Giro d'Italia 2012

May 5-27, 2012, Herning (ITT), Italy, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Susan Westemeyer

The Giro d'Italia has started! Join us for the first grand tour of the season!

  1. 16:18:07 CEST

    Welcome to the Giro d'Italia! The first grand tour of the 2012 season kicks off today with an 8.7km individual time trial in downtown Herning, Denmark. Yes, Denmark.

  2. 16:23:26 CEST

    The first rider off today, at 15:40 CET was Jackson Rodriguez of Androni Giacattoli-Venezuela, and he brought in a slow time of  11:58. Robert Hunter (Garmin-Barracuda) was the first to break the 11 minute barrier,w ith a time of 10:54.

  3. 16:26:02 CEST

    And with that we have a new leader! Ramunas Navardauskas of Garmin-Barracuda takes over from his teammate, with a time of 10:48.

  4. 16:28:46 CEST

    It was sunny this morning, but “very windy”, a NetApp spokeswoman told us. “They have been calling for rain for three days but it is still dry.” Let's hope it stays that way!

  5. 16:29:21 CEST

    New Zealander Jesse Sergent of RadioShack Nissan just misses out on a new best time.

  6. 16:34:01 CEST

    It is still sunny but cool.  We have heard from 8°C to 13°C, either of which is pretty darned chilly.

  7. 16:35:25 CEST

    One of the corners -- one of the sharp ones, of course -- is pretty wet.  Don't think it has rained so perhaps something has spilled. At any rate, it is pretty dangerous.

  8. 16:37:22 CEST

    There are some cobblestones along the way as well.

  9. 16:40:46 CEST

    There is one interesting thing to note. Team Orica-GreenEdge is wearing numbers 100 to 107 and 109.  There is no 108, as it has been retired in honour of the late Wouter Weylandt.

  10. 16:42:17 CEST

    Attention royalty watchers! Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary are in attendance. And they are appropriately clad, he with a pink tie and she with a pink blouse.

  11. 16:45:30 CEST

    Jack Bobridge of Orica-GreenEdge is a favourite today, but he had to slow down a lot at that wet corner.

  12. 16:49:00 CEST

    What is Herning known for? For being the birthplace of one Bjarne Riis.... yes, that name rings a bell. And wouldn't he dearly love to have one of his riders win today?

  13. 16:51:09 CEST

    Lots of people out along the street watching the riders today.

  14. 16:53:50 CEST

    The profile today is flat. Not exactly pancake flat, but let's put it this way: the lowest point is 45 metres. The highest point is 59 metres.

  15. 16:55:10 CEST

    That doesn't make it an easy course though. There are a total of 17 curves and turns on this city course.

  16. 16:55:53 CEST

    Roman Kreuziger, captain of the Astana team, is already out on the course.  He is the first of the favourites for the overall title to take to the road.

  17. 16:59:16 CEST

    This is in fact the furthest north that any stage of any grand tour has ever been held.

  18. 17:01:38 CEST

    Kreuziger looks serious about this! He is really going for it.

  19. 17:04:40 CEST

    As always, the riders went off at one minute intervals, up until the end. The final 22 riders will take off at two-minute intervals.

  20. 17:06:08 CEST

    Kreuziger approaches the finish line and crosses it with a time of 11:02. He won't win the stage, but that ought to put him in very good position amongst the favourites.

  21. 17:10:02 CEST

    Anders Lund of Saxo Bank ws proud to be starting the race in his homeland, and sure hopes that things turn around for his team. He talked to Cyclingnews about it all.

  22. 17:13:50 CEST

    There is lots of sunshine in Denmark, but in the background we see a lot of clouds lurking. Stay away!

  23. 17:15:59 CEST

    BMC's Alessandro Ballan is on the course now, and has no troubles at all with the cobblestones.

  24. 17:18:45 CEST

    Team NetApp didn't exactly get a nice welcome to the Giro. Their team bus was broken into overnight. No great damage was done, though, we are told.

  25. 17:22:40 CEST

    Oops! Ballan runs a red light.

  26. 17:23:43 CEST

    And Balland has only one km to go. He won't set a new best time, though.

  27. 17:24:29 CEST

    He finally crosses the line with a time of 11:05. Which isn't bad.

  28. 17:27:04 CEST

    Tyler Farrar is at the Giro again this year. He abandoned last year following the death of his close friend Wouter Weylandt. How is he coping with it? You can read his comments here.

  29. 17:29:09 CEST

    Andreas Dietziker of NetApp is the next to take to the road.

  30. 17:34:16 CEST

    Is this the most international Giro ever? Well, it sure is far away from Italy at the moment. Some riders tell us what they think of the start of the race in Denmark.

  31. 17:37:43 CEST

    A Liquigas rider is the next to arrive. Who is it? Sylvester Szmyd. He is a bit slow, only at 11:25.

  32. 17:42:31 CEST

    The team presentation was held last night.  Of course we have a report and photos!

  33. 17:43:22 CEST

    Australian Luke Roberts of Saxo Bank nears the finish line. 11:03 for him.

  34. 17:47:18 CEST

    Brett Lancaster of Orica-GreenEdge has set a new best time at the intermediate time check. His time was 5:15, which was 3 seconds faster than the time set by Jesse Sergent.

  35. 17:47:55 CEST

    In fact, Lancaster is approaching his two-minute man, Andrey Zeits of Astana.

  36. 17:48:35 CEST

    Lancaster has now passed Zeits and keeps on going.....

  37. 17:49:32 CEST

    Will Lancaster set a new best time?

  38. 17:50:12 CEST

    No! He is one second down!

  39. 17:53:33 CEST

    Robbie Hunter is riding his fourth Giro, and he sees pretty good chances for his team Garmin-Barracuda. He says teammate Alex Rasmussen has a chance to win today “but it will be difficult”.

  40. 17:55:14 CEST

    Mark Cavendish is just about to go.  Not used to seeing him in the black team kit!

  41. 17:57:39 CEST

    RadioShack-Nissan's Daniele Bennati is coming to the finish. With a time over 11 minutes, he won't play a role today.

  42. 18:00:09 CEST

    BMC's Marco Pinotti has taken to the course. He might be a possible winner today.

  43. 18:03:25 CEST

    World champion and new daddy Mark Cavendish is looking at six sprint stages in this year's Giro, before heading off to his season's top goals, the Tour and the Olympics.

  44. 18:06:04 CEST

    Cavendish is nearly done with this stage. What kind of time will he have?

  45. 18:06:37 CEST

    Not a bad one at all for him, 11:13.

  46. 18:07:06 CEST

    Pinotti is in the last km now, and may well set a new best time.

  47. 18:07:39 CEST

    He takes the last big corner and heads in to the finish line.

  48. 18:08:26 CEST

    But no! He misses it too and comes in two seconds down, currently in third place.

  49. 18:13:03 CEST

    Joaquim Rodriguez has been itching for a long time to win a grand tour, and would like to claim a Spanish victory in the Italian race. Can he overcome his time trial weakness to take the overall title at last?

  50. 18:14:45 CEST

    Canadian Ryder Hesjedal of Garmin-Barracuda is tearing up the road now. Does he have a good chance today?

  51. 18:15:16 CEST

    But he too will just miss out on the top time and crosses the line at 10:55.

  52. 18:20:52 CEST

    The peloton of course checked out this course yesterday.  Some photos of those recon rides are here.

  53. 18:24:02 CEST

    Svein Tuft of Orica-GreenEdge takes off, in the very colourful kit of the Canadian time trial champion.

  54. 18:26:24 CEST

    Adriano Malori of Lampre is even more colourful, with his Italian time trial champion's kit.

  55. 18:27:22 CEST

    Tyler Farrar is underway now. He will look to beat Cavendish in all those sprint stages.

  56. 18:29:24 CEST

    Former world champion Thor Hushovd is on the course as well. He is probably nearing the finish by now. Yup, just crossed under the flamme rouge.

  57. 18:30:40 CEST

    Needless to say, no winning time today for Thor.

  58. 18:33:42 CEST

    Geraint Thomas (Sky) is another one who wants to win today. He took the Romandie prologue and has calculated exactly what he has to do today to win.

  59. 18:35:29 CEST

    Vacansoleil's Thomas De Gendt is the next to head to the finish line.  He brings in a time of 10:58, making him eleventh at the moment.

  60. 18:36:01 CEST

    Damiano Cunego of Lampre sets off -- looking for the title here?

  61. 18:37:16 CEST

    Farrar won't set a new best time, but it will still be a good time. He crosses the line at 11: 02.

  62. 18:42:10 CEST

    Peter Stetina of Garmin-Barracuda checked out the route yesterday, and was hit by a car. Fortunately, he is ok. There is debate, though, as to whether he and the team knew that the course was not blocked to traffic when he went for his ride.

  63. 18:43:54 CEST

    Jose Rujano is underway now, which means we are approaching the end.  From here on, there will be a two-minute gap.

  64. 18:45:05 CEST

    Nelson Oliveira of RadioShack-Nissan puts in a good performance and is currently fifth.

  65. 18:45:42 CEST

    Geraint Thomas takes off in search of the win....

  66. 18:46:57 CEST

    Cunego nears the finish. He won't win today but has a time of 11:29, which is really not good at all.

  67. 18:48:26 CEST

    Manuele Boaro of Saxo Bank is being treated as a dark horse to take the win today. Wouldn't the Danish team love to win?

  68. 18:48:57 CEST

    Thomas has the best time at the intermediate time check.

  69. 18:50:22 CEST

    OPQS's Michal Kwiatkkoski has had a good ride, with a time of 10:55.

  70. 18:51:06 CEST

    Only one km to go for Boaro.  Will he finally be the one to set a new best time?

  71. 18:51:23 CEST

    His chances are looking good!

  72. 18:52:43 CEST

    Boaro is giving his all -- and yes! He takes it, with 10:41, cutting seven seconds of the best time.

  73. 18:53:14 CEST

    Taylor Phinney is on the course now, and is also a favourite to win today.

  74. 18:53:33 CEST

    Boaro's time atop the boards won't last long, we think. Thomas is almost in.

  75. 18:54:08 CEST

    Boaro watches as Thomas sets the next best time, at 10:35.

  76. 18:56:42 CEST

    The last km for Phinney, and he looks good.  But how good?

  77. 18:57:19 CEST

    Looks like he will take it!

  78. 18:58:27 CEST

    And he does! An outstanding performance and he crosses the line at 10:26! Hard to imagine that anyone will beat that time!

  79. 19:01:15 CEST

    There are still a number of riders to come, of course. It is doubtful they will beat Phinney's time, but most of them are looking more at the overall anyway.

  80. 19:02:24 CEST

    How much did Phinney want to win today?  "I know that I can potentially change my life on Saturday. I can change my year, my career in a way and post my biggest result to date in just 10 minutes of racing. That's just extra motivation for me."

  81. 19:03:23 CEST

    There is still a Dane with a chance here: Alex Rasmussen of Garmin-Barracuda. He is giving it his all.

  82. 19:08:05 CEST

    Joauquim Rodriguez is underway now. He has his eye on the title in Milan in three weeks. Don't expect too much from him today, as time trialing is really not his strength at all.

  83. 19:08:58 CEST

    Gustav Erik Larsson of Vacansoliel brings in the fourth best time. He had hoped to do better.

  84. 19:09:56 CEST

    Fränk Schleck takes off! He was the last minute call-up to captain RadioShack-Nissan here in the Giro.

  85. 19:12:17 CEST

    Rasmussen comes to the finsh -- not with the best time. He can hit the podium though as he is third at 10:39.

  86. 19:13:51 CEST

    Ivan Basso is the next to go. Only three more riders to take the start.

  87. 19:15:26 CEST

    The third-to-last rider to go is Stef Clement of Rabobank, resplendent in the red, white and blue of the Dutch champion.

  88. 19:16:01 CEST

    Basso hasn't had much luck so far this year. Will he be able to turn things around in this Giro?

  89. 19:17:07 CEST

    The next rider, and next to last, is Jan Barta of NetApp.  He won the Settimani Coppi e Bartali, and Rund um Köln.

  90. 19:17:57 CEST

    Somehow we missed Filippo Pozatto taking off before Basso. We are not sure how we could have missed him as he head to toe floresent green......does he glow in the dark?

  91. 19:18:39 CEST

    Michele Scarponi, pretty in pink! He was just awarded the 2011 title and trophy last week.Off he goes!

  92. 19:19:25 CEST

    Oops, we were a bit early. But now he has rolled down the starting ramp!

  93. 19:21:41 CEST

    Fränk Schleck puts in his usual time trial performance, finishing nearly one minute down.

  94. 19:22:37 CEST

    Pozzato finishes as 19th.

  95. 19:23:24 CEST

    Basso is the next to come to the finish line. How will he do?

  96. 19:24:27 CEST

    No top ten for him today, and he doesn't break the 11 minute barrier.

  97. 19:24:39 CEST

    Three riders to go!

  98. 19:25:42 CEST

    Clement is on his way to the finish line, and he too is no danger to Phinney.

  99. 19:26:27 CEST

    10.54 and 12th place for the Dutch tt champ.

  100. 19:27:05 CEST

    Barta as the penultimate rider crosses under the flamme rouge.

  101. 19:27:56 CEST

    Barta pushes it but won't be on the podium.

  102. 19:28:32 CEST

    Eleven minutes exactly for the NetApp captain.

  103. 19:28:51 CEST

    And then there was one -- the extremely pink-clad Scarponi.

  104. 19:30:11 CEST

    Phinney has won.  Scarponi is now already over the winner's time.

  105. 19:31:24 CEST

    Scarponi comes in rather leisurely, with a time of 11:32 for 135th place.


  106. 19:32:49 CEST

    Congratulations to Taylor Phinney, only 21 years old and winner of the first stage of the 2012 Giro d'Italia!

  107. 19:33:59 CEST

    And here is the top ten, not only of the stage but also for the overall, of course:

    1 T PHINNEY (BMC) 10:26
    2 G THOMAS (SKY) 10:35
    3 A RASMUSSEN (GRM) 10:39
    4 M BOARO (SAX) 10:41
    5 E G LARSSON (VCD) 10:48
    6 R NAVARDAUSKAS (GRM) 10:48
    7 B LANCASTER (OGE) 10:49
    8 M PINOTTI (BMC) 10:50
    9 J SERGENT (RNT) 10:52
    10 N OLIVEIRA (RNT) 10:53

  108. 19:42:57 CEST

    And here again, this time in our usual format: 

    1  Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team  0:10:26  
    2  Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling  0:00:09  
    3  Alex Rasmussen (Den) Garmin-Barracuda  0:00:13  
    4  Manuele Boaro (Ita) Saxo Bank  0:00:15  
    5  Erik Gustav Larsson (Swe) Vacansoleil-DCM  0:00:22  
    6  Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Barracuda     
    7  Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge  0:00:23 
    8  Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC Racing Team  0:00:24  
    9  Jesse Sergent (NZL) RadioShack-Nissan  0:00:26  
    10  Nelson Oliveira (Por) RadioShack-Nissan  0:00:27

  109. 19:43:43 CEST

    Congratulations to Phinney and all the riders. And thanks for joining us today.  Be sure to read along tomorrow for the second stage with its expected mass sprint finish!

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