Hello and welcome to CN's live coverage from the Giro d'Italia. Today's it's stage 3 from Reggio Emilia to Rapallo.
163km remaining from 173km
Sprinters will want to take advantage of today, since the peloton's sure to split late on, but fast men with good climbing legs and a strong team could stay up front. The flat finish in Rapallo suits them too but there are complications.
The first is the Passo del Bocco, where a series of steep ramps in the final kilometre provide room for attacks. Any who manage to stay away will benefit later from the Madonna delle Grazie climb, after whose summit there's only 8km to the finish. With mere seconds between many riders and the maglia rosa, the race leader will be under pressure too.
Highest point: 957m
Rapallo is of course where Virenque won a stage, back in 1999. That stage was a lot harder than this one and we should see the sprinters shine today.
The weather conditions today are close to perfect, the sun out, and very little wind.
The main climb of the day, the Passo del Bocco, was where Berzin won a TT in 1994, on his way to ending Miguel Indurain's dominance at the Giro. Today the riders will go over the climb and then head down towards finish. There's still a ramp up towards the finish but it's a very technical last few km with lots of twists and turns. It could be a very hectic and dangerous finish. Cav used the work carnage this morning.
30km of racing so far today, and no action yet. The bunch is all together. Lets take a look around at the news
Four riders have just nipped off the front of the bunch. There was a flurry of attacks but this four managed to build up a small lead and they're working hard together.
So our four leaders are Brutt, de Clercq, Ricci Bitti and Brambilla and they've got a gap of nearly 3minutes.
No surprise to see Lotto on the attack again after Lang's brave efforts yesterday. They dont have a GC contender and with the third week being so brutal they're attacking whenever they get a chance.
@giroditalia Mon, 9th May 2011 12:58:06
Not much has gone right for Katusha in the race so far. A poor TTT, and rider crashing from the late break yesterday - they'll be hoping for better luck today.
Brutt already has a couple of wins behind him this season and the 29-year-old is a handy rider to have around.
Brambilla is 23 and in his second year as a pro. He's had a few good results in the baby Giro but this is a big step up for him.
Ricci Bitti has been with the same team all his career. Like Brambilla this is his first grand tour, first Giro in fact.
The lead has gone out to 6 minutes.
It's interesting that he's been training with Scarponi at altitude though. It doesnt seem to have affected his sprinting legs, in fact he looked very strong yesterday, didn't he? A few sprinters could easily get shelled out today so Petacchi could take advantage.
Bart De Clerq is 34 seconds down on Cav in GC by the way, so he's now the virtual leader on the road. He's the second Lotto rider in two days to hold that tag. I wonder how Lang's legs are today...
106km remaining from 173km
The peloton has already sprung into life and take 1.30 off the lead
De Clercq is a first year pro by the way so he's another rider making his Gt debut.
Another 30 seconds comes off the lead though, and it's down to 4 minutes.
In today's news, Petacchi counts the wins that were taken away during his suspension.
Igon Anton says that he's not here to win the race.
And Savio is caught up in doping allegations.
In slightly more uplifting news, Awang is better.
96km remaining from 173km
96km left and the peloton are keeping the four man group at 4 mins.
@davidmccarthy12 Mon, 9th May 2011 13:51:38
A crash in the main field involving Pozzovivo, Pirazzi, Stortoni, Popo and Hoogerland.
Cavendish with a problem with his bike and needs a change.
Took a few seconds to get that sorted but he's back - on a new bike - and chasing through the cars.
Like Pinotti, Cav has gone for the a pink jersey but kept the team colours for the shorts.
He's sitting behind the Quick Step car, takes a sharp turn and moves further through the convoy.
Saxo Bank on the front for now setting the pace with Lampre.
One rider waiting for Cav, while the four up the road press on.
Brutt sitting on the back and stretching his legs.
Interesting that Saxo are doing the lion share of the work.
Cav makes it back to the peloton and we've got 85km to go. The gap at 3.42
HTC has put a rider on the front.
More problems for Cav. Looks like a puncture this time. He's chasing back on with a number of riders.
Garmin are also near the front en masse. Like Saxo Bank it looks like they're just trying to keep out of trouble.
@Cyclingnewsfeed Mon, 9th May 2011 14:24:10
61km remaining from 173km
61km to go and the gap still over 3 minutes with De Clercq taking a long pull on the front.
Saxo has eased off the front with HTC , Lampre and Liquigas move up and do some of the work.
Duarte was the rider who came down. He's back up and chasing.
The four leaders on a downhill section and the lead just over 3 minutes.
A majority of you are saying that Cav will win the most stages in this year's Giro. You can vote in our poll, here.
@GaborKiss1 Mon, 9th May 2011 14:16:48
55km remaining from 173km
55km to go and the gap at 3.03
That third cat climb still to come remember. The sprinters will be hoping to hang on there, most of them should be fine but lots of fresh legs in the bunch so we will see attacks.
Belletti has a puncture and is being paced back by a number of teammates.
Welcome, Daniel, nice to have you with us again. What have you made of the Giro so far?
Lampre setting the pace now but Saxo and Garmin are right up there too.
@martinwake Mon, 9th May 2011 14:41:13
50km remaining from 173km
The hammer has been dropped and Lampre are really putting the bunch under a lot of pressure with their pace
Do you think Cav will take the win today?
The gap is down to 1.44
Visconti hovering near the front. The finish suits him rather well
42km to go and the pace is fixed, perhaps it's slowed ever so slightly in the last few minutes.
Garzelli up near the front too. Contador as well, a lot of the GC guys trying to keep out of trouble. The gap down to 1.20
41km remaining from 173km
41km to go and the gap is just over a minute
Dan, Mark is in the same boat as all the other sprinters though.
On the climb de Clercq winds things up but Brambillla comes over the top. Brutt chasing him.
Lang wont hang onto his lead in the KOM and Brambilla will lead the competition.
De Clercq almost comes off on the downhill, it's a very tricky section, and Liquigas sit on the front of the bunch and keep things steady.
Cyclingnews caught up with Gerald Ciolek (Quick Step) just before the start in Reggio Emilia, and he reckoned that the Passo del Bocco would put paid to the hopes of a lot of sprinters.
A crash in the bunch and a Rabo rider goes down.
Dan, what's stood out for you, from what we've seen from the GC riders?
The bunch is strung out on the downhill. Liquigas still setting the pace.
Robbie McEwen told Cyclingnews that he has come to this Giro a little short on preparation and is hoping that his form will build through the race. He wasn’t overly optimistic about his chances of being in the mix for the win in Rapallo.
The gap down to 44 seconds. with 30 km to go.
@toutneant Mon, 9th May 2011 15:09:43
A lot of investigations going on in the background, the recent one involving Savio. what's your take on the situation?
A few gaps caused by the pace on the climb but it looks like it will all come back together.
Oh there's a rider down and that looks really serious.
he's a Leopard rider.
he's a Leopard rider.
He isn't getting up. Doctors are around him. Im just reporting what I see but he's not concious. the medical team are with him, they were there very quickly.
weylandt is the rider who crashed.
We dont know any more about the crash but as soon as we do we'll bring it to you.
Up the road and the break has 47 seconds.
The four leaders are back together.
Lampre are on the front.
It looks like the bunch has slowed.
Weylandt who rides for Leopard was on the deck and RAI's coverage showed the medics doing CPR on Weylandt.
We've not seen the crash, just images post crash. We hope for the best, sometimes crashes look a lot worse than they are, and our thoughts are with Weylandt
17km remaining from 173km
We have 17km to race and the gap is 42 seconds.
The gap is coming down, it's at 37 seconds. As soon as we know more about the crash we'll bring it to you.
Lampre doing most of the work on the front still.
The Garmin train has moved up next to the Lampre team.
Ah it just reminds you how dangerous this sport can be.
Lots of speculation going around now. I'm not going to print something until there's confirmation from someone official
10km to go and there's a final climb before the finish. The sprinters' teams trying to keep it all under control. Petacchi near the front.
Lotto attack from the bunch.
The move marked by Leopard, garmin and Sky,
Cav is in difficulty on the climb, he's losing ground
Sastre moving up the field and we've now got a small group off the front but it should come back together.
Le Mevel and Lastras are now leading the race, a lot of riders being dropped behind in the bunch.
Sastre is suffering now, and Cav is too.
Le Mevel leads over the top with Lastras, Cav has lost 1.12
6km remaining from 173km
Just under 6km to go.
We're hearing that Weylandt is still on the ground with medical staff
It looks like Farrar is getting a rear wheel
Moreno is with Le mevel and Lastras, and vicioso. They have 14 seconds on the bunch.
Moreno is attacking.
Le Mevel forced to chase
It looks like Millar is coming across.
Another rider is trying to jump as well
Le Mevel wont work for now as Lastras sets the pace
Millar makes it so now we have five leaders.
just under 2km to go. that group should make it.
18 seconds advantage.
Very twisty run in, I think they can do it as long as they dont mess around.
1km to go
Le mevel leads out
millar in 4th wheel
millar moves to the front
vicioso gets it. Millar is second.
I think Lastras got third.
The bunch has come over the line.
Vicioso took the best line and takes the win for Androni.
No confirmation yet but Millar may be in pink this evening.
However we're turning attention to the crash involving Weylandt. So far we don't have any more information.
Results#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult 1Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Androni Giocattoli3:57:38 2David Millar (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo 3Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team 4Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team 5Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Garmin-Cervelo 6Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:00:12
Confirmation that Millar is in pink for tomorrow's stage.
Very quiet scenes at the finish. It looks like the organisers have cancelled the podium.
The latest we have is that Weylandt has been airlifted to hospital.
We're going to close the live report now but we'll keep you updated on the site.
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