27/05/12 - 7:49 PM
Milan - Milan
Giro d'Italia • Stage21

Milan - Milan
Giro d'Italia - 27 May 2012

Giro d'Italia – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 19:49 on 27 May 2012. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Final GC top five: 1. Ryder Hesjedal, 2. Joaquim Rodriguez +16, 3. Thomas De Gendt +1:39, 4. Michele Scarponi 2:05, 5. Ivan Basso 3:44.


Stage result: 1. Pinotti 33:06, 2. Thomas +39, 3. Sergent +53.


Marco Pinotti won the stage ahead of Geraint Thomas and Jesse Sergent.


Hesjedal is being mobbed by the crowd. There's a Canadian flag there too - he's his nation's first ever Grand Tour winner. The Garmin-Barracuda rider wins the Giro by 16 seconds.


Joaquim Rodriguez gave it his all but it's not enough: the Spaniard crosses the line in a time of 35:02, 1:56 down on Pinotti.


Ryder Hesjedal powers towards the finish line and the pink jersey: it's the sixth best time, 1:06 down on Pinotti. Canada's first ever Grand Tour win.


The crowds roar as Scarponi comes home in a time of 35:00 - it's not enough for the podium. De Gendt has risen above him.


Just three left now, with Scarponi, Hesjedal and Rodriguez all fighting hard.


Thomas De Gendt crosses the finish line to take the fourth best time, 1:01 down on Pinotti. It will be enough for the podium - unless Scarponi pulls it out of a bag.


Basso finishes 2:04 down in 24th place - and that will be enough to conserve his fifth place from Cunego.


De Gendt is going really strong - he was fourth fastest at the second check, 42 seconds down on Pinotti - so on course for the podium after Scarponi was 1:15 down at the same check.


Rodriguez comes through the second check and he's 1:27 down on Pinotti in 26th. Unless Hesjedal crashed or punctures, Rodriguez will lose the pink jersey.


Live timing gives Hesjedal a 40 second lead over Rodriguez at the moment - which puts him in pink. The Canadian crosses teh second check 43 seconds down on Pinotti in fourth place.


Both Hesjedal and Rodriguez are really pushing themselves - both riders almost crash into barriers afetr overcooking turns.


Incredible scences here: it looks like Hesjedal will do it, just like Cadel Evans overturned Andy Schleck in the Tour, the Canadian is about to turn over Rodriguez.


Basso is approaching the second check - and he's 1:33 down on Pinotti. So, the Italian will not pull off a miracle and ride onto the podium today.


Joaquim Rodriguez is the last rider through the first check at 11.7km. The Spaniard is 56 seconds down in 36th place. That's 29 seconds slower than Hesjedal - so Rodriguez only has two seconds over his rival now in the battle for pink.


Ryder Hesjedal comes through the first check at 27seconds down on Pinotti. That's fifth fastest and one second quicker than De Gendt. But how does it compare to the pink jersey? That's the big question...


Michele Scarponi is next through the first check. The defending champion comes through 39 seconds off the pace of Pinotti - that's 11 seconds slower than De Gendt. That means De Gendt needs another 17 seconds if he wants to move up into the podium... it's going to be tight.


Thomas De Gendt is 5th fastest at the first check, 28 seconds down on Pinotti's target time. That is a great time for the Belgian powerhouse.


Ivan Basso is 56 seconds down in 33rd place at the first check. Not a great time for the Italian Diesel engine.


Hesjedal basically has to make up one second per kilometre is he wants to become the first Canadian winner of the Giro d'Italia.


So, after three weeks it has all come down to this! The first splits are going to be crucial...


Race leader Joaquim Rodriguez, head to toe in pink, gets his time trial under way. Will he have to change costumes tonight?


Ryder Hesjedal leaves the start ramp to get his day with destiny under way! The next half hour will be the most important in his life...


Based on the times in the opening ITT in Herning, which was roughly a third of the length of today's time trial in Milan, I have come up with some estimations for the GC today. Here they are: 1. Hesjedal, 2. Rodiguez +11, 3. De Gendt +1:45, 4. Scarponi +2:58, 5. Basso +3:06. What do you think? Is this likely or just a load of hot air? It doesn't take into account form, fatigue or miracles...


Can yesterday's hero De Gendt put in another titanic performance and move onto the podium? We'll know pretty soon. He's a bit sore from yesterday's exploits so it may be a big call. Michele Scaponi is now down the ramp.


Basso and De Gendt now on course. Reminder of the provisional standings at the moment: 1. Pinotti 33:06, 2. Thomas +39, 3. Sergent +53, 4. Rasmussen +1:00, 5. Larsson +1:14.


Pozzovivo, Uran and now Cunego all on course. Uran is all in white after securing the youth classification yesterday. Tam Sky's Colombian leads compatriot and team-mate Sergio Henao by 2:28 in the youth classification - and it's unlikely that he'll lose that much time in the ITT.


Sweden's Gustav Erik Larsson (Vacansoleil) sets the 5th best time at the finish, 1:14 down on Pinotti.


Frenchman John Gadret (AG2R) goes down the ramp: we're onto the top ten now.


It looks like Damiano Caruso of Liquigas has gone down - TV images show him being pushed along by a mechanic, so either he needed a wheel change or he hit the deck. Yes, it was a crash - he slipped and went over his handlebars on a tight bend by a roundabout.


What a superb ride from BMC's Marco Pinotti, who completes the 28.1km course in 33:06 - a huge 39 seconds faster than Geraint Thomas. We have a new leader...


Marco Pinotti continued his fine ride to set the best time at the second check, 26 seconds faster than Thomas.


Stage 19 winner Roman Kreuziger (Astana) is on course now. The Czech rider is 18 minutes down in the GC after that terrible day he has on the Passo Giau. He would have hoped to be riding towards the podium today, but at least turned things round with that win on Friday.


They are onto the top 20 riders now... Big names and their start times are as follows: Henao (Sky) 15:20, Gadret (AG2R) 15:22, Nieve (Euskaltel) 15:24, Pozzovivo (Colnago) 15:26, Uran (Team Sky) 15:28, Cunego (Lampre) 15:30, Basso (Liquigas) 15:32, De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) 15:34, Scarponi (Lampre) 15:36, Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) 15:38, Rodriguez (Katusha) 15:40.


Marco Pinotti (BMC) means business: the Italian betters Thomas's time by 15 seconds at the first check - that's a huge effort from Pinotti. Can he hold on and make up for Phinney's bad luck?


Adriano Malori (Lampre), the Italian time trial champion, can only manage the ninth best time at the finish. His effort of 34:34 is 49 seconds off the pace of Geraint Thomas.


We have a new leader: Britain's Geraint Thomas crossed the finish 14 seconds ahead of Sergent after setting a new target time of 33:46.


Earlier today, there was a big mix-up involving the ITT favourite Taylor Phinney, who followed a motorbike off the course instead of taking a right-hand bend early in his time trial. He just spoke to TV reporters and said: "S*** happens but you have to move on. I was pretty angry." Phinney lost a lot of time having to turn round and return to the route - and is currently down in 8th at the finish, 38 seconds behind Sergent.


Geraint Thomas is having a storming ride! The Team Sky stalwart sets the best time at the first split: 13:43, four seconds fester than previous pace-setter Jesse Sergent.


A reminder of the current top five: 1. Jesse Sergent (RadioShack) 33:59, 2. Alex Rasmussen (Garmin) +7, 3. Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas) +22, 4. Svein Tuft (GreenEdge) +29, 5. Ian Stannard (Team Sky) +31.


Britain's Geraint Thomas of Team Sky on course now. The Welshman was in good spirits on Twitter this morning, posting a comment about being relieved at not having to climb any more mountains until the end of April. Thomas will sit out the Tour de France to prepare for the Olympics, but is down to ride the Vuelta.


Ballan comes home to finish his Giro, setting the 13th best time at 1:24 behind Sergent.


BMC's Alessandro Ballan has caught the two riders in front of him - Cesare Benedetti (NetApp) and Nikolas Maes (QuickStep), the second of whom continues to ride very close in the Italian's slipstream. Ballan looks to be having a stormer, but it's more a question of those in front of him riding raggedly. He was 30 seconds down at the first check and is approaching the finish now...


Maciej Bodnar of Liquigas set the third best time at the first check, the fifth best at the second check, and has now just completed the course in third place, 22 seconds down on Sergent.


Italy's Matteo Rabottini picked up maximum points over the first three climbs yesterday to secure the blue jersey in the KOM competition. The Farnese Vini rider set up his blue jersey victory with that epic ride in stage 15, which he won - just - ahead of Rodriguez on the Piani dei Resinelli.


Two British riders have completed the course: Ian Stannard has set the fourth best time, 31 seconds down on Sergent, and Mark Cavendish came home in ninth, 1:53 down. Cavendish suffered the pain of losing his red jersey to Joaquim Rodriguez by just one slender point yesterday after the Spaniard finished fourth at Passo dello Stelvio.


Sergent slows slightly over the last section but does enough to set the best time of 33:59 at this early stage. The current top five is: 1. Sergent, 2. Rasmussen +7, 3. Tuft +29, 4. Phinney +38, 5. Ignatiev +54.


Jesse Sergent is really going strong today - could he save RadioShack's torrid Giro with a win at the 11th Hour in Milan? The New Zealander has come through the second check 12 seconds faster than previous pace-setter Rasmussen.


Prediction: The opening ITT was roughly three times shorter than this 28km ITT. Hesjedal beat Rodriguez by 14 seconds in Denmark - that's 42 seconds projected onto this course in Milan. That would make him the winner of the Giro by 11 seconds today. Elsewhere, De Gendt would rise to third place - the Belgian beat Scarponi by a huge 1:17 in Denmark...


Omega Pharma-Quick Step's Michal Kwiatkowski has also bettered Rasmussen at the first check - the Pole has the second best time, seven seconds behind Sergent.


We have a new leader at the first check: New Zealander Jesse Sergent (RadioShack) has just shaved a huge 16 seconds off Rasmussen's time at the first check!


Rasmussen is having a stormer and shaves 20 seconds off Phinney's time at the second check. He'll be the man to beat out there today - but Garmin will be hoping it will be a double success with Hesjedal netting the pink as well.


At the first time check, Garmin's Alex Rasmussen has set the early best time of 14:03. That's two seconds quicker than Svein Tuft (Orica GreenEdge) and 19 seconds faster than Taylor Phinney (BMC).


Phinney has an early problem though when he follows a race bike instead of taking a right turn, causing the youngster to have to turn around before continuing on his way. He will have lot a lot of time there. Either way, Phinney recovers quickly and has caught the second rider down the ramp, Euskaltel's Adrian Saez.


One of the favourites for today's stage is the American Taylor Phinney of BMC. Phinney, if you can remember as far back as Denmark, won the race's opening time trial in Herning to take the Giro's first pink jersey. The youngster is currently third-bottom in the GC and so will start early today - in fact, he's already on course now.


The intermediate times are measured after 11.7km at the via Gallarate turn point, and at after 20.5km at Bastioni di Porta Nuova. The finish line is in Piazza Duomo.


The first of 157 riders, Miguel Minguez of Euskaltel, is down the ramp to get this deciding ITT under way. We'll bring you live comments and time gaps, plus the big build up to the race favourites, right here on Eurosport.Yahoo.com.


Today's route was meant to be 30.1km but it has been shortened to 28.2km due to roadworks. The starting ramp is in front of the Castello Sforzesco and the flat route finishes in the shadows of the Milan Duomo. The route follows mainly wide, straight roads on an out and back course in the city centre. Some sections of the course use both sides of the road.


Spain’s Miguel Minguez Ayala (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is the first rider to start the time trial at 12:49 pm BST. Current race leader and pink jersey wearer Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) is the last rider to start at 15:40 BST.


It's sunny in Milan today but slightly cloudy conditions are expected later on with temperatures around 23 degrees centigrade.


De Gendt now has a realistic shot of the podium providing he puts in a decent time trial today. But the battle for the pink jersey looks like a two-way war between Joaquim Rodriguez and Ryder Hesjedal. A late surge yesterday was the Spaniard gain 14 seconds on the Canadian, and Rodriguez take a 31-second advantage over Hesjedal into the ITT, with defending champion in third, at 1:51.


Yesterday, Belgium's Thomas De Gendt rode into the history books with an astonishing solo victory atop the Passo dello Stelvio in stage 20 of the Giro d'Italia. In one of modern cycling's most memorable individual performances, the 25-year-old Vacansoleil-DCM all-rounder attacked from a breakaway on the fabled Alpine pass to take the illustrious Cima Coppi prize - and move into fourth place in the general classification, two minutes and 18 seconds behind race leader Joaquim Rodriguez of Spain.


Welcome to live coverage of the last day of the 2012 Giro d'Italia, a 28km individual time trial around the streets of Milan that will decide the destiny of the maglia rosa.