Giro d'Italia 2009

May 9-31, 2009, Lido di Venezia, Italy, Road - GT

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Cycling News
  1. 14:00:00 CEST

    Hello and welcome back to Cyclingnews' coverage of the centennial Giro d'Italia. Today, stage two, is a mostly flat run east from Jesolo to the great port town of Trieste (home of Illy Caffè).

    Today's stage features the first categorised climb, or GPM (Gran Premio della Montagna), at 140.6km into the 156km stage.

    It should be a sprinters' stage suited to Mark Cavendish (Columbia-Highroad), who is the race leader in the maglia rosa. His American team won the opening stage yesterday, a 20.5km team time trial.
  2. 14:04:00 CEST

    Mark Cavendish (Columbia-Highroad) also holds the maglia bianca of best young rider.
  3. 13km remaining from 156km

    14:07:00 CEST

    The stage started at 13:35 under clear and sunny skies; all 198 riders started.

    Alessandro Donati (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo) won the intermediate sprint at kilometre six in Eraclea. The change in pace allowed for Leonardo Scarselli (ISD) to slip away.

    The Italian has a 2:42 gap over the gruppo at 13km into the race.
  4. 20km remaining from 156km

    14:15:00 CEST

    Leonardo Scarselli (ISD), 34, finished the Giro d'Italia in 101st in 2007 racing for Quick Step. He is winless as a professional, but helped his team to the team time trial victory in this year's Coppi e Bartali stage race.

    After 20km, the gap is 6:40.
  5. 14:18:00 CEST

    We think that the maglia bianca will is worn by Thomas Lövkvist (Columbia-Highroad) today, but have missed him so far. Mark Cavendish is in the pink leader's top, the first Brit ever to wear it.

    Remember, Cavendish took a magnificent, surprise win in the Milano-Sanremo in March; it was his first participation. He beat Haussler in a tight sprint.
  6. 14:20:00 CEST

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  7. 14:23:00 CEST

    "It's amazing when you think that Mark is only 23," Columbia DS Rolf Aldag said of Cavendish. "It's also amazing, how he can bring people together. He'll be there, telling everyone 'Come on guys, let's go out and beat everyone.'

    "The other really amazing thing about him is that whatever he's promised to do, he's always done it. He's never really failed. He's taught us that you have to trust him."
  8. 14:24:00 CEST

    "I wear the maglia rosa for the whole team tomorrow [Sunday - ed.]," said Cavendish yesterday after the stage.

    "The next few days will be sprints, which will suit me and the team. Obviously, the pressure's off because of today, but we'll try for more wins. I've got no problems wearing this shirt, so I'll keep going as long as I can."
  9. 14:27:00 CEST

    We had: look at how the classification favourites did yesterday, compared to each other The best team was Astana.

    1 Leipheimer & Armstrong
    3 Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini): 9"
    4 Giovanni Visconti (ISD): 14"
    5 Denis Menchov (Rabobank): 25"
    6 Ivan Basso and Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas): 27"
    8 Damiano Cunego and Marzio Bruseghin (Lampre-NGC): 29"
    10 Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam): 36"
    12 Gilberto Simoni and Michele Scarponi (Diquigiovanni): 53"
    14 Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo): 1'08"
  10. 14:29:00 CEST

    Norwegians will be happy to hear that Edvald Boasson Hagen (Columbia-Highroad) carries the maglia bianca of best young rider. Keep in mind the official holder today is Cavendish, though.
  11. 27km remaining from 156km

    14:31:00 CEST

    We parked our Fiat to get a time check of Italy's Scarselli (ISD). He holds right over seven minutes, at 7:16.
  12. 14:34:00 CEST

    We mentioned Trieste is the home of Illy Caffè, but it is also the home of fierce winds. In several spots in the city there are hand rails to keep from being blown away when the wind whips up (no kidding).

    "Trieste is certainly a stage for sprinters, a 99-percent chance that it arrives in a sprint. The sprinters will control the race for Alessandro Petacchi and Mark Cavendish. Trieste is a historic zone and one of the big cities this year's Giro will visit," Diquigiovanni team manager Giovanni Savio to Cyclingnews last month.
  13. 14:37:00 CEST

    Trieste officially became part of Italy in October 26, 1954.
  14. 14:44:00 CEST

    The riders pass the Miramare castle (feed zone) and head into Trieste in front of Piazza Unità, at 122.6 kilometres. They will complete three circuits of the waterfront city, each with the third category climb of Montebello (the second time counts to the climbers' maglia verde).
  15. 14:45:00 CEST

    Leonardo Scarselli (ISD), 34, has 7:00 on the gruppo. (The max so far was 7:16 at km 26)
  16. 14:53:00 CEST

    Alex Zülle won when the Giro d'Italia visited Trieste in 1998. He beat Serguei Honchar by 53" in a time trial. Pavel Tonkov finished third and Marco Pantani went on to win that Giro d'Italia.

    Honchar got revenge six years later when he won the 52km Trieste time trial stage.

    Cesare Del Cancia won the first time the Giro d'Italia visited Trieste, in 1938.
  17. 14:57:00 CEST

    This year's maglia bianca is dedicated to Candido Cannavò, former director of Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. He passed away earlier this year.

    Cannavò held the position of director for 19 years, from 1983 to 2002, helping it become one of the most widely read sports newspapers in Europe.

    He began a career in journalism in 1949 and in 1955 joined La Gazzetta dello Sport, as a correspondent. He became director 28 years later when he took over for Gino Palumbo. He received several awards during his career, including the Saint Vincent-Indro Montanelli in 2006 for his contributions to journalism.
  18. 50km remaining from 156km

    14:59:00 CEST

    Leonardo Scarselli (ISD) stretches his legs, getting out of his saddle for a few seconds. He has been riding for 50km, just passing the city of Latisana.

    Columbia leads the gruppo for maglia rosa Mark Cavendish.
  19. 15:10:00 CEST

    Leonardo Scarselli is not winless as a pro. The rider from Pisa won the two stages of the Tour of Senegal in 2002 and returned the next year to win the overall.
  20. 51km remaining from 156km

    15:10:00 CEST

    Scarselli's gap is 8:20.
  21. 15:16:00 CEST

    Mark Cavendish (Columbia-Highroad) chose pink shorts today to match his pink top. A really smart look for the 23-year-old sprinter who bases himself in Quarrata (Toscana), Italy.

    Leonardo Scarselli (ISD), seven Giro participations, leads by 8:30 over the Cavendish crew.
  22. 15:17:00 CEST

    Race Tech: Scott introduces Plasma 3 machine at Giro

    Scott Bicycles officially unveiled their new Plasma 3 time trial bike two days before Columbia-High Road used it to win the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia. James Huang, in Lido di Joselo, had a look.
  23. 68km remaining from 156km

    15:20:00 CEST

    Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) and Alessandro Petacchi (LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini) have a chance at taking the maglia rosa off the shoulders of Mark Cavendish (Columbia-Highroad) if they play their cards right at the intermediate sprints and win the stage.

    All of the stages feature time bonuses this year.
  24. 15:21:00 CEST

    "I was itching to ride a Grand Tour for a few years now. We have a really strong team for the team time trial, our biggest objective there. I will give 100 percent for it and then have a crack at the sprint stages. So far it [Italy] has been good to me this year," said Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) a couple weeks ago.
  25. 15:24:00 CEST

    Columbia and Liquigas, respectively, drive the pace of the gruppo. The riders let Leonardo Scarselli (ISD) enjoy the day but soon the hammer will fall and the Italian will be crushed to make way for a sprinters' slug fest on the shores of Trieste.
  26. 15:24:00 CEST

    Happy mothers' day!
  27. 15:27:00 CEST

    ISD got into the retro 80s look right before the Giro d'Italia with neon yellow kits. They look good, designed with the help of super sprinter Mario Cipollini. He will be selling his own line of kits later on this year.
  28. 72km remaining from 156km

    15:28:00 CEST

    Leonardo Scarselli (ISD) holds a gap of 6:33.
  29. 15:30:00 CEST

    Cavendish and a teammate have moved back into the heart of the gruppo.
  30. 15:33:00 CEST

    "Mark is leader. He has shown his ability to lead the team, he knows what he wants even if sometimes we have to hold him back a little bit," said Columbia Directeur Sportif Valerio Piva to Italian television.

    "We will see what happens today. We have the team on the front now to help control and then we will see what teams come to the front. I see Farrar and Petacchi as the big rivals."
  31. 15:36:00 CEST

    We have entered the province of Gorizia.
  32. 15:44:00 CEST

    "We were pleased considering the amount of preparation we put into it, which was minimal," said Lance Armstrong (Astana) after yesterday's 20.5km team time trial. "I know Cavendish will try to keep it until the Dolomites.

    "It was a good feeling to get going again" in a Grand Tour. "I am having fun, I was having fun early in the year and I will continuing having fun."
  33. 15:45:00 CEST

    The average after two hours is 41.4km.
  34. 15:50:00 CEST

    "I will try in a sprint or an escape," said Robert Hunter (Barloworld).

    "I think I am going good" after my stage win in the Giro del Trentino. Cavendish "is almost unbeatable if he is pulled to the last 200 to 300 metres. However, he has problems getting over the climbs, this could happen in this Giro."
  35. 94km remaining from 156km

    15:52:00 CEST

    Cavendish shares a word with Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha), maybe asking him when he will try a solo escape?

    Scarselli enters the city of Monfalcone.
  36. 15:57:00 CEST

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas) lost 27 seconds to Astana's Leipheimer/Armstrong yesterday.

    "I would say that it went perfectly, maybe we could have gone five or 10 seconds faster," said Basso.

    Cunego lost 29 seconds. "It was a great start in a type of stage that is not adapted to us," said Cunego. "The time gaps are limited."
  37. 99km remaining from 156km

    16:02:00 CEST

    "Yesterday was a great test for us," said Fabio Bordonali, team manager of LPR. "We knew we would have a good ride, and it went like that."

    Danilo Di Luca finished nine seconds back on Armstrong and Leipheimer.

    Take the maglia rosa today with Petacchi? "We will try to have the best sprint possible and we hope Alessandro shows the condition he had yesterday. If he has a good sprint and wins we will then see if he takes the maglia rosa rosa from the new great, known as Cavendish."

  38. 16:02:00 CEST

    The gap is now 5:30 for Scarselli, who went on the move at kilometre nine.
  39. 16:06:00 CEST

    The gruppo enters the feed zone, a three-kilometre zone from km 96 to 99. This is the only feed zone today, but on longer days there are two feed zones.

    The gap is 5:32, the peloton travels with the Gulf of Trieste on its right.
  40. 16:11:00 CEST

    If you are in Italy and you see a car with "Amo l'Italia" on the car plate that would be Mark Cavendish (Columbia-Highroad). The mayor of Quarrata gifted the cyclist after his win at the Milano-Sanremo.

    His team holds the gap at 5:46.
  41. 16:14:00 CEST

    Be sure to send e-mails in with your thoughts and log on to our forums.
  42. 101km remaining from 156km

    16:15:00 CEST

    The race enters Duino, the gap holds at 5:43.
  43. 16:17:00 CEST

    Giro organiser RCS Sport is donating money to the victims of Italy's earthquake. Nearly 300 people died in the 6.3-magnitude that struck Abruzzo's L'Aquila April 6.

    Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini) is also helping.

    "I created some different fundraisers to help the survivors: I am selling different cycling related items on eBay and I am selling pink bracelets with Abruzziamo written on them, like Armstrong did for LiveStrong. They will be sold at the Giro d'Italia; it would be great to sell a lot and give a hand to the victims," he said to Cyclingnews this week.

    Di Luca lives 100 kilometres away, in Pescara, and is doing what he can to help.
  44. 16:20:00 CEST

    Lance Armstrong (Astana) and his team move to the front of the peloton, hear Cavendish's Columbia team. We also see USA's Garmin there. There are two USA teams leading the Italian Grand Tour.
  45. 16:24:00 CEST

    "As the season went on last year I was better and better in the sprints," Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) told Cyclingnews of his win in Tirreno-Adriatico nearly two months ago.

    Farrar caught the world's best sprinters by surprise in Tirreno-Adriatico's stage three in Santa Croce sull'Arno, Italy. The American of Team Garmin-Slipstream took his best win today over the likes of Mark Cavendish (Columbia-Highroad), Robbie McEwen (Katusha) and Tom Boonen (Quick Step).

    "I put in a good winter of training, working on my strength. In the Tour of California I was getting close, but I did not have the luck. It all sort of came together today."

    A crash in Milano-Sanremo sidelined the sprinter. He separated his right shoulder in a crash 100 kilometres into the one-day Italian Classic. He avoided surgery, but had to wait two weeks before returning to training on the open roads.

    His last race was Tour de Romandie, where he finished second in the prologue and the final stage, behind Oscar Freire (Rabobank).
  46. 108km remaining from 156km

    16:25:00 CEST

    Scarselli holds just around five minutes over the peloton.
  47. 16:27:00 CEST

    The Google search engine celebrated the centennial Giro d'Italia yesterday with a special logo.

    The gap is under five minutes, nearly 4:20 for Leonardo Scarselli (ISD).
  48. 16:29:00 CEST

    Castello di Miramare is on the riders' right. Team Garmin has no time to look, it is at the front of the peloton with the hammer down.
  49. 16:30:00 CEST

    We are less than 2km from the first intermediate sprint. This will help decide the centennial Giro d'Italia's first maglia ciclamino, awarded to the rider with the most sprint points.
  50. 16:33:00 CEST

    Columbia takes back over, driving to the intermediate sprint (-41.6km), fighting for the second spot behind Leonardo Scarselli (ISD).

    Farrar and Cavendish gun for the line; Farrar gets the sprint over Cavendish. It looks like Robert Hunter (Barloworld) got fourth.
  51. 16:35:00 CEST

    The Giro d'Italia awards stage winners 11,000€ (don't ask what that is in Swiss Francs.). Winnings go all the way down to 20th spot, €266.

    Leonardo Scarselli (ISD) enters the centre of Trieste. He has been alone for 110km.
  52. 122.6km remaining from 156km

    16:37:00 CEST

    Leonardo Scarselli (ISD) passes the finish line, he faces three 11-kilometre circuits.

    The riders will complete three circuits of the waterfront city, each with the third category climb of Montebello (the second time counts to the climbers' maglia verde).

    We hear that Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) stops and changes a wheel. Maybe he had a puncture.
  53. 16:39:00 CEST

    The gruppo maglia rosa comes to the finish line 2:36 behind Leonardo Scarselli (ISD). Danny Pate (Garmin-Slipstream) leads the way, Mark Cavendish (Columbia-Highroad) is in the centre of the gruppo. Lance Armstrong (Astana) is near the front.
  54. 16:42:00 CEST

    The final has a double curve, bunch to the left in the final metres. It could be dangerous and a sprinter would be wise to get the jump early.

    Scarselli looks finished. He is pedalling squares.
  55. 16:45:00 CEST

    The gruppomaglia rosa is 1:25 behind Leonardo Scarselli (ISD). He is starting the third-category climb of Montebello.
  56. 16:45:00 CEST

    Michael Barry (Columbia-Highroad) is in charge of the gruppo. He leads the charge behind Leonardo Scarselli (ISD).
  57. 16:48:00 CEST

    Alessandro Petacchi (LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini) has his poker face on. He is going to suffer up this climb so he can flex his muscles on the Trieste streets.
  58. 129.5km remaining from 156km

    16:50:00 CEST

    Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) launches, and launched hard out of the peloton to fight for the GPM (Gran Premio della Montagna). However, there are not points on the first or third circuits, only on the second! Andriy Grivko (ISD) went with Voeckler too.

    The team directeurs must not have informed their charges.
  59. 16:51:00 CEST

    The gruppo caught Leonardo Scarselli (ISD) right before the top.

    Joaquím Rodríguez (Caisse d'Epargne) had a mechanical on the climb, he had to stop to get his chain back on.

    It looks like Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) is continuing with his charge.
  60. 16:51:00 CEST

    Matthias Russ (Milram) crashes on the descent.
  61. 16:51:00 CEST

    Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) and Andriy Grivko (ISD) lead the race.
  62. 16:53:00 CEST

    Russ is slow to get going, and we think he is still on the right side of the road.
  63. 16:53:00 CEST

    He is on his feet, being helped by Milram's Vittorio Algeri.
  64. 133.8km remaining from 156km

    16:54:00 CEST

    Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) and Andriy Grivko (ISD) are caught by the Garmin-led charge right before the start of the 2nd of three circuits.
  65. 16:54:00 CEST

    Three Garmins and Colombias lead the race.
  66. 16:55:00 CEST

    Matthias Russ (Milram) and Francesco Failli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo) crashed near the same time. We think Russ' Giro d'Italia is over.
  67. 16:57:00 CEST

    Matthias Russ (Milram) abandons the race with what appears to be a fractured collarbone.
  68. 16:59:00 CEST

    The riders are facing the GPM (Gran Premio della Montagna) of Montebello, this time there are the first points of the race for the climbers' maglia verde. The maglia verde (green jersey) first was in the Giro d'Italia in 1933.

    Emanuele Sella won the top last year. He is currently serving a doping suspension.
  69. 17:00:00 CEST

    The lead up to Montebello is tight and dangerous, many of the favourites are riding near the front to avoid danger.

    Garmin still leads. The USA team will be out for blood following yesterday's near miss (6").
  70. 17:01:00 CEST

    David Garcia (Xacobeo Galicia) and Nikita Eskov (Katusha) have a go.
  71. 17:02:00 CEST

    Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream) leads the gruppo.
  72. 17:02:00 CEST

    We see Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) on the prowl.
  73. 140.6km remaining from 156km

    17:03:00 CEST

    David Garcia (Xacobeo Galicia) leads the way to the GPM (Gran Premio della Montagna) of Montebello. He takes the points and the centennial Giro d'Italia's first maglia verde. Eros Capecchi (Fuji-Servetto) was second.
  74. 17:04:00 CEST

    Andriy Grivko (ISD) took third and one point.

    Tom Danielson (Garmin-Slipstream) is there, looking strong.
  75. 17:04:00 CEST

    Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank) hits out to chase the leaders. It all seems to come to nothing, though.
  76. 17:05:00 CEST

    It looks like Danny Pate (Garmin-Slipstream) is leading his team's charge.
  77. 17:06:00 CEST

    Keep an eye out for Enrico Gasparotto (Lampre-NGC), who lives near Como but is from this region of Friuli.
  78. 144.9km remaining from 156km

    17:07:00 CEST

    The race nears the start of the final 11km circuit. Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) is in 2nd wheel behind a Garmin rider, we think is USA's Pate.
  79. 17:09:00 CEST

    LPR moves up to the front for Petacchi.
  80. 17:11:00 CEST

    Alessandro Petacchi (LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini) tightens his shoe straps.
  81. 17:11:00 CEST

    Astana leads, keeping Lance Armstrong out of trouble.
  82. 17:13:00 CEST

    Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) is near the front.

    Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini) goes to the front to lead the peloton, fighting with Yaroslav Popovych (Astana).

    Popo leads the race.
  83. 149.5km remaining from 156km

    17:13:00 CEST

    We are in the final seven kilometres. Astana still leads.
  84. 17:13:00 CEST

    Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) leads the race, we think Enrico Gasparotto (Lampre-NGC) is in second.
  85. 17:14:00 CEST

    Russ has been taken to the hospital with suspected broken collarbone, Milram tells Cyclingnews.
  86. 17:15:00 CEST

    A crash on the final climb of Montebello.
  87. 17:15:00 CEST

    The roads were too tight, a Caisse rider went down, we think Arnold Jeannesson (Caisse d'Epargne).
  88. 17:16:00 CEST

    Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) launches near the top of Montebello. Enrico Gasparotto (Lampre-NGC) and Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) join him.
  89. 17:17:00 CEST

    A good move. LPR takes control of the chase over the top.
  90. 153km remaining from 156km

    17:18:00 CEST

    Enrico Gasparotto (Lampre-NGC), near home, hammers the pace. Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) and Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) follow. The gruppo is linked out, 6" back.
  91. 17:18:00 CEST

    LPR is pulling them back. Can they do it?
  92. 17:18:00 CEST

    Where is Cavendish?
  93. 17:18:00 CEST

    The three will be caught. Gilbert looks back, Gaspa continues.
  94. 17:19:00 CEST

    It is now gruppo compatto. Garmin takes over.
  95. 154km remaining from 156km

    17:19:00 CEST

    2km left, Garmin leads.
  96. 17:19:00 CEST

    Cavendish is there, he is helped by teammates.
  97. 17:19:00 CEST

    Quick Step moves the the front for Davis.
  98. 17:20:00 CEST

    Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) tries a move, but nothing.
  99. 17:20:00 CEST

    Edvald Boasson Hagen (Columbia-Highroad) and Mark Renshaw (Columbia-Highroad) lead for Cavendish.
  100. 155km remaining from 156km

    17:20:00 CEST

    Final km, led by Columbia.
  101. 17:20:00 CEST

    Petacchi follows Cavendish.
  102. 17:20:00 CEST

    Davis is there, so is Pozzato.
  103. 17:20:00 CEST

    Swift is there with Pozzato.
  104. 17:20:00 CEST

    Cav is 2nd wheel now.
  105. 17:21:00 CEST

    -300m. Petacchi fires.
  106. 17:21:00 CEST

    He holds off Cavendish, who tired to come on his left as they raced down the right side of the road.
  107. 17:21:00 CEST

    Petacchi wins.
  108. 17:24:00 CEST

    Ben Swift (Katusha) took third.

    We are not sure, but Cavendish should still have the leader's maglia rosa.
  109. 17:26:00 CEST

    Cavendish continues to lead the race.
  110. 17:28:00 CEST

    What a great day and a nice comeback win by Alessandro Petacchi (LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini), who missed last year's Giro d'Italia.

    Pleas join us later for a full report and news items. Also, come back tomorrow for stage three live coverage.

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