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Tirreno-Adriatico 2011: Stage 6


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

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

78km remaining from 178km

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

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.

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

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

68km remaining from 178km

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.

55km remaining from 178km

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.....

53km remaining from 178km

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.

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%.

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.

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

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

45km remaining from 178km

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

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

41km remaining from 178km

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

38km remaining from 178km

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

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

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.

34km remaining from 178km

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

31km remaining from 178km

31km remaining from 178km

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

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

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

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

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?

27km remaining from 178km

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

They have been underway for just over four hours now.

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

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

22km remaining from 178km

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

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

20km remaining from 178km

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.

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

18km remaining from 178km

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.

16km remaining from 178km

16km remaining from 178km

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

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

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

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

It was Niemiec ahead of Scarponi, with Nibali third.

12km remaining from 178km

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

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

10km remaining from 178km

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

8km remaining from 178km

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

7km remaining from 178km

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

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

5km remaining from 178km

4km remaining from 178km

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

RadioShack and Leopard riders in front now.

1km remaining from 178km

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scarponi claimed the honours for third place.

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

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


1 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
2 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli
3 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
5 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
6 Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
7 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
8 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team

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