Saturday, May 14, 2011

Giro d'Italia, Stage 7

Stage 7, Friday, May 13, 2011, MADDALONI – MONTEVERGINE DI MERCOGLIANO, km 110

At 2:20 pm, 194 are given the start for the shortest stage of this year's Giro. High pace from the beginning, a series of attacks on the front of the field.

At km 13, Berard and Canuti clear off and are followed first by Vorganov and Pineau and then by Visconti, Pesamontes, Bak, Selvaggi, Betancourt and Cherel. The breakaway has an 18” lead at km 18.

The pace of the fieldis set by Euskaltel – Euskadi riders. In Moiano (km 22) the bunch catches the escapees. 5 riders successfully give it a try again: Visconti, Bak, Canuti, Pineau and Montaguti.

This time the bunch does not respond and, at km 27, the leaders already gain an advantage of 1’42”. At km 29 the gap between the break and the bunch is up to 3’10”.

The Acqua & Sapone and Androni Giocattoli.C.I.P.I. men are pacing and this keeps the split from Visconti, Bak, Canuti, Pineau and Montaguti unchanged. After one hour the average speed is: 45,500 kph. At km 48 the five men have a 3’05” lead. At km 51: 3’10”.

King of the Mountain – 2nd category, Serra della Strada (AV) [m 705]: Canuti first over the climb ahead of Pineau, Visconti, Bak and Montaguti; Hoogerland alone at 1’15”. The bunch is chasing them at 2’10”. A flat for Pineau who manages to catch the other leaders.

30 km to go and the five-man break keep 28” of advantage over Hoogerland and 2’18” over the bunch. Average speed after two hours: 41,100 kph. Hoogerland catches the leaders. 6 men leading the race.

Intermediate Sprint, Avellino:
Montaguti Visconti, Bak, Canuti Hoogerland and Pineau; the field, paced by Lampre – Isd riders crosses the sprint line with a 1’22” delay.

The ascent to the Sanctuary of Montevergine starts – with four men leading – as in the meanwhile Visconti and Pineau loose contact. The break maintains 40” of advantage.

Hoogerland, Montaguti and Canuti are also reeled in by the field with 11 km to go. Bak continues solo but the bunch catch him with 8 km still to race. De Clerq attacks.
With 5 km to go, the Omega Pharma – Lotto rider has a 32” advantage. Ochoa jumps ahead of the bunch.

– 3 km: De Clerq rides with 30” over Ochoa and 40” over the field. Acceleration of Pirazzi who joins and takes over Ochoa, setting to chase De Clercq with the bunch strongly speeding up. Pirazzi is caught.

Last kilometre. De Clercq solo with the bunch at his heels.

FINISH – KOM 2nd category, Montevergine di Mercogliano (AV) [m 1.260]:
Bart De Clercq has imposed himself by a few centimetres over Michele Scarponi. Third, Kreuziger. Weening holds on to the Pink Jersey.

Michele Scarponi, "I would have been happier with the victory in my palmares, but I prefer to think that I obtained 12 precious seconds: on this kind of climb, where 29 riders reached the arrival with the same time, obtaining seconds is a very good thing. Today I set an important part of my project and I want to thank my team mates for having supported my in the best way".

Time of the winner: 2h 54’ 47”, at an average speed of 37,761 kph.

Classification leaders:
Maglia Rosa Estathé è Pieter Weening (Rabobank Cycling Team).
Maglia Rosso Passione Gruppo Saint-Gobain è Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre - ISD).
Maglia Bianca Adecco è Steven Kruijswijk (Rabobank Cycling Team).
Maglia Verde Banca Mediolanum è Bart De Clercq (Omega Pharma - Lotto).

Stage 8, Sapri-Tropea, 217 km, is classified "Pianeggiante".

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