Cycling Live

Giro d'Italia - Caravaggio - Vicenza

Live Comments

  1. 0km - No change on GC with all the big names finishing in that chasing group. Vincenzo Nibali still leads Evans by 1:26 and Rigoberto Uran by 2:46 going into tomorrow's decisive mountain time trial.

  2. 0km - Mark Cavendish finished in a group 1:39 down on winner Visconti. By finishing tenth, Cadel Evans too 5pts in the red jersey standings and returns to just 5pts of Cavendish in the red jersey competition which looks like it will go right down to the wire.

  3. 0km - Stage result: 1. Visconti, 2. Navardauskas +19, 3. Mezgec, 4. Pozzato, 5. Hondo, 6. Puccio, 7. Modolo, 8. Felline, 9. Ventoso, 10. Evans.

  4. 0km - Ramunas Navardauskas of Garmin wins the sprint for second place - and the Lithuanian thinks he's won the stage! Up go the arms in celebration... his radio must not have been working.

  5. 0km - Visconti sweeps into the final straight, pumps his fist, then milks the crowd after securing Movistar's third stage on the trot - and fourth in the race.

  6. 0.5km - Visconti can't stop checking behind him for confirmation that the pack is not closing in...

  7. 1km - Into the last kilometre for Visconti and he will take the win here - incredible stuff.

  8. 1.5km - Visconti overcooks a tight bend and almost hits the deck! But he's ok and will only lose a bit of momentum.

  9. 2km - Visconti may well hold on - this is a brilliant ride.

  10. 2.5km - 20 seconds for Visconti - with numerous individual attacks coming in behind.

  11. 3km - Robert Gesink is right there on the front - hoping to put yesterday's disappointment behind him. Rafal Majka is right there - perhaps keen to put Betancur, his rival for the white jersey, under pressure.

  12. 4km - There are numerous groups fighting back on the main group, which appears to have fragmented into echelons.

  13. 4.5km - Visconti is in a world of pain - but the chasing group is very fragmented. Now it's Sky setting the pace.

  14. 5km - Ventoso is right on the front but not setting the tempo - he wants to be there in case his team-mate Visconti is caught.

  15. 6km - Euskaltel on the attack through Azanza. It's contered by Franco Pellizotti of Androni and Kelderman. Visconti still has 22 seconds.

  16. 7km - Now Fabio Felline of Androni is off the front in pursuit of Visconti, who has 23 seconds.

  17. 8km - Blanco's Wlico Kelderman attacks from the main pack...

  18. 9km - Nizzolo and Marcato are riding with one Sky rider in pursuit of the main pack, trying to close the gap.

  19. 10km - Visconti is onto the flat segment and passes under the 10-to-go banner with 33 seconds. Bardiani Valvole are chasing behind - perhaps Modolo has made the selection.

  20. 11km - The gap is fairly stable - 30 seconds for Visconti. The main pack has caught Rubiano.

  21. 13km - Cavendish has four OPQS team-mates around him on the descent as they try to get back into contention - but they're one minute down on the maglia rosa group.

  22. 15km - This technical descent is about 8km long and it will be hard for the pack to make up much time. But afterwards we have another 8km to the finish - and that's where it will hurt for Visconti. His team-mate Ventoso is in the chasing pack and in the absence of other sprinters he'll fancy his chances should Visconti fade.

  23. 17km - Now Rubiano cracks! Visconti rides off towards the summit in pole position. He crosses with a 16-second gap over Rubiano and a 32-second gap over the main pack, which has caught Diu Luca.

  24. 17.5km - Visconti and Rubiano have 21 seconds on the pack as they near the summit.

  25. 18km - Visconti passes the others escapees and only Rubiano can hold on. Di Luca is distanced. Meanwhile,m further back, the maglia rosa group is about 40-strong after that steep section of the climb.

  26. 19km - The gradient is starting to ease a bit now as Visconti joins Rubiano and Di Luca.

  27. 19.2km - Di Luca joins Rubiano on the front, while Giovanni Visconti attacks off the front of the main pack. He's going for a second win after his Galibier heroics.

  28. 19.5km - Cavendish is running out of power fast. His face is a picture of pain. He has one team-mate but he doesn't look happy. Two team-mates now. But he will lose touch and have to fight back on.

  29. 19.8km - Bravo Mark Cavendish - the red jersey is holding on at the back of the streamlined peloton. He's right on the edge, but still there. If he can stay in touch, the stage is his.

  30. 20km - Dockx and Durbridge have been caught by the peloton. Rubiano, the lone leader, has 25 seconds on the chaser, Di Luca, who rides just a handful of seconds ahead of the main pack.

  31. 20.5km - Lampre have moved to the front of the main pack to set the pace. There's no sign of Cavendish or Omega Pharma-Quick Step and so the red jersey must already be in trouble. He'll have to fight back on the downhill...

  32. 21km - First Dockx and then Durbridge pop on the uphill, leaving Rubiano to forge ahead alone. Further back, Proni pulls up, his work at launching Di Luca complete. The Italian veteran surges ahead and catches Dockx. Di Luca has been active in the Giro but is still without a win.

  33. 22km - We're onto the Cat.4 climb of Crosara (5.3km at 6.8% with a max of 12%).

  34. 23km - ATTACK: Alessandro Proni (Vini Fantini) has been piling the pressure on the downhill and now he has a go as the road heads up - and team-mate Danilo Di Luca follows.

  35. 24km - Still just the minute for the three leaders ahead of this final climb, which will be key. Many riders have lost touch off the back so there will be some time gaps tonight.

  36. 25km - It's very lumpy at the moment - these narrow roads featuring numerous little climbs and descents, not to mention twisting bends and hairpins. Riding fast over this kind of terrain takes some skill - and Cavendish is holding on, his OPQS team trying to muscle out Vini Fantini.

  37. 27km - The road is so narrow that Egoi Martinez of Euskaltel overshoots and has to run out onto the verge. Luckily a spectator jumps clear to let him through.

  38. 28km - The three remaining escapees - Dockx, Durbridge and Rubiano - have 1:20 as Vini Fantini take it up on the front of the peloton. This will pile the pressure on Cavendish and his OPQS team. Belkov is swept up.

  39. 30km - The road is very narrow - and it's said to be even narrower for that Cat.4 climb. That could cause chaos in the peloton.

  40. 32km - Just one minute now for the four leaders. The carrots are cooked. And Belkov is the first to pop on a small rise just ahead of the Cat.4 climb proper.

  41. 35km - Luke Durbridge is the Australian national time trial champion and finished 6th in the ITT won by Alex Dowsett earlier in the race. Many may be puzzled to see him in today's break - but remember that tomorrow's time trial is a mountain one, and so hardly suited to someone of Durbridge's size, shape and strengths.

  42. 38km - Just 2:35 for the leaders Belkov, Dockx, Durbridge and Rubiano. That climb is in about 18km and then we have the descent and fast run into Vicenza.

  43. 42km - At the second intermediate sprint in Orgiano, Belkov takes the points once again ahead of Dockx and Durbridge. The gap is three minutes. Cavendish takes fifth on the front of the pack to extend his lead to 10 points over Cadel Evans in the battle for the red jersey.

  44. 48km - The lead has dropped below three minutes with the approach of the second intermediate sprint. 2:57 at the latest check.

  45. 52km - The gap is coming down quite quickly now multiple teams are combining in the chase. It's 3:12 now and so expect the four leaders to be back in the pack before that solitary climb later today.

  46. 55km - Vacansoleil-DCM are going all-in for local lad Marco Marcato today. He lives close to the foot of the Cat.4 peak coming up in about 30km so knows these roads well. The 29 year old is making his debut in the Giro this year and a win at home would be the icing on the cake. But he's not the only local prospect of a victory: the likes of Pozzato, Gatto and Viviani all come from nearby Vicenza so they'll be extra motivated as well.

  47. 60km - We just had a glimpse of Carlos Betancur (Ag2R-La Mondiale) in the main pack. The Colombian is the current white jersey as best youth rider - he leads Poland's Rafal Majka (Saxo Bank) by just five seconds in the standings in what is proving to be a two-horse (or pony) race.

  48. 62km - Mark Cavendish nips ahead of the pack to take fifth place over the line at the intermediate sprint. That increases his lead to eight points over Cadel Evans in the red jersey competition. The gap is 4:15 for the leading quartet.

  49. 64km - Belkov takes maximum points at the intermediate sprint ahead of Rubiano and Dockx. It was an uncontested affair, mind. Belkov has notched quite a few intermediate sprint points in this year's race. With those eight points he moves up into 8th position in the red jersey standings.

  50. 66km - So, it's Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Argos Shimano, Cannondale and Movistar all sharing out the pace-setting duties on the front of the pack for their men Cavendish, Mezgec, Viviani and Ventoso. The pace is so fast certain riders are struggling to hold in at the back, including the blue jersey Stefano Pirazzi and the stage seven winner Adam Hansen. The gap has dropped to below five minutes now: it's 4:45. It's going to be hard for the break because these roads, flat and straight.

  51. 70km - The old adage says it's one minute for every 10km. Well, the break now has five minutes and that's pretty promising. Even better is the fact that they pack has been drilling it for the past 10km and they have made no in-roads whatsoever. Still, you wouldn't bet on this break staying out. Or do you think they will stay out?

  52. 75km - Movistar are doing a fair bit of work on the front too - looking to set up their man Fran Ventoso for a fourth win on this year's race (fourth for the team, not Ventoso). The gap is still 5:12 for the four leaders: Maxim Belkov (Katusha), Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge), Gert Dockx (Lotto Belisol) and Miguel Rubiano (Androni).

  53. 80km - Androni's Diego Rosa had a mechanical ans is riding back onto the peloton with a team-mate. The gap of the five leaders is now up to five minutes. It looks like OPQS are not too bothered about those intermediate sprints - they're going all in for the finish in Vicenza.

  54. 85km - Maglia rosa Vincenzo Nibali is chatting to stage 15 winner Giovanni Visconti of Movistar in the middle of the peloton. Nibali has been solid if unspectacular in this year's Giro: he's won no stages, but sits comfortably at the top of the standings. He did crash on a downhill in the rain in the opening week - but still took time off Bradley Wiggins on the same day. The question now is whether or not he'll suffer an off-day? The pace may have increased but the break still holds 4:47 over the pack.

  55. 90km - Cadel Evans makes his way back into the peloton after apparently taking a call of nature. The Australian has a big three days in front of him: trailing Nibali by 1:26, he'll be hoping the Italian will suffer his first bad day in the next mountain stages. The gap is now back to 4:35.

  56. 95km - Taylor Phinney may no longer be around, but there's a lot of goofing around in the peloton at the moment. Movistar - already with three wins to their name - are taking it easy and enjoying some banter, while three Argos riders play with water bottles off the back of the pack. Valerio Agnoli of Astana smiles at the cameras and then bursts into a fit of giggles. The pace is very relaxed - and the break's lead is back to 3:20.

  57. 100km - There's just the one Cat.4 climb today so there won't be any significant change in the blue jersey king of the mountains competition. Italy's Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani Valvole) leads with 79 points with compatriot Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) on 42 points. A further point adrift is Venezuela's Jackson Rodriguez of Androni Giocattoli.

  58. 103km - The peloton is pretty strung out now as OPQS begin to turn back on the pace after lunch. The gap comes down to 2:50 as Luke Durbridge makes his way back on after either chatting with his DS or answering a call of nature. "Turbo Durbo" is the youngest rider in the race having only recently turned 22. The Australian is also the current national time trial and road race champion. He should have a fairly big future in the sport.

  59. 107km - As expected, there's a slight post-prandial surge for the break, who are now 3:15 ahead of the pack, which is being led by a combination of teams - including, oddly enough, Euskaltel.

  60. 110km - A reminder that Australian sprinter Matt Harley Goss abandoned the race yesterday - which is why Orica-GreenEdge don't fancy their chances in a bunch sprint. Although, to be fair, Goss has not exactly been a factor in the fast finishes of this year's race so far. Another Australian withdrawal yesterday was Nathan Haas of Garmin-Sharp, who crashed badly and was forced out.

  61. 113km - The four leaders have passed through the feeding zone with an advantage of 2:40 over the bunch.

  62. 115km - Slovenian Luka Mezgec is not even Argos Shimano's first choice sprinter: he started the race as John Degenkolb's lead-out man - even if the German won stage 5 in spite of Mezgec, who crashed on the final bend and created chaos in his wake. But 24-year-old Mezgec has emerged as a sprinter in his own right since Dekenkolb's withdrawal, with a couple of high finishes behind Cavendish. The gap is down to 2:50 now for the four leaders.

  63. 120km - Argos and OPQS are not happy with those attacks from GreenEdge, which have been moped up. You can understand their irritation - what with wanting to set up wins for their men Luka Mezgec and Mark Cavendish - but at the same point, you have to appreciate the motives of the Australian team. Brett Lancaster will be a huge outsider for the finish and they'll need to be part of a break that sticks if they want a chance of taking the win today.

  64. 123km - ATTACK: Canada's Christian Meier of Orica-GreenEdge had jumped ahead of the peloton in pursuit of the leaders. Meier attacked yesterday and seeing that his team has no sprinter left in the race, it's clear to see what they're up to. Meier is reeled back in, but then his team-mate Jens Mouris has a pop himself, alongside an Ag2R-La Mondiale rider. They clearly understand that the break is merely being allowed to hang out ahead and are eager to spark some life into this stage.

  65. 125km - The four-man break - Russia's Maxim Belkov (Katusha), Australian Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge), Belgian Gert Dockx and Colombia's Miguel Rubiano (Androni) - formed after just 6km today. They currently have just over three minutes on the pack, which is enjoying something of a rest day with OPQS and Argos Shimano setting the tempo.

  66. 130km - The average speed for the second hour of racing was 41.1kmh and the gap is now 3:15.

  67. 135km - Yesterday, Dutchman Robert Gesink was also involved in that late break alongside Intxausti, Kangert and Niemiec, but the Blanco rider had a mechanical 2km from the finish to end his chances of glory. "To have this happen after 236km, just two short of the end - it must be Murphy's Law. My chain derailed on the cobbles and blocked my wheel. I was riding full out for the stage win and felt very good." After an appeal, Gesink was awarded the same time as the winners and stayed in 10th place on GC.

  68. 140km - The lead is 3:25 for Belkov, Durbridge, Rubiano and Dockx. The quartet has not been able to pull out much more than four minutes on the road as the OPQS team of red jersey Mark Cavendish keep them in check.

  69. 145km - Despite having their man in pink, Astana have yet to win a stage in this year's Giro. Nibali came close atop the mist-covered Jafferau, but allowed his compatriot Mauro Santambrogio to take the win. Yesterday, Astana took another second place, this time through Estonian national champion Tanel Kangert, who zipped off the front towards the finish with Benat Intxausti and Przemyslaw Niemiec. Kangert missed out on the win, but he did ensure that all bonus seconds were kept from Nibali's rivals.

  70. 150km - The Astana team of Vincenzo Nibali are able to take a break today as OPQS are leading the chase for their man Mark Cavendish. Cav notched his 101st professional win last week - his fourth of the race. The gap is still 3:15 for the four escapees.

  71. 155km - Tomorrow's 20.6km mountain time trial will be key in the battle for GC. It's not too long and not too steep, but there will be opportunity for time to be taken or lost. Cadel Evans was fastest up the final climb in the opening ITT 10 days ago and the Australian will hope to take around half a minute off leader Vincenzo Nibali to fall within one minute of the maglia rosa going into the final two key mountain stages.

  72. 160km - The gap comes down to 3:20 as light drizzle falls on the riders.

  73. 165km - We have two intermediate sprints today but they both come in the last third of the stage and ahead of that deciding Cat.4 climb. Omega Pharma-Quick Step may well want to propel Cavendish to maximum points at both in a bid to extend his slender lead at the top of the red jersey standings - this could explain why the four-man break have not been able to extend their lead to much over four minutes.

  74. 168km - Talking of Omega Pharma-Quick Step, the latest rumour doing the rounds is that Rigoberto Uran will join the Belgian team at the end of the season when his current contract at Sky ends. 26-year-old Uran is said to have ambitions riding the Tour de France - and while the likes of Wiggins, Froome and Porte are still above him in the pecking order, he's not going to be able to do that too soon at Sky. That said, OPQS would have to restructure - at the moment, they're set up for Cavendish.

  75. 170km - A lot depends on how (and if) Omega Pharma-Quick Step control the stage. When Cavendish got back-to-back wins last week, his OPQS team were mighty impressive in leading the chase and helping their man through the hills. Of course, if there's a bunch sprint and Cav is there, the Manxman will also have to do it without his usual lead-out man Gert Steegmans, who retired from the race on the second rest day.

  76. 175km - The gap has stabilised at around four minutes. There's a lot of talk about Mark Cavendish showing the climbing ability to be able to hold on to contest the win today. There will be a whole host of Italian sprinters who will look to cause an upset today, mind. The likes of Filippo Pozzato (Lampre), Oscar Gatto (Vini Fantini), Sacha Modolo (Bardiani Valvole), Fabio Felline (Androni Giocattoli), Elia Viviani (Cannondale) and Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack-Leopard) will be targeting a win too.

  77. 180km - Australian time trial specialist Luke Durbridge, 22, is the only Giro debutant in this group. Belgian Gert Dockx, 24, finished 96th in his only previous Giro back in 2011. Maxim Belkov and Miguel Angel Rubiano are both 28 and both previous stage winners in the Giro - Belkov this year in stage 9 and Rubiano last year in stage 6.

  78. 185km - Russia's Maxim Belkov (Katusha), Australian Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge), Belgian Gert Dockx and Colombia's Miguel Rubiano (Androni) have 4:10 over the peloton so it looks like this is the day's main break. Expect the lead to balloon to around 10 minutes before the teams of the sprinters combine to drag them back ahead of the final climb.

  79. 190km - The four leaders are combining well and have increased the lead to almost two minutes. Katusha and Lotto already have wins in this year's race, but GreenEdge and Androni are looking for a first. Could this be the moment?

  80. 195km - The four leaders have just 22 seconds on the peloton so it's touch and go. None of the riders are a GC threat, with Colombian Rubiano the best placed at 1hr 17min 50secs.

  81. 198km - BREAK: Four riders have pulled out in front of the peloton. They are stage nine winner Maxim Belkov (Katusha), Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge), Gert Dockx (Lotto Belisol) and Miguel Rubiano (Androni).

  82. 200km - It may be sunny today but there's talk that stage 19 and 20 are at risk because of snow, rain and cold conditions in the Dolomites. The Passo Gavia and Passo dello Stelvio (Friday) and the Passo Costalunga, Passo San Pelligrino, Passo Giau and Passo Tre Croci (Saturday) are all under threat of severe snow fall. Forecasts say the temperature atop the Stelvio could be as low as -14 degrees. After the shortening of the Col du Galibier on Sunday, this would be a blow to race organisers and fans.

  83. 205km - After all the rain and snow that has wrecked havoc on this year's Giro, it's nice to see the sun high in a bright blue sky for today's stage. The temperature is 18 degrees Celsius and for many today should be a nice and relaxing day in the saddle ahead of three decisive back-to-back mountain tests.

  84. 210km - As Benat Intxausti crossed the line yesterday he made an X with his fingers in memory of his former team-mate and friend Xavi Tondo almost two years after the Spaniard's death. "It's May 21st today and May 23rd is sad but a special day for me because it's the second anniversary of what happened. I'm sure he would have celebrated my victory and so this win is for him, my grandfather and my team," the Movistar rider said.

  85. 212km - Italian sprinter Mattia Gavazzi apparently was caught taking repeated tows from team vehicles on the tough Cat.3 climb ahead of the stage 16 finish in Ivrea. He was last to finish the stage in a group more than 17 minutes down on stage winner Benat Intxausti. The disqualification means Gavazzi will not be able to contest the final sprint in his home town of Brescia on Sunday.

  86. 214km - They're off! Two non starters today: Androni Giocattoli's Mattia Gavazzi, who finished the stage in last place and who was last place on GC, has been kicked out for holding onto his team car on a climb, while RadioShack-Leopard's Hayden Roulston does not start stage 17. That leaves 172 riders from an intial peloton of 207.

  87. 11:15 - Today's stage could well be a chance for Mark Cavendish to extend his slender lead in the red jersey competition. The OPQS sprinter has 109 points to Cadel Evans's 103 - but this will be the last chance for the 28-year-old to add to his tally of four stage wins ahead of the final flat stage into Brescia on Sunday. The big question is whether or not he can get over that final climb still intention - or if a break will form and stay out to contest for glory.

  88. 11:10 - Italian race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) finished another flawless stage in a select group alongside his main rivals 13 seconds down on the leading trio to retain his maglia rosa with 5 stages remaining. Cadel Evans (BMC) still trails Nibali by 1:26 in second place, with Rigobeto Uran (Sky) third at 2:46. But stage 14 winner Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini) cracked on the second of two climbs 20km from the finish to concede more than 2mins and drop from fourth place to sixth on GC.

  89. 11:05 - Yesterday, Spain's Benat Intxausti won a three-way sprint to take stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia ahead of Tanel Kangert and Przemyslaw Niemiec in Ivrea. Intxausti - who wore the leader's pink jersey for one day during the opening week's individual time trial - gave his Movistar team their third stage win of the race after playing his cards right at the conclusion of the long 238km stage from the French ski resort of Valloire and back onto Italian soil.

  90. 11:00 - Welcome to LIVE coverage of stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia - a 214km largely flat ride from Caravaggio to Vicenza, which concludes with a Cat.4 bump 20km from the finish.