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Giro d'Italia 2011: Stage 5


Hello and welcome to the live coverage from the Giro d'Italia. Today's fifth stage is from Piombino to Orvieto.

After Tuesday’s stage was neutralised in memory of Wouter Weylandt, the riders have left Piombino on the Tuscany coast and are racing. The first hour was covered at an average speed 45,200 km/h.

A total of 197 riders are left in the Giro after the Leopard Trek team decided to leave the race last night.

The only attack today came from Martin Kohler (BMC). He jumped away after 12km and was quickly allowed to open a huge gap. 

The gap reached 4:50 after 23km and touched 11:50 after 51km with 150km left torace.

The gap reached 4:50 after 23km and touched 11:50 after 51km with 150km left to race.

The gap reached 4:50 after 23km and touched 11:50 after 51km with 150km left to race.

The gap reached 4:50 after 23km and touched 11:50 after 51km with 150km left to race.

The gap reached a maximum of 12:50 but has since gradually fallen and is now 9:00 after 80km of the stage.

Today's stage has been awarded three stars because of the sting in the tail of the 201km ride to Orvieto in the central region on Umbria.

Last year the stage to Montalcino became  legendary because the riders had to tackle the dirt roads under pouring rain. This year the weather is warm and sunny but the stage includes 19km of dirt roads and some three sahort climbs and three tricky descents on the dirt.

This is an archive image of Martin Kohler from earleir this year. 

98km remaining from 191km

BMC directeur sportif Max Sciandri has told Italian television that Kohler's attack was planned because the US team has identified five stages when they bleeive they have a possibility of winning the stage. 

The dirt roads later in the stage are divided into three sectors:

The third sector is short but is a warm-up for the third sector which is a testing 9.5km long. It climbs and descends and twists and turns. Position in the peloton will be vital. Last year Vincenzo Nibali was brought down by a teammate and lost the pink jersey.

The stage finishes with a three kilometre climb at 12% but the road eases for the final kilometre and so there will be a sprint for the time bonuses.

The Garmin-Cervelo team is riding on the front, defending David Millar's pink jersey.

Millar pulled on a special vintage maglia rosa after the finish in Livorno on Tuesday to make the 80th birthday of the pink race leader's jersey. The Giro is over a hundred years old but the maglia rosa was introduced later to help promte sales of the Gazzetta dello Sport newsaper that, even today, is still printed on pink paper.

The stage is currently climbnig the lower slopes of the extinct Monte Amiata volcano. Just after the riders will ride through the vineyards of southern Tuscany, where some of the best reds is made.   

Kohler is pedaling hard with his arms on the tops abnd seems determined to stay away as long as possible.

Millar leads the Giro by just a few seconds and so will have to fight to hold onto the pink jersey. 

Angel Vicioso Arcos (Androni Giocattoli is second overall at seven seconds, Kanstantsin Sivtsov (HTC-Highroad) is third at nine seconds, as are his teammate Marco Pinotti and Craig Lewis.

Jonathan Vaughters wrote an emtional blog for Cyclingnews about the day Lewis was involved in a terrible crash. 

Today the riders are racing again but haven't forgotten about the events of the last two days.

The peloton is now racing for the time bonuses at the sprint of Arcidosso. Kohler took first place but there are other bonus seconds up for grabs that could contribute to the maglia rosa changing hands. 


Millar and Vicioso were fighting for the sprint but touched and went down.

They took a different line around some road furniture and then hit each other.

Both quickly got up and are ok.

77km remaining from 191km

Riche Porte (Saxo Bank-SunGard) expected the racing on the dirt roads to shake up the race. He told Cyclingnews at the start: "I think it's going to be a real shit fight. I think I would have preferred rain, as more guys would have been beaten before the start."

70km remaining from 191km

There is a moving message on the road: 108 Vive (108 lives). Wouter Weylandt had race number 108 and race organisers have decided not to asign the number for future editions of the Giro.

The peloton is fighting for the climber's points.

Kohler was first over the climb, with Gianluca Brambilla (Colnago-CSF) taking second place ahead of Christophe Le Mevel (Garmin-Cervelo). 

As you may have seen earlier today, the Leopard Trek team has created a donation account were peopel can make donations that will go Wouter Weylandt's family and especially his partner An-Sophe who is due to give birth in September.

Up front Kohler is still pedalling furiously and tucking tight on the descent to the foot of the  climb to Croce di Fighine, that includes a sector of dirt road.

The teams have some special equipment for the dirt roads. Riders have 24mm or 25mm tubulars.

Two riders have crashed on the descent but both are up and away.

Christiano Salerno (Liquigas-Cannondale) was away quickly, as was Richie Porte (Saxo Bank-SunGard). Chris Butler (BMC) took a little longer to get up but is now chasing to get back on.

51km remaining from 191km

Another crash on the descent as riders touch wheels.

Vasili Kiryienka (Movistar Team) went down but is not hurt.

He is in the team car caravan, trying to get back up the peloton.

48km remaining from 191km

Matt Wilson is now on the front for Garmin-Cervelo, with Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) just behind him. 

Before the stage, Contador described today's stage as 'complicated'. He knows there is a risk of losing a few precious seconds today. Or even more if some one punctures on the dirt roads or crashes. 

46km remaining from 191km

Porte is at the back but the rest of the Saxo Bank team is at the front protecting Contador. 

The Giro is in the south of Tuscany now. The rolling hills are spectacular but they wil lsoon give way to the dirt roads, the roads used by the farmers to move between their fields and vines.

43km remaining from 191km

Each team has several staff members long the dirt roads with spare wheels and bottles. Technical support could be vital today.

There is yet another minor crash, as riders touch wheels.

Cyril Dessel (AG2R La Mondiale) is changing his bike while Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) needed a wheel change. Fortunately they are all up and away.

Does Kohler have a chance of staying away and winning the stage? On a normal stage perhaps yes. But this is not a normal stage.

40km remaining from 191km

39km remaining from 191km

Kohler is now on the dirt road climb. The entrance is very narrow and so it will be chaos for the peloton. 

Astana is now on the front, protecting Roman Kreuziger.

The dirt roads are divided into three sectors:

Kohler is on the steepest part of the climb, as the peloton hits the climb, with Liquigas on the front.

Popovych is trying to get away.

Kohler is pushing a gear, sat in the saddle. He knows that if he stands on the pedals, his back wheel slip. 

Because of the hot, dry weather, the roads are very dusty, making it difficult for the riders in the peloton to see.

36km remaining from 191km

Ouch! Tough hairpins are switching up the hillside. 

The peloton is nearing the top of the climb.

The front group is just 3:20 behind Kohler.

Millar has been distanced over the top of the climb.

Millar is at least 40 seconds behind the leaders.

There is a front group of 20 or so riders as the descent on the dirt road begins.

33km remaining from 191km

The dust is causing havoc for the riders.

Nibali has attacked on the descent!

Who can follow him? He's known as one of the bestr descenders in the sport.

But even Nibali is struggling on the rough, dirt corners.

He wobbles and lets the bike run on the dirt corners and then acclerates away on the straights.

Kohler's attack is not in vain. He has already secured the green climber's jersey thanks making it to the top of the two climbs of the stage.

A front group is forming behind Nibali.

Bram Tankink (Rabobank) has attacked from the front group.

27km remaining from 191km

There is only a dozen riders in the front chase group, as Stefano Garzelli Acqua & Sapone accelerates away.

The chasers are also on the next dirt sector. The roads climbs and there is another crazy descent on the dirt roads.

26km remaining from 191km

25km remaining from 191km

The team leaders have eased slightly, as Tankink and Cataldo (Quick Step) hang off the front.

24km remaining from 191km

Millar grabs a bottle of water but he seems to accept that he is losing the pink jersey.

Kohler is on the dirt descent now. His lead is just 1:45 to Tankink and Cataldo. The front group is just behind, with Millar a futher minute down. 

Lars Petter Nordhaug (Team Sky) has punctured, while Cataldo goes down on a corner and slides off the road.

Tankink also lost his chain. This is chaos.

Millar is now without teammates and has only two other riders who can help him later.

20km remaining from 191km

Millar can see the front group but the gap is too much to close alone.

The front group includes about 50 riders and they are lined out on the final dirt road sector.

17km remaining from 191km

Pinotti accelerates on the front of the l;ead group. He's avoiding possible crashes and is trying to distrance Millar.

But Millar is getting back on to the back of the group. Now he's got to go after PInotti and others.

Garzelli has punctured but is chasing to get back to the group. 

The dust blown up by the race can be seen from the finish in Oriveto, some 15km away. 

15km remaining from 191km

Craig Lewis was in the front group but has been delayed by a flat.

Tom Slagter (Rabobank) has crashed. He crashed hard but is moving. He is being helped.

12km remaining from 191km

Gadret and Weening are about to catch Kohler. 

Slagter cut his head in the crash but is not seriously hurt.

8km remaining from 191km

Slagter is still being treated on the road but is moving his legs. However his Giro seems over.

5km remaining from 191km

There are three flat kilometres to go and then the final steep climb to the finish.

Caros Sastre (Geox) is at the back of the front group. He has avoided losing time to his main rivals today.

Lampre are riding on the front to set-up Scarponi for the final climb. The gap to Weening is 40 seconds.

David Millar is carefully placed in the front group now. He has to stay with the leaders to hang on to the maglia rosa.

Gadret and Kohler have been caught. Only Weening is out front as the big nsames get ready for the final steep climb.

2km remaining from 191km

But Millar has blown and sat up. He will lose the pink jersey, despite a brave fight.

Pinotti is there and so could take the pink jersey at the finish.

1km remaining from 191km

1km remaining from 191km

Weening has about 200 metres lead at the start of the last kilometre. But Arrayo attacks behind.

What a finale! Weening has just eight seconds

Nieve of Euskatel attacks but Weening is in sight of the finish.

Weening wins and celebrates waving his arms in the sky.

Duarte took second place a few seconds behind Weening, with Serpa third. It is going to be close in the overall classification. 

Weening is the new provisional race leader. He will pull on the pink jersey as well as taking the stage victory.

Millar finishes the stage 2:50 behind Weening, with his maglia rosa covered in dust and dirt. 

Weening has been confirmed as the new race leader, with Marco Pinotti now second overall, just two seconds down on the Dutchman.

Phew. That was, as expected, a thrilling stage. The dirt climbs and descents made for some spectacular racing.

In the overall classification, Kanstantsin Siutsou (HTC-Highroad) is third overall at two seconds. Christophe Le Mevel (Garmin-Cervelo) is fourth at four seconds.

As Weeninng climbs on the podium and pulls on the pink jersey, that's it from our live coverage today.

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