Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
Will we see single-ring systems on road or tri bikes soon?
Joint project with AX-Lightness, made in Germany
In pursuit of the ultimate mountain bike
Latest carbon-lugged bike from Italian manufacturer
Stage 7 of the Giro d'Italia, 202km from Recanati to Rocca di Cambio.
Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 7 of the Giro d'Italia, a testing 202km through the Marche and into Abruzzo, from Recanati to Rocca di Cambio.
As we pick up the action just over 50km into the stage, there is a four-man group up the road with a lead of almost nine minutes over the peloton. Matteo Rabottini (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia), Mirko Selvaggi (Vacansoleil-DCM), Fumiyuku Beppu (Orica-GreenEdge) and Reto Hollenstein (Team NetApp) went clear as soon as the flag dropped and the peloton gladly left them to it.
Within 5 kilometres, the quartet already had 2:30 on the bunch, and 10 kilometres later, that lead had stretched out to over seven minutes.
Since cresting the summit of the uncategorised climb near the monastery at Abbadia di Fiastra (27.5km), the break's lead has stabilised at around the nine-minute mark.
The start this morning was from the evocative town of Recanati, birthplace of the poet Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837). Leopardi's lines have passed into the collective consciousness in Italy and it's a safe bet that the reports in tomorrow's Gazzetta dello Sport will allude to his work. Among his most famous poems is La sera del dì di festa, where he describes his melancholy as the local festival day draws to a close. A scene not unlike the feeling in Recanati today, perhaps, as the Giro carnival moves away southwards.
The pace in the peloton has begun to pick up ever so slightly over the past ten kilometres, and the gap between the break and the peloton is down to 8:20.
Reto Hollenstein (NetApp) is the best-placed rider overall in this break (52nd at 1:21), and of course he is currently the virtual maglia rosa. You can read his blog on his experiences during the Giro's opening days in Denmark here.
The maglia rosa is currently on the shoulders of Adriano Malori and his Lampre-ISD team are keeping an eye on proceedings at the front end of the peloton. A very strong rouleur, Malori was world time trial champion as an espoir in 2008 and is currently the Italian champion in the discipline, but he'll be doing well to hold on to the pink jersey this evening.
There are only two categorised climbs on the agenda today, although there is scarcely a metre of flat on the route. First up is the Colle Galluccio after 101km. 5.6km in length with an average gradient of 5.4%, it's by no means the toughest of climbs, but it must be remembered that like yesterday, the road goes up and down throughout the stage.
The stage ends with the climb to Rocca di Cambio (19.1km at 3.9%), the first summit finish of this Giro, 1392m above sea level. It's a long, shallow ascent, and one would anticipate that the selection will come from the back. Like the stage to Montevergine twelve months ago, it doesn't seem as though the final climb will be tough enough to cause significant gaps among the overall contenders but its low average gradient is in part due to two downhill sections near the top. There are a couple of steeper ramps between 7 and 5km from the line that may cause some ripples.
Lampre-ISD are continuing to patrol the front end of the peloton, and the gap to our leaders remains at 8:20. Michele Scarponi should be well familiar with the roads in the opening part of this stage, as he hails from nearby Filottrano. There was plenty of raucous support for the Marche native at the start in Recanti this morning, and today's summit finish will provide an early indication of Scarponi's form. He interspersed inspiration with insipidness in April, and has had a low-key start to this Giro, but he generally sparkles into life once the road begins to climb.
The break are now in the environs of the Monti Sibillini, which straddle the borders of the Marche and Umbria, the "green heart" of Italy. According to the myth, the mountains housed the infernal cave of the Sibilla Appenninica, the local sibyl or prophetess.
As the riders gain in altitude, the temperature drops slightly. It was 28º at the start, but it is a rather more pleasant 23º at this point.
The high temperatures and rolling roads caused their share of problems yesterday, as the race broke to pieces on the winding road to Porto Sant'Elpidio. Bernhard Eisel, Mark Cavendish and Taylor Phinney were among the riders who just about made it inside the time limit at the end of a deceptively difficult day. Alasdair Fotheringham's interview with Eisel this morning gives a fascinating insight into just how difficult stage 6 was. There is no such thing as an easy day at the Giro d'Italia.
Of course, it wouldn't be the Giro if there weren't murmurs of discontent about how Mark Cavendish avoided elimination. As ever, Tuttobici wasn't going to shy away from the potential for polemica. In a piece with the delightfully restrained title of "Cavendish, the helicopter and those 15 kilometres of scandal", Pier Augusto Stagi claims the Cavendish group covered the final 15km in just 16 minutes.
Gianni Meersman (Lotto Belisol) climbs off and abandons the Giro d'Italia. The Belgian came to this race with high hopes, but unfortunately he never managed to make an impact.
Yesterday's stage saw some high-profile abandons, including crash victims Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda), Pablo Lastras (Movistar) and Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DCM). Thor Hushovd (BMC) was another man to pull out on the road to Porto Sant'Elpidio, as the Norwegian suffered from the effects of the heat.
Hollenstein, Selvaggio, Rabottini and Beppu are approaching the foot of the Colle Galluccio, and their lead over the peloton is back up to healthy 8:55 according to the last check.
After a surprisingly strong showing by his Katusha team, Joaquim Rodriguez's credentials as a possible Giro winner have been quickly highlighted by all and sundry. The punchy Catalan might be tempted to land another blow on the race's first summit finish this afternoon, but he noted that his teammate Dani Moreno could also go on the offensive. "At the Vuelta last year at Sierra Nevada, on a stage just like today, everybody was watching me and Dani won," Rodriguez said at the start.
The break is on the lower slopes of the Galluccio, while behind, it is the Lampre-ISD squad of Scarponi, Malori and Damiano Cunego which continues to set the pace.
Overall, Malori has 15 seconds in hand on Michal Golas (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and 17 on Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda). Yesterday's stage winner Miguel Angel Rubiano (Androni-Venezuela) lies 4th at 30 seconds, while Christian Vande Velde, Peter Stetina (Garmin-Barracuda), Rodriguez, Moreno and Enrico Gasparotto (Astana) are all within 40 seconds of Malori's maglia rosa.
In short, depending on how the bunch approaches the final climb, Malori might have his work cut out to hang on that pink jersey tonight, especially with time bonuses on offer at the summit of Rocca di Cambio.
Although it's the first summit finish of this Giro, there is a 20-second time bonus on offer to the winner at Rocca di Cambio, at least according to therulebook
. Stages 14, 15, 17, 19 and 20 are the only stages where there are no bonuses on offer at the finish.
Daniele Righi leads the peloton on the Colle Galluccio for Lampre-ISD with Matteo Bono on his wheel.
The four escapees are still together on the climb and tapping out a steady rhythm, although their advantage has dropped to a shade over 7 minutes.
Lampre-ISD are still setting tempo in the bunch, but it's interesting to note a phalanx of Liquigas-Cannondale jerseys lining up behind them. Ivan Basso's teammates have been strikingly prominent in this opening week of the Giro, taking responsibility for pace-setting at a number of key junctures, not least on yesterday's treacherous day to Porto Sant'Elpidio.
Reto Hollenstein was a generous member of the break on stage 2, and the Swiss rider is dutifully leading his companions towards the summit of the Colle Galluccio.
Beppu takes the sprint at the top of the 3rd category Colle Galluccio ahead of Rabottini and Hollenstein.
Meanwhile the peloton is two kilometres from the summit, and is still being led by Lampre-ISD.
Hollenstein leads the break down the descent, which is made up of a series of sweeping bends.
It's been a lumpy day so far, and the average speed for the first 100km of racing is 32kph.
Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) is tucked in near the front end of the peloton. The Luxembourger was a late call-up to this Giro, but with the toughest stages all to come in the final week, he has hopes of riding into form as the race progresses.
Schleck does not believe the final to Rocca di Cambio will prove decisive: "It's going to be the first test in the climbs. It’s a long climb but I don’t think there are going to be any decisions," Schleck told Gazzetta dello Sport. "As for yesterday, well if it was terrible on paper, then I can tell you that out there it was even worse. It was a very hard day, it was a tough day."
The Lampre-led peloton crests the summit of the Colle Galluccio 7:49 down on the four escapees.
With the pink jersey in their ranks and with Damiano Cunego tipped by many as the stage winner this afternoon, it's no surprise that Lampre-ISD are doing all the work for now, but it will be interesting to see if anybody helps with the pace-setting over the final 90 kilometres or so.
There was some disagreement in the peloton yesterday over whose responsibility it was to chase, and in the event, the break stayed clear. Liquigas-Cannondale worked on the front to protect Ivan Basso's interests in the GC, and Farnese Vini-Selle Italia lent a hand with Filippo Pozzato in mind, but at the finish Pozzato was clearly frustrated that no other teams had contributed to the pursuit.
Matteo Rabottini drops back to the team car for a quick conference with his manager Luca Scinto. It seems as though every break in the Giro is contractually obliged to include at least one of Scinto's fluorescent yellow-clad riders. Their gap is currently at 7:45.
Adriano Malori is still looking comfortable in the main peloton as the race makes a brief transit through the fringes of the Lazio region. There are no more categorised ascents until the finish at Rocca di Cambio, but the road is very gradually beginning to climb towards Piano Palasone.
Ivan Basso has spent the first week of this Giro near the front end of the peloton, and the man for Varese is again keeping a watchful eye on proceedings today.
Rabottini has his jersey opened as he tackles this rather false flat with his breakaway companions. The quartet are still collaborating well. Hollenstein seems to be the man most eager to push on the pace, but Beppu is certainly pedalling very smoothly.
Today is the Giro's fourth visit to Rocca di Cambio. The Abruzzo climb enjoyed a brief purple patch of popularity in the 1960s, as it featured three times in four years. In 1966, Luciano Galbo won atop the climb, Belgium's Ernest Thyssen triumphed in 1966, while Luis Pedro Santamarina was victorious in 1968, the year of Eddy Merckx's first Giro win.
World champion Mark Cavendish (Sky) suffered on the rolling roads of the Marche yesterday, but the pace has been more to his liking thus far today. The Manxman is currently assuming some domestique duties back at the team car and is diligently tucking bidons into his rainbow jersey.
Michele Scarponi wolfs down a banana in the main peloton, while Cunego and Malori ride up alongside him. After yesterday's war of attrition, there has been an understandable reticence to take up arms too early today. The gap remains pegged at around the eight-minute mark.
Roman Kreuziger is ensconced in a group of Astana riders near the front, but so far there is no sign of any urgency in the peloton.
Pavel Brutt (Katusha) is now lending a hand to the Lampre-ISD pursuit. With Joaquim Rodriguez and Dani Navarro in their line-up, it's no surprise to see Katusha active at the front of the peloton.
The break are still on the uncategorised climb towards Piano Palasone, and Brutt's efforts behind are making a significant impact on their lead. The gap from the break to the peloton is now 6:40.
The pace in the peloton has lifted since Brutt went to the front, and things are becoming a little more stretched.
In the break, Beppu takes some water from a spectator at the roadside. The temperatures aren't quite as warm as yesterday, but it's been a long day out in front for the escapees.
Daniele Righi and Matteo Bono are back tapping out the tempo at the head of the peloton, and the gap to the break now stands at 6:12.
Selvaggi, Beppu, Rabottini and Hollenstein are over the top of Piano Palasone and are now passing through Montereale. They have a long, gradual descent ahead of them before the final climb to Rocca di Cambio.
Katusha and Lampre-ISD's pace-setting has brought the gap down to within 6 minutes with a shade under 60km still to race.
Hollenstein is once again the man forcing the pace in the four-man break as they descent towards Marana.
After four and a half hours of racing, the average speed is 34.421kph.
5:50 the gap with 50km to go. The break are barrelling down this shallow descent, which will ultimately bring them to L'Aquila. After a brief kick up through the hilltop capital of the Abruzzo region, the riders face another quick descent before the 19km haul to the finish at Rocca di Cambio.
The peloton is snaked out into one long line now under the impetus of Pavel Brutt's work on the front.
The maglia rosa of Adriano Malori is visible near the head of the field, which is now being led by Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Katusha) and Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Barracuda).
The four escapees are putting up decent resistance here. In spite of the chase behind, their lead remains at 5:20.
Garmin-Barracuda have now opted to put their weight behind the pursuit of the day's break, with Ryder Hesjedal or Christian Vande Velde poised to move into pink should Malori and Golas falter.
The combined strength of Katusha, Garmin-Barracuda and Lampre-ISD should start to make greater inroads into the break's lead. The gap now stands at 5:05.
Ramunas Navardauskas was divested of his maglia rosa yesterday, but he's back in his familiar role drilling on the front of the peloton in the finale this afternoon. The gap is now down to 4:31.
We're around 13km from the foot of the final climb to Rocca di Cambio, and the gap between the break and the bunch is dropping quickly.
Beppu comes to the front of the break once again and injects some pace but they know that the peloton has cranked into action behind.
With 30km to go, the break's advantage is down to 3:40.
The break reaches L'Aquila, but unfortunately the race is unable to climb all the way to the historical centre of the town. L'Aquila is still feeling the effects of the tragic earthquake which struck on April 6, 2009 and killed 308 residents.
Rabottini presses clear at the intermediate sprint at L'Aquila, but Selvaggi and Beppu are following. Meanwhile, the peloton continues to close the gap.
Hollenstein had been left behind, but the Swiss rider has managed to chase back on to his three companions. The pace is ratcheting upwards in the peloton, however, and the gap is dropping rapidly on the run-in to the final climb.
Rabottini, Beppu, Selvaggi and Hollenstein's cohesion has utterly dissolved since they came through L'Aquila. The escapees are taking it in turns to attack one another now.
Rabottini launches another dig to try and rid himself of his comapanions. For now, the bunch seems happy to keep the leaders pegged at around two minutes.
Garmin-Barracuda are in sole command of the peloton now, with Navardauskas and Robbie Hunter leading the line.
The pace is very, very high in the peloton now, as Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas-Cannondale) takes up the reins in support of Ivan Basso. All of the overall contenders are jockeying position behind, as we're just a couple of kilometres from the foot of the final climb.
Giovanni Visconti's Movistar squad are also active in the peloton. Up front, Rabottini begins the long climb to the finish with 1:40 in hand over the bunch.
Navardauskas sits up and is off the back of the peloton now, swigging from a can of Coke. His work for the day is done as the climb begins.
Stef Clement (Rabobank) is the frist man to attack from the peloton as the road begins to go upwards. He is almost across to the remnants of the break, grinding in the big ring.
Stefano Locatelli and Stefano Pirazzi (Colnago-CSF) go across to Clement, and interestingly, it's Roman Kreuziger (Astana) who goes with them, followed by Damiano Caruso (Liquigas-Cannondale).
Clement, Kreuziger, Pirazzi et al are brought back by the main peloton.
After the briefest of lulls in pace, Stefano Pirazzi has another go off the front and opens a small gap on the bunch.
Such is the pace that a number of riders have been jettisoned out the back of the bunch, including Matt Goss, Mark Cavendish and Filippo Pozzato. Adriano Malor's pink jersey is also falling back towards the rear of the bunch.
Pirazzi makes it across to Selvaggi, Beppu and Hollenstein and quickly moves past them. Selvaggi tries to follow, but it's a lost cause.
Pirazzi is 25 seconds down on Rabottini and closing fast, while the bunch at 43 seconds.
Valerio Agnoli (Liquigas-Cannondale) shoots off the front of the bunch, while almost simultaneously, the pink jersey Adriano Malori has been dropped. We will have a new overall leader this evening.
A wave to the cameras from Malori as he drops back, but the real action is at the front end of the peloton. Agnoli has been joined by Daniele Pietropolli (Lampre-ISD) and Jose Herrada (Movistar).
Herrada duly blows past Agnoli and heads off in lone pursuit of Pirazzi and Rabottini.
Pirazzi makes the juncture with Rabottini. The Colnago rider accelerates immediately, but Rabottini digs in and is managing to hang on in there for now.
Herrada is gradually dragging himself across to Pirazzi and Rabottini. He can just make out the fluorescent yellow of Rabottini's kit around the corner ahead of him.
The front end of the peloton is continuing to fragment and reform, but as yet, none of the overall contenders has done anything other than observe.
Crafty riding from Pirazzi. He waits until Herrada comes across and then launches a big acceleration, but both Rabottini and Herrada have managed to hang on. Three riders now in our leading group.
Emanuele Sella launches a big acceleration from the main peloton, and he is quickly followed by Damiano Cunego. Liquigas-Cannondale are prompt to respond to the danger, sending Eros Capecchi to the front to shut down the move.
Once Sella and Cunego are caught, Jose Rujano (Androni-Venezuela) goes on the attack. He can't get clear, but his forcing has brought back Agnoli, Pietropolli and Ivan Santaromita (BMC), who had gone across to them.
After putting up a ferocious battle to stay in contact, the plucky Rabottini has finally been dropped. Pirazzi leads, with Herrada content to sit on his wheel for now. The peloton chases at 28 seconds.
Rabottini sits up and is caught by the peloton. Androni-Venezuela have been hugely aggressive on the climb, with Jose Ochoa the next man to force the issue for Gianni Savio's squad.
Michele Scarponi looks comfortable in the wheels in the main peloton, while Ivan Basso sits on the wheel of his faithful lieutenant Sylvester Szmyd.
Angel Vicioso sets the pace at the head of the bunch for Katusha. All the while, Ryder Hesjedal is currently in the virtual overall lead.
Pirazzi is doing all the work in the break, while Herrada sits on his wheel. The pair have 31 seconds in hand on the bunch.
All of the overall contenders are still present and correct in the chasing peloton, which seems to contain around 60 riders or so.
Both Ivan Basso and Roman Kreuziger have plenty of bodies around them from their Liquigas and Astana teams near the head of the peloton.
Kreuziger is pedalling with noticeable fluidity alongside his teammate Paolo Tiralongo.
Androni-Venezuela can sense a stage victory for Rujano or perhaps the pink jersey for Rubiano today. They are again forcing the issue on the front, with Carlos Jose Ochoa putting in a monstruous turn.
Jose Herrada is now beginning to collaborate with Pirazzi at the head of the race and the duo still have 29 seconds in hand over the chasers.
The gradient briefly ratchets up to 9% before the road flattens out ahead of a brief false descent.
Pirazzi attacks Herrada and opens a small gap, but Herrada grits his teeth and closes the gap.
Back in the chasing peloton, it's Astana who are setting the pace, and the gap to the two escapees is beginning to come down slightly. Their advantage is now 25 seconds.
As the road flattens out through some sweeping bends, Astana's pace-setting is slicing the break's lead to 16 seconds.
Pirazzi tries to rid himself of Herrada once again, but the Spaniard cannot be dislodged.
Serge Pauwels leads the peloton now in support of Dario Cataldo. As the break begins the short descent, their lead is a scant nine seconds.
The gap is only 6 seconds, but still Pirazzi and Herrada aren't giving in.
Pirazzi overshoots a sharp right hander, and Herrad moves clear alone.
As the road kicks up, Dario Cataldo attacks and comes across to Pirazzi.
Herrada has a 100-metre lead inside the final kilometre.
Niemic leads the chase behind, and a group of 12 has moved clear in the finale.
Herrada is caught with 600 metres to go.
Scarponi accelerates with 400 metres to go, and brings Paolo Tiralongo with him.
The two Italians do battle through the final kick to the line. Scarponi leads all the way...
But Tiralongo comes past him on the final 100 metres to take the stage win, the second of his career.
Frank Schleck comes across in third place. Rodriguez was up there too, and Ryder Hesjedal, who looks to have done enough to move into pink this evening.
An exhausted Paolo Tiralongo lies flat on the ground after crossing the line, but now he's back on his feet walking towards the podium. Meanwhile, Michele Scarponi is explaining how it all happened to Italian television.
Ryder Hesjedal is the new maglia rosa of the Giro d'Italia after crossing the line in 5th place, just behind Joaquim Rodriguez.
When Scarponi ripped clear with 400 metres to go, he must have thought he had done enough to get the win, but try as he might he never succeeded in shaking off Tiralongo, and the Sicilian came around him inside the final 100 metres to take the win.
Overall, Hesjedal is 15 seconds clear of Tiralongo, while Rodriguez is in third at 17 seconds.
1 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 5:51:03
2 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD
3 Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:03
4 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team
5 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:05
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:00:09
7 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team
8 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
Some small gaps opened in those final 500 metres, but most of the overall contenders seemed to be there or thereabouts. Frank Schleck will probably have surprised even himself with his 3rd place finish. Ivan Basso is never the most explosive of riders, but he has lost 21 seconds to Scarponi today thanks to the time bonus. Roman Kreuziger and Damiano Cunego both coughed up a couple of seconds to Basso, and more to Rodriguez and Scarponi.
Thanks for joining us for today's live coverage of the Giro d'Italia. We'll back for more on the road to Lago Laceno tomorrow, but in the meantime stay tuned to Cyclingnews for a full report, results and pictures of today's stage as well as all the news from Rocca di Cambio.
1 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 26:16:53
2 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:15
3 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 0:00:17
4 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:21
5 Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:26
6 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team
7 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana Pro Team 0:00:35
8 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:40
9 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:45
10 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:00:46