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 CN's live coverage from the Giro d'Italia. Today it's stage 2 from Alba to Parma.

  1. 12:52:04 BST

    Good morning, afternoon, evening, depending on where you are in the world. We're back in the CN blimp hovering above a lone leader, Seb Lang from Omega Pharma Lotto. He's got a huge gap of 18 minutes. It's fair to see he's the leader of the race on the road right now.

  2. 190km remaining from 244km

    12:53:13 BST

    In fact our man Lang has 18 minutes and we're around 190 kms from the finish in Parma.

  3. 12:57:55 BST

    Lang a good rider against the clock by the way. He was signed to Lotto in 08 or was it 09? Basically to help Cadel Evans in the TTT in the Tour de France. Cadel left at the end of the season for BMC, but Lang stayed.

  4. 13:00:11 BST

    The 31-year-old German attacked after just 3km of racing. So far Lotto have taken the race by the scruff of the neck. Fair enough we've only completed one stage and we're only a few kms into this one but they pulled off a great ride yesterday in the TTT and Lang is doing the business today.

  5. 13:00:40 BST

    • Break

    That icon means break. There you go.

  6. 180km remaining from 244km

    13:06:12 BST

    Lang now has a lead of 19.18, so the bunch aren't too worried about him yet. We still got 180km to go.

  7. 13:14:01 BST

    It's day two and already the riders must tackle the joint-second-longest stage of the race, which is equal in distance to the penultimate one. Heading east from Alba, home of some of the world's most expensive white truffles, stage 2 is flat bar a short climb 30km from the finish. The first rider over the top will wear the 2011 Giro's inaugural mountains jersey, but is unlikely to also celebrate the stage win in Parma, which provides a fitting finale given it will be National Bike Day. Cavendish and other sprinters are likely to be prominent, in view of the dearth of opportunities ahead for them.

  8. 13:14:13 BST

    Distance: 244km
    Highest point: 315m
    Category: Flat stage

  9. 13:23:15 BST

    Pinotti and HTC have had enough of this from Lang and begin to work on the front. The lead is now down to 17.30

  10. 13:24:34 BST

    Assuming all the main sprinters make it over the main climb of the day we should see a real battle at the stage finish.

  11. 13:27:06 BST

    Belletti, Cavendish, Petacchi, Visconti, Downing, , Farrar, McEwen, Bozic, all with a chance of wining the stage

  12. 13:30:03 BST

    It's a flat final km with a final bend with around 600 meters to go.

  13. 13:30:25 BST

    Who is your pick for the day? let me know at

  14. 13:31:21 BST

    It's worth remember that there's the battle for pink going on too,. with time bonuses of 20, 12 and 8 seconds awarded on the finish line, a place in the top three would give Cavendish the pink jersey by several seconds and allow him to keep it for several days.

  15. 13:34:30 BST

    The finish into Parma is on the long straight main road, with only a few roundabouts to navigate in the run-in. However it is a technical finish, where a lead out will be important, because of a sharp right turn exactly a kilometre from the finish and then another dog-leg turn right turn with 600 metres to go. Position will be vital, as will a strong, sustained burst of speed for the finishing straight.

    Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) showed his form at the recent Presidential Tour of Turkey and is likely to be Cavendish’s biggest threat. Other Italians to watch for include Francesco Chicchi (Quick Step), Manuel Belletti and Sacha Modolo (Colnago-CSF), Davide Appollonio (Team Sky) and Matteo Carrara (Vacansoleil).

    Petacchi is 24 seconds behind Cavendish in the overall classification and so in theory out of reach of the pink jersey. However Robbie McEwen is just ten seconds down and so in with a real chance of taking pink, after RadioShack finished second in the team time trial.

  16. 13:36:32 BST

    Cyclingnews caught up with Mark Renshaw on the startline in Alba and the Australian talked us through the final kilometres. He said that he wasn’t sure if the finale was sufficiently technical to eliminate any of the sprinters from contention, but that HTC-Highroad would as ever be looking to take up the reins.

  17. 13:38:17 BST

    • HTC-Highroad's 2011 Jersey

    Mark Renshaw:

    “It’s hard to judge because we have such a straight run-in,” Renshaw said. “From 4km it’s a straight run-in with three roundabouts to negotiate, and then in the last k we’ve got two right hand turns. The first turn is with a k to go and it’s 90 degrees, then about 400 metres there’s one that we can take at relatively full gas. So we’ll look to go from the front, we’ll ride from the front.


  18. 13:38:51 BST

    • HTC-Highroad's 2011 Jersey

    Mark Renshaw:

    “We’ve got some good horsepower, but the plan will be the standard plan of attack with Cavendish – to try and put him in the best position with 200 to go and then it’s up to him to finish it off.”


  19. 13:39:45 BST

    The chase is on now and the gap is down to 13:50.

  20. 13:46:06 BST

    Barry Ryan was at the start this morning. Here's his gallery of images from this morning.

  21. 13:47:05 BST

    Meanwhile the gap has gone up to 15 minutes again, the bunch slowing at the feed and allowing Lang to extend his advantage. He's still got some fuel in the tank

  22. 13:47:23 BST

    Alessandro Petacchi told Cyclingnews that he is not unduly concerned by the final right hand bend on the stage, 600 metres from the finish in Parma.

  23. 13:47:48 BST

    • Lampre - ISD's 2011 Jersey


    “It’s important to have the right position and not to be too far behind,” Petacchi said at the start. “If it was 200 or 250 metres from the finish, it would be worse. So it’s fine as it is.”


  24. 13:48:01 BST

    The Italian expects HTC-Highroad to do the lion’s share of the work at the front, as they have brought a team tailored to pilot Mark Cavendish to victory.

  25. 13:48:34 BST

    • Lampre - ISD's 2011 Jersey


    “I think HTC will be the team to lead out the sprint, because they’ve got a team that, with the exception of Sivtsov, is here to work in the few sprint stages that there are in the race,” he said.


  26. 13:48:45 BST

    In spite of his victory in the Tour of Turkey at the end of April, Petacchi confessed that he is unsure of his form ahead of the Giro, as he has struggled for condition since the beginning of the season.

  27. 13:49:09 BST

    • Lampre - ISD's 2011 Jersey


    “We’ll see in this Giro how I am,” he explained. “I still haven’t done any sprints in good condition, since Tirreno I’ve always had problems. First of all I’ll be looking to measure myself against the best sprinters here, but winning is always difficult.”


  28. 97km remaining from 244km

    13:49:53 BST

    97km to race and the gap is back down again, at just over 13 minutes.

  29. 13:56:39 BST

    • HTC-Highroad's 2011 Jersey

    Radioshack has joined HTC on the front of the bunch, so both teams showing their clear intent for the stage today. How long before Lampre throw their hat into the ring?

  30. 14:08:36 BST

    12:30 now the gap as Garmin-Cervelo also come to the front and help with the chase.

  31. 80km remaining from 244km

    14:10:16 BST

    80 to go and Land has 10.22 on the bunch. He's making all the sprint teams work.

  32. 14:18:28 BST

    So much depends on Hondo and Renshaw today. They're the leadout men for Petacchi and Cavendish, probably the best two leadout men in the world.

  33. 14:20:08 BST

    Stetina from Garmin-Cervelo on the front, taking a huge turn to try and help bring Lang back.

  34. 70km remaining from 244km

    14:22:32 BST

    70km to go. Lang's lead continuing to come down. The German, who has been out in front since the 3rd km is struggling. No real surprise.

  35. 14:23:21 BST

    • Feed

    Engles back at the team car and loading up with bottles for his teammates.

  36. 14:24:11 BST

    Contador near the front of the bunch, a handful of his teamates around him, just staying out of trouble.

  37. 14:28:32 BST

    6.20 between Lang and the bunch.

  38. 14:31:07 BST

    Now can survive until the climb, or the top of it rather? He deserves to start tomorrow in a jersey.

  39. 14:31:29 BST

    He massaging his thighs and shifting around in the saddle.

  40. 64km remaining from 244km

    14:32:32 BST

    5.30 is the gap so it's coming down rapidly.

  41. 14:33:34 BST

    Unless the bunch ease up Lang wont last and he'll miss out on the climbers jersey.

  42. 14:35:32 BST

    • Pink Jersey

    Pinotti stops to take a short comfort break. The bunch will ease up slightly now.

  43. 14:36:33 BST

    Pinotti working to get back to the peloton and he makes it without too much fuss.

  44. 14:37:35 BST

    Nice to see Pinotti wearing the pink jersey and not going for the entire pink attire of shorts, helmet, gloves, capped teeth, etc like some riders choose these days. Classic.

  45. 14:37:57 BST

    If Roman Kreuziger was disappointed with his Astana team’s showing in the opening team time trial, he was determined to put a brave face on things in Alba this morning.

  46. 14:38:34 BST

    Roman K:

    “The gaps from the team time trial to Contador and the others won’t matter as much when we get into the final week,” Kreuziger said to reporters at the start line, before assessing the opening road stage. “It’s a flat day, and the important thing will be to make sure you stay out of trouble.”


  47. 14:38:45 BST

    Kreuziger does not believe that Friday’s first summit finish to Montevergine will prove to be decisive, but he did warn that the overall contenders will need to be alert.

  48. 14:39:13 BST

    Roman K:

    “It’s still early, and people’s condition will still only be improving, but certainly it will be important to be good there in order to stay up there with the best,” he said.


  49. 14:39:50 BST

    • Pink Jersey

    Pinotti does a job for his team and as he comes back to the bunch he picks up a number of bottles for his teammates.

  50. 14:44:38 BST

    Tempting to paste in extracts of Richard Moore's book Sky's the Limit but I won't. Still, the book is out later this spring. Good read, from Mr Moore, who actually had a birthday yesterday. Happy birthday Richard. No birthday cake icon, I'm afraid.

  51. 14:45:01 BST

    Back to Lang and the gap is under five minutes, it's at 4.30 and we've got 55km to go.

  52. 14:49:30 BST

    Hondo and Petacchi having a word now, talking about the finish and that final climb. It's not a huge problem, can't imagine any of the big sprinters having much trouble with it.

  53. 14:53:37 BST

    We caught up with Selander at the start this morning. You can watch a video interview right here.

    In fact all our Giro videos are on the page.

  54. 14:55:13 BST

    Lang seems to have pulled it together now with the sprint and the KOM close.

  55. 50km remaining from 244km

    14:57:40 BST

    50km for the bunch, Lang has 47km left.

  56. 15:03:57 BST

    Androni move to the front and help with the chase. Lang still on his own out front. Considering how long he's been away he's still looking good.

  57. 15:04:19 BST

    Lampre also starting to move up

  58. 15:05:21 BST

    The intermediate sprint coming up. Lang will take 6 seconds but behind him the battle for 4, 2 will be very interesting.

  59. 15:08:55 BST

    • Pink Jersey

    Pinotti has a puncture and gets new rear wheel.

  60. 15:09:38 BST

    Pinotti coming back through the cars.

  61. 15:10:48 BST

    Wouter Weylandt takes second on the sprint, and I think that was Blythe in third.

  62. 15:11:21 BST

    • Crash

    Crash and Leopard Trek and Movistar both have a rider on the deck.

  63. 15:12:02 BST

    Pinotti has made it back while Lang has 6km until the climb. The gap is around 3 minutes.

  64. 15:13:19 BST

    A quick plug for our Giro guide that you can still buy. Here's a linky.

  65. 15:14:05 BST

    And while we're at it, you can also download the CN iphone app, here. It's free!

  66. 35km remaining from 244km

    15:16:30 BST

    35km to go.

  67. 15:17:38 BST

    Katusha and Liquigas have moved to the front, just trying to keep out of trouble for now. HTC and Garmin are waiting in the wings.

  68. 15:17:55 BST

    HTC and Garmin did a lot of work earlier...

  69. 15:19:00 BST

    Lang has two minutes.

  70. 15:19:25 BST

    The German has 1km to go until the top of the climb. He'll do it.

  71. 15:21:52 BST

    Garzelli's men on the front setting the pace as Lang comes over the top of the climb. He'll be on the podium today.

  72. 15:22:29 BST

    The German sits up. Job done. He's done it the hard way but a very brave rider nevertheless.

  73. 15:23:20 BST

    Liquigas lead the bunch over the top. The gap to Lang is 1.28

  74. 15:25:27 BST

    Shack and Rabo moving up as well. Lang is about to get caught. McEwen seemed to be have some trouble on the climb and is just coming back to the peloton.

  75. 15:31:06 BST

    It's almost all over for Lang now, the bunch closing in with just a handful of seconds left.

  76. 15:31:31 BST

    Cavendish looking comfortable and on Renshaw's wheel.

  77. 15:33:12 BST

    No team wants to take on the chase. The bunch are strung all over the road with no real organisation.

    Lang is caught.

  78. 15:33:51 BST

    And we've already got a counter attack. One rider from Lotto, a rider from Vacan and one from Farnese

  79. 15:34:19 BST

    Leonardo Giordani and Blythe are two of the three

  80. 15:34:39 BST

    Golas is the third rider.

  81. 15:34:57 BST

    No reaction from the bunch, none at all.

  82. 15:35:42 BST

    That might be Jan Bakelants from Lotto actually.

  83. 15:36:23 BST

    Another five riders are trying to come across.

  84. 15:37:29 BST

    Ruggero Marzoli (Ita), nDaniele Righi (Ita) and a Shack rider are there. Now HTC and Garmin have to chase.

  85. 15:37:52 BST

    This rather dangerous group has 28 seconds on the bunch already.

  86. 15:38:26 BST

    HTC move up, they know that this move is dangerous. Pineau is also in that lead group, a Katusha rider too.

  87. 15:38:54 BST

    Daniele Righi (Ita) is just sitting in, not doing any work.

  88. 15:40:20 BST

    Eduard Vorganov (Rus) isnt too happy with those sitting on and waves his arm in the air to show just how unhappy he is. This move isnt' going to work is it?

  89. 15:40:38 BST

    Jan Bakelants (OLO), Leonardo Giordani (FAR), Michal Golas (VCD), Jerome Pineau (QST), Eduard Vorganov (KAT), Ruggero Marzoli (ASA) und Daniele Righi (LAM)

  90. 15:42:39 BST

    Garmin Cervelo pushing the pace at the front for Farrar.

  91. 15:42:52 BST

    The gap is down to 17 seconds.

  92. 17km remaining from 244km

    15:43:27 BST

    17km to go, Garmin doing most of the work and HTC sitting in and keeping an eye on the situation.

  93. 15:45:03 BST

    Everyone working in the lead group, even the Lampre rider. Bit surprised that he wasnt working from the start

  94. 15:47:20 BST

    Pinotti helping at the front as well.

  95. 15:49:22 BST

    The gap is coming down, just 11 seconds with HTCmoving up and joining the Garmin riders

  96. 15:49:41 BST

    11km to go

  97. 15:50:51 BST

    And the Katusha rider hits the deck and comes down. Too busy worrying about what everyone else was doing and he loses concentration.

  98. 15:52:32 BST

    Garmin has done most of the work and the break are about to be caught.

  99. 15:52:57 BST

    All back together.

  100. 15:53:51 BST

    Has Garmin done too much too soon?

  101. 15:54:51 BST

    Lampre and Vacan starting to form their trains.

  102. 15:55:50 BST

    Shack are also up there. Dont count them out for the finish.

  103. 15:57:00 BST

    5km to go

  104. 15:57:21 BST

    Everyone wants to be near the front, sprinters and GC riders.

  105. 15:57:52 BST

    So much to play for with the first sprint too. Each sprinter will want to stamp their authority on the field and take the first win.

  106. 15:58:04 BST

    Bozic up there too.

  107. 15:58:31 BST

    Petacchi up there and in a good position.

  108. 15:58:48 BST

    The Italian has just Hondo with him.

  109. 15:59:00 BST

    Cav moves up, past a Lotto rider.

  110. 16:00:54 BST

    garmin with four riders on the front. Farrar last in line

  111. 16:01:11 BST

    Millar leading, Cav is up there. Petacchi too. around the final big corner.

  112. 16:01:43 BST

    Is Cav too far back. He seemed to lose ground on that final bend

  113. 16:02:00 BST

    it looks like Farrar against Petacchi

  114. 16:02:07 BST

    500 to go

  115. 16:02:43 BST

    What a sprint.

  116. 16:03:24 BST

    Cavendish looked far too back but did a great job in coming back but Petacchi takes it

  117. 16:03:59 BST

    But looking at the replay Petacchi moves across Cav's line and the HTC rider isnt' happy.

  118. 16:04:12 BST

    It looks like Belletti got third.

  119. 16:05:22 BST

    Cav will take pink no matter what but he really wanted that stage win. Despite Petacchi's move the Brit came back and almost did it. We'll see what the organisers to, there could be an appeal.

  120. 16:06:22 BST

    As soon as Cav came over the line he looked up at the Italian and gave him an ear full. Not happy there, is he?

  121. 16:07:41 BST

    Petacchi opened the sprint and went on the left, Cav on the right but then the Italian moves over to Cav's line. That can't stand as a result, surely.

  122. 16:08:16 BST

    We're hearing confirmation that Petacchi will get the win. Let me know what you think

  123. 16:08:34 BST

    That will be the Italian's 22nd stage win in the race.

  124. 16:11:46 BST

    We're hearing that German TV, not sure how they'd know but apparently the win isnt official yet.

  125. 16:13:52 BST

    Well Petacchi is on the podium so it looks official.

  126. 16:15:29 BST

    Brief Results 1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISD
    2 Mark Cavendish (Gbr) HTC-Highroad
    3 Manuel Belletti (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox
    4 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
    5 Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
    6 Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling
    Overall classification after stage 2 1 Mark Cavendish (Gbr) HTC-Highroad
    2 Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Blr) HTC-Highroad
    3 Craig Lewis (USA) HTC-Highroad

  127. 16:17:09 BST

    Lots still to talk about but we're about to wrap up our coverage here. News, results, pix, video and of course Cav's reaction, all coming on the site.

    Thanks again for joining us.


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