Giro d'Italia 2011

May 7-29, 2011, Venaria Reale, Italy, Road - HIS (Historical Calendar)

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Daniel Benson

Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews's live coverage from the Giro d'Italia and today's blockbuster stage from Spilimbergo to Grossglockner.

  1. 12:15:31 BST

    It's been 40 years since the Giro made its only previous visit to Austria's Grossglockner, where Italy's Pierfranco Vianelli took the stage win.

  2. 12:15:47 BST

    Race organiser Zomegnan has chosen not to send the riders to the summit but the climb up to 2,137m will still make the first of three big days in the mountains interesting. The final 6km to the finish averages more than 10 per cent but eases briefly a few kilometres from the finish.

  3. 12:16:00 BST

    There are no ramps as such, just a long, hard grind. This will suit Alberto Contador, who will try to get and maintain a gap over his Italian rivals.

  4. 12:16:19 BST

    Distance: 167km
    Highest point: 2,137m
    Category: Mountain stage

  5. 12:20:56 BST

    • Start

    The peloton has rolled out from the start. We're racing.

  6. 12:25:46 BST

    And we're heading into Austria for today's stage, tomorrow's too in fact, with today's stage set to finish on the Grossglockner. It was tackled by the Giro in 1971, before almost most pros were born, and we could see some epic exploits today.

  7. 12:26:35 BST

    Here's how things stand on GC, with Contador of course still leading:

    1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard 44:55:16
    2 Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Blr) HTC-Highroad 0:00:59
    3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:01:21
    4 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:01:28
    5 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD
    6 David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:37
    7 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team Astana 0:01:41
    8 Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Androni Giocattoli 0:01:47
    9 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quickstep Cycling Team 0:02:21
    10 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
    11 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
    12 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:35
    13 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone 0:02:39
    14 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:57
    15 Francesco Masciarelli (Ita) Pro Team Astana 0:03:02
    16 Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC 0:03:18
    17 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar Team 0:03:20
    18 Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 0:03:22
    19 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Sky Procycling 0:03:40
    20 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:04:21

  8. 12:27:23 BST

    Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox is over 6 minutes down on GC but he could do some damage today.

  9. 12:28:25 BST

    We're down to 180 riders by the way, Cavendish, Renshaw, Hondo, Petacchi, Belletti and Ventoso all leaving the race last night. There are no more sprint stages left so you can hardly blame them.

  10. 12:33:59 BST

    It's not all about the final climb today though, we've got three other categorised climbs to get over first. The Passo do Monti at 79.6km, the Gailbergsattel at 99km and the Iselsbergpass at 127km

  11. 12:37:55 BST

    There's no action from the bunch yet so lets have a chat about yesterday's news. I was tucked up in bed when I got a call from a rider at the ATOC. "Have you heard about Tyler?"

    I immediately knew what he was talking about. In case you've missed it, the news is that Tyler Hamilton has confessed to doping but also made allegations that Lance Armstrong took EPO - he claims to have seen Armstrong do this. Armstrong denies the allegations.

    You can read the story here.


  12. 12:38:29 BST

    Tyler Hamilton got his Giro stage

  13. 12:40:30 BST

    And here's Hamilton's confessional email.

    And a reaction from Landis, who confessed to doping and made similar allegations about Armstrong last year.

    Feel free to ping me in your tweets. I'll use what I can, so try to think libel laws!

  14. 12:43:14 BST

    And it was sunny at the start. The riders are in for a really tough day.

  15. 12:45:44 BST

    Still no moves from the bunch, clearly in the knowledge of just how tough today and the next few days in fact will be.

  16. 12:47:14 BST

    We tried to talk to Riis and Bruyneel at the start of today's Giro stage but we couldn't find them. We'll try and talk to them regarding Hamilton's confession and allegations later on today.

  17. 13:01:46 BST

    We finally have a group, and it's huge. Names coming.

  18. 114km remaining from 167km

    13:08:15 BST

    So 16 riders up the road and Lastras is the best placed on GC, nearly 7 minutes down on Contador. Not a bad move from a lot of teams, Liquigas and Saxo don't have anyone present though.

    The peloton are at 2:15

  19. 13:09:41 BST

    There's a tail wind up first climb.

  20. 13:10:13 BST

    28 Pablo Lastras (MOV) +6:58
    34 Pieter Weening (RAB) +12:02
    39 Robert Kiserlovski (AST) +18:25
    42 Cayetano Sarmiento (ASA) +19:14
    57 Rafael Valls (GEO) +30:21
    62 Branislau Samoilau (MOV) +31:18
    67 Alberto Losada (KAT) +36:53
    75 Angel Vicioso (AND) +39:42
    79 Craig Lewis (THR) +42:18
    84 Lars Petter (SKY) +43:53
    85 Andrea Noe (FAR) +44:59
    106 Johnny Hoogerland (VCD) +59:43
    107 Rinaldo Nocentini (ALM) +1:00:02
    129 Kristof Vandewalle (QST) +1:08:26
    145 Cameron Meyer (GRM) +1:15:50
    152 Alessandro Spezialetti (LAM) +1:18:29

  21. 13:18:47 BST

    The gap is now 3:40.

  22. 13:20:02 BST

    Contador said he didnt want his team to work yesterday but they're going to have to work today. I noticed that a number of Saxo riders came in well down on the bunch yesterday. Saving their legs for today, I'm sure.

  23. 13:22:34 BST

    Already a grupetto forming off the back of the main field.

  24. 13:24:39 BST

    There's a good piece in the Telegraph today with Emma Pooley by the way.

  25. 13:26:18 BST

    The leaders now in Timau, with just under 100km to race in fact.

  26. 13:30:35 BST

    The leaders did have a gap of 4minutes at one stage but now they're on the first climb it's dropped back to 3:40.

  27. 13:31:08 BST

    But the bunch seems to have eased slightly and it's back up to 4:45

  28. 13:31:54 BST

    Lastras has been the virtual leader on the road before in the race. Can he do it again?

  29. 13:36:35 BST

    Another good blog from Inner Ring here.

  30. 92km remaining from 167km

    13:39:17 BST

    92km to race and the leaders have 4:50 on the bunch and are roughly halfway up the first climb.

  31. 13:40:54 BST

    Although there are a couple of sprinters in the break. One from Androni and Kristoff of course.

  32. 13:41:51 BST

    I've found it quite interesting that so few riders, if any, have chosen to tweet in regards to Hamilton, actually.

  33. 13:43:22 BST

    But back to the race and the break is still working well. A couple of riders near the back look to be struggling, as Saxo Bank lead the peloton on the lower slopes of the climb. Nice tempo from the Danish team and a number of riders being dropped.

  34. 89km remaining from 167km

    13:43:49 BST

    89km to race.

  35. 13:46:06 BST

    We've been racing for just over 2 hours. To recap we have  group of 16 up the road, Lastras the most dangerous man on GC, and Saxo Bank leading the chase behind. Contador glued to Porte's wheel with Le Mevel, Rodrigeuz and Scarponi all close by.

  36. 13:48:28 BST

    The Movistar duo have taken the break by the scruff of the neck and set a blistering pace. Riders all over the place as they try and keep up.

  37. 13:49:53 BST

    The break go over the top of the first climb bit it's in pieces. They may reform on the long downhill though.

  38. 13:50:54 BST

    Saxo are now getting some help on the front from Euskatel. Rather it's an attack from an Euskatel rider.

  39. 13:52:36 BST

    Euskatel cool their guns and put two men on the front, probably for Anton, another rider who will be targeting today's stage.

  40. 13:53:10 BST

    While at the front of the race one of the Movistar riders is all alone. It's Lastras

  41. 13:53:24 BST

    Arroyo will be more than happy with that.

  42. 13:53:58 BST

    The bunch still climbing with Contador happy to let Euskatel do some of the work.

  43. 13:54:38 BST

    Liquigas also joining the party at the front. The race is really hotting up as the bunch crest the top of the first major climb of the day.

  44. 13:56:06 BST

    The downhill has a little kick in it and that's where Lastras is right now. he scoffs down some food, hands on the hoods and presses on.

  45. 14:00:40 BST

    Lastras makes it over the short climb and is back on the descent. he's not bad is he, tearing through the corners at high speed and almost sprinting on the straight sections, before tucking his entire body as low as possible.

  46. 14:01:29 BST

    There's real urgency from the main bunch tough as the men in orange continue to set the pace, basically doing Contador's work for him.

  47. 76km remaining from 167km

    14:03:12 BST

    Lastras is sitting up now, waiting for the rest of the break, or what's left of it to come across.

  48. 14:04:06 BST

    The break are all together again.

  49. 14:06:58 BST

    The break has hit the lower slopes of the next climb and have gone through Kotschach

  50. 14:09:53 BST

    Saxo Bank resume a margin of control on the front of the bunch again with Euskatel still helping.

  51. 14:10:06 BST

    The peloton going through the feed zone.

  52. 14:10:18 BST

    There's a crash though.

  53. 14:10:53 BST

    It's a Quick Step rider and Rabon also down.

  54. 14:11:19 BST

    A typical feed zone crash but luckily both riders are back up and on their bikes.

  55. 14:12:27 BST

    Rabon is chasing back up to the main field.

  56. 14:15:58 BST

    The gap has come down slightly, it's at 4:17 with 69km to race.

  57. 14:17:12 BST

    Stephen Farrand just drove over the penultimate climb and called in to say that it's raining on the downhill. The riders are still racing in sunny conditions at the moment.

  58. 14:18:53 BST

    Watch out for Kiserlovski in the break today. He's a strong rider and could be a key rider if the break splinters. Or if his team leader needs some help later in the race.

  59. 14:19:17 BST

    Meanwhile Anton has his entire team on the front of the bunch.

  60. 14:22:48 BST

    Good work from Euskatel though and the gap is now 3:16

  61. 14:24:43 BST

    The leaders and the bunch have made it over the second climb of the day. A sharp downhill followed by a flat 15km before the penultimate climb.

  62. 60km remaining from 167km

    14:27:48 BST

    60km to go.

  63. 14:28:56 BST

    Cam Meyer does a turn on the front of the break, takes down a gel and moves through. They're all working well here but the next climb will split them for sure.

  64. 14:30:41 BST

    Anton better be on a good day because he's making his team do a lot of work on the front.

  65. 14:31:44 BST

    Contador meanwhile is surrounded by teammates. Fischer is up near the front with Le Mevel too.

  66. 14:33:14 BST

    The all strung out on the flat section before the next climb. Euskatel still driving things on the front. We've seen very little from Liquigas and Lampre so far.

  67. 54km remaining from 167km

    14:37:23 BST

    Just over 54 kilometers remaining the gap still around the four minute mark

  68. 14:40:32 BST

    • Lampre - ISD's 2011 Jersey

    Lampre is starting to move up to the front of the bunch for the first time today, positioning Scarponi for the finale.

  69. 14:46:59 BST

    Lots of snow on the top of the main pass, it's not falling thankfully as the big team, Lampre, Katusha, Liquigas, all move up to the front of the peloton.

  70. 14:49:24 BST

    3:15 is the gap.

  71. 14:52:34 BST

    And there goes Kiserlovski off the front on the lower slopes of the Iselbergpass.

  72. 14:53:06 BST

    jersey unzipped and out of the saddle. There's no reaction yet from the other riders in the break.

  73. 14:54:40 BST

    Krueziger will be happy to have his man up the road like that. He'll come in handy later in the stage.

  74. 14:55:52 BST

    The break starting to split on the climb now as some of the weaker riders lose contact.

  75. 14:56:45 BST

    Russel Downing dropped of the back of the bunch. This is of course his first grand tour.

  76. 14:58:13 BST

    The pace seems to have eased in the bunch as they hit the lower slopes of the climb.

  77. 45km remaining from 167km

    14:58:45 BST

    We've raced 122km

  78. 14:59:55 BST

    Kiserlovski stil out on his own though as Euskatel continue to set the pace on the front of the peloton. This is why the likes of Cav and Petacchi have gone home.

  79. 15:00:16 BST

    The Astana rider has 16 seconds on the chases and 3:44 on the bunch.

  80. 15:01:07 BST

    Nibali and Garzelli up near the front of the bunch and riding next to each other.

  81. 15:02:16 BST

    Euskatel inject some pace into the chase again and the bunch start to line out.

  82. 15:03:40 BST

    Szmyd dropped from the bunch. That's a bit of a surprise so soon in the stage. The peloton perhaps around 50/60 strong.

  83. 15:10:00 BST

    Contador is about halfway down the bunch at the moment. You'd expect to see him a little bit closer to the front.

  84. 127.5km remaining from 167km

    15:11:52 BST

    The Movistar duo try a little move but it's not worked as the lone Astana rider goes over the top of the climb.

  85. 15:12:37 BST

    The chasers go over the top of the climb too, less than a minute down.

  86. 15:14:28 BST

    Just over 10km of downhill for Kiserlovksi before the final flat section and then of course the final climb up the Grossglockner

  87. 33km remaining from 167km

    15:17:05 BST

    -33 km to go.

  88. 15:18:12 BST

    And the bunch are on the descent and the roads are wet. That's not stopping Euskatel from attacking though.

  89. 15:18:34 BST

    The lone leader has 3:43 on the peloton

  90. 15:19:08 BST

    The bunch has 35km to race.

  91. 15:24:02 BST

    It's a long 20km or thereabouts between now and the final climb. He'll struggle to stay out there for much longer to be honest, even if he's got a gap of 3;30. He being Kiserlovski of course.

  92. 15:25:32 BST

    Kohler has quit the race and Appollonio too.

  93. 15:27:56 BST

    Although Kiserlovski is giving it everything and the gap isn't coming down. Euskatel has three men on the front and they're not having much impact.

  94. 25km remaining from 167km

    15:31:58 BST

    2:55 is the gap now but the lone Astana rider still has the final climb of the day to come. He'll want a gap on the lower slopes and hope that he can still help Roman K. He's starting to struggle though.

  95. 15:32:25 BST

    Meanwhile the rest of the break are still pushing the pace but the bunch are rapidly closing the gap.

  96. 15:32:36 BST

    We've got rain the final climb by the way.

  97. 15:33:22 BST

    We're about 3km from the start of the climb.

  98. 15:34:35 BST

    Contador right at the back of the bunch though, but being dragged up to the front by a teammate. Looks like he must have been back with the team car.

  99. 15:36:28 BST

    Contador just adjusting his brakes but he's back with the bunch and moving up to the front.

  100. 19km remaining from 167km

    15:38:07 BST

    Very wet roads on the run up to the final climb, Euskatel still setting the pace and less than 20km to go.

  101. 15:40:15 BST

    The bunch with 20km to go.

  102. 15:40:50 BST

    Just two minutes for the lone leader.

  103. 15:43:18 BST

    The slopes on the climb - where we are now - are fairly gentle but things will start to really ramp up with some sections of 14 %. Average gradient of 10%. then there's a dip, a flat section and then another section of climbing at around 6/7 %

  104. 15:45:55 BST

    Just over 15km to come and the rain is going to start coming down in a few minutes.

  105. 15:46:31 BST

    At the back of the bunch Gatto is dropped.

  106. 15:47:19 BST

    Still no moves from the main favourites. They'll all be waiting for the major tough sections as more and more riders slip off the back of the bunch, their work done for the day.

  107. 15:48:18 BST

    Riders popping off the back in big numbers now.

  108. 15:48:56 BST

    kiserlovski has 1;24 on the bunch as the break from early starts to split. They'll be caught soon too.

  109. 15:50:19 BST

    The pace really hotting up in the bunch. Contador still not near the front though.

  110. 15:50:58 BST

    The Spaniard has one teammate with him

  111. 15:51:37 BST

    Kiserlovski has been caught and passed by a few of the riders in the early break.

    Garzelli and his team near the front of the bunch.

  112. 15:52:57 BST

    Euskatel still sitting on the front and setting the pace, they've only got one or two men left.

  113. 15:53:33 BST

    Le Mevel, Arroyo and Scarponi both still up there. No sign of Contador yet

  114. 15:54:12 BST

    There he is, around 10 riders back with Nibali. Both men looking strong and comfortable. Rujano is also up there too.

  115. 12km remaining from 167km

    15:55:48 BST

    12km to go

  116. 15:57:20 BST

    Weening has apparently attacked from the break and leads the race.

  117. 15:57:46 BST

    Sarmiento is apparently with him.

  118. 15:58:08 BST

    In fact he is. SO two riders up the road with 11km to go.

  119. 15:59:41 BST

    Weening doing most of the work but the pace is high in the main field.

  120. 16:00:01 BST

    Contador moving further to the head of the field.

  121. 16:00:11 BST

    Nibali just sitting on his wheel.

  122. 16:01:57 BST

    Sarmiento has now dropped Weening with 10km to go

  123. 16:02:12 BST

    And Rugano looks around then attacks from the bunch.

  124. 16:02:13 BST

    And Rugano looks around then attacks from the bunch.

  125. 16:02:31 BST

    Anton leading the chase with Contador on his wheel.

  126. 16:02:41 BST

    The Columbian looks back and sits up

  127. 16:02:59 BST

    As Weening and Sarmiento are caught.

  128. 16:03:08 BST

    Rujano goes again

  129. 16:03:26 BST

    As Scarponi goes. Anton on his wheel.

  130. 16:03:45 BST

    Roman K setting the pace, no reaction from Contador though who sits in and waits.

  131. 16:03:55 BST

    10km to go

  132. 16:04:16 BST

    Contador has left Scarponi go and the bunch has exploded with maybe 12 riders left.

  133. 16:05:05 BST

    Siutsou has been dropped.

  134. 16:05:23 BST

    So it's Rujano, Scarponi and Anton up the road. Contador and the rest chasing.

  135. 16:06:13 BST

    Cataldo has also lost contact.

  136. 16:06:30 BST

    Scarponi and co have been caught.

  137. 16:07:06 BST

    But Rujano goes again! with Scarponi and Contador and Nibali.

  138. 16:07:56 BST

    And again it all comes back together. No real big attacks yet. Rodriguez and Gadret are slipping back.

  139. 16:08:07 BST

    And now Contador goes

  140. 8km remaining from 167km

    16:08:44 BST

    Scarponi and then Rujano try and go with him but they cant match him. Scarponi is in real difficultly.

  141. 16:09:26 BST

    Rujano makes it to Contador's wheel but he's the only man who can. Scarponi is dropped and Nibali further back. Contador and Rujano have around 40 meters.

  142. 16:09:50 BST

    As you would expect Contador doing all the work and Rujano just sitting in and hoping to hang on.

  143. 16:10:29 BST

    Scarponi now caught by a group of Anton, Nibali and Menchov.

  144. 16:10:57 BST

    Contador makes one meaningful attack and blows everyone away.

  145. 16:11:32 BST

    I think Arroyo is with the Scarponi group. As Contador stands on the pedals again.

  146. 16:12:01 BST

    Rujano comes though and takes a turn on the front. Le Mevel and Serpa all dropped.

  147. 16:12:52 BST

    Scarponi is ask for help and menchov, the big Russian pushing a big gear, comes through and takes a turn.

  148. 16:13:42 BST

    A very wet short downhill section and Contador has dropped the little Columbian.

  149. 16:13:56 BST

    No time checks just yet I'm afraid.

  150. 16:14:22 BST

    42 seconds we're hearing between Contador and the Nibali/Scarponi group.

  151. 16:14:54 BST

    A lot of favourites dropped today as Gadret catches the chase group.

  152. 16:15:31 BST

    As Rujano catches Contador. We've still got 5km to go until the finish. The Nibali group are just looking at each other. it's like they've almost given up.

  153. 16:15:46 BST

    Everything going Contador's way so far.

  154. 16:16:42 BST

    The two leaders share a few words and the Spaniard comes through and takes a turn on the front. He still looks comfortable despite both the pace and the conditions.

  155. 16:17:28 BST

    The road begins to ramp up again and Contador once more sets the pace. It looks like Gadret and Arroyo have attacked the Nibali group.

  156. 16:17:46 BST

    No sign of Le Mevel or Siutsou though.

  157. 3km remaining from 167km

    16:19:29 BST

    3km to go and Contador is simply running away with it. The group behind has swelled to around 12. Gadret is chasing on his own with Arroyo trying to make a difference too.

  158. 16:19:49 BST

    it's Dupont actually and Gadret with him.

  159. 16:20:14 BST

    Apologies for the confusion, the conditions are so bad out there it's hard to see that much.

  160. 16:20:53 BST

    Roman Kreuziger is leading the chase behind with a teammate on the front.

  161. 16:21:41 BST

    Gadret has dropped Dupont as Rujano sets the pace with Contador on his wheel. So many battles on the road out there with riders all over the place.

  162. 16:21:53 BST

    And Anton attacks the chase group.

  163. 16:23:01 BST

    Anton has a gap but Contador is now in charge at the front and Rujano can only sit in and wait for the sprint.

  164. 16:23:45 BST

    Contador has over a minute on his GC rivals. They simply had no answer when Contador put the hammer down.

  165. 16:24:40 BST

    And it looks like Rodriguez has attacked from the the chasers

  166. 16:25:10 BST

    Gadret is going backwards, Dupont and Anton coming up to him.

  167. 16:25:26 BST

    Will there be a gift for Rujano at the finish?

  168. 16:25:42 BST

    Contador setting the pace into the final 1km

  169. 16:25:59 BST

    They have another quick chat.

  170. 16:26:28 BST

    500 to go!

  171. 16:27:02 BST

    And Rujano gets the stage win. Contador gives the stage away.

  172. 16:27:22 BST

    Here comes Gadret Anton behind him.

  173. 16:27:57 BST

    Gadret takes third, roughly a minute behind.

  174. 16:28:49 BST

    Another rest of the favourites come over the line. We'll post the time gaps as soon as we have them.

  175. 16:30:39 BST

    we've just seen Serpa come over the line over 3 minutes down.

    Cioni, Lovkvist and Le Mevel coming up to the line too.

  176. 16:31:32 BST

    Here are the provisional stage results:


    1 Rujano (AND)
    2 Contador (SBS)
    3 Gadret (ALM) +1:27
    4 Dupont (ALM) +1:29
    5 Anton (EUS) +1:29
    6 Kreuziger (AST) +1:36
    7 Scarponi (LAM) +1:36
    8 Nibali (LIQ) +1:36
    9 Kiryienka (MOV) +1:36
    10 Menchov (GEO) +1:36

  177. 16:33:32 BST

    And Contador leads GC by over 3 minutes with Nibali in second.

  178. 16:35:20 BST

    1 Contador (SBS)
    2 Nibali (LIQ) +3:09
    3 Scarponi (LAM) +3:16
    4 Arroyo (MOV) +3:25
    5 Kreuziger (AST) +3:29
    6 Sivtsov (THR) +3:53
    7 Anton (EUS) +4:02
    8 Gadret (ALM) +4:06
    9 Carrara (VCD) +4:35
    10 Dupont (ALM) +4:38

    And that's GC. Thanks for joining us today and stay tuned for another stage in the mountains tomorrow.

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