By Graham Jones
and Barry Boyce

CyclingRevealed Historians



Giro d'Italia Champions
Living and Dead











CyclingRevealed's Giro '08 Perspective

Tappa 15, May 25th, Arabba to Passo Fedaia / Marmolada, 153 km Mountain Finish

Keep the Pressure ON

How cruel can they be? The “Queen Stage” of this year's Giro d'Italia has the Category 1 Passo Pordoi starting from the start
(Km -0- !). The promoters are keeping the pressure on the peloton.

When you're hot keep the pressure ON! The action of the day started 2 km up the climb and who else Emanuele Selle attacked with Joaquim Rodriguez. Stretching the limits of the peloton Sella is first over the summit of the Pordoi. Four riders, Sella, Fortunato Baliani, Vladimir Karpets, and Jose Rujano, descending the Pordoi held a very small gap on the chasing contenders. Sella is now a “danger guy” and the chasing contenders are getting nervous. The pressure is still on in the chasing group with the gap at 1'45”.

The Gruppetto (non-climber's group) formed early and had approximately 100 riders. Will they make the time cut today?

Over the second category 1 climb of the stage, the Passo di San Pellegrino, Sella takes maximum points. The breakaway, now 9 riders, holds a 1'54” lead.

The brutal stage continued with the Category 1 Passo Giau. Slightly longer than the first two climbs, the Giau will keep the pressure on the peloton.

Halfway up the Giau the breakaway is shattered under the Sella's pressure. One by one they return to the chasing pack. Sella again takes the maximum climbing points over the summit of the Giau. The breakaway's lead has fallen below 2 minutes as the chasers are becoming more animated.

After a long descent the riders begin to set up for the final 13.3 km climb of the HC Passo Fedaia/Marmolada (see CR's Know Your 'Marmolada' from Your 'Fedaia' ). At the base of the climb Sella attacks and drops Rodriguez and Baliani.

Tapping out a strong tempo Sella increased his lead to 3'33” with 5 km to go.

Sella does it again! [ Image ©: ]

Emanuele Sella crossed the finish for his second straight inspiring stage win.

Stage winner Emanuele Sella left them all behind AGAIN! [ Images © La Gazetta ]

From the contenders Riccardo Ricco attacked and shattered the group. Only CSF's Domenico Pozzovivo was able to follow. Alberto Contador, Danilo DI Luca, Gilberto Simoni, and Denis Menchov form the next grou, but can't catch Ricco. Pozzovivo grabs second place just ahead of Ricco with Di Luca leading the Contador group for 4th place.

Alberto Contador is the new wearer of the Maglia Rosa.

New Race Leader Alberto Contador [ Images © La Gazetta ]

There is still a lot of racing until Milan and I can assure you that Emanuele Sella will keep the pressure ON!


SPECIAL NOTE: The Gruppetto finish the stage +35'17" behind Sella. Team High Road's Marco Pinotti won the :-) field sprint... ?



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