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Giro d'Italia 2011: Stage 16


Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews's live coverage from the Giro d'Italia. Today it's the individual time trial, a 12.7km test from Belluno to Nevegal.

As Zomegnan has shown since 2005, he’s a big fan of the mountain time trial. This year’s follows the second rest day. Although the run up to the resort of Nevegal may not compare to Plan de Corones, it won’t have time trial specialists rubbing their hands with glee either.

Apart from a short descent at the start, this stage is all climbing, sometimes steeply so. The middle 4km of the stage averages more than 10 per cent, ramping up to 14 per cent as the route reaches Tornante. Stefano Garzelli won the equivalent stage last year – Contador and Joaquim Rodríguez will have the legs for it too.

However with a rest day yesterday we could see a lot of surprise results.

Here's a list of the big GC guys and their start times.

Here's what Moser had to say about today's TT


1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard 62:14:42
2 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:04:20
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:05:11
4 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:06:08
5 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:07:03
6 José Rujano Guillen (Ven) Androni Giocattoli 0:08:39
7 Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC 0:08:46
8 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team Astana 0:08:58
9 Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 0:09:20
10 David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Movistar Team 0:09:30
11 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:09:37
12 Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Blr) HTC-Highroad 0:10:39
13 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:11:14
14 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quickstep Cycling Team 0:13:59
15 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:15:21
16 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:17:28
17 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone 0:23:11
18 Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni Giocattoli 0:23:12
19 Johann Tschopp (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:25:04
20 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Sky Procycling 0:27:28

That's where we stand on GC coming into today's stage. Contador pretty in pink but behind him it's all to play for. I think anyone as far down as Roman K in 8th could make the podium. We've seen riders perform well and crack big time the following day, and there will be lots of twists and turns before we reach the finish of the race next Sunday.

Before we head to the action, lets have a quick scan of the news.

Movistar have of course vowed to stay in the race and there was a minutes silence at the start of the TT this morning.

Back to the race and the conditions are good, some light cloud but mostly sun and not much wind around.

Right now David  Millar is riding out on the course. A TT specialist in his own right but this type of course wont suit him. Saying that's just passed a rider ahead of him.

Here are the current leaders of the stage.

Richie Porte is also out on the course. He's got a couple of km still to go but he's in and out of the saddle all the time.

Clement is now slouch in the TT so he's a good benchmark for a lot of the riders in today's stage who are hoping to have a good rider. Millar one of them. He's looking good for now.

Marzoli has just come up to the line. Not the most stylish climber to be honest but he's doing a decent enough job. Nice little sprint for the line and he comes over in 26th place.

Porte is coming up the line and slots into 17th place.

As Millar goes through the 3km mark. Large crowds near to the top of climb. Back to Porte, he's got a big job on his hands for the final week, helping Contador defend or rather extend his lead on GC. Perhaps he held a little back, perhaps not.

Szmyd comes over the line in fourth. And Millar comes over the line too.

Szmyd will be pleased with that time considering how sick he's been over the last few days, so it looks like he's coming back to near his best.

Di Luca just about to start. He's of course coming back from his ban for doping and has been off the pace in the Giro. He's off and he's certainly not hanging around. It will be interesting to see how he goes today.

We don't have any time checks on Belkov but he's looking good. He wont knock Clement off top spot but this is a good time nevertheless.

Cioni is out on the course too. A former podium placer at the Giro, as Vorganov makes his way out of the start house.

A mountain tt so no tt bikes today, as Visconti starts his tt.

Deignan by the way has just gone through the first time check of the day. The road is flat for that section of road and he came over the check in 22nd place.

Visconti is 9th at the time check. Not bad but he'll struggle as the road kicks up.

Lastras out on the road. He was the virtual leader on the road in the second week and has been in a number of breaks during the race.


1.Stef Clement (Rabobank) 30:28
2.Alessandro De Marchi (Androni) +0:19
3.David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) +0:23
4.Simon Spilak (Lampre) +0:36
5.Sylveser Szmyd (Liquigas) +0:3

Carlos Sastre will be starting soon. He's had  a poor Giro so far.

Popovych just came over the line in 74th place.

Navarro, Contador's man for the mountains is coming to the line and he should get a top five time, as down the hill Carlos Sastre begins his time trial.

Impressive from the Movistar rider who takes over 30 seconds off Clement's lead.

Di Luca just came over the line in 31st place in case you were wondering.

Miholjevic has just gone through the intermediate time check fastest, Weening 8th fastest.

Italian national tt champion Marco Pinotti crosses himself, 3, 2, 1, and he's off.

Pinotti came into the race looking for a top ten place - like he achieved last year - but he's found it hard going due to illness.

Visconti comes over the line in 7th. That's not too shabby at all.

1.Braunislau Samoilau (Movistar) 29:54
2.Stef Clement (Rabobank) +0:34
3.Diego Ulissi (Lampre) +0:36
4.Alessandro De Marchi (Androni) +0:53
5.David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) +0:57
6.Daniel Navarro (Saxo Bank) +1:05
7.Givanni Visconti (Farnese Vini) +1:08
8.Simon Spilak (Lampre) +1:10
9.Sylveser Szmyd (Liquigas) +1:11
10.Filippo Savini (Colnago) +1:13

Pinotti is on a flyer, he's gone through the time check in second place.

Serpa has just come over the line in 24th place. Not great to honest, really.

Pirazzi up to the line and his time will be good enough for a top five time. Here he comes...

30:34 and into 4th.

Sastre out of the saddle, fighting with his bike. It's hard to believe that this man won the Tour de France just under three years ago.

As Pinotti is about to catch and pass Machado. The Shack rider was a dark horse for the top ten at the start of the race.

Here's our current top ten:

Miholjevic has crossed the line in second, 5 seconds down.

And Sastre is coming up to the line. I do like his style of climbing, I really do. And he's over the line in 30:51, 8th place.

Machado isn't giving up and he's still with Pinotti. Not drafting of course as Arroyo starts his time trial.

Sivtsov on the course, roughly 4 km into his ride as Kiryienka comes over the line in 3rd. That's two Movistar riders in the top three at the moment, all of them riding for Tondo.

Sictsov has gone through the time check in second place. He could get  a top five today. As we see Rodriguez start his tt.

And Pinotti moves into the lead by a single second. Bravo Marco. HTC will be happy with that. Lots of big names to come of course.

Pinotti talking to the press. It's in Italian, but I think he said that he can't wait to head back to the hotel and write another blog for CN.

Ok Marco, steady on.

And Menchov about to start his tt. Silence at the start as he rolls out. I think I heard one person clap. He's of course won this race in 2009.

And Garzelli goes top of the leader board. 12 seconds ahead of Pinotti.

Garzelli, again interviewed in Italian. Saying something about wanting to finish as fast as possible in order to go back to the hotel and read Pinotti's CN blog.

Roman K goes through the first time check in 6th. He'll need to step up and put in a better ride than that. A lot of top ten/top five riders bunch together on GC.

Le Mevel comes over the line in 88th place, that's a real shocker from the Garmin-Cervelo rider.

Nieve has just started his TT, Gadret will be next.

Top ten:

Nibali meanwhile just making his way to the start house.

Sivtsov starting to crack a little but he's still in there and giving it everything as Gadret begins his TT.

Rodriguez started out on  his TT bike and then swapped to his road machine. He's the only rider who has done that so far.

And Nibali starts his TT. A lot of pressure on his shoulders today, he needs to bounce back from the last few days. He's at least given Contador something to think about in the race but Scarponi is now ahead of Nibali and GC.

The first downhill section will suit Nibali and he's started like a bullet. Scarponi in the start house, he can feel Contador's presence behind him.

Sivtsov coming to the line, he wont beat Garzelli but he does cross the line 7th, 40 seconds down on Garzelli. Not a bad time from the HTC-Highroad man.

And there goes Contador. number 181, all in pink apart from a black arm band in respect to Tondo.

Will we see the Spaniard stamp his authority on the race again and take the stage?

Anton meanwhile is 6th fastest at the finish.

And Nibali goes fastest at the time check, by 1 second. That's a good start from the Italian.

Contador, his hands folded over the bars and then onto the hoods when he gets out of the saddle. He turns a much smaller gear that most of his rivals but it works so well.

Nibali getting great support from the Italian fans as he works on the harder sections of the course.

And Rodriguez comes over the line in 5th place. 19 seconds down on Garzelli.

1.Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) 29:41
2.Marco Pinotti (HTC-Highroad) +0:12
3.Braunislau Samoilau (Movistar) +0:13
4.Vladimir Miholjevic (Acqua & Sapone) +0:18
5.Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) +0:31
6.Igor Anton (Euskaltel) +0:35
7.Steven Kruiswijk (Rabobank) +0:38
8.Kanstantsin Sivtsov (HTC-Highroad)+0:40
9.Vasiliy Kiryienka (Movistar) +0:45
10.Stef Clement (Rabobank) +0:47

Contador on a long drag and tucked over the bars again as if he's riding a TT bike. A quick check on his watch and then another look ahead. He's off the pace. 13th at the first time check. That's a surprise. I thought he's be faster, he should improve on the climb.

Is Contador holding back or is he at the limit? As Roman K pulls a ride out of the bag. He's second, 3seconds off Garzelli. He was down at the first check so paced his ride well. Is Contador doing the same? I remember him blowing up big time at the Olympics in 2008 in the TT. I'm not sure.

Contador hits a steeper section as Menchov comes up to the line. He looks good. 3rd for the Russian. He keeps his battle with Roman going.

1.Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) 29:41
2.Roman Kreuziger (Astana) +0:02
3.Denis Menchov (Geox) +0:06
4.Marco Pinotti (HTC-Highroad) +0:12
5.Braunislau Samoilau (Movistar) +0:13
6.Vladimir Miholjevic (Acqua & Sapone) +0:18
7.Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) +0:19
8.Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) +0:31
9.Igor Anton (Euskaltel) +0:35
10.Steven Kruiswijk (Rabobank) +0:38

5km for Scarponi.

Contador is just sprinting out of the corners. I wish we had another time check before the finish.

Rujano comes to the line and he sets the fastest time. 29.37. 7 seconds faster than Garzelli.

Huge crowds at the top for Scarponi and Nibali. Contador meanwhile doesn't look great at the moment it has to be said.

1.Jose Rujano (Androni) 29:34
2.Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) +0:07
3.Roman Kreuziger (Astana) +0:09
4.Denis Menchov (Geox) +0:13
5.Marco Pinotti (HTC-Highroad) +0:19
6.Braunislau Samoilau (Movistar) +0:20
7.Vladimir Miholjevic (Acqua & Sapone) +0:25
8.Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) +0:26
9.Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) +0:38
10.Igor Anton (Euskaltel) +0:42

Gadret in 13th, around 40 seconds down.

Nibali meanwhile has 900 meters left.

While Contador has 3km to go.

Nibali driving to the line.  I think he'll go fastest and he's out of the saddle with 100 to go. To the line in 29:29. he's the fastest so far. What does Scarponi and Contador think of that?

Contador hasn't got out of the saddle in a while, his shoulders are rocking slightly.

Now he jumps and and sprints up the climb for a few brief seconds. Scarponi is close to the finish, can he topple Nibali?

He's four seconds slower than Nibali. What can Contador do?

He's got 1km to and he's got around 2 minutes left to beat Nibali. It's going to be close actually.

Out of the saddle again, and again.

Contador is going to take this. He looked under severe pressure in the first half of the TT but he's come storming back.

34 seconds faster than Nibali. 34. He's just blown the opposition away.

1.Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) 28:55
2.Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) +0:34
3.Michele Scarponi (Lampre9 +0:38
4.Jose Rujano (Androni) +0:39
5.Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) +0:46
6.Roman Kreuziger (Astana) +0:49
7.Denis Menchov (Geox) +0:52
8.Marco Pinotti (HTC-Highroad) +0:58
9.Braunislau Samoilau (Movistar) +0:59
10.Vladimir Miholjevic (Acqua & Sapone) +1:04

General classification after stage 16#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult 1Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard62:43:37  2Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:04:58  3Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD0:05:45  4John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:07:35  5José Rujano Guillen (Ven) Androni Giocattoli0:09:18  6Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:09:22 

Thanks for joining us today. We'll be back tomorrow for more action from the Giro d'Italia.

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