09/05/11 - 11:55
Reggio Emilia - Rapallo
Giro d'Italia • Stage3

Reggio Emilia - Rapallo

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Sad news just in: Wouter Weylandt has died following that tragic crash. The thoughts of everyone at Yahoo and Eurosport are with Weylandt and his family.


Thanks for joining us today - and be sure to keep checking the website for news of Wouter Weylandt's condition.


David Millar will be in pink tomorrow after Mark Cavendish lost time at the finish.


TV images are showing an air ambulance hovering over the area where Wouter Weylandt suffered that terrible fall.


Victory for Spain's Angel Vicioso (Androni Giocattoli) ahead of Millar and Pablo Lastras (Movistar). But the finish will be overshadowed by that terrible accident involving Wouter Weylandt of Leopard Trek. Still no news on his health, but we will keep you posted.


Millar leads the five into the last corner, but it's Vicioso who takes the win.


Under the flamme rouge... there are two more men in pursuit... Le Mevel leads the five out.


The leaders have 18 seconds so it's not a fait accompli...


It looks like the peloton has given up. The four leaders continue to power to the finish. Lastras, Vicioso, Moreno and Le Mevel. With Millar in pursuit. Yes, the Brit has made the connection, so Garmin now have two riders there.


David Millar is trying to get across the the breakaway group. Meanwhile, Sastre has bonked at the back of the peloton.


It's not just curtains for Cav: Tyler Farrar has to change a wheel and so that will do away with his chances today. There are still four out ahead, including Christophe Le Mevel.


NEWSFLASH: The Leopard Trek rider is Weylandt and he is still receiving cardiac massage and adrenaline on the ground before a probably airlift to hospital. Keep everything crossed.


The peloton is strung out as it zooms down the descent towards the coastal town of Rapallo.


Pink jersey Mark Cavendish is gritting his teeth but he's more than a minute back on the front of the bunch...


Geox's Carlos Sastre seems to be suffering on this climb. It may be because he's riding his team-mate Mauricio Alberto Ardila's bike (according to its race number).


Just to confirm: the identification of the Leopard Trek rider who suffered that terrible fall has not been confirmed. Reports say it is Wouter Weylandt but it is not a 100% certainty - presumably because the host broadcaster is not showing any images of the scene.


With their black, blue and white shirts, it's very hard to tell the difference between riders from Sky, Garmin and Leopard. Yet again, Omega Pharma-Lotto are there - what an attacking race they're having. A Vacansoleil rider has joined them, but the gap is way too small to stick.


The peloton approaches the Madonna delle Grazie climb, with an average gradient of 6.9%. Straight away an Omega Pharma Lotto rider attacks, followed by Leopard Trek, Sky and Garmin riders.


It's all over for the four leaders who have the peloton breathing right down their necks.


No news on the health of Weylandt as yet. The four leaders have 24 seconds on a Lampre-led peloton as they pass the 15-to-go banner.


The four leaders are back together and have 42 seconds over the pack. It's hard to keep a sense of perspective after witnessing something like that. Lampre are still on the front and, unsurprisingly, there are no Leopard Trek riders in sight.


According to race radio, the rider is Wouter Weylandt of Leopard Trek. We will keep you up to date with the latest. We're still not sure what happened, whether or not a vehicle was involved, but the original pictures of the aftermath looked terrible. We keep everything crossed for good news.


CRASH: A massive fall in the peloton. There were no live pictures but this is a terrible sight. It looks to be a Leopard Trek rider. He is motionless with blood pouring from his head and nose, clearly unconscious as his helmet strap is being cut loose my the medics. It looks like a defibrillator is being carried out. Horrific scenes in Italy.


Former race leader Marco Pinotti must have had some trouble - maybe he was involved in that crash - because he's riding alone in pursuit of the peloton, weaving his way between the team cars. Up in front, one of the four leaders has been dropped, looks like it's Ricci Bitti.


CRASH: A few riders from the peloton seem to hit the deck on one of the tight hairpins on the descent. More info coming up... This downhill stretch is so fast the motorcycles are having trouble staying out ahead of the leading riders in the bunch.


The peloton cross the summit one minute in arrears. Not long until it all comes back together.


ATTACK: Brambilla goes for a long one ahead of the summit. And the Colnago man holds off Brutt to take the points over the summit of the third category climb.


The four leaders are still riding together but the gap is coming down fast: it now stands at 1'11" with 2km to go to the summit. They should hold on, which will mean one of these men wearing the maglia verde tomorrow.


Lampre are back on the front as the peloton zip past the 45km-to-go banner. These hill roads are pretty narrow and the surrounding vegetation is extremely green. Saxo Bank are also there and the fierce pace sees a few riders drop off the back of the bunch.


I must say, it's nice to have the mellifluous dulcet tones of Sean Kelly back alongside the everyman David Harmon on the Eurosport TV coverage. We missed you over the weekend, Sean. Back on the road, the gap is down to 2'38". A reminder of the four leaders' names: Gianluca Brambilla (Colnago), Pavel Brutt (Katusha), Bart De Clercq (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Davide Ricci Bitti (Farnese Vini).


HTC, Lampre and Garmin-Cervelo on the front of the peloton as the road starts to head uphill for this constant and gradual ascent which peaks out with the third category Passo del Bocco climb.


CRASH: Fabio Andres Duarte of Geox rides into a barrier on the side of the road and hits the deck, taking out a few others around him - including a Liquigas rider. Duarte looks a bit sore, but he'll be ok. The gap is 3'15".


Cavendish is about 35 seconds down on the peloton but he'll get back to the front soon without too much ado.


It's odd to see Saxo Bank on the front of the peloton. Perhaps Bjarne Riis's men are just keeping Contador out of trouble.


Another bike change for Mark Cavendish. As David Harmon on the box says, now's the time for all this commotion - and not later on during a vital part of the action. Cav will be paced back by a flurry of HTC team-mates, including Konstantin Suitsou.


Cav is back in the peloton and the time gap is down to 3'30".


Pink jersey Mark Cavendish has a bike problem and drops back for a change. Like Pinotti, Cav has eschewed the full pink look in favour of decency in a pair of black shorts.


And listen to LIVE commentary from David Harmon and Sean Kelly (yes, he's back!) on Eurosport International:


The race is LIVE NOW on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin Media 521) and is also available on your PC via the Eurosport Player:


The lead is down to four minutes for the four leaders. Back in the peloton, it's the Saxo Bank team of Alberto Contador who are setting the pace.


The lead has dropped to 4'30".


Like Brambilla, Italy's Davide Ricci Bitti, 27, and Belgian Bart De Clercq, 24, are also riding their first Giros, making Pavel Brutt very much the wise man of this break.


The best known rider in this quartet is the Russian Pavel Brutt. The 29-year-old is racing his fourth Giro and picked up a stage in the 2008 edition. Brutt is in good form, winning the opening stage of the Tour od Romandie earlier this month. Italy's Gianluca Brambilla, 24, is riding his first Giro.


The average speed for the first hour of racing today is an impressive 49.3km/h.


The lead is up to six minutes for this four-man breakaway.


Today's finish on the coast in Rapallo is far from routine. The actual final straight is flat, but it's preceded by that tricky climb in the final 10 clicks. What's more, there's a steady rise midway through the stage until a steep final klilometre to the summit of the Passo del Bocco 35km from the finish. Germany's Seb Lang wears the green jersey today - but expect a new owner tomorrow.


The four leaders have 2'25" on the peloton. Hats off to Omega Pharma-Lotto, who have a man in the break following their surprisingly strong TTT and Sebastian Lang's epic solo effort yesterday.


Four riders have broken clear of the peloton. They are: Gianluca Brambilla (Colnago), Pavel Brutt (Katusha), Bart De Clercq (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and the amusingly named Davide Ricci Bitti (Farnese Vini).


Cavendish was fuming at the finish but the HTC rider, now in pink as the race leader, calmed down later - which impressed our blogger, Blazin' Saddles.


One rider who stuggled to make the start was Rinaldo Nocentini, the chap who wore yellow for a week in the 2009 Tour. The Ag2R rider is apparently suffering from bronchitus and finished in some discomfort yesterday.


It's a difficult call for today's stage, which features the third category Passp del Bocco climb around 45km from the finish. There is also the punchy Madonna delle Grazie climb 8km from the line which means a bunch sprint like yesterday is far from a formality. Rapello is near Alessandro Petacchi's home town so expect the Italian veteran to be extra motivated today.


All 207 riders signed in this morning and the fictional start of stage three is underway.


Hello and welcome to live coverage of stage three of the Giro d'Italia, an undulating 173km affair from Reggio Emilia to Rapello. The riders are due to start at 11:55 GMT.