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Tirreno-Adriatico 2012

Date range:
March 7-13, 2012

March 12, Stage 6: Offida - Offida 181km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Daniel Benson

Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage from stage 6 of Tirreno-Adriatico.

  1. 12:54:38 GMT

    18km on the menu for today's stage with a hill-top finish in Offida.

  2. 12:56:03 GMT

    So we should witness another exhilarating stage. Currently, Chris Horner (RadioShack Nissan Trek) wears the race leader’s blue jersey. Roman Kreuziger (Astana Pro Team) is five seconds behind overall, with Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) third at 12 seconds.

  3. 12:57:08 GMT

    But before we head to the race, there's news that Gilbert, Goss, Reynes, and Boasson Hagen have all pulled out of the race having failed to start. You can read all about that here.

  4. 12:57:57 GMT

    And we've got a cracking batch of photos from the start this morning.

  5. 12:58:24 GMT

    Stage six covers an opening loop of 84km and then six laps of a 16.2km circuit that includes a climb, descent, flat section and then the tougher Ponte delle Pietre climb. The finish rises gradually all the way to the line. Points for the climber’s competition will be awarded after the fourth lap. The intermediate sprints will be contested after three and five laps (132.5km and 164.8km).

  6. 12:58:36 GMT

    The Ponte delle Pietre climb on each circuit is 2.5km long, with an average gradient of 7.1%. The final three kilometres include a slight downhill section before the gradual climb to the line at 2%. A right turn takes the riders into the final kilometre with a gradual curve left leading to the finish line. The asphalted road is seven metres wide.

  7. 12:59:17 GMT

    And here are the race leaders: General classification: Christopher Horner (RadioShack Nissan Trek) White jersey: Best young rider: Cameron Meyer (GreenEdge Cycling Team) Red jersey: Points classification: Peter Sagan (Liquigas Cannondale) Green jersey: Climber’s classification: Stefano Pirazzi (Colnago – CSF Inox)

  8. 13:09:52 GMT

    And here's how we stand on GC with two stages remaining:

    1 Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan 24:48:39
    2 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana Pro Team 0:00:05
    3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:12
    4 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:45
    5 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:00:47
    6 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:00:48
    7 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 0:01:00
    8 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:10
    9 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:01:17
    10 Cameron Meyer (Aus) GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:01:23

  9. 13:16:44 GMT

    After 3km of racing Mark Cavendish found himself on the attack with 5 other riders: Napolitano, Ascani, Rollin, Langeveld and Niemiec.

    That move was quickly nullified.

    However a move did break clear in the first hour, including

    Betancur, Laverde, Vichot, Amador, Samoilau, Pauwels and Savages.

  10. 114km remaining from 181km

    13:17:37 GMT

    After 67km of racing, the leaders have an advantage of 3:58

  11. 13:19:33 GMT

    We're now hearing that Mark Cavendish is the latest rider to pull out of the race as he looks to prepare his form ahead of Milan-San Remo.

  12. 13:27:49 GMT

    The break in full: Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Acqua & Sapone), Luis Felipe Laverde (Colombia - Coldeportes), Arthur Vichot (FDJ-Big Mat), Andrei Amador (Movistar), Branislau Samoilau (Movistar), Serge Pauwels (Omega-Pharma QuickStep) and Mirko Selvaggi (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team)

  13. 13:37:42 GMT

    • Rainbow Jersey

    The break has a lead of 4:33 on the bunch now. Meanwhile, we can confirm that Cavendish has pulled out of the race.

  14. 13:51:15 GMT

    Offida hosted the 2010 junior world road race championships and the 2011 Under 23 European championships, using the same finishing circuit as today’s stage.

  15. 50km remaining from 181km

    13:56:30 GMT

    50km to go and the gap is down to 3:44. Liquigas and RadioShack are leading the pace, with Cancellara taking big pulls on the front of the bunch.

  16. 13:57:47 GMT

    With the race still up for grabs it doesn't look great for the breakaway.

  17. 13:59:11 GMT

    The break is still working together but more and more teams are moving to the head of the field - Garmin included.

  18. 14:04:15 GMT

    • Pro Team Astana's 2012 Jersey

    Astana also sending their men to the front.


  19. 14:06:28 GMT

    Kreuziger trails Horner by just 5 seconds so the overall is still wide open. And we've got tomorrow's time trial to come. You'd have to say if they start tomorrow with just 5 seconds separating them it will be very hard to call, perhaps Horner just about has the edge against the clock.

  20. 14:11:11 GMT

    The lead is down to 3 minutes.

  21. 38km remaining from 181km

    14:13:28 GMT

    We're into the final 3 laps with 38km remaining.

  22. 14:15:34 GMT

    It's an undulating circuit and the leaders are on the main climb. Pirazzi is well ahead in the KOM competition.

  23. 14:16:51 GMT

    Vichot on the front in the break but I can't see them staying away. Nibali, picking up the win yesterday, may want to try again today.

     

  24. 14:18:21 GMT

    Scarponi, from this region, is also in with a chance of winning today. Unlike a lot of Milan-San Remo favourites he's still in the race.

  25. 14:25:03 GMT

    The break comes across the line with two laps to go. Liquigas is still on the front of the peloton doing most of the work.

    These two laps will be rapid and we should see a selection made on the final climb to the finish.

  26. 14:26:23 GMT

    Interestingly BMC has moved up as well. They've had a poor race, and a poor start to the season so far, so they'll want to pick up a confidence-boosting win ahead of Milan-San Remo.

    The gap is down to 1:53.

  27. 14:35:05 GMT

    A bit more urgency in the break but back in the bunch they're all lining out.

  28. 14:36:23 GMT

    Sagan is near the front. A question of whether he'll try for the stage win today or work for Nibali. Probably the latter.

  29. 14:37:42 GMT

    And BMC place two men right on the front of the bunch. Ballan and Quinziato both there.

  30. 25km remaining from 181km

    14:38:25 GMT

    25kilometres to go and Vichot takes another turn on the front of the break. The gap is down to 1:10

  31. 14:41:35 GMT

    Betancur attacks the break but he's brought back straight away. The gap is down under a minute now, as Pozzato goes backwards in the bunch.

  32. 14:41:59 GMT

    Samoilau has dropped from the break and Scarponi sits fourth in the bunch.

  33. 14:43:36 GMT

    The break is on the main climb of the final loop and they're splitting up. Betancur and Vichot have a small gap as Lampre ramp up the pace at the head of the field.

    Horner near the front, just as he should be.

  34. 14:44:38 GMT

    The gap is 57 seconds, with 19km to go.

  35. 14:46:38 GMT

    Katusha also present at the front, most likely for Rodriguez. Cancellara is on the front for RadioShack.

  36. 14:48:41 GMT

    Into the last lap 16km to go but the gap is down to under a minute.

  37. 14:49:49 GMT

    The gap is 58 seconds as the bunch cross the line for the final time.

  38. 14:51:38 GMT

    The four man break of Amador, Vichot, Pauwels and Betancur are still together, their gap has dropped by 10 seconds though, and it's down to 48 seconds.

  39. 14:52:54 GMT

    It's actually going to be a lot harder to bring this group back. The major 2.5km climb should see them reeled in though.

  40. 14:53:32 GMT

    The gap is down to 34 seconds.

  41. 14:54:02 GMT

    A few riders in the break are skipping turns, they're flagging.

  42. 10km remaining from 181km

    14:57:21 GMT

    Katusha are doing the damage on the front and Paolini takes a corner at full pace and gain a few meters. He eases up and waits for the bunch but with 10k to go the gap is down to 25 seconds.

  43. 14:58:06 GMT

    A long, long flat round now and the bunch will be able to see the leaders up the road. We're down to 23 seconds. Katusha on the front, Liquigas hovering just behind.

  44. 14:59:20 GMT

    8km to go and the gap is 23 seconds so it looks like the four man break will be caught on the climb.

  45. 15:01:32 GMT

    All the leaders in the bunch are fighting for position as Vichot and company all sit up.. Caught inside the final 6km.

  46. 15:02:11 GMT

    Sagan is leading Nibali. Horner on Nibali's wheel.

  47. 15:02:24 GMT

    Watch out for Scarponi though, surely he'll try a move.

  48. 15:03:19 GMT

    Di Luca is on third wheel. Can he win today?

  49. 15:03:39 GMT

    Garzelli is up near the front too.

  50. 15:03:55 GMT

    All the major contenders are there.

  51. 15:04:14 GMT

    Nibali is now on Horner's wheel.

  52. 15:05:09 GMT

    Devolder and Poels try and make a move.

  53. 15:05:42 GMT

    Di Luca chases and brings him back with Scarponi dragging them all back together.

  54. 15:05:49 GMT

    Di Luca goes again.

  55. 15:06:05 GMT

    Scarponi gets right on his wheel and drags him back again.

  56. 15:06:06 GMT

    Scarponi gets right on his wheel and drags him back again.

  57. 15:06:29 GMT

    Di Luca and Scarponi have a small gap

  58. 15:06:50 GMT

    It's coming back together with 3.5km to go.

  59. 15:07:17 GMT

    Sagan helps to bring the Italian duo back. The lead group is down to around 15 riders.

  60. 15:07:54 GMT

    As Riblon attacks on the descent. He's up again Sagan who is leading the chase.

  61. 15:09:07 GMT

    Pozzovivo has a dig and it looks like he'll catch Riblon. Horner is on his own with no teammates so he'll have to measure his strength. This will help him, he just doesnt want Nibali to pick up time at the finish.

  62. 15:09:17 GMT

    1.5 km to go.

  63. 15:09:47 GMT

    And Sagan drags it back together

  64. 15:10:00 GMT

    Rodriguez attacks with 1km to go.

  65. 15:10:16 GMT

    That's a huge turn of speed from the Spaniard.

  66. 15:10:27 GMT

    And again Sagan is doing all the chase work.

  67. 15:10:50 GMT

    Can Rodriguez hang on for the win.

  68. 15:11:14 GMT

    The final few metres and Sagan is closing in.

  69. 15:11:40 GMT

    Rodriguez takes the win but Nibali grabs second and takes 6 seconds on GC.

  70. 15:12:19 GMT

    Horner will still be in blue but that was a great ride from Sagan working for Nibali. He brought back move after move on that finish circuit

  71. 15:13:08 GMT

    1 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 4:38:27
    2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
    3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Acqua & Sapone

  72. 15:13:56 GMT

    Horner grabbed 4th.

  73. 15:14:38 GMT

    Nibali is just 6 seconds down on GC now, in third place.

  74. 15:15:10 GMT

    1 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team
    2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
    3 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
    4 Christopher Horner (USA) Radioshack-Nissan
    5 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
    6 Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team

    GC
    1 Christopher Horner (USA) Radioshack-Nissan
    2 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana Pro Team
    3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
    4 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
    5 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD
    6 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team

  75. 15:17:42 GMT

    Thanks for joining us today. Stay tuned tomorrow for the final stage of the race.