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Tirreno-Adriatico 2011

Date range:
March 9-15, 2011

March 14, Stage 6: Ussita - Macerata 178km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Susan Westemeyer

It's the last road stage of the race today, before ending up tomorrow with a short time trial. 

  1. 14:26:40 CET

    Hello and welcome to Tirreno-Adriatico!  We have a 182km long road stage today on a very bumpy course.

  2. 78km remaining from 178km

    14:37:09 CET

    We have two riders in the lead right now, Borut Bozic of Vacansoleil and Bert Grabsch of HTC-Highroad.  They have a gap of four minutes over the field.

  3. 14:39:33 CET

    We had 152 riders at the start this morning.   Daniel Oss of Liuqigas was not one of them, as he has a fever.

  4. 14:41:34 CET

    There were lots of attacks early on, but Bozic was the first to be successful.  He had built up a five minute lead before the day's first climb.

  5. 14:43:40 CET

    The points at the day's first climb went this way: Bozic, Malacarne, Devenyns and Stangelij.

  6. 14:46:29 CET

    Thereafter his lead dropped to two minutes and he was joined by Grabsch.

  7. 68km remaining from 178km

    14:49:43 CET

    The speedy Slovenian sprinter and the former World time trial champion have now built up their lead to nearly six minutes.  There is some movement behind them:  Garmin-Cervelo super sprinter Tyler Farrar has taken off in pursuit, as has Egoi Martinez of Euskaltel.  But they have a ways to go to catch up.

  8. 14:53:38 CET

    Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) took the win in yesterday's stage, but it was BMC's Cadel Evans who put on the leader's jersey at the end of the day.

  9. 55.5km remaining from 178km

    14:55:16 CET

    BMC is of course leading the chase of the two leaders, who now have 6:08.

  10. 14:58:39 CET

    Evans is leading the race, but just barely.  He has two seconds over second placed Ivan Basso (Liquigas), with Damiano Cunego (Lampre) third at three seconds. And also lurking are Michele Scarponi (Lampre) and Robert Gesink (Rabobank) at five seconds.  Some pretty good riders there.....

  11. 53km remaining from 178km

    15:00:17 CET

    The two leaders are now on their way up the Macerata -- a short climb, but with a gradient of up to 10 percent.

  12. 15:03:49 CET

    Was Evans happy to win yesterday?  No, not at all.  Wait a minute, that's not right, of course he was!  And talked about it, too, thanking his team and looking to today's stage, as well as tomorrow's time trial.

  13. 15:06:26 CET

    This is their first time today up the Macerata, but not their last.  They will hit it twice more, including for the finish.   And we now understand that it actually has ramps up to 18%.

  14. 15:09:29 CET

    With 50 km and more than 5 minutes, our two leaders have a chance today.  Who would take it, the sprinter or the time trial specialist?  And it is an uphill finish, to boot.

  15. 15:10:29 CET

    Lampre has now jumped into the lead of the chase.  Remember, they have two top men only three and five seconds down.

  16. 15:12:15 CET

    Who is leading the other categories here?  Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo) is tops in point, and Davide Malacarne (QuickStep) is leading the mountain ranking.

  17. 45km remaining from 178km

    15:13:30 CET

    The gap is coming down.  That short but nasty climb may prove to be too much for Bozic and Grabsch.  With 45 km to go, the gap is now 5:15.

  18. 15:14:38 CET

    The peloton is now strugglng its way up that climb..... The two leaders have it a bit easier at the moment.

  19. 15:17:54 CET

    To finish off those classifications, Robert Gesink of Rabobank is best young rider and Liquigas is top team.

  20. 41km remaining from 178km

    15:18:36 CET

    Lampre tops out the climb, dragging the peloton behind them.

  21. 15:20:26 CET

    And the gap continues to come down, at 4:23 and falling rapidly.

  22. 38.6km remaining from 178km

    15:23:59 CET

    Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) is now at the head of the field, which is 3:55 back.

  23. 15:25:00 CET

    Lampre and BMC have taken control of the chase again, but Pozzato is still to be seen.

  24. 15:26:42 CET

    The peloton is riding atop a high ridge at the moment.

  25. 15:27:42 CET

    35.5 km to go, and a gap of 3:57.  If you figure one minute for every 10 km -- it doesn't look good for our two leaders.  Especially when you consider that neither is really a climber.

  26. 34km remaining from 178km

    15:29:27 CET

    The gap had jumped to 4:01 a minute or two ago, but now is at 3:44.

  27. 15:31:37 CET

    The sun is shining today and looks like a nice and reasonable warm day -- no long sleeves or leggings to be seen.

  28. 31.2km remaining from 178km

    15:33:30 CET

    The leading duo goes up, but their gap comes down:  under three and a half minutes now.

  29. 31km remaining from 178km

    15:34:20 CET

    31 km and 3:17.  And they still have to face the Macerata twice....

  30. 15:35:28 CET

    The peloton starts up the climb, and a Lotto rider moves ahead of the field.  But not for long.

  31. 15:36:00 CET

    There is no mountain ranking this time, but a mountain sprint!

  32. 15:37:50 CET

    Bozic and Grabsch make their weary wax up to the top. This doesn't look like a lot of fun to us.

  33. 15:38:43 CET

    They have crested the top and the peloton is charging after them.  Let's see what the gap is now.

  34. 15:40:28 CET

    A crash in the field on the wa up?  Or just a bunch of guys putting a foot down for some other reason, like maybe overcrowding on the narrow road?

  35. 27km remaining from 178km

    15:41:19 CET

    It is down to two minutes now!

  36. 15:45:03 CET

    Liquigas pulling the field along now, right ahead of BMC.

  37. 15:46:02 CET

    They have been underway for just over four hours now.

  38. 15:46:55 CET

    Fabian Cancellara is still in the main field -- but at the very end of it.

  39. 15:47:49 CET

    Two Lampre riders have fallen back, including Cunego.  And there must have been a crash in the field.  Things are falling apart here!

  40. 22km remaining from 178km

    15:48:32 CET

    Cunego's helper is pulling his captain along.  The gap, by the way, is now at 1:55.

  41. 15:49:47 CET

    A Rabo rider attacks out of the field, and look, Robert Gesink catches a ride and zips on by!

  42. 15:50:14 CET

    Bert Grabsch is starting to look rather grim.  But then, he usually does.

  43. 20km remaining from 178km

    15:51:51 CET

    The field, which is still rather large, wasn't going to put up with any nonsense by Gesink.  End of his attempt.....

  44. 15:53:29 CET

    An Omega Pharma-Lotto rider took a turn at the head of the group.  There is no one dominant team in the lead at the moment.

  45. 15:54:34 CET

    Gilbert is safely tucked away in the field.  Will he try it again today?

  46. 18km remaining from 178km

    15:55:28 CET

    The peloton is really zipping along here, strung out more and more.   Bozic and Grabsch are on a downhill section, witha  gap of only 56 seconds.

  47. 15:56:41 CET

    Bozic makes a face.  He must know he doesn't have a chance ay more.  He has even started looking back over his shoulder, always a bad sign.

  48. 16.5km remaining from 178km

    15:57:03 CET

    Only  a few seconds now.

  49. 16.4km remaining from 178km

    15:58:07 CET

    And they are caught!

  50. 15:59:24 CET

    The pace is high and the field is strung out single file:  like a piece of spaghetti, one might say.

  51. 16:00:03 CET

    Ah, look, there near the front:  a rider wearig a blue jersey and otherwise red kit:  our leader, Cadel Evans!

  52. 16:00:38 CET

    And up another steep hill they go.....

  53. 16:01:25 CET

    Seems to have been yet another sprint up the Macerata, with the honours going to a Lampre rider.

  54. 16:02:32 CET

    It was Niemiec ahead of Scarponi, with Nibali third.

  55. 12km remaining from 178km

    16:04:49 CET

    A BMC rider has jumped back to the head of things.

  56. 16:05:17 CET

    The field has finally declined in size, maybe about 40 riders?

  57. 16:06:26 CET

    Two red-clad BMC riders at the head of the field now, followed closely by Evans.

  58. 10km remaining from 178km

    16:08:18 CET

    Three riders have pulled away slightly, with an Euskaltel rider starting things.  But it is short-lived.

  59. 16:09:57 CET

    A puncure for an Euskaltel rider, as Enrico Gasparatto of Astana takes a turn in the lead.

  60. 8km remaining from 178km

    16:10:21 CET

    Peter Velits of HTC-HIghroad attacks and gets away!

  61. 16:11:18 CET

    Velits is giving it his all, but it looks like it is not enough.

  62. 7km remaining from 178km

    16:12:36 CET

    The pace is really very high here.  Too many people want to hold things together

  63. 16:13:01 CET

    We don't see Velits any more so we assume he is caught.

  64. 16:13:55 CET

    The usual picture of three BMC's at the head of the rapidly moving field.

  65. 5km remaining from 178km

    16:14:44 CET

    Ballan is leading the field.  A former World Champion leading out for a former World Champion.

  66. 4km remaining from 178km

    16:15:25 CET

    He is burned out and falls back.  Ballan, that is. Now it is up to George HIncapie to guide his captain in.

  67. 16:16:42 CET

    BMC has lost control now, with 2.5km to go.

  68. 16:17:12 CET

    RadioShack and Leopard riders in front now.

  69. 1.7km remaining from 178km

    16:17:48 CET

    Cunego attacks on the closing climb.  Two Euskalelts go with him , as does Evans!

  70. 16:18:18 CET

    Cunego, scarponi -- Scarponi jumps, directly followed by Evans.

  71. 16:19:11 CET

    About 8 riders in teh front group now, all the big names.   A Movistartt rider is the next to attack:  Madrazo.

  72. 16:19:49 CET

    He pulls away on the climb, with 1.1km to go.   Behind him, the favourites all eye one another.

  73. 16:20:27 CET

    Final km, with a nice little lead for the Movistart rider.  machado of RadioShakck tries but doesn't succeed.

  74. 16:21:00 CET

    Scaprono powers his way into the lead, followed by BAsso and Evans.

  75. 16:21:40 CET

    Scarponi and BAsso pull away, but they are caught.... nearly.  Visconti attacks and takes the lead!

  76. 16:22:25 CET

    Visconti and Evans sptint for the win,  Evans pulls away on the steep clilmb to take the win!

  77. 16:23:01 CET

    An exhausted Evans hangs over his bike and gasps for breath.

  78. 16:24:00 CET

    What a sprint, on this brutal uphill finish!  Visconti was second and third was ......a Lampre rider, but which one?

  79. 16:25:14 CET

    Scarponi claimed the honours for third place.

  80. 16:27:26 CET

    Evans has cemented his overall lead, with Scarponi second and Basso third.

  81. 16:29:46 CET

    What a finish.  What a climb.  What a deserving winner today.

    Thanks for joining us today!