Giro d'Italia 2012

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

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Daniel Benson

Hello and welcome to our coverage from stage 20 of this year's Giro d'Italia. It's the final day in the mountains as the peloton tackles 218km from  Caldes/Val di Sole to the top of the Passo dello Stelvio. We're in for a thriller.

  1. 09:23:10 BST

    With Mortirolo and Stelvio in one crazy afternoon, it’s the history, the lunacy and the sheer unbridled magic of the Giro d’Italia in one afternoon. For what it’s worth Stelvio is again the Cima Coppi, but this is about guts and glory, about winning and losing the most beautiful race on earth. Just about as good as professional cycling gets…

  2. 09:24:16 BST


    “For all that I like the stage to Pampeago, this is the symbolic stage of the Giro d’Italia. Aside from all the history associated with Stelvio, we also have Mortirolo. Some say that it’s too far from Stelvio to make a difference, but I see it differently. It’s possible that somebody who is behind on GC will smash the race up on Mortirolo, and that it will become the stuff of legend. Stelvio? Obviously Coppi’s great exploit in wrestling the jersey from Koblet in 1953, Fausto Bertoglio and Galdos in 1975. Bertoglio wasn’t a great champion like Coppi, but everybody remembers him winning the Giro that day. This is the magic of the climb…"


  3. 09:27:05 BST

    The opening climbs of the Passo del Tonale (15.1km at 6.1%), Aprica (15.9km at 3.1%) and Teglio (5.9km at 8%) should not cause too many problems on paper, but after three weeks of racing, there will be many beginning to feel the strain even before the race reaches the penultimate climb, the Mortirolo (11.4km at 10.5%). Though approached from its “easier” side, the Montagna Pantani should still cause problems, even if one suspects most will look to keep their powder dry for the grand finale up the mighty Stelvio.

  4. 09:29:00 BST

    The race’s most iconic episode on the Stelvio came on its first in visit 1953, when Fausto Coppi conjured up one of the last truly great performances of his career to snatch the pink jersey from Hugo Koblet at the death, while its most exciting finish came when the hitherto unheralded Fausto Bertoglio held off Franciso Galdos to seal overall victory on the final day in 1975.

  5. 09:30:17 BST

    • Pink Jersey

    Here's where we stand in terms of the GC:

    1 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 84:06:13
    2 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:17
    3 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:01:39
    4 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:01:45
    5 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:03:21
    6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:03:30
    7 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:05:36
    8 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:05:40
    9 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling 0:05:47
    10 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:06:09

  6. 09:32:33 BST

    Hesjedal was the big winner yesterday, distancing all of his GC rivals and almost coming away with the stage in the process. It was a hammer blow for Basso who had put his team to work for the final 50km but was unable to control his rivals on the final climbs.

    When Scarponi made his third attack Basso was unable to close it down and Hesjedal seized the moment and distanced Rodriguez, Basso and then Scarponi. Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) in the maglia rosa

  7. 09:33:44 BST

    Rodriguez still leads the race, but only by 17 seconds. Yesterday suited the Spaniard, if he was ever going to extend his lead over the Canadian, and he'll need to find at least a minute today if he's to stand any chance of holding off Hesjedal in the final time trial.

  8. 09:35:33 BST

    Here's a video preview of today's stage.

  9. 09:37:57 BST

    Rather interestingly, Rodriguez and Basso both raised the white flag, admitting defeat in the race. There's still a long way to go and although Hesjedal holds the advantage, he's still not in pink and almost anything can happen on the Mortirolo and the Stelvio.

  10. 09:38:49 BST

    The rides started a few minutes ago, and there will be a lot of tired legs out there but if they can make it through today, they'll complete the Giro.

  11. 09:43:42 BST

    There's no question that yesterday's stage was one of the most dramatic we've seen in the Giro in recent years. We had the predictable but thoroughly entertaining suicide break, with Sandy Casar and Stefano Pirazzi on the charge.

    Then there was Roman Kreuziger who you could sense was riding for more than just a stage win. His pride would have taken a huge blow after he'd cracked earlier in the week and his attack was a rare reminder of the talent he holds.

    And then there was the battle for the maglia rosa: Basso put his troops on the front but having to ask them to slow when he realised he'd burn his matches too quickly. Then the appliance of renewed Liquigas pressure and a number of riders cracking before Garmin took up the pace.

    In the end it was a simple war of attrition on the final climb.

  12. 09:46:51 BST

    Away from the battle for GC, there are a number of other battles going on. Rabottini leads Pirazzi by 11 points in the KOM competition. Will either or both riders try and sneak into today's break?

  13. 09:48:10 BST

    • Red Jersey

    And Cavendish only leads Rodriguez by 13 points in the fight for the red jersey. It's going to be hard for Cavendish to take any points today, you have to say.

  14. 09:49:58 BST

    • White Jersey

    Uran appears to have a good enough lead to secure the white jersey. He's had a great Giro d'Italia. I wonder if he'll ride the Tour this year in aid of support Wiggins or go back home and prepare for the Vuelta.

  15. 09:52:32 BST

    If you're interested in the bikes the peloton have been riding in the mountains, come and have a look at this article by tech guru James Huang. He's at the Giro and he's put together this article, looking at bikes for Scarponi, Hesjedal, Larsson, Ballan, Rodriguez and a few more riders.

    Gustav Larsson (Vacansoleil-DCM) ran a Bianchi Oltre Superleggera and shallow-profile FFWD carbon tubulars for his run at Stage 19.

  16. 09:53:44 BST


    Hesjedal gave us a lesson. He has surprised me, really. I was on his wheel when he attacked and I preferred to follow the more regular rhythm of [Domenico] Pozzovivo. That was hard enough. It's going to be difficult to beat Hesjedal for the overall win. Now the Giro is in his hands. If he doesn't make any mistake tomorrow, he'll be the winner.


  17. 208km remaining from 218km

    10:01:26 BST

    10km into the race and still no real action from the peloton.

  18. 10:05:19 BST

    The Stelvio, which will decide today's stage and possibly the final home of the 2012 maglia rosa is one of the most iconic climbs in cycling. You can read all about its history in this article - an extract from Daniel Friebe's book Mountain High.

    And if you want to run off and buy Daniel's book, you can do so here.

  19. 198km remaining from 218km

    10:14:09 BST

    A lot of those riders should be able to make contact on the descent of the climb but the time limit will be of huge concern because it's up and down all day.

  20. 10:24:58 BST

    More and more riders are being dropped on the first climb of the day. It's a tad cruel to start a stage like this after yesterday's brutality.

  21. 10:25:50 BST

    The final kms: The Passo dello Stelvio climbs at an average of 7% gradient with sections at 12%. The route winds along the side of the mountain with some narrow tunnels until 12km from the finish, where a series of hairpins starts. Following the junction with the Umbrail Pass, the average gradient steepens to approximately 9%, reaching the finish at an altitude of 2757 metres. The finishing straight is 200 metres long and six metres wide.

  22. 10:26:38 BST

    • Farnese Vini - Selle Italia's 2012 Jersey

    Weather update brought to you by the bright as the sun Farnese kit: The stage started under cloudy skies and temperatures of 17 degrees centigrade. At the finish at the summit of the Passo dello Stelvio similar conditions are expected with temperatures of six degrees centigrade.

  23. 188km remaining from 218km

    10:33:33 BST

    We've got our break for the day, consisting of 13 men. Race radio says Roman Kreuziger is in the mix.

  24. 10:39:54 BST

    Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Barracuda), Roman Kreuziger (Astana), Damiano Caruso (Liquigas), Emanuele Sella (Androni Giocattoli), Branislaw Samoilau (Movistar), Mathieu Perget (Ag2r), Oliver Zaugg (RadioShack), Stefan Denifl (Vacansoleil-DCM), Mathias Frank (BMC), Matteo Bono (Lampre), Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), Tom Slagter (Rabobank), and Matteo Rabottini (Farnese Vini),

  25. 188km remaining from 218km

    10:40:31 BST

    30km of racing completed, and the break have 40 seconds.

  26. 10:47:30 BST

    That's pretty powerful looking group. Kreuziger is clearly riding with a purpose, Vande Velde can handle himself on the climbs, so to Zaugg, Caruso, Sella, and Slagter. All the major teams have a rider in the break, apart from Sky actually, so it will be interesting to see who will chase.

    Rabottini is there, so that's the KOM prize pretty much sown up.

  27. 10:58:35 BST

    Kreuziger is the highest placed rider on GC, 12:21 down on the maglia rosa. He won't be thinking about anything other than another stage win today. He's playing a different tactic than yesterday, when he allowed the break to go clear and then decided to ride across later in the stage. Perhaps he's worried that if he waits until the Mortirolo the GC contenders won't allow him to attack and gain any time. Hats off to him for trying, either way.

  28. 174km remaining from 218km

    11:04:23 BST

    The riders in the break are hurtling down the long descent to Aprica (where Pantani once won a stage) and their lead is up to 1:45.

  29. 162km remaining from 218km

    11:16:34 BST

    The gap is now up to 3:25

  30. 11:17:40 BST

    That time gap has moved Kreuziger up just one place in GC. He wont be worried about that, he's just after the stage win.

  31. 155km remaining from 218km

    11:24:01 BST

    Now we're climbing to Aprica, which was used as a stage finish in 2010.

  32. 11:26:14 BST

    We've talked about the Stelvio but we've not really mentioned the Mortirolo much this morning. It could be crucial in the battle for pink. Tree covered almost to its summit, Lance Armstrong called it the toughest climb he'd ever ridden in 2004.

  33. 11:28:09 BST

    The first rider over the summit during its Giro debut in 1990 was Sierra. Four years later Pantani won ahead of Indurain and Berzin and after the Italian died, the climb was dubbed the Cima Pantani. There's a monument to him on the climb and he still holds the record for the fastest ascent.

  34. 11:34:18 BST

    Lance Armstrong:

    It's a terrible climb.. It's perfect for a mountain bike. On the hardest parts, I was riding a 39X27 and I was hurting. The Mortirolo is the hardest climb I've ever ridden. My time up the climb? It's not important.

  35. 11:34:43 BST

    Pantani raced up the climb with a 22 on the back.

  36. 11:41:42 BST

    The break are heading up the second climb of the day and Rabottini will be looking for maximum points again, having been first over the last climb.

  37. 11:43:20 BST

    The bunch have pegged the group back by around 40 seconds, the gap down to 2:55.

  38. 11:46:16 BST

    I still find it truly incredible that Pantani rode up the Mortirolo using a 22 on the back. The climb is 12.4km in length and has 6km of 12.4% at the mid-point.  The average gradient is 10.5%.

  39. 130km remaining from 218km

    11:47:38 BST

    130km left to race.

  40. 11:55:42 BST

    Rabottini was first up the last climb and the break are now on the Teglio. By my reckoning Rabottini has the KOM done and dusted now. I think if Pirazzi wins the final two climbs and Rabottini doesnt pick up points it's back on but the Farnese rider looks unstoppable.

  41. 12:04:00 BST

    Once over the top of the climb the break will race towards the feedzone before tackling the Mortirolo. Below is a picture of Basso, Nibali and Scarponi about to go over the top of the climb in 2010.

    The leading trio of Ivan Basso, Vincenzo Nibali and Michele Scarponi are about to crest the Mortirolo summit.

  42. 12:11:02 BST

    The leaders are over the top of the climb. No confirmation on who grabbed the maximum points but unless you hear otherwise it was Rabottini.

    Back in the bunch, the Colnago team are chasing. They missed the break and with Liquigas, Garmin, Katusha and Lampre all represented it's up to the Italian team to chase for Pozzovivo.

  43. 12:17:08 BST

    The lead for the break has gone out to 5:32.

  44. 12:21:53 BST

    We're about an hour or so of racing from the start of the Mortiroli.

  45. 12:31:15 BST

    Over 6 minutes for the break, and that's the sort of advantage they'll need if they want to stay clear over the Mortirolo.

  46. 12:39:47 BST

    • Colnago - CSF Inox's 2012 Jersey

    Colnago will need to get some help if they're going to keep this break under control, there are simply too many good riders up the road for them to contain. The gap has come back down to 5 minutes but it's going to stretch the Italian team to breaking point if they have to do all the chasing.

  47. 100km remaining from 218km

    12:40:23 BST

    We've just over 100km to race and we're heading towards the Mortirolo.

  48. 12:46:05 BST

    95km to go and Colnago still driving the peloton along.

  49. 12:46:39 BST

    Garmin have put two men on the front to set the pace.

  50. 12:50:11 BST

    The break are working well together and the gap is still fluctuating between 5 and 6 minutes.

  51. 12:50:35 BST

    The Vande Velde/Kreuziger group have just passed through the feedzone.

  52. 12:51:05 BST

    Rabottini has dropped back to his team car to pick up a can of coke, or rather, a cola based drink.

  53. 12:54:02 BST

    Euskaltel have added a man to the chase.

  54. 12:57:09 BST

    Serpa comes through and takes a turn on the front. He's looking for a good performance for his Androni team who are racing without Rujano who pulled out of the race.

  55. 12:57:43 BST

    We're hearing that a number of riders including Hunter have been thrown off the race by the race jury. We'll bring you more once we know.

  56. 12:59:19 BST

    Clement has the break strung out on a small rise but we're still some way off the start of the Mortirolio.

  57. 86km remaining from 218km

    13:01:16 BST

    The gap is down to 4 minutes.

  58. 13:02:45 BST

    The main contenders are all near the front of the race. It will be interesting to see what tactic Liquigas and Basso use later in the stage.

  59. 13:05:26 BST

    We're hearing that four riders, including Hunter and Rollin have been kicked off the race for holding onto cars.

  60. 13:05:50 BST

    Clement is still leading the break, taking a huge turn on the front.

  61. 81km remaining from 218km

    13:10:03 BST

    The gap is still holding at around 4 minutes.

  62. 13:10:51 BST

    The next section is flat until a small rise at Tirano. Then there's a short descent before we start the Mortirolo.

  63. 13:12:46 BST

    Both Rabobank riders, and both Movistar riders have moved to the front of the break.

  64. 75km remaining from 218km

    13:19:10 BST

    The break have raced through Tirano so they're less then 10km from the foot of the Mortirolo.

  65. 13:20:19 BST

    The gap is down to 3:45.

  66. 13:22:19 BST

    Could Pozzovivo attack on the Mortirolo? 

  67. 13:25:54 BST

    Rabottini and Frank are hanging on at the back of the break.

  68. 13:26:15 BST

    They're onto the Motirolo

  69. 13:29:14 BST

    Garmin and Liquigas are riding alongside each other. This is the biggest day in the history of the Garmin team. If Hesjedal can hold on he'll win the Giro. The Mortirolo is perhaps the biggest test for him, if he can hold things together on that climb he should make it through the stage.

  70. 13:29:34 BST

    He looks a bit laboured at the moment while Basso looks pretty comfortable.

  71. 13:30:13 BST

    Rodriguez is riding a bit further back in the bunch and looks relaxed.

  72. 13:33:35 BST

    Liquigas take control of the bunch. They really only have one tactic, one dimension to them, and that's been their undoing at times in the race.

  73. 13:34:43 BST

    Roman Kreuziger has moved up to second wheel in the break. He's just riding for the glory and although the stage is probably out of the question now he'll still attack on the climb.

  74. 13:36:40 BST

    The peloton are on the climb now.

  75. 13:37:20 BST

    • Rabobank Cycling Team's 2011 Jersey

    Slagter sets the pace in the break and already riders are starting to pop off the back.

  76. 13:38:47 BST

    Frank and both Movistar men have been dropped. Vande Velde is at the back too while Zaugg sets the pace.

  77. 13:39:11 BST

    Rabottini has been dropped too.

  78. 13:40:02 BST

    And it looks like Zaugg has broken clear.

  79. 13:40:34 BST

    And it's Lampre who set the pace on the front of the bunch, no Liquigas.

  80. 13:41:10 BST

    Scarponi wants the stage and possibly a crack at second on GC. Maybe even the top step.

  81. 13:43:04 BST

    Zaugg has been joined by Carrara. It must have been the Italian in the break and not Denifil.

  82. 64km remaining from 218km

    13:44:28 BST

    More and more riders are being dropped from the bunch as we go around each corner. While Zaugg continues to set an electric pace. 

  83. 13:45:43 BST

    Stetina leads Hesjedal, with Basso sitting close by.

  84. 13:46:15 BST

    The gap is 3;15 between your break and the maglia rosa. They have 8km of climbing to come.

  85. 13:47:22 BST

    Hesjedal grabs a drink as behind him Scarponi and Basso ride side by side, watching his every move. The two Italians will try and crack the Canadian mentally as well as physically.

  86. 13:50:25 BST

    Caruso is charging up to the leading pair and is about to make contact.

  87. 13:51:14 BST

    Carrara is going backwards and Caruso goes passed him.

  88. 13:52:33 BST

    Is that someone in a full Polti kit running alongside Zaugg? I do hope it's Luc Leblanc.

  89. 13:53:06 BST

    As Rabottini has been caught by the main bunch.

  90. 13:53:58 BST

    Zaugg and Caruso have 3:42. The Liquigas rider has been told not to work though so he'll just sit there and wait for Basso to catch him.

  91. 13:56:27 BST

    There's a bit of a re-group at the front of the race with Vande Velde Sepra and Kreuziger coming up to Caruso and Zaugg. Carrara continues to go backwards.

  92. 13:56:48 BST

    But back in the bunch Rodrguez has attack and Hesjedal has gone with him, Scarponi too.

  93. 13:57:11 BST

    That's blown the entire race apart.

  94. 13:57:33 BST

    It's slowly coming back together though.

  95. 13:57:48 BST

    But that's really thinned out the maglia rosa group.

  96. 13:57:55 BST

    Rodriguez goes again

  97. 13:58:13 BST

    Hesjedal goes with him, Scarponi too and a ride from Sky.

  98. 13:58:28 BST

    Basso leads them all back together.

  99. 13:58:41 BST

    Hesjedal doesnt need to set the pace, he just needs to follow.

  100. 61km remaining from 218km

    13:59:19 BST

    They've put the Canadian on the front and he's  looking around for teammates. Surely Vande Velde will sit up?

  101. 13:59:36 BST

    Cataldo comes through and sets the pace for the maglia rosa group.

  102. 14:01:06 BST

    It's Pauwels on the front setting the pace, Cataldo is there. So is Basso, Scarponi, Cunego, Hesjedal, Rodriguez and around 8 more riders.

  103. 14:01:48 BST

    Rodriguez's attacks did some damage but is he just weakening the Canadian before landing a sucker punch?

  104. 14:03:21 BST

    It's Zaugg, Caruso, CVV and Sepra up the road still and Amador coming back to make it 5 riders.

  105. 14:04:30 BST

    Stetina is at the back of the maglia rosa group. He needs to stay in that group for as long as possible. I'm surprised Vande Velde hasn't sat up yet.

  106. 14:04:54 BST

    The American grabs a bottle from the car.

  107. 14:05:45 BST

    QuickStep continue to set the pace on the front of the maglia rosa group, that's doing Hesjedal the world of good to be honest.

  108. 14:06:50 BST

    Zaugg pushes on alone. If you're wondering about Kreuziger, he's off the back.

  109. 14:07:15 BST

    Serge Pauwels is leading the peloton on the Mortirolo.

  110. 14:07:42 BST

    Hesjedal looks like he's suffering.

  111. 14:07:57 BST

    He slips back, then moves to the front again.

  112. 58km remaining from 218km

    14:11:16 BST

    The pace has settled down a bit now with QuickStep continuing to sit on the front. Zaugg is onto the gravel section nearing the top of the climb.

  113. 14:12:47 BST

    Tiralongo and Bono have collided and come off.

  114. 14:13:30 BST

    The Astana ride slid out and landed face first. He's back up and chasing now,  Bono too.

  115. 14:15:10 BST

    Zaugg is struggling to turn the pedals as Hesjedal takes up the pace setting in the maglia rosa group.

  116. 14:17:20 BST

    Riders are all over the road, a Lampre car is also stuck. And it look s like Kreuziger has been caught by the maglia rosa group.

  117. 14:17:41 BST

    Basso is in trouble and has let a gap develop between him and Uran.

  118. 14:18:08 BST

    As Zaugg closes in on the top and will be the first ride over the climb.

  119. 162km remaining from 218km

    14:20:09 BST

    Zaugg takes the Pantani prize and Carrara has De Gendt on his wheel.

  120. 14:21:02 BST

    Carrara gives De Gendt a little push as he pulls over.

    As Basso continues to struggle.

  121. 14:21:47 BST

    Pozzovivo is setting the pace, Hesdejal is there, Rodriguez too but Basso is still off the back.

  122. 14:22:45 BST

    Basso is clawing his way back to the Rodriguez group and they go over the top.

  123. 14:27:18 BST

    Zaugg leads on the descent but it's full throttle behind as the Scarponi/Hesjedal group look to put Basso under even more pressure.

  124. 48km remaining from 218km

    14:30:58 BST

    Vande Velde has slipped out of the back of the chase group, now he's waiting for Hesjedal. Stetina should also make it back for the 20km section through the valley and onto the Stelvio.

  125. 43km remaining from 218km

    14:35:44 BST

    Zaugg gets the Shack car alongside him and receives some instructions. He has less than 45km to go and 1:40 on the Caruso chase group.

  126. 14:41:32 BST

    Zaugg has 2:58 on the maglia rosa group.

  127. 14:42:29 BST

    Cunego Losada, De Gendt and Carrara have formed a group behind the Caruso group.

  128. 14:44:51 BST

    And Caruso has a problem with his bike. He needs a new one.

  129. 14:45:11 BST

    Cunego wont work here or the Katusha rider.

  130. 14:46:34 BST

    A ceasefire with the maglia rosa group easing up and taking on some food and drink. There are a number of attacks through from riders further down on GC.

  131. 14:47:50 BST

    Hesjedal is urging his rivals to ride.

  132. 14:48:06 BST

    Nieve, Cataldo and a few other riders have all attacked.

  133. 14:48:48 BST

    The gap between Zaugg and Rodriguez is now 5:44.

  134. 14:50:21 BST

    De Gendt is 5:40 down on GC and he's riding into a very strong position, so no wonder Hesjedal is worried at the moment. He needs Stetina and Vande Velde to get back to him and do some pace setting. This valley between the Mortirolo and the Stelvio is changing the dynamic of the entire race.

  135. 35km remaining from 218km

    14:51:52 BST

    Nieve and a teammate have joined the De Gendt group with Cunego  and Amador. Losada and Serpa too.

    Cataldo and Tschoop are also chasing.

  136. 14:52:52 BST

    Astana are setting the pace in the maglia rosa group with Tiralongo and Kreuziger on the front.

  137. 14:53:34 BST

    Frank is leading the group with Tschopp, Cataldo and Dupont.

  138. 14:55:27 BST

    Carrara has popped. De Gendt and Cunego riding themselves up the GC and they have nearly 4 minutes.

  139. 14:55:50 BST

    Zaugg meanwhile is struggling. He doesn't have much left.

  140. 14:56:11 BST

    Vande Velde took a long time to come back. I think he's made it now.

  141. 33km remaining from 218km

    14:57:31 BST

    Hesjedal has a man on the front now, so the gap should at least hold but it's a critical moment in the race.

  142. 14:59:11 BST

    Frank has popped and Vande Velde and Stetina are both riding for Hesjedal now.

  143. 14:59:27 BST

    They're 4 minutes behind de Gendt.

  144. 15:00:02 BST

    As Zaugg races along the uneven gravel roads that will lead him to the final climb of the day. He has just 33 seconds on the chase group.

  145. 15:00:56 BST

    The cars are coming by Zaugg and he's looking back to see the Cunego/de Gendt group.

  146. 15:01:27 BST

    30 hugely important kms to come.

  147. 15:01:48 BST

    And Zaugg has been caught.

  148. 15:02:40 BST

    Seven riders in the lead group but Cunego and Losada are just sitting and Zaugg is a spent force.

  149. 15:04:35 BST

    The gap is coming down, it's now at 3:42.

  150. 15:06:36 BST

    I think Stetina has popped too so that just leaves Vande Velde with the task of dragging back the dangerous group. He's doing a good job, the gap is now at 3:38.

  151. 15:08:34 BST

    The Garmin group are about to bring back the Cataldo group.

  152. 15:09:27 BST

    Stetina is back, he must have been with the team car. He's on the front with extra bottles. Hesjedal, is getting some fine support from his two American teammates.

  153. 15:11:24 BST

    The break are about 2km from the start of the Stelvio.

  154. 15:13:24 BST

    The Euskaltel duo lead the break onto the foot of the climb.

  155. 15:13:38 BST

    The gap is 3:58.

  156. 15:14:16 BST

    Stetina and Vande Velde continue to push the maglia rosa group along.

  157. 15:15:26 BST

    Cunego is getting a free ride, and if he has the legs he'll attack. Rodriguez and Basso are watching the Canadian. As Scarponi moves up.

    Hesjedal isn't looking too comfortable at the moment.

  158. 15:15:41 BST

    And Zaugg has been dropped.

  159. 15:16:08 BST

    The peloton are on the foot of the climb but the gap isn't coming down any further.

  160. 15:17:03 BST

    De Gendt moves to the front and then asks for help. I doubt he'll get much support from any of the other riders. Nieve, but that's it.

  161. 15:18:01 BST

    Stetina has been on the front for a while and CVV takes over for him. The gap is at 3:48.

  162. 19km remaining from 218km

    15:18:32 BST

    Hesjedal is out of the saddle, grimacing.

  163. 19km remaining from 218km

    15:18:34 BST

    Hesjedal is out of the saddle, grimacing.

  164. 15:19:12 BST

    Stetina is back with the team car. Will he be able to come back and do one more turn?

  165. 15:20:10 BST

    Scarponi just stares ahead at the road, pale faced and vacant.

  166. 15:21:13 BST

    Nieve sets the pace in the break as they take on a hairpin with Amador at the back.

  167. 15:21:34 BST

    Vande Velde has Hesjedal on his wheel.

  168. 15:22:02 BST

    The gap is at 3:42 so he's within 2 minutes of pink.

  169. 15:22:43 BST

    How long can Vande Velde keep this pace?

  170. 15:23:52 BST

    The moment Vande Velde turns over Hesjedal will be on his own.

  171. 17km remaining from 218km

    15:24:14 BST

    17km to go and the gap is now 3:36.

  172. 15:25:19 BST

    Kangert has been dropped by the break.

  173. 15:25:44 BST

    And de Gendt has attacked.

  174. 17km remaining from 218km

    15:26:10 BST

    Nieve responds but it looks like Vande Velde has done all he can.

  175. 15:27:01 BST

    Cunego has been dropped by de Gendt and Nieve and Vande Velde is back on the front of the maglia rosa group.

  176. 15:27:43 BST

    Nieve and de Gendt push on but Cunego hasn't given up, he's about 20 meters back.

  177. 16km remaining from 218km

    15:28:01 BST

    The gap is down to 3:28.

  178. 15:28:44 BST

    Vande Velde has the maglia rosa group down to around a dozen riders.

  179. 15km remaining from 218km

    15:30:25 BST

    The gap is going out again, it's at 3:33.
  180. 15:31:19 BST

    Uran is there, Scarponi, Pozzovio, Basso, Rodriguez and Hesjedal.
  181. 15:32:20 BST

    Cunego is losing more ground on the leading two riders.
  182. 15:32:58 BST

    The gap continues to go out, it's at 3:55.
  183. 15:34:38 BST

    Vande Velde takes us around another hairpin.
  184. 15:35:08 BST

    Rodriguez is calm. So calm his mouth isn't even open.
  185. 15:35:44 BST

    And Zaugg has been caught by the maglia rosa group.
  186. 15:36:15 BST

    Gadret is also there.
  187. 15:36:38 BST

    Cunego is spinning a small gear and he's coming back to the leading pair.
  188. 13km remaining from 218km

    15:37:46 BST

    3:46 is the gap. Vande Velde still on the front and dragging the Giro win closer and closer. There's still so much work to do though.
  189. 15:38:03 BST

    And Cunego makes contact.
  190. 15:39:02 BST

    And the Italian goes right by them leaving De Gendt to close the gap.
  191. 12km remaining from 218km

    15:39:34 BST

    And De gendt has put in a huge attack and drops Nieve and Cunego.
  192. 15:39:52 BST

    And Cunego drops Nieve.
  193. 15:41:46 BST

    De Gendt with his jersey unzipped and shoulders rocking is turning the entire Giro upside down.

  194. 11km remaining from 218km

    15:42:17 BST

    Just 11km to go, the gap at 3:52.

  195. 15:43:42 BST

    De Gendt has 14 seconds over Cunego, a few more over Nieve.

  196. 15:44:38 BST

    The Vacansoliel rider is less than two minutes off the race lead.

  197. 15:45:42 BST

    He's 4:16 up and sits 3rd overall if the race was to stop right now.

  198. 15:46:15 BST

    It's 4:23 but Scarponi has to do something, Basso too, if they want to even finish on the podium.

  199. 15:47:34 BST

    The gap is 4:31.

  200. 10km remaining from 218km

    15:49:12 BST

    Less than 10km to go and if the gap continues to go out like this De Gendt will win the Giro.

  201. 15:49:40 BST

    None of the favourites have reacted yet, perhaps they simply cant...

  202. 15:50:22 BST

    Hesjedal is trying to get more riders to help with the chase

  203. 15:51:05 BST

    Basso has moved up but that's not really done much to help the Canadian's situation.

  204. 15:52:04 BST

    Amador has been caught by the maglia rosa group.

  205. 15:53:18 BST

    The gap is 5:05. He's less than 40 seconds from the race lead.

  206. 8km remaining from 218km

    15:53:56 BST

    8km to go. Hesjedal has to take this by the scruff of the neck.

  207. 15:54:35 BST

    Vande Velde isn't slowing, the Vacansoleil rider is just getting quicker and quicker.

  208. 15:54:51 BST

    The gap is 4:51.

  209. 15:57:44 BST

    The gap is 5:21.

  210. 15:59:02 BST

    And Gadret has attacked.

  211. 15:59:22 BST

    Panic or a thought out tactic?

  212. 15:59:45 BST

    A Sky rider closes the gap.

  213. 16:00:02 BST

    And Vande Velde pulls over and Sky lead the bunch

  214. 16:00:48 BST

    With Henao and then Uran on his wheel, then Hesjedal and the rest of the favourites.

  215. 16:01:07 BST

    The gap is 5:26 with 6km to go.

  216. 16:01:09 BST

    The gap is 5:26 with 6km to go.

  217. 16:01:47 BST

    Sky should have done this a lot earlier, not for Hesjedal but for their own GC places. The gap is 5:23.

  218. 16:03:10 BST

    Henao is setting a good tempo and he has the maglia rosa group strung out. He's shaved a few seconds of the lead, which now stands at 5:15.

  219. 5km remaining from 218km

    16:03:55 BST

    Uran is drifting back

  220. 16:04:26 BST

    And it looks like Gadret attacks and Hesjedal goes with him.

  221. 16:04:48 BST

    The Canadian needs to move to the front and set the pace himself now.

  222. 4km remaining from 218km

    16:05:13 BST

    And Gadret goes again and it looks like he's clear.

  223. 16:05:46 BST

    The gap to De Gendt is at 5:11.

  224. 16:06:43 BST

    And they've slowed in the maglia rosa group and Hesjedal moves up, finally.

  225. 16:07:03 BST

    He wont get help but that doesnt matter too much at this point.

  226. 3.8km remaining from 218km

    16:07:58 BST

    He's calling for help still. It's not going to come though.

  227. 16:08:30 BST

    They're starting to bring back Gadret.

  228. 16:09:10 BST

    The gap is 5:16.

  229. 3km remaining from 218km

    16:10:09 BST

    3km to go and De Gendt is suffering but the men behind are not taking advantage.

  230. 16:12:10 BST

    Hesjedal is losing his current second place to De Gendt at the moment.

  231. 16:12:29 BST

    The gap is at 5:11

  232. 2.2km remaining from 218km

    16:12:43 BST

    2.2km to go.

  233. 16:13:14 BST

    The Canadian increases the pace and takes back a handful of seconds. Basso almost gets dropped.

  234. 16:13:38 BST

    And Pozzovivo has blown. And Bass too and Uran.

  235. 16:14:09 BST

    Hesjedal has put down the hammer and has Scarponi, Rodriguez and Henao with him. The gap is 5:00

  236. 16:14:40 BST

    Hesjedal leads them around another corner with just 1.6km to go.

  237. 16:14:51 BST

    Basso has totally blown.

  238. 16:15:29 BST

    Henao is now waiting for Uran.

  239. 16:15:43 BST

    Hesjedal has the gap at 4:50

  240. 16:16:14 BST

    Either way De Gendt is going to take the stage win, an incredible stage win.

  241. 16:16:34 BST

    The gap is 4:48

  242. 16:16:51 BST

    As Scarponi attacks and Hesjedal cant respond

  243. 1km remaining from 218km

    16:17:11 BST

    1km to go for De Gendt

  244. 16:17:29 BST

    Rodriguez just sticks to Hesjedal's wheel.

  245. 16:18:09 BST

    Scarponi looks back, it looks like he'll gain some time.

  246. 16:18:26 BST

    As De Gendt parts the crowd on the top of the climb.

  247. 16:18:46 BST

    He's rocking but he's only got a few hundred meters to go.

  248. 16:19:02 BST

    Scarponi does look strong as he continues the chase.

  249. 16:20:50 BST

    And De Gendt takes the biggest win of his career. What a win, and what a stage.

  250. 16:20:59 BST

    Now start the clock.

  251. 16:21:36 BST

    Here comes Cunego with 1km to go.

  252. 16:22:16 BST

    Cunego takes second, 55 seconds down. And Nieve comes over the line in third.

  253. 16:22:33 BST

    And Scarponi has just 500 meters to go and Hesjedal is still with Rodriguez.

  254. 16:22:44 BST

    The clock is already at 1:40.

  255. 16:23:08 BST

    And Rodriguez has attacked Hesjedal and gone clear.

  256. 16:23:27 BST

    But Rodriguez overtakes Scarponi with less than 200 to go.

  257. 16:24:21 BST

    Over the line in for the maglia rosa, 3:22 back.

  258. 16:24:41 BST

    Scarponi comes over 3:33 and Hesjedal 3 seconds later. Then Gadret.

  259. 16:25:19 BST

    Henao is leading Basso and Uran to the line but they'll finish nearly 5 minutes down.

  260. 16:26:03 BST

    4:56 for Basso.

  261. 16:26:53 BST

    Pozzovivo and then Dupont finish.

  262. 16:28:18 BST

    That was without a doubt one of the most exciting and open stage we've seen in recent year's, in any grand tour. Tour, Veulta, take note.

  263. 16:33:27 BST

    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 6:54:41
    2 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:00:56
    3 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:02:50
    4 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 0:03:22
    5 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:03:34
    6 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 0:03:36
    7 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:29
    8 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:04:53

  264. 16:36:52 BST

    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 91:04:16
    2 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:31
    3 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:01:51
    4 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:02:18
    5 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:03:18
    6 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:03:43
    7 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:04:52
    8 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:05:47

  265. 16:39:19 BST

    Thanks for joining us today for another Giro stage. You can find our report, results and photos, right here. We'll see you tomorrow.

Back to top