Giro d'Italia 2010

May 8-30, 2010, Amsterdam, Italy, Road - GT

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Susan Westemeyer

Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the 2010 Giro d'Italia!  The race starts out with a short individual time trial.  The riders will take a short dash through the streets of lovely Amsterdam, Netherlands, to determine the first holder of the maglia rosa.

  1. 13:42:27 CEST

    Hello, and welcome to the first stage of the Giro d'Netherlands! No, wait, that's not right – the Giro d'Italia, starting today in that famous Italian city of Amsterdam. Whatever or wherever, it is sure to be a real spectacle, as we kick off the first Grand Tour of 2010.

  2. 13:46:34 CEST

    The weather could well play a role in today's stage. The forecast is for up to 13° Celsius, with light rain and drizzle on and off all day, with the chance of a constant light rain improving as the afternoon moves on.

    I was in Amsterdam yesterday with similar weather, and can tell you, it was not nice.

  3. 13:49:51 CEST

    As usual, the riders will go off at one-minute intervals, up until the end.  The last 22 will have two-minute intervals.

  4. 13:52:33 CEST

    The course today is being called a typical city course. It has 13 corners and 8 curves, with a number of long straightaways. There is one intermediate time check, at 4.1 km, not quite halfway through.

    The last kilometer features a slight left-hand curve and a 90-degree left-hand turn with about 200 metres to go.

  5. 13:55:48 CEST

    The first rider off today is Matthias Russ of Milram. The Giro is his favourite race, but he hasn't really had a lot of luck with it. In 2008 he was in a break group in the sixth stage which finished 11:34 ahead of the field, and although he was the virtual leader much of the day, he missed out on the maglia rosa by hundredths of a second. He returned to the race last year, only to crash in the second stage and having to abandon with a broken collarbone.

    And he should be taking off right now, to open the 2010 Giro d'Italia!

  6. 13:59:07 CEST

    Some big names starting early are two Australians:  Robbie McEwen (Katusha) and Jack Bobridge of Garmin-Transitions.  But we must say we think the latter will have better chances than the former.

  7. 14:04:43 CEST

    The start today is in a great location. The ramp is in the Museumplein, or Museum Square, flanked by the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum, with its stunning collection of Rembrandts, among other things. In fact, the first 10 metres or so go over water – very appropriate for the Netherlands. They have build a long ramp over a pool. Don't worry, it is nice and wide, so they riders shouldn't have to worry about falling off.

  8. 14:05:31 CEST

    Well, McEwen just got off to a bad start.  He olled down ramp and had to stop to tighten his q release of rear wheel. and lost 15 seconds

  9. 14:07:00 CEST

    Russ is nearing the finish and will bring in the first time.  How long will his best time hold?

    His time was 11:03., which gives us a 45km/h average.

  10. 14:08:09 CEST

    Italian sprinter Alberto Loddo (Androni Giocattoli) is next in. He sets a time of 11:17, putting him in second at the moment.

  11. 14:10:57 CEST

    McEwen has made it to the finish, 45 seconds down. 

  12. 14:11:50 CEST

    Sebastian Lang of Omega Pharma-Lotto has apparently blasted the intermediate time check and should set a new best time by a goodly margin.  But, then again, he's a TT specialist.

  13. 14:13:07 CEST

    And Lang comes through as promised.  He caught his one-minute man Guillaume Blot just before the finish, and came in with a time of 10:48.

  14. 14:14:30 CEST

    Alexander Efimkin of AG2R had the same time as Russ, but is behind him in third place.

  15. 14:15:00 CEST

    Italian climber Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox) sets a time of 11:20. He was only four second down on Lang after four kilometres but crashed on a wet corner.

    And he probably won't be the only one to go down today.

  16. 14:17:01 CEST

    Pozzovivo said, "It's nothing serious, I was going well but now I have to lick my wounds and get ready to suffer on the next few days."

  17. 14:20:29 CEST

    Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas-Doimo) sets new fastest time of 10:41

  18. 14:22:04 CEST

    And, yes, this is Stage One and not a Prologue. What's the difference? According to the UCI rule, “ A prologue may be included in stage races on condition that: 1. it must not exceed 8 km. ....” Today we are 400 metre over that limit, so it is considered an individual time trial.

  19. 14:24:11 CEST

    Dario Andriotto (Acqua & Sapone) sets a time of 11:20.

    Andriy Grivko (Astana) has set the new fastest time of 10:31.

  20. 14:26:57 CEST

    So who is going to take it today? Big favourites seem to be Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and David Millar (Garmin-Transitions), with some also favouring Alexander Vinokourov (Astana).

  21. 14:27:46 CEST

    Here's Rabon. He sets a time of 11:06. Slower than expected.

  22. 14:31:50 CEST

    Is this a flat stage? Dumb question, right? North Holland is not exactly known for its climbs, although some of those highway bridges might qualify. The biggest climb today is all of 10 metres, taking the riders up to the dizzying height of 12 metres.

  23. 14:35:09 CEST

    Xavier Tondo of Cervelo has moved into second place.  Unfortunately we are not getting their times, just their rankings.

  24. 14:37:54 CEST

    Bakelants of Omega Pharma-Lotto brings in a good time and bumps teammate Lang out of fourth place. Tyler Farrar of Garmin-Transitions is on the road now, and had the third best time at the intermediate time check.

  25. 14:40:06 CEST

    The start ramp heads towards the Rijksmuseum, and if the riders look up, they will see a giant portrait of Queen Beatrix smiling down on them.

  26. 14:41:50 CEST

    Farrar has finished in fifth place, squeezing in between the two Omega Pharma Lotto teammates.

  27. 14:45:20 CEST

    This is the ninth time that the Giro has started outside of Italy, and the second time in the Netherlands. That was back in 2002.

  28. 14:46:07 CEST

    Colnago-CSF Inox sprinter Sacha Modolo will debut a fancy new bike in the race on Sunday. He will literally be the first rider in the world to ride a Colnago C59. Read more about it here.

  29. 14:47:18 CEST

    Damiano Cunego of Lampre comes in with a time of 11:10.

  30. 14:49:14 CEST

    Rabobank's Rick Flens puts in a new best time at the intermediate time check, five seconds faster than Grivko. And Milram sprinter Robert Förster is third fastest there, only seven seconds behind Flens.


  31. 14:51:30 CEST

    No Dutch rider has ever won the Giro. The Dutch team Rabobank won it last year, but eh rider, Denis Menchov, is Russian.

  32. 14:55:33 CEST

    Flens wasn't able to hold on to his high tempo, and is currently in second place at the finish.

  33. 14:57:22 CEST

    Förster couldn't hold up his blistering pace either, and drops to 24 seconds down at the finish,

  34. 14:59:13 CEST

    Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Transitions) sets a time of 10:44, the sixth fastest time so far and exactly the same as his teammate Tyler Farrar.

  35. 15:02:17 CEST

    2010 in Amsterdam, 2012 in Washington, DC? It's a good possibility. Check out the latest comments from the DC organising committee on what's happening

  36. 15:04:38 CEST

    The Netherlands are really on a roll with the Grand Tours. Last year's Vuelta a Espana started in Assen, the Giro is here and in July the Tour de France will start in Rotterdam.

  37. 15:05:39 CEST

    Sweden's Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank) sets a new fastest time of 10:25, six seocnds faster than Grivko.

  38. 15:05:54 CEST

    The lanky rider was second in the Olympic time trial and last year's world time trial championships behind teammate Fabian Cancellara.

  39. 15:07:09 CEST

    The Netherlands and bicycles have a very close association, not just with pro cycling. The bike is a major form of transportation in this country, which has an incredibly extensive bike path system. In amsterdam alone, there are nearly half a million bicycles, and they cover over two million kilometres around the city every day!

  40. 15:08:43 CEST

    Russia's Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha) could be the next rider to challenge Larsson's time. He is a former track rider and team pursuiter.

  41. 15:10:12 CEST

    McEwen has already twittered his commentary:  Not a gd start to my giro. Pulled back wheel off start, rubbing on frame + had to stop twice.... #notveryhappy

  42. 15:12:24 CEST

    Mauricio Ardila (Rabobank) sets a excellent time of 10:40. Pretty fast for a climber!

  43. 15:14:23 CEST

    We have some changes in our Top Ten so far, as Astana's Dyachecnko and Lampre's Hondo have now moved in.

  44. 15:15:15 CEST

    Here's Ignatiev. The Russian sets a time of 10:53. He has an excelent time trial position but was very careful on the corners.

  45. 15:17:10 CEST

    The weather in Amsterdam is still cold and cloudy but large sections of the course are now dry. However some of the 20 corners are still wet, making it even more difficult for the riders to judge their speed going into the corners.

  46. 15:19:09 CEST

    Ardilla is currently in sixth place, an excellent showing for the climber on this very flat course.

  47. 15:19:47 CEST

    After his ride, Ignatiev said, "It's a hard race. the weather is cold and the time trial is a bit dangerous. I'm waiting for the easier stages in Italy, where I'll go on the attack. I also hope to win the longer time trial in Verona, at the end of the Giro."

  48. 15:23:14 CEST

    One of the unique challenges here is the trams or streetcars, which run on tracks embedded in the roads. They seem to offer a great opportunity to catch a tire and cause a crash, which is something nobody wants. So the tracks along the stage route will be filled in with a foam rubber tape, making them smooth and blending to the street surface.

  49. 15:23:38 CEST

    Dario Cioni (Team Sky) sets a time of 10:51. He was third fastest at the intermediate time mark, six seconds slower than Gustav Larsson (Team Sky). He is also third fastest at the finish.Larsson is still fastest with a time of 10:25.

  50. 15:26:40 CEST

    Cioni hasmoved into third place, and said, I'm very happy. I gave it everything to try and limit my losses against the other overall contenders. This is the first battle of the three weeks."

  51. 15:30:14 CEST

    What are your thoughts and insights into today's stage? Go check our the Cyclingnews forum and let everyone else know.

  52. 15:32:12 CEST

    Bad news for the final riders. It has just started to rain heavily and the course will soon be wet again. That could mean Gustav Larsson wins the stage.

  53. 15:38:39 CEST

    Here's a surprise.  HTC-Columbia's big man Marcel Sieberg hs come in with the third best time so far.

  54. 15:40:36 CEST

    Even better, Sieberg was third at the intermediate check and second at the finish.

  55. 15:44:39 CEST

    Bad news for HTC-Columbia.  Captain and star sprinter Andre Greipel has come down with the stomach-intestinal problems that have been so popular lately.  He took it easy yesterday he said, and hopes to be back up to snuff Sunday for the first expected sprint fnish.

  56. 15:47:01 CEST

    Gasparotto moves into fith place now.

  57. 15:48:36 CEST

    HTC-Columbia's Marco Pinotti is underway.  Usually he would be a favourite, but he says the course is too short for him.  He picks Wiggins or Vinokourov.

  58. 15:49:34 CEST

    Is Bradley Wiggins a split personality?  He has a new haircut, a short one.  "When I have my hair short, I'm a cyclist. When my hair's long, like Keith Richards, I'm Bradley Wiggins."  

  59. 15:51:47 CEST

    Before the team presentation on Friday afternoon, Italian riders Filippo Pozzato and Marco Pinotti visited the Anne Frank museum and house in the centre of Amsterdam. Frank wrote her famous diary in the house while hiding from the Germans for two years. She later died in a concentration camp.

    Pinotti told Gazzetta dello Sport: "Seeing the house is worth more than winning the pink jersey."

  60. 15:52:09 CEST

    Cervelo's Marcel Wyss knocks Gasparotto down one place.

  61. 15:54:05 CEST

    Tom Stansnijder of Rabobank is now in second place overall, four seconds behind Larsson.

  62. 15:55:14 CEST

    And Pinotti knocks Stamsnijder to third.  The HTC-Columbia rider is only two seconds slower than Larsson.

  63. 15:56:10 CEST

    Louder of BMC is the next to take to the course.

  64. 16:00:13 CEST

    What did it look like before the start today?  Take a look-see!

  65. 16:01:18 CEST

    Gilberto Simoni is off now, starting his last Giro.

  66. 16:02:20 CEST

    This is a tricky course, anyway, and the rain isn't going to make it easier.  Lots of curves and white painted markings on the road.

  67. 16:05:00 CEST

    Wiggins' new time trial bike has been developed but Pinarello with help from the specialist that develop British Cycling's track bikes they used so successfully at the Beijing Olympics. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the bike is worth 15,000 Euro.

  68. 16:07:11 CEST

    There are barriers on both sides of the course the entire way.  There are no places for fans to cross the road itself, but there are bridges they can use at several places.

  69. 16:10:53 CEST

    Simoni's time is  over 11 seconds, putting him in 89th place so far.

  70. 16:14:05 CEST

    Cadel Evans revealed to Gazzetta that the book he has brought to the Giro is by Paulo Coelho, called "The Winner Stands Alone."

  71. 16:15:31 CEST

    Thomas Voeckler of BBox is 17th at the finish, 35 seconds down.

  72. 16:16:57 CEST

    Evans told Gazzetta: "I've already finished on the podium at a Grand Tour. To do better, there's only one thing I can do: win."

  73. 16:18:23 CEST

    25 seconds down for Fothen, which puts him pretty low down.

  74. 16:20:51 CEST


  75. 16:21:01 CEST

    Still wet in Amsterdam.  Which is actually what we usually expect of Dutch weather.

  76. 16:23:47 CEST

    What can be expected of Ivan Basso in this race?  It must be remembered that he has only 16 days of racing so far this season.

  77. 16:25:42 CEST

    Vande Velde has had time to recover from his ride and get down to the important stuff, mainly twittering.

    "Still juicy out there on the prologue course @ the Giro. The tram lines are just kinda wet now=good t.v. and shit bike racing."

    "Wow, that was a horrible experience. I was picking daisies through the corners and they were now dry, woops. Looking 4wrd to ttt now."

    Picking daisies?  We could have sworn this was a bike race......

  78. 16:26:23 CEST

    Irishman Dan Martin of Garmin hits the finish line, in 46th place.

  79. 16:27:28 CEST

    It looks to be a bit dryer at the moment.  That is, it doesn't seem to be raining.  The road is probably still wet, though.

  80. 16:28:50 CEST

    BMC's Bookwalter is the next to head into the finish.  ANd he brings in a time of 10:20, to take over first place!

  81. 16:29:58 CEST

    This is Bookwalter's first Grand Tour.  What an experience if the American could win this stage!

  82. 16:32:14 CEST

    Bookwalter has been a domestic pro for the last few years, now getting his chance with a top team. He is a former US U23 time trial champ, and last year won the Tour of Utah prologue.  So he certainly has the credentials for this.

  83. 16:35:32 CEST

    Here are some more Amsterdam cycling facts:  There are 400 km of cycle paths in the city centre.  Cyclists have absolute right of way.  There are140 bike shops in the city.  An astonishing 55 percent of all commuting here is done by bike!

    17 percent of the families here have three or more bikes, and 75 percent of the city residents over the age of 12 own a bike.  They don't just own them, either, half of them use the bike every single day.


  84. 16:37:47 CEST

    The next Rabo rider comes in, Jos Van Emden.  His time is 10:27, good for third place at the moment.

  85. 16:40:41 CEST

    Liquigas' Nibali is on the course, coming a bit too close to the barrier for our taste on that last curve.


  86. 16:42:00 CEST

    Karpets has a final time of 10:40, 17th place.

  87. 16:43:04 CEST

    Nibali crosses the Amstel River.  Yes, Amstel, like the beer. And actually, Amsterdam is a derivation of "Amstel Dam" -- the dam on the Amstel river.

  88. 16:43:52 CEST

    Bono is on his way!  No, not the singer.  Matteo Bono of Lampre.

  89. 16:44:39 CEST

    Moncoutie is out of the top 100 today.

  90. 16:46:41 CEST

    Nibali gets close to the barriers again.  Personally we don't find that such a good idea.

  91. 16:47:49 CEST

    Konovalovas of Cervelo, in his national TT kit, is the next to go.  He must also be considered a favourite today.

  92. 16:49:14 CEST

    Sky's Gregory Henderson tears to the finish.  It is close, but he can't bring in a new best time.  But he is in second, three seconds behind Bookwalter.

  93. 16:50:42 CEST

    Adam Hansen of HTC--Columbia goes off now, and from here on, there is a two-minute gap between riders.

  94. 16:51:37 CEST

    Nibali managed to finish without crashing into any barriers, in sixth place.

  95. 16:52:23 CEST

    Milram's LInus Gerdemann is the next to go.  

  96. 16:54:57 CEST

    Michele Scarponi is now underway.  20 riders still to go.

  97. 16:56:12 CEST

    Pippo Pozzato of Katusha crosses himself and takes off.

  98. 16:57:34 CEST

    Konovalovas nears the finish line.  But no victory for him today.  This course is too short for his taste, anyway.

  99. 16:57:54 CEST

    12th place so far for the Cervelo rider.

  100. 16:59:11 CEST

    Sebastien HInault of AG2R takes off.

  101. 16:59:34 CEST

    Peter Weening of Rabobank is next ot come in.  Also not with a new best time.

  102. 17:00:01 CEST

    He is 22nd


  103. 17:01:23 CEST

    The road looks dry at the moment.  Let's hope it stays that way.

  104. 17:02:55 CEST

    Gerdemann comes to the finish line, with a time of 10:35, for tenth place.

  105. 17:03:47 CEST

    Omega Pharma-Lotto's Michiel Elijzen is the next to go.  The Dutchman would dearly love to win here.

  106. 17:05:51 CEST

    Marzio Brushegin takes to the road, while Scarponi comes in to the finish. We don't know his time, though.

  107. 17:06:23 CEST

    Pozzato comes in to the finish now.  He will have a good but not outstanding time.

  108. 17:07:09 CEST

    PozztatoÄs time is 10: 50, which actually is not all that good.

  109. 17:08:50 CEST

    Colnago's Modolo is underway.  Remember, his new bike will be making its world debut tomorrow.

  110. 17:09:31 CEST

    David Millar is on the course.  He can look for an outstanding time today.

  111. 17:10:25 CEST

    And here goes another of the top favourites for today:  Bradley Wiggins.  The short-haired Wiggins, you know.

  112. 17:10:59 CEST

    Did we say it was dry?  It was.  It isn't now.  We see raindrops again.

  113. 17:11:36 CEST

    The next rider to go is another big name, Ivan Basso (Liquigas).  His season so far certainly has not gone as he had anticipated.

  114. 17:13:17 CEST

    The next rider is THE top favourite to take the overall title in this race:  World champion Cadel Evans of BMC.

  115. 17:14:10 CEST

    Wiggins is underway on his custom bike, in his all-white Britisch champion's kit.

  116. 17:15:20 CEST

    Bruseghin crosses the line as 71st.

  117. 17:15:46 CEST

    Wiggins doesn't slow down for a second.  He is obviously out to win this thing today.

  118. 17:17:43 CEST

    Eros Cappechi of Caisse d'Epargne goes, and the next after hims none other than Alexandre Vinokourov.

  119. 17:18:21 CEST

    Milar comes into the finish.  Will he take the lead?

  120. 17:18:41 CEST

    No.  But good enough for third at the moment.

  121. 17:19:22 CEST

    Wiggins is chugging along, and we do think he will have the new best time.

  122. 17:21:27 CEST

    And it is indeed!  He is two seconds faster than Bookwalter, and takes over the lead with a time of 10:18.

  123. 17:22:31 CEST

    The man in neon pea-green, Ivan Basso, is the next to finish.

  124. 17:23:10 CEST

    Richie Porte of Saxo Bank takes off as Basso crosses the line, 23 seconds down.

  125. 17:23:25 CEST

    Evans passes under the one km marker.

  126. 17:23:53 CEST

    With Porte's start, we now have only six riders left to go.

  127. 17:24:59 CEST

    Evans moves into third place, with a time of 10:20.  Looks like he is really serious about winning the Giro!

  128. 17:27:03 CEST

    STefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) and Dario Cataldo (Quick Step) have started.  We also missed mentioning Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre), who started after Vino.

  129. 17:27:58 CEST

    Vinokourov could very well bring in the new best time.  But who knows.

    Sastre (Cervelo) is the next to go.

  130. 17:28:58 CEST

    After Sastre, there are only three riders left.

    No top time for Vinokourov, but he is in fourth place, only five seconds down.

  131. 17:30:27 CEST


  132. 17:30:31 CEST

    William Bonnet of BBox, Bauke Mollema of Raboank and HTC-Columbia's Andre Greipel are the last three in the start house.

  133. 17:31:27 CEST

    Definitely not a new best time for Petacchi.  But this is not the kind of stage he is looking for.  "Ale- Jet" will have his chance tomorrow.

  134. 17:32:27 CEST

    Mollema takes off.  Only one more rider to go.

  135. 17:32:50 CEST

    10:23 for Porte.

  136. 17:34:12 CEST

    Andre Greipel, HTC-Columbia's top-winning sprinter of the year, leaves the start house as the final rider of this year's first stage.

  137. 17:34:57 CEST

    Greipel is said to be suffering not only from intestitinal problems, but also from a fever. 

  138. 17:39:10 CEST

    40th place for Sastre.

  139. 17:39:55 CEST

    Bonnet, Mollema and Greipel are still on the road.

    Greipel may be ill, but he is giving his all.  He doesn't really have to take such chances on the corners, though, does he?

  140. 17:41:03 CEST

    Bonnet's time is 10:38, which is 26th place. Not bad for a sprinter.

  141. 17:41:22 CEST

    Now only Mollema and Greipel left.

  142. 17:41:49 CEST

    Mollema goes into the last km, as we once again see a few raindrops.

  143. 17:43:16 CEST

    Mollema is Rabobank's captain this year, in the absence of three-time world champion Oscar Freire.  He finishes down where expected, 46th place.

  144. 17:43:58 CEST

    Greipel is in the last km now.  He is doing his best., and that is pretty good.

  145. 17:44:38 CEST

    Greipel opens the sprint!

  146. 17:45:27 CEST

    He finishes in 25th place, 18 seconds down.  if he wins tomorrow, he ought to be able to take the pink jersey, with the time bonuses.

  147. 17:46:22 CEST

    Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky wins the stage and takes the first Maglia Rose of the 2010 Giro d'Italia.

  148. 17:47:28 CEST

    And outstanding results for BMC Racing Team, as it takes second and third, with Bookwalter and Evans in the same time.

  149. 18:06:14 CEST

    That was it for the opener.  Be sure to join us again tomorrow, as we take a jaunt with the peloton from Amsterdam to Utrecht.

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