Giro d'Italia 2010

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

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Susan Westemeyer

A flat stage, with nary a mountain in sight! Stage 18 will be one for the sprinters, at least for those few sprinters who are still around. On the other hand, this stage just screams for a break group. Will the peloton let them go, or will there be enough interested teams to organise a chase?

  1. 13:50:37 CEST

    Welcome back to the Giro, and stage 18. This is the shortest non-time-trial stage today, a mere hop, skip and a jump of 151 km. And it is flat! What a relief that must be to those tired riders – especially when they look at the profiles of the next two stages!

  2. 14:02:22 CEST

    It's raining again today -- hardly for the first time in this race!  There are even said to be thunderstorms at the finish line.

  3. 14:07:41 CEST

    151 riders took to the start this morning, so we didn't lose anyone overnight.

  4. 14:14:05 CEST

    We've had all kinds of bad weather this Giro, and Saturday doesn' look much better, as it promises snow. Not snow coming down, but snow already there. There are four to six metres of snow piled up along the road (which, when you think about it, is a heck of a lot of snow!), but the road is said to be clear.

    But just in case the weather situation changes –which it so often does – the Giro has set up an alternate route which would climb the Motirolo climb from the north for the first time.

  5. 146km remaining from 156km

    14:20:54 CEST

    The first ten km of the day have been ridden, and the peloton is still together.

  6. 14:27:20 CEST

    Here are our stage details for today:

    Distance: 156km
    Vertical climb: 960m
    Highest point: 717m
    Terrain: Flat
    Category: Road Stage

  7. 136km remaining from 156km

    14:32:46 CEST

    20 km have now been ridden, and there is still nothing to report.

  8. 14:40:14 CEST

    Let's take a look at who has won what so far this Giro. The 17 stage wins have been divided up amongst 12 teams, with Liquigas leading the way with three stages. Garmin-Transitions, Quick-Step and Katusha each have two wins.

  9. 135km remaining from 156km

    14:43:38 CEST

    Finally we have some action!  Roman Kireyev (Astana) and Alan Marangoni have jumped out of the peloton and now have a nearly one-minute lead.

  10. 14:45:36 CEST

    We forgot to say that Marangoni rides for Conlago - CSF Inox, but of course everyone already knew that.  Right?

  11. 14:52:38 CEST

    The gap has grown to 2:45 minutes.

  12. 14:59:01 CEST

    Among the nations, (not counting the team time trial), Italy leads the way with five wins, followed by Australia with three.  The USA and France have two each, with one apiece for the UK, Belgium, Denmark and Russia.

  13. 100km remaining from 156km

    15:02:25 CEST

    We are happy to be able to tell you that the weather is not as bad as feared.  It rained at the start, but things are looking better, and it seems to be dry at the finish.

  14. 15:04:56 CEST

    Having said that, of course, we see that it is now raining.

  15. 15:06:33 CEST

    And we further see that it is Oliver Kaisen of Omega Pharma-Lotto in the lead, and not the Astana rider.

  16. 89km remaining from 156km

    15:11:07 CEST

    The gap is about 2:15 minutes.


  17. 15:15:29 CEST

    Teams Sky and HTC-Columbia are leading the peloton.  Funny, both of them have sprinters still in the race....

    They are keeping a close eye on the escapees, determined not to let them slip away like has happened so often already in this Giro.

  18. 15:18:49 CEST

    Only one rider has won more than one stage in this year's Giro:  Tyler Farrar of Garmin-Transitions.

    He won't add to that total today, though.

  19. 81km remaining from 156km

    15:21:47 CEST

    Cadel Evans is getting tired as the race nears its end.  He told Cyclingnews:  "The thing with this Giro is that is that there have been so many hard stages, even the transfer stages have been difficult. It's not that the break goes or the sprinters' teams ride: it's been hot or with crosswinds, or something was going on. How many days in a row did we have above 200km? I've never raced that long in a three-week stage race."

  20. 15:23:30 CEST

    The peloton is riding right along the Gardasee, quite lovely. 

  21. 15:27:38 CEST

    The rain seems to be getting heavier.  No wind, though.

  22. 15:30:07 CEST

    There  were 151 riders starting today, which means a number of teams have had a lot of personnel losses.  Footon is the hardest hit, with five riders missing.   The following teams are all four riders down:  BMC, Astana, Colnago, Garmin-Transitions, and Milram.  Most of the rest have one, two or three riders already out of the race.

    The good news? Two teams are still complete:  Cervelo and Liquigas.

  23. 15:33:10 CEST

    Marangoni gets a drink from his team car.

  24. 15:38:18 CEST

    Here's what HTC-Columbia DS Tristan Hoffman has to say about today's stage:  “Today will suit us a bit better and after a climb near the start it is mainly downhill 151km to the finish in Brescia. We expect there will be a lot of teams trying to make a break on the first hill and we hope to control this to keep Andre Greipel in the front pack for a sprint at the end. Sky will probably have the same idea so hopefully we will be able to work together to keep the pack within a manageable distance.

    If we can’t stop a break, Marco Pinotti will go off with the front group whilst the rest of our guys will work with Andre to try for the sprint final.

    It’s going to be a really fast stage with some quite tight, technical corners near the end. Should be another good one for the spectators!”

  25. 15:41:28 CEST

    The theme today seems to be "wet" -- the rain, the lake......

  26. 15:44:13 CEST

    Yesterday's stage was a so-called “intermediate” stage, which means it was too flat for the climbers and too hilly for the sprinters.  Result?  Nobody was happy.

  27. 15:47:53 CEST

    Damien Monier was named to Cofidis' Giro squad at the last minute, and it turns out to have been a good decision.  The 27-year-old took his first pro victory by winning yesterday's stage.

  28. 62.2km remaining from 156km

    15:48:28 CEST

    BMC's Michael Schär punctures and gets a quick fix.

  29. 15:52:15 CEST

    Marangoni is getting some repair work done on his bike.  We always hate to see the mechanic hanging out of the car window like that, with his fingers so close to the bike wheel.

  30. 53km remaining from 156km

    15:52:58 CEST

    Meanwhile, HTC-Colulmbia and Sky are still leading the chase.

  31. 15:58:04 CEST

    Steven Kruijswijk was a last minute replacement on the Rabobank team. Taking the place of Oscar Freire is a big load for a 22-year-old first year pro, but the young Dutchman has done an outstanding job.  Rabo calls him its “revelation of the Giro”.  Yesterday was his best finish, as he came in third.  “If you had told three weeks ago, I would go for the win in a mountain stage in the Giro, I would have said you were crazy,” he said on the team's website.

  32. 50km remaining from 156km

    16:04:13 CEST

    Good news!  The sun is shining at the finish!  And not just there -- the riders have finally moved into the sunshine.

  33. 16:05:40 CEST

    HTC-Columbia is busy.  Andre Greipel puts on his sunglasses and looks like he is planning his sprint.  Marco Pinotti does some housekeeping duties, gathering vests and rain jackets from his teammates to take them to the team car.

  34. 16:08:06 CEST

    HTC-Columbia's Greipel and Marcel Sieberg eat a last banana each to build up some strength for the upcoming sprint.

  35. 16:09:35 CEST

    A mechincal for Omega Pharma-Lotto's Sebastian Lang.

  36. 16:10:06 CEST

    The gorgeous scenery here looks much more gorgeous in the sunshine than in the rain.

  37. 44km remaining from 156km

    16:11:10 CEST

    The gap is holding steady, at 2:10 minutes.

  38. 16:13:38 CEST

    We have a sprint for the final points at the intermediate sprint.

  39. 40.6km remaining from 156km

    16:15:09 CEST

    Kaisen took the most points ahead of Marangoni, and Tom Stamsnijder takes the third-place points.

  40. 16:21:01 CEST

    Cervelo still has all nine riders in the race, one of whom is 41-year-old Inigo Cuesto.   This is his 26th career Grand Tour, and it hasn't been easy. “I was at the point of going home in the second week. I had stomach problems and I really struggled. I am feeling better, so I hope to have the legs to be there in the climbs like I normally am,” he said on the team website.

    The team spirits are high. We’re coming into the final decisive stages and all the possibilities are still there,” Cuesta said. “Carlos is one of the smartest riders in the peloton. He’s not quite as strong as some of the others, but he can use his experience to his advantage. All he needs is one good day and he’s right back in there.”

  41. 34km remaining from 156km

    16:24:41 CEST

    THe same picture of HTC-Columbia and Sky at the front, with a gap of roughly two minutes.

  42. 31.8km remaining from 156km

    16:28:55 CEST

    The gap is coming down, to 1:44.

  43. 16:30:58 CEST

    It wasn't an easy day yesterday, according to World Champion Evans.  "It was pretty fast at the start and headwind all the way as well, which certainly made getting in the breakaway difficult for those who wanted to get in it," he said. "I certainly wasn't feeling comfortable in there (at the end). I don't know how the others were feeling. (Michele) Scarponi made an acceleration, but with my position on GC in the last few hundred meters, it's not going to make much of a difference."

  44. 28.9km remaining from 156km

    16:32:26 CEST

    The sprinters' teams are having an effect on the gap, as the lead is now down to 1:30.

  45. 16:38:32 CEST

    You might reasonably expect to see Danilo Hondo involved in the final decision of today's flat stage, but not in yesterday's.  But the German sprinter for Lampre said he is no longer a pure sprinter, and he doesn't fancy his chances today. 

    We won't count him out, though.

  46. 16:39:59 CEST

    There seems to have been an accident involving a race motorcycle. We don't know any details, but no cyclists were involved.

  47. 19km remaining from 156km

    16:43:23 CEST

    The gap is still at 1:25. When will the peloton put the final touch on and catch the duo up ahead?

  48. 16:47:21 CEST

    What sprinters do we have here today?  Andre Grieipel, Greg Henderson, Danilo Hondo, Robert Förster -- hm, three Germans in there.

  49. 13km remaining from 156km

    16:49:49 CEST

    Still 1:16 minutes!  Is it possible that they will come through to the end?

  50. 10km remaining from 156km

    16:53:48 CEST

    The chances are now looking better for the peloton and worse for the two leaders.  The gap is at 50 seconds.

  51. 16:54:58 CEST

    The gap is now down to 43 seconds.

  52. 7.4km remaining from 156km

    16:56:31 CEST

    The gap is dropping every metre, but of course now the question is whether Sky and HTC-Columbia will have anything left for the sprint, after doing all the chase work?

  53. 5.5km remaining from 156km

    16:58:53 CEST

    Liquigas moves to the front of things now.  The gap is 22 seconds.

  54. 17:00:20 CEST

    Matthias Brändle of Footon tries to get away from the peloton.

  55. 17:00:54 CEST

    Narrow streets and tight corners here in Brescia.

  56. 3.6km remaining from 156km

    17:01:33 CEST

    Kaisen gives up but Marangoni keeps going.

  57. 17:02:25 CEST

    Braändli is caught, and Marangoni will be momentarily.

  58. 17:02:51 CEST

    Rabobank at the front -- they still have Graeme Brown in the race.

  59. 2km remaining from 156km

    17:03:28 CEST

    That was it for Marangoni.

  60. 1.4km remaining from 156km

    17:03:50 CEST

    HTC-Columbia, Sky, Rabobank all at the front....

  61. 17:04:09 CEST

    Graeme Brown gives Pozzato a little shove.....

  62. 17:04:47 CEST

    Sky leads the way, with Greipel on Henderson's rear wheel.

  63. 17:05:06 CEST

    The sprint is on!  Greipel goes

  64. 17:05:30 CEST

    And the German finally gets his 2010 Giro stage win!

  65. 17:06:01 CEST

    A big smile and an even bigger sigh of relief from the happy Greipel.

  66. 17:07:00 CEST

    Second place went to Julian Dean of Garmin-Transitions, with Liquigas' Fabio Sabatini third.

  67. 17:09:42 CEST

    Now we hear it may not have been Sabatini but Dall'antonia.

  68. 17:10:06 CEST

    There were no changes in the GC.

  69. 17:13:27 CEST

    There wasn't really much question as to who was going to win that sprint.  Greipel took it quite easily.

  70. 17:16:33 CEST

    That wraps up another stage of the 2010 Giro d'Italia.  Only three more to go:  two high-mountain stages and a closing time trial.

  71. 17:18:29 CEST

    Thanks for joining us and come back again tomorrow for some mountain-climbing!

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