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Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage from stage 5 of the Giro d'Italia.
An odyssey through flat, fertile Emilia-Romagna, synonymous with the co-operative movement, socialism and… cycling. Giro legends like Ercole Baldini (Forlí), Vittorio Adorni (Parma) and Arnaldo Pambianco (Bertinoro) all hail from these parts, as did Cesenatico’s Marco Pantani, Italian cycling’s greatest martyr. Expect big crowds, and a boatload of bandanas.
You can read our complete preview of today's right here.
To bring you right up to date on the action we have four men up the road. No threats on GC, so Garmin can continue to tap out a steady pace for now. Alessandro de Marchi (Androni), Pier Paolo de Negri (Farnese Vini), Olivier Kaisen and Brian Bulgac (Lotto-Belisol) . We've 155 km to race and the gap is 5:40
Ramunas Navardauskas of course leads the race after his and Garmin-Barracuda's performance in yesterday's TTT.
Here's a picture from yesterday's podium. You can read yesterday's race report, right here.
With just a 4th cat climb on the approach to the finish we shouldnt see much alteration in the overall classification. Garmin will be put under pressure over the weekend though, with two tough stages.
After four days of racing, and long uber long transfer, here's where we stand on GC:
1 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin - Barracuda 10:01:53
2 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:10
3 Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin - Barracuda
4 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:11
5 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:13
6 Manuele Boaro (Ita) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:19
7 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:21
8 Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:25
9 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:26
10 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 0:00:30
Katusha's Rodriguez will be the happiest GC contender. After over 40km of time trialing he's ahead of almost all his major rivals. Is he the favourite now, considering the start Scarponi has had? Let me know on twitter at twitter.com/dnlbenson
Perhaps that's selling Hesjedal short. He's cracked the Tour de France top ten (2010) and comes out of Denmark and the TTT in a good position. He sits above Rodriguez in GC.
The Giro has had stage starts/finishes in Modena on several occasions, the last being in 2008 when the bunch started in Modena and raced to Cittadella. That day Mark Cavendish won the stage.
Greipel led Cavendish out that day. Today it's the turn of the Manxman's Sky teammates to do the honours.
With two hard days to follow, we can surely expect today to come down to a sprinters' stage. Cavendish, Goss, Renshaw, Boss, perhaps even Ferrari will fancy their chances.
Meanwhile the gap to the break is now over 5 minutes.
“They said it’s a really balanced Giro, and I think they’re right. On the surface this looks like a sprint, but there’s a climb, La Siligata, close to the finish. It’s made for attacks, and so the sprinter’s teams will need to be vigilant. If they don’t we could see a surprise here. Last time the race came to Fano was 1983. It ended in a sprint, and on balance I expect the same this year.”
Nice and early into the stage so a couple of plugs to mention. Firstly, We've teamed up with the folk at IG Markets and will be bringing you stats and rankings from them. You can read all about it here.
Secondly Cyclingnews HD is out, the second edition in fact! You can take a peak, download, implant it into the micro chip that you have in your skull - whatever modern folk do with apps and ipads. Here's the link to follow.
Do check it out. It really is rather good.
So the Giro Giro starts today
@nyvelocity Thu, 10th May 2012 13:39:27
In terms of weather, it's lovely and sunny, with very little wind. Perfect riding weather.
So the Giro Giro starts today
@nyvelocity Thu, 10th May 2012 13:39:27
100km to race. The break still with a healthy lead. We'll probably see a reaction from the sprinters teams. Garmin just keeping tabs on the front. They've of course got Farrar in the mix for the sprint. He needs a win, more than most perhaps.
The four man break pass through the feedzone, their advantage still over 5 minutes.
Our team at the Giro, Alasdair Fotheringham and Jean Francois Quenet have been in Italy since last Thursday. They've been sending in some great videos, which you can watch here.
Scarponi has a gaggle of Lampre riders around him as the bunch go through the feedzone.
The gap is now up to 5;56.
We've been racing for just over two and half hours.
De Marchi, with his hands over the bars Spinachi style, leads the break.
6:06 the gap with just under 95km to go.
Back in the bunch Cunego riders at the back of the Lampre train. He's an interesting prospect in the race. He looked in fairly good shape at Trentino and Scarponi has been floundering this season. I know Cunego has talked about the Tour but you know never know....
Garmin are leading the bunch at the moment, we'll see the maglia rosa take a few turns too, keeping the jersey shouldn't be too much of a problem today and Navardauskas will be needed to help Farrar.
The gap is under 6 minutes now.
@dnlbenson what do you think of chances of teams forcing the pace up the climb to drop Farrar and force Garmin to choose stage win on Pink?
@Weir85 Thu, 10th May 2012 14:08:04
Farrar is just as good as most of the other sprinters in the race when it comes to climbing. In fact he's probably better than most. The climb isn't significant enough and if there is a chance of Farrar getting dropped I think they'll focus on pink rather than risking everything just to drag the American back.
85km to go . The gap has dropped by around 30/40 seconds in the last 10km.
75 to go and the bunch is waiting to react and start to really peg the group back. Garmin have started to increase the pace slightly but it's not urgent.
Alexsandr Dyachenko is coming back from the team car, his Astana jersey stuffed with bidons for his teammates.
No reaction from Sky yet, who will want to feature in the chase, lead out. They're content to let Garmin do most of the work. The American team just have a couple of men on the front, Movistar, and Lampre are near the front as well.
Odd, no one has abandoned the Giro yet, I guess the torches and pitchforks didn't have any effect on Ferrari.
@nyvelocity Thu, 10th May 2012 14:41:58
5:30 for our four leaders. One man from Androni. I think there's an incredible stat from last year about an Androni rider finishing in the top ten in every stage.
The lead is still holding at around 5:30. In the bunch Cavendish and Pozatto are catching up and having a laugh.
Just one Garmin rider at the front now. Meanwhile Liquigas move their team closer to the front. They'll want to keep Basso near the front and out of trouble. The race become undulating soon and there will be ample opportunity for riders to attack. It will be difficult to stay away though. It's the sprinters' stage to lose.
Under five minutes for our four leaders who continue to work together.
Under 50km to go. The riders heading close to the most testing sections of today's race and at present the sprinters teams have kept a fairly low profile. Garmin have kept the break in check but they've not done much chasing either, it has to be said.
3:47 to the leads.
After the crash on stage 3 Roberto Ferrari promised to apologise to Mark Cavendish and the other fallers. Word is, such an apology hasn't happened.
An apology is fair but I think that should conclude the matter. Lots of riders make mistakes but it's hard to say the Italian caused the crash on purpose. What is frustrating for both fans and riders (they're the ones that hit the deck after all) is the lack of consistency applied for such matters.
Tired legs and tougher terrain, and the gap is down to 2:02. The bunch and hopefully you at home , have woken up.
There's a crash in the bunch. It looks like one of the Haedo's are down.
Phinney has also come down as well. He's back on his bike and chasing but he's having a lot of bad luck.
That crash was caused by Haedo looking around, the bunch slowed and he went into the back of another rider.
The leaders are on the climb now.
You know what, it's a lot harder than I thought, in terms of pitch, the gap is 1:03.
Kaisen has been dropped just before de Negri takes the mountain points.
For the first time today, GreenEdge move up, Farnese there as well.
It's a tricky and twisting descent now for the leaders.
Colnago drive the bunch over the top of the climb and there's another crash. Two more BMC riders, Frank one of them.
De Marchi has gone alone on the descent. That's a brave move, there's still a long way to go but he's timed his move perfectly in terms of ditching his breakaway companions.
Liquigas and Sky setting the pace at the head of the bunch but they've eased off slightly.
Phinney is chasing back, but he's alone, so it's going to be hard for him to get back to the bunch.
Up ahead and De Marchi reaches a small unclassified climb. Lots of fans on the sides of the road ,cheering him on. He has 1.12 from the Liguigas led peloton.
And Farrar is struggling off the back. Hushovd and Hunt too.
Liquigas are putting a lot of riders into the red zone, as Phinney soldiers on alone.
Phinney almost taken out by a RadioShack team car.
Bos has also been dropped. This stage has Matthew Goss written all over it now.
De Marchi is doing very well though, and he still has over a minute on the field.
The remaining breakaway riders have been caught, so the Androni rider is the only man left out there.
De Marchi started the stage over 4 minutes down on GC so he's no threat to the likes of Basso and Scarponi. No sign of our race leader but we've not seen him dropped yet. A number of sprinters have already popped, Hushovd, Farrar and Boss, included.
Sky have a number of men near the front so assume that Cavendish is there too. Pozzato is there too, and with a number of sprinters dropped, he may fancy his chances.
The gap down to 39 seconds.
If Farrar has been dropped, then Robbie Hunter may get a pass to ride for himself.
21 seconds for De Marchi, with 21 kilometres to go.
JJ Haedo dropped as well, so that's another sprinter out of the reckoning for today's stage.
Ferrari and Farrar are at the back, they're just about hanging on.
Guardini is another sprinter off the back.
Nice to see Phinney's BMC teammates standing in for him in that last crash.
@Laura_Weislo Thu, 10th May 2012 15:29:43
Astana move up, sharing the workload with Liquigas. The Farrar/Hushovd group are picking up a few more riders, with Jack Bauer setting the pace in the dropped group.
The bunch are on a winding, long descent, and De Marchi has been brought back.
Bauer is up against it because he's compete against the entire might of Astana and Liquigas.
There's a slight easing in the pace and an attack. Sabatini taking a flyer, he's quickly brought back and GreenEdge settle on the front of the bunch. 11km to go.
This could be a straight up fight between Cavendish and Goss.
Cavendish has Hunter on his wheel.
Hushovd throws in the towel and gives up, but Farrar continues to chase.
10km to go.
It's FDJ who set the pace on the front of the peloton.
And Farrar finally gives up chasing.
The American shakes his head, pats Bauer on the back but he cant be happy with that performance.
Basso is second wheel, trying to keep out of trouble.
The 70-80 strong peloton are riding along the coast, it's flat from here on in. Goss, moves up, he's easy to spot, in the red points jersey as Sky move their contingent to the front. Uran setting the pace. Rabo are here, along with Chicchi for QuickStep.
Rabo perhaps working for Brown as that might be Renshaw who is right at the back of the field. Sky and Cavendish are, there, GreenEdge with Goss, Hunter, Bennati, and Renshaw is actually at the front too.
Lars Bak attacks.
Nope, make that Hansen but either way the Lotto rider is brought back. Sky,GreenEdge and Rabobank all have their trains on the front. 2km to go.
1km to go . Stannard on the front.
GreenEdge move up.
And GreenEdge are in charge
And Cavendish takes it. What a sprint, what a sprint.
Sky got it together, coming through with two men for Cavendish in the final 500 meters, they put him in a perfect position.
Goss tried to come around the Sky rider but it was a losing battle. The Brit had the perfect run in and once he sees the line it's very, very hard to come around him.
Benatti third, then Hunter Modolo Kristoff and Favilli.
Modolo was actually the rider on Cavendish's wheel, with Goss behind the Italian.
The Australian had to come from a lot further back, first around the Italian, and then to try and pass Cavendish.
Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling 4:43:15
2 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
3 Daniele Bennati (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan
4 Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin - Barracuda
5 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox
6 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha Team
7 lia Favilli (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia
8 Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
9 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
10 Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank
Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin - Barracuda 14:45:13
2 Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:05
3 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:11
4 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:00:13
5 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:14
6 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:16
7 Manuele Boaro (Ita) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:19
8 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:26
9 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 0:00:30
10 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha Team
Thanks for joining us and tune in tomorrow for stage 6 of the Giro d'Italia.