Giro d'Italia - *Levico Terme - Brescia

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  1. - - GC: 1. David Arroyo (Spain / Caisse d'Epargne) 76m 25s 37s; 2. Ivan Basso (Italy / Liquigas) +2:27"; 3. Richie Porte (Australia / Saxo Bank) +2:44"; 4. Cadel Evans (Australia / BMC Racing) +3:09"; 5. Carlos Sastre (Spain / Cervelo) +4:41"; 6. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy / Liquigas) +4:53"; 7. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kazakhstan / Astana) +5:12"; 8. Michele Scarponi (Italy / Androni Giocattoli) +5:24"

  2. - - RESULT: 1. Andre Greipel (Germany / HTC - Columbia) 3hrs 14mins 59secs; 2. Julian Dean (New Zealand / Garmin) same time; 3. Tiziano Dall'Antonia (Italy / Liquigas); 4. Greg Henderson (New Zealand / Team Sky); 5. Danilo Hondo (Germany / Lampre); 6. Graeme Brown (Australia / Rabobank); 7. Sebastian Haedo (Argentina / Saxo Bank); 8. Michiel Elijzen (Netherlands / Omega Pharma - Lotto); 9. Fabio Sabatini (Italy / Liquigas); 10. William Bonnet (France / Bbox - Bouygues)

  3. - - The margin of Greipel's victory in the end was quite big. Great late surge from the German!

  4. 0km - Andre Greipel coming through the middle... and the HTC-Colombia man takes the win despite Sky having done all the work near the end!

  5. 1km - One kilometre to go! Wiggins peels off as they drive towards the line!

  6. 2km - Wiggins is there in second at the moment as Sky lead the peloton.

  7. 2km - Finally, Marangoni is swallowed by the peloton!

  8. 2km - Rabobank on the front now, setting up for a final sprint. No problems so far.

  9. 3km - Marangoni is out on his own now but the peloton is fast approaching.

  10. 3km - Another tight right hander is negotiated by the peloton. Thank goodness it's dry now!

  11. 4km - Forteen seconds and counting... make that 13...

  12. 5km - Into the final 5km and the difficult turns... 19secs the gap.

  13. 7km - Rabobank now take over at the head of the peloton, with Liquigas in behind.

  14. 9km - The outskirts of Brescia fly past as the gap falls to 41secs.

  15. 10km - Today's finish is not easy for the riders - the final 5km around Brescia take in some pretty angular corners, as the town's street layout is based on the Roman grid system.

  16. 12km - HTC-Colombia and Sky are stretching out the peloton as they look to make up the 1min gap between them and the leaders.

  17. 15km - The gap goes under 1min 20secs for the first time as the peloton edges closer, although perhaps not as quickly as they would like.

  18. 20km - The gap is now 1min 26secs... 20km to go and the real action is on its way.

  19. 25km - Sky and HTC-Colombia are still heading the peloton as they head through Gavardo.

  20. 26km - The roads have dried out quickly after that spot of rain - good news for those sprinters wanting to flex their muscles at the end of the stage.

  21. 30km - Under the 30km banner go the leaders, 1min 29 ahead of the peloton. They're reelling them in and we're looking good for a mass sprint finish.

  22. 31km - Ruben Perez-Moreno (Euskaltel) won the opening stage of the Bayern Rundfahrt after a mass sprint at the finish in Viechtach yesterday. More here

  23. 33km - The break is still 2mins 02 ahead - apparently the peloton is not cutting the gap. Marangoni and Kaisen are doing well out front.

  24. 35km - David Arroyo is gunning for Giro victory this year. Who will he join?

  25. 40km - Forty clicks left and the peloton seems to be ramping it up.

  26. 42km - Tom Stamsnijder and Chris Anker Sorensen try to elongate the peloton with a little breakaway.

  27. 43km - With the sun comes the crowds, who are now lining the streets, cheering the riders on.

  28. 45km - The peloton is now 2mins 02 behind the leading duo.

  29. 50km - The sun is out! That's better, at least for spectators of the race who can now enjoy views of the lake in the sunshine.

  30. 51km - Alan Marangoni (Colnago) and Olivier Kaisen (Omega Pharma - Lotto) continue to lead the peloton by over two minutes.

  31. 56km - Oh, what's that? A bit of sunshine up ahead? Could well be! It seems the clouds are parting nearer Brescia, which is good news all around.

  32. 58km - Two hours of riding gone (it's difficult to call it racing today) and the average speed is 39.9km/h.

  33. 60km - There's a gap between Marangoni and Kaisen now, but the Italian gets back on the wheels of the German soon enough. That's the best action of the stage so far. Says a lot really...

  34. 62km - Campione del Garda is the next port of call for the riders. Another nice looking place. Oh to have one of those lakeside properties...

  35. 65km - It's still raining out there as the two breakaway riders continue their lone ride.

  36. 68km - Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and its Wikipedia page informs us that it "has had an influence on the world of fashion and it is reported that Lake Garda introduced the world to the bright yellow Dalkeith tennis jumper." Sounds impressive, but what actually is a Dalkeith tennis jumper?

  37. 70km - Wow. Limone sul Garda looks incredible. Absolutely beautiful. There's even a yacht sitting the lake there. Clearly a plaground for the rich. Ho hum...

  38. 72km - Not a great deal to report at the moment. Alan Marangoni (Colnago) and Olivier Kaisen (Omega Pharma - Lotto) are still out front and their lead is now around two and a half minutes. The peloton isn't too concerned about reeling them in just yet.

  39. 75km - In the absence of Tyler Farrar (Garmin), Matthew Goss (HTC-Columbia) and Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step) this stage is up for grabs, with remaining sprinters Andre Greipel, Greg Henderson, Danilo Hondo and Fabio Sabatini (Liquigas) certain to be in the mix.

  40. 79km - The peloton hits the banks of Lake Garda at Riva del Garda. Even in the rain it's a beautiful spot. Over the cobbles in the main square go the two leaders, rather gingerly it has to be said.

  41. 82km - Actually, the weather is bad - the skies are dark and the drizzle continues to come down. Miserable. Looks more like Manchester than Lombardy at the moment.

  42. 86km - Chris Froome (Sky) currently leads the peloton, with HTC-Colombia in behind the British team.

  43. 89km - There are speckles of rain on the helicopter camera, but it doesn't look too heavy out there and the riders don't seem too bothered.

  44. 90km - Those two riders are still out in front but Sky and HTC-Colombia have led the peloton back to within about 2mins 20sec of them after it was 2mins 45sec.

  45. 95km - Remember you can catch up with all the best pictures from the race. Giro gallery

  46. 100km - You can watch the race now LIVE now on British Eurosport 2 (Sky 411 / Virgin 525) & on the Eurosport Player. Eurosport Player

  47. 105km - The UCI has asked several national federations to investigate doping-related allegations made by disgraced rider Floyd Landis. More here

  48. 110km - Seven-times Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong will continue his preparations for the world's greatest race by taking part in the Tour of Luxembourg next week. More here

  49. 115km - In other cycling news (it's not all about the Giro, you know), Philippe Gilbert of Omega Pharma-Lotto won the opening stage of the Tour of Belgium in Eeklo. More here

  50. 118km - Danilo Hondo (Lampre), yesterday's second-placed finisher: "In the final kilometres I talked with (team-mate Marco) Marzano, who told me that his energy levels were not good, so we decided to share the attack attempts. I joined a good action but Monier was stronger than me on the climb."

  51. 120km - We've got a breakaway - Alan Marangoni (Colnago) and Olivier Kaisen (Omega Pharma - Lotto) have gone and opened up a 52sec lead over the peloton.

  52. 125km - Damien Monier (Cofidis) on his stage win: "It's a fantastic victory that rewards me for the many years of hard work. Maybe I went professional too early (at the age of 18) and I struggled a lot with the change of pace. Those were very difficult years in which I even considering quitting. I want to dedicate this victory to my dad who unfortunately passed away last year and to my eighteen-month-old daughter." Bravo Damien. Watch highlights of yesterday's stage here

  53. 130km - It was an enjoyable stage to watch on the whole, but the day was marred horribly by the sight of a man in a mankini. That's right, the mankini struck again. Do not click here if easily offended, but please do if you like Blazin' Saddles

  54. 130km - Caisse d'Epargne's David Arroyo stayed in pink with four stages to go after coming home safely in the peloton yesterday. General Classification

  55. 135km - Yesterday Cofidis rider Damien Monier claimed victory - his first as a professional - on stage 17 with a fine ride to Peio Terme. More here

  56. 140km - The group is still compact after 10k of racing. It's all pretty sedate so far.

  57. 145km - In Brescia today will be special guests Andrea Cassara, of fencing 'fame', and the skiers Elena Fanchini and Daniela Merighetti. And if those names don't get your juices flowing, nothing will.

  58. 151km - 151 riders signed on at Levico Terme this lunchtime - weird coincidence on this 151km route.

  59. - - The weather isn't too great today - it's raining already and it may even get worse as the day progresses. Bad news for fans of stunning helicopter shots of Lake Garda bathed in glorious sunshine.

  60. - - If you're a football fan, Brescia could be the place to be next season - the town's team were promoted from Serie B last campaign, meaning the likes of Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto'o and Francesco Totti will be in town before too long.

  61. - - More interestingly, Beretta, the firearms manufacturers, are based in Brescia. Their 418 model pistol was used by James Bond in five films before he was forced to hand it over to M after it got caught in his holster in From Russia With Love, putting his life in danger. His new gun, a Walther PPK, became Bond's weapon of choice in subsequent films.

  62. - - The finish line is located at Brescia, situated at the foot of the Alps. It is the second largest city in the region of Lombardy after the capital, Milan, and is known as the 'Lioness of Italy' after 10 days of uprising against Austrian oppression in 1849.

  63. - - The start town of Levico Terme is located 20km from Trento and is dominated by mountain ranges. To the west, above Lake Levico, lies the Forte Col De Le Bene, an Austro-Hungarian fort.

  64. - - Today's stage is a beautiful one, taking in the splendour of Lago di Garda after a nice and easy downhill start to get the riders going. And just look how flat it is - good for anyone dreading the next two mountainous stages.

  65. - - Stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia - this year's shortest - sees the riders travel from Levico Terme to Brescia in northern Italy on a flat 151km run that will suit sprinters down to the ground.