teammate Savoldelli. After his Romandy time-trial win, why not two in a row?
Good point
Nice to see Wielinga back in the groove. After 2003, he capitulated mentally and was afraid of riding in the bunch. Quick Step have thrown him a lifeline this year, and he is showing what he can do again.
Andy: Im not a believer in Danielon to be honest.
Manuele Mori (Saunier Duval) rides along on a beautiful Scott time trial bike. He's looking smooth.
Cunego will do well, but this is too much of a power ride, I think, for him to win. I can't wait to see that boy in the last week, though.

I think he'll do well in the Giro but not quite as well as many seem to think he will. Basso might win it actually, he's been excellent at 85% form this year.
Locutus, I think Damiano will be top five. He's still a bit too green in the grand tours, but he's taken a step or two up this year.
Andy, we'll see, you may be right. I admit I can be very skeptical.
Locutus, I'm standing by my wild claim that Basso will do the double.
Jan:Basso still has to prove he can win a GT, at I don't believe it, yet

Bouyges Telecom's Gene coming in now, but only 116th time for him...he's one of the very few coloured professional cyclists, probably has a heritage in one of the former French colonies. In fact, Rony Martias of Bouygues Telecom is also coloured; he originates from Guadeloupe, I believe? Or is it Martinique... I can't remember.

Julich is on the road, and he is flying... he's got that great time trialing position and he'll really help drive that train in the team time trial. Julich has the 5th time halfway the prologuel; 6 seconds slower than Bruseghin ther. Julich is on the climb, and he's eating it up. He needs to speed up, though, if he wants to win this.

Axel "Belgian Prince" Merckx and Rik Verbrugghe will be hitting the road soon. Verbrugghe won the Giro Prologue in 2001, and he's a favorite (dark horse type) for the win today.

No win for Julich, he's already over Sanchez' time. Not a bad time... but he seems to be not giving it full gas.
20th time for Julich, 29 seconds behind Sanchez...that's not your average CSC placing in a prologue. yeah, maybe he was just putting out a 'checkpoint' for Riis and Basso?

Juan Manuel Garate (Quick Step) is a favorite for a high GC finish, and he's on course now. He's a little climber with a lot of experience, and this Giro course really suits riders like him. But he won't shake up the top of the standings in this time trial. Padrnos working those monstrous thighs to get a decent time
The Discovery rider is certainly a part of the Discovery "A" team... he's been on a few Tour de France champion teams, and his job will be to keep Savoldelli and Danielson out of trouble in the flat stages.

Merckx is probably riding his last season this year, but he says that decision isn't set in stone we just might see the 'son of' in the Giro next season too.

Garate is putting in a decent time here near the finish. 6th place so far...he looks out of place without his Spanish champion jersey, but he can't wear it during TT's
6th best at 8' 26", good show for Garate.

Serpa on the road, don't underestimate this guy. 27 years old, vice-Colombian TT champion and a proven winner in Latin America. he's being touted as the 'new Rujano'

Michael "Bone Machine" Rasmussen (Rabobank) will start soon. But he's not here for winning, he's just here (like Ullrich) to have some fun training while getting ready for the Tour de France.

Olaf Pollack has slipped into fourth, 8'23" and 17 seconds down on Perez Sanchez:
1) Perez
2) Bruseghin at 0'04"
3) Wielinga 0'11"
4) Pollack 0'17"
5) Rubiera 0'18"

Wim Van Huffel (Davitamon-Lotto) is on course now. He's a good young climber who was 12th on GC last year. He also gave Savoldelli that professional assist, working with him to chase down Simoni and DiLuca in the last mountain stage last year; he's the Belgian hope for GT's, but he's an awful TT' we'll what he can show us here.
Belgian cycling is in dire need of another GC contender too... the halcyon days of Merckx and van Impe are becoming more and more distant. Or even Freddy Maertens and his Vuelta win (and 13 stage wins).

Merckx in at 8' 24", 21st so far. Not bad for Axel, who my wife fancies as the best looking guy in the peloton. Basso is 2nd, in case you're wondering, but only because Cipo has retired. And Garzelli is 3rd place on my wife's "hot" podium. Alas, Garzelli is not in this race despite his good form, Liquigas choosing to put all their eggs in the DiLuca basket this year.

Verbrugghe is in, and his time really isn't what he expected of it...4th time. So now only McGee of the real prologue favorites can still break Sanchez' time

Jens Voigt is getting ready...he can certainly do this line of work provided he's in great shape

Noe has a good ride for the Liquigas squad, ninth best so far with a time of 8' 29". Liquigas certainly has a strong squad this year, despite the absence of Garzelli.
Marco Pinotti Italian TT champion (Saunier Duval) is on course, a favorite of the commentators to do well. He's sporting a very fancy outfit too.

Three Euskaltels in the bottom four at the moment. Well, we weren't expecting any miraculous performances from the Orange Men against the clock, though on this evidence, I dread to think how their TTT will go. These riders will no doubt make their statements on the last week of the "Corsa Rosa" on the climbs.

Good time, 8' 27" for Pinotti. That puts him in 8th so far.

Voigt doesn't exactly look like he's flying up the climb. Depending on the team tactics, Voigt would be a good bet to go on a breakaway and try to get the Pink Jersey in the first week.
8' 15" for Voigt -Third time for Voigt! 9 seconds slower than Perez Sanchez, great time.

By the way, Gilberto Simoni, at 35 years of age, would be the oldest ever winner of the Giro d'Italia if he won this year's edition. Locutus, I interviewed Simoni for about 20 minutes with a translator... he was a really nice guy

Honchar has 6'02" at the top of the climb! fastest intermediate time, he might take the lead!  I believe the Ukrainian has never won a time-trial shorter than 30km... The helicoptor shot for some reason zeroes in on something that looks like a nuclear power plant coolant tower (a la the Simpsons), and then cuts to Honchar on course. The big T-Mobile rider is looking to return to the podium... he was 2nd on GC in 2004. here's honchar! let's see...
he's sprinting for the line, and his time is a second faster than Sanchez!!
Great ride for Honchar, Gonchar, Gontsjar, or as his friends call him Gonnie
Honchar's time is 8' 05", and that will be hard to beat.

McCartney puts in a very good time for Discovery... 6th best, 15" out; he's really impressed me these last two years, I can't praise McCartney highly enough, in making the transition to dedicated European pro almost seamlessly. McCartney is a selfless powerhouse for sure, a real pro.

1 Honchar
2 Perez at 0'01"
3 Voigt 0'09
4 Wielinga 0'11
5 Verbrugghe 0'12
Schumacher here now, out of nothing! 8'03", the new best much for Honchar, only 3 minutes in first place
 1. Honchar 8' 05", 2. Perez @ 1", 3. Bruseghin @ 5", 4. Voigt @ 10".
Wow, what a surprise! Stefan Schumacher has stunned everyone by taking the lead! Can some of the big names unseat him?
Dario "Choo Choo" Cioni (Liquigas) is looking good on the climb right now.
 A blow for T-Mobile - they released Schumacher from his contract in 2003, and after some great performances with Lamonta and Shimano, he's back in the big time with their German rivals Gerolsteiner... and beating Honchar.

Belli is finishing with a below-average time...Belli's best known for his well-aimed punch to the face of Simoni's cousin in the 2002 Giro. Quite the feat while on your bike

Cioni, of course, is a favorite (along with Danielson) to win Stage 17, because the last 5km of that climb isn't paved and both Cioni and Danielson were professional mountain bikers... those skills will be necessary on Stage 17.
He's won the Circuit de la Sarthe already, with a fine ninth in the Amstel Gold Race. We'll be hearing more of him in the future, that's for sure. (Cioni was also born in Reading, England; an honourary Brit. Something I feel i need to add, since his teammate Wegelius is the only Briton riding this year)

Cioni was 4th on GC two years ago while riding for Fasso Bortolo. He is riding as a part of the power train to put DiLuca on the podium this year. The Italian producers are showing lots of Cioni's ride... they clearly think he is a man to watch, eh?
Cioni comes across in a decent time, 17" behind the leader into 8th for now.

Meanwhile, Ardila (Rabobank) is riding well near the finish. Ardila is a climber... he does not so great, 35" down now. But he'll shine in the last week.

Good news for Euskaltel fans. Carl Naibo (Ag2r), in his first Grand Tour, is now in the unenviable last position, 1'40" down on Schumacher.
Perez Cuapio starting now...the short Mexican man won three Giro stages so far, but can he still do it? His stage wins date from a few years back after all. "Lucky" Perez got his nickname in the 2001 Giro, when he was on his way to a stage victory, and... his chain snapped. Then he crashed, broke his forks, and lost his front teeth. Finally, he overcame all this to win a mountain stage in a break with Simoni. His broken smile... fragments of his front teeth sticking out of his gums, but happy as all get-out. That smile from "Lucky" Perez is now the stuff of Giro legend

Departure of Mark Scanlon of Ireland AG2R
Current Standings:
1 Schumacher 8'03"
2 Honchar at 0'02"
3 Perez 0'03"
4 Bruseghin 0'07
5 Voigt 0'12

World champion jersey in sight!! Michael Rogers takes off; Rogers never showed any sign of greatness in the GT's and/or their TT's so we shouldn't expect too much. Of course, Rogers no longer has to tow the likes of Virenque up the climbs... he's able to ride for himself now on T-Mobile, a part of the big squad with Ullrich and Honchar in this race.
Sastre is also on the road while Bettini is being cool at the's time for the big names!

Rogers has a pink back wheel... not an arrogant assumption that he'll win the Pink jersey, just an acknowledgment of the very ugly color his team wears on their jerseys. Of course, Rogers is wearing the World Champ jersey for the time trial.

Danielson on the road...Discovery's secondary team leader who should be able to do something nice; at the first intermediate check, Danielson is 8 seconds slower tha Schumacher. But still, a very decent time.

Fabio Sacchi, one of the Team Milram Dairy Dudes, comes across the line with a decent time... he'll be happier in the stages to come this week, when he'll be working for Petacchi.

Sastre coming in with a good time, 6th place with 14 seconds on Schumacher. Yep, the big guns are now on course... Rogers and Danielson are both going well... at least they have great position on the bike.
CSC is doing their usual 'hogging the first places of a TT" routine.
Of course their best time trialist, Zabriskie, isn't in this race... he'll be there for the Tour de France, though.

Danielson jumping over the speed bumps Danielson into the final few corners... Danielson headed towards a good time, 5 th place! 8'11", so 8 seconds slower than Schumacher Good time for the American, but he'll probably be upset with himself. Not bad, a good base for the rest of the race.
Bettini will try to do well here if he wants to take the pink jersey on the citadel of namur. Here's Bettini! let's see...
8:08 for the Cricket. 40th place, 29 seconds behind Schumacher...I think he can forget about the maglia rosa unless he sprints with the big guns

The first big overall favorites are starting: Rujano just took off, and Di luca is on the starting stage; Jose Rujano, aka "Mighty Mouse," is on course for the last time with his Sella Italia colors. We'll see if he can overcome his problems with team management to repeat his podium performance from last year.

Danilo "Nuke" DiLuca is finally off on this, his first Giro where he knows he has a chance of winning the overall. He has had a change in his preparation, trying to make the Armstrong transition from strong one-day race to GC grand tour hero.

Davide Rebellin only 5 seconds slower than Schumacher, his teammate. They're setting themselves up for Rosa on the Citadel much better than Bettini!
Meanwhile, Guttierez is on the road and bruning up the intermediates: fastest time on both checks!
Well, a good time by Rebellin, only 5" slower than Schumacher.

1 Schumacher 8'03"
2 Honchar at 0'02"
3 Perez 0'03"
4 Rogers 0'04"
5 Bruseghin 0'07"
6 Danielson 0'08"
That's excellent by Rebellin; maybe he could do it in Namur.

Rujano is 26" down on the current best time. Best time for Guttierrez!! only a few tenth of a second faster than Schumacher, bad luck for the German! Great ride from the Phonak rider!

But mcGee might break the time already, here he comes 8'01"!! 2 seconds faster tha Guttierez!!! McGee in the lead
 Di Luca fastest time at the first time check!
Andy - "Stella! Stella!"! says:
Jose Enrique Gutierrez, it is.
Locutus says:
Well, well, Gilberto "G-Man" Simoni is on course now for his new Saunier Duval squad. He won't beat McGee's time, but he'll give it a go...
It's all kicking off now! Ivan is just starting now
the Spanish TT champ and silver medalist at the TT worlds last year iirc, Ivan Guttierez, taking off
Di Luca is blazing a trail here... if he could beat McGee's time, that would be a huge upset.
Cunego takes off, while di Luca is flying towards the finishline.
The ProTour champion is not a noted time-trialist either, though he's competent against the clock. Di Luca storming to the line!!

"Bad, Bad" Bradley McGee (Francaise de Jeux) is best time now with a time of 8' 01", so if anyone is going to beat him they'll have to really fly. Di Luca is going to be close though. But he won't beat McGee's time, 8th time, he must have lost some time in the descent

Cunego and Simoni both on the parcours. Hope that won't give any problems.
 McGee has been third in both Paris-Nice and Romandy prologues. He took the maglia rosa after prologue victory in 2004... is it going to be a repeat? That's good news for McGee! Bradley might have his revenge and be back in the Pink Jersey (I say revenge, because he has never forgiven the Giro race officials for penalizing him for supposedly holding onto a car on a climb in 2004... that penalty cost him a place on GC). He still goes on about it on his website. It was two years ago, and he's still on about it. Clearly it got under his skin.

And the man going for the Giro-Tour double takes off...Ivan Basso!
Simoni is looking much better... that time in the wind tunnel over the winter has improved his time trial position, if nothing else. His back is flatter, his shoulders lower, his head held steady. Nice.
Simoni is in the last turn, but he won't win the prologue, that's a given.

Paolo "Blue Falcon" Savoldelli (Discovery) is now off. He is the best candidate to beat McGee's time.
Andy - "Stella! Stella!"! says:
1 McGee
2 J Gutierrez at 0'02"
3 Schumacher 0'02"
4 Honchar 0'04"
5 Perez Sanchez 0'05"
6 Rogers 0'07"
7 Rebellin 0'07"
8 Di Luca 0'08"
9 Bruseghin 0'09"
10 Danielson 0'10"

God says:
12th time for Gibo, 15 seconds slower than McGee...Not bad! Gibo has really done well here! NIce work...

Jose Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne), the Spanish Time Trial Champ with a good time: 5 th place
Cunego sprinting to the finish, 13th place! so he does better than his former teammate Simoni, albeit only one second.
Now Alessandro "Whacky" Petacchi (Milram) is moving along on this course, sandwiched between the GC men. Petacchi and his Lactose Lads will be looking for stage wins and maybe the Pink Jersey in days to come.

Still, Cunego's time trial form looked a bit dodgy... Simoni's form has much improved, but Cunego seemed to be riding on sheer power.
Not a bad time for Petacchi either, he 'only' loses about 25 seconds. Alejet should be very pleased with that, it sets him up well for the road stages.
Basso, Savoldelli and vaitkus on the road
Savoldelli FIVE seconds faster then the best time at the first checkpoint!! Il Falco is flying! Savoldelli beat McGee in the Prologue of the Tour de Romandie as well. Can this be history repeating itself?

Basso is in, I think he got 9th time or something; Basso is going very well! This will be a great time, but not faster than McGee.
Savoldelli is really eyeing the prologue win now, this will be interesting to see. TEN seconds faster at the second intermediate poin, the's probably gonna be the only man below 8 minutes today!
Basso 12th, 13" slower than McGee.

7:50 For Savoldelli to take the lead!
SAVOLDELLI WINS!!! ELEVEN seconds faster than Mcgee
Well, Savoldelli is telling all those little climbers to EAT HIS BLUE SHORTS, as he is the defending champ and they have a fight on their hands in this climbing-crazy Giro!
We've been focusing on Cunego vs. Basso, but the figure of consistency shows himself again. And what a showing!
And Danielson is going to be on equal standing with this man? Yeah, right. We'll see in three weeks, eh...
Well, Savoldelli has clearly recovered from his bout with TDD in the Tour of Romandie. His time trialing form is clearly strong, and so now the only question is can he keep up with all those little climbers in the final week.

Oh, I'm not saying he won't be good, but he won't be great.
yeah, what a performance from Savoldelli today...I've rarely seen someone win a prologue with this much of a lead
Even Savoldelli himself has conceded that he'd be happy with a podium spot and some form for the Tour de France.

Of the top favorites today it's only Savoldelli and Di Luca who took something of a lead. Cunego, Simoni and Basso are all within 3 seconds of each other
Indeed, an Armstrong-esque show of dominance. Are we going to see the Blue Train in full flight in the coming week?

Mind you, last year Savoldelli won last year with a team that was largely the Discovery "B" squad. This year, they have most of their "A" squad along, and they will smoke in that Team Time Trial to increase his lead over his rivals.

Only Basso has a shot to stay close in that event, I think. I wouldn't rule out CSC and T-Mobile for the TT just yet
Lampre have apparently been training especially hard for the TTT, so watch out for them, though they surely won't be on the same level of Discovery, CSC and T-Mobile.

Top Ten: (provisional Results)
1. Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel, Ita) 7'50"
2. Bradley McGee (Francaise des Jeux, Aus) at 0'11"
3. Jose Enrique Gutierrez (Phonak, Spa) 0'13"

4. Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner, Ger) 0'13"
5. Serhiy Honchar (T-Mobile, Ukr) 0'15"
6. Francisco Perez (Caisse d'Epargne, Spa) 0'16"
7. Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne, Spa) 0'16"
8. Michael Rogers (T-Mobile, Aus) 0'17"
9. Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner, Ita) 0'18"
10. Danilo di Luca (Liquigas, Ita) 0'19".

Savoldelli takes up his old habit of chasing the podium girls with the champagne... they're all drenched, and pissed at him I'm sure, but Savoldelli is smiling.

This concludes the live Ticker today, thanks for joining  us. Full results and photos to follow.

After race commentary:
Tomorrow sprinter time for the second stage. The Lactose Lads with join Discovery at the front of the peloton, and it will be a mass of light blue driving the race through Belgium.
Olaf Pollack is best placed sprinter at 33 seconds, though Petacchi is only at 35 seconds.

Bettini could be dangerous too in the sprints for the maglia rosa. He's fourty-two seconds down. Schumacher and Di Luca can both sprint too; I'd like to see what they can do in Namur.

Di Luca won't do mass sprints, and Schumacher isn't quite as fast as Bettini I think.
By the way, Jan Ullrich finished 80th at 49 seconds.
Petacchi will kill everybody while he can before he lapses into sufferville for the rest of the race...although he may suffer without his lead out man Marco Velo this Giro.
He'll still win a stage or two, but I think the rest will be closer than usual
Locutus: I don't know, that kid who took over as leadout did a great job after Velo went down...
Andy: I'm wondering if there will be a bunch sprint in Milan this year; after the sadism in the Dolomites, which fast men will be left? McEwen and Petacchi have already vowed to abandon once the going gets tough.
Locutus: But this is a bigger stage, and Velo's experience will obviously be missed...

Locutus: Really?
Andy: I know McEwen has
Locutus: I know McEwen will, but Petacchi too? Not even for the points jersey? I'm betting Cunego wins the points jersey this year, actually...
Andy: I'd say Di Luca this year.
Locutus: Oh, hey, that's a good thought... DiLuca vs. Cunego for the points jersey, Rujano vs.... ??? for the mountains jersey...
Jan: don't forget about Bettini, if he will contest mass sprints... and Garate for Quick Step could be a threat for the mountains jersey...
Andy: I'm hoping Perez Cuapio will go for it again, but wishful thinking really. look out for Serpa
his teammate Rubiano is another Colombian firebrand in the mountains.

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