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2003 Giro D'Italia

86th edition: May 10 - June 1, 2003

Results, stages with running GC, maps, stage profiles and photos

2002 Giro | 2004 Giro | Giro d'Italia database | Final GC | Stages with running GC | Startlist | Predictions


Complete Final 2003 Giro d'Italia General Classification:

  1. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) 89hr 32min 9sec
  2. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 7min 6sec
  3. Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) @ 7min 11sec
  4. Andrea Noe (Alessio) @ 9min 24sec
  5. Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) @ 9 min 42sec
  6. Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) @ 9min 50sec
  7. Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo) @ 10min 50sec
  8. Serhiy Honchar (Di Nardi) @ 14min 14sec
  9. Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) @ 14min 26sec
  10. Eddy Mazzoleni (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 19min 21sec
  11. Wladimir Belli (Lampre) @ 19min 41sec
  12. Dariusz Baranowski (CCC-Polsat) @ 22min 54sec
  13. Sandy Casar (FDJ) @ 24min 50sec
  14. Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) @ 26min 15sec
  15. Massimo Codol (Mercatone Uno) @ 28min 17sec
  16. Michele Scarponi (Domina Vacanze) @ 29min 24sec
  17. Gianni Farasin (Gerolsteiner) @ 34min 47sec
  18. Adolfo Garcia (Kelme-Costa Blanca) @ 41min 21sec
  19. Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo) @ 41min 29se
  20. Paolo Lanfranchi (Panaria) @ 43min 57sec
  21. Marco Velo (Fassa Bortolo) @ 45min 36sec
  22. Marzio Bruseghin (Fassa Bortolo) @ 46min 11sec
  23. Scott Sunderland (Fakta-Pata Chips) @ 50min 22sec
  24. Sylvester Szmyd (Mercatone Uno) @ 51min 36sec
  25. Leonardo Bertagnoli (Saeco) @ 54min 2sec
  26. Pietro Caucchioli (Alessio) @ 54min 29sec
  27. Canstantino Zaballa (Kelme-Costa Blanca) @ 55min 45sec
  28. Giuliano Figueras (Panaria) @ 56min 52sec
  29. Kim Kirchen (Fassa Bortolo) @ 57min 23sec
  30. Luis Laverde (Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavè) @ 59min 28sec
  31. Thomas Brozyna (CCC-Polsat) @ 1hr 3min 36sec
  32. Graziano Gasparre (Di Nardi) @ 1hr 4min 21sec
  33. Radoslaw Romanik (CCC-Polsat) @ 1hr 4min 41sec
  34. Damiano Cunego (Saeco) @ 1hr 4min 44sec
  35. Fredy Gonzalez (Colombia-Selle Italia) @ 1hr 5min 36sec
  36. Steve Zampieri (Vini Caldirola) @ 1hr 6min 5sec
  37. Joaquim Castelblanco (Colombia-Selle Italia) @ 1hr 7min 59sec
  38. Denis Lunghi (Alessio) @ 1hr 9min 56sec
  39. Ignazio Gutierrez (Kelme-Costa Blanca) @ 1hr 11min 8sec
  40. Vladimir Miholievic (Alessio) @ 1hr 11min 18sec
  41. Gerhard Trampusch (Gerolsteiner) @ 1hr 14min 0sec
  42. Vladimir Duma (Landbouwkrediet) @ 1hr 14min 15sec
  43. Daniel Clavero (Mercatone Uno) @ 1hr 14min 44sec
  44. Francisco Vila (Lampre) @ 1hr 15min 41sec
  45. Cristian Gasperoni (Mercatone Uno) @ 1hr 20min 49sec
  46. Hernan Muñoz (Colombia-Selle Italia) @ 1hr 20min 52sec
  47. Alessandro Sezialetti (Saeco) @ 1hr 21min 28sec
  48. Marius Sebaliauskas (Saeco) @ 1hr 23min 49sec
  49. Piotr Chmielewski (CCC-Polsat) @ 1hr 37min 10sec
  50. Serguey Adyeyev (Landbouwkrediet) @ 1hr 37min 14sec
  51. Charles Wegelius (De Nardi) @ 1hr 39min 0sec
  52. Fortunato Baliani (Formaggi Pinzolo) @ 1hr 39min 15sec
  53. Koos Moerenhout (Lotto-Domo) @ 1hr 41min 9sec
  54. Bo Hamburger (Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé) @ 1hr 42min 25sec
  55. Andrea Tonti (Saeco) @ 1hr 42min 27sec
  56. Roberto Conti (Mercatone Uno) @ 1hr 45min 50sec
  57. Leonardo Zanotti (De Nardi) @ 1hr 50min 22sec
  58. Volodimir Bileka (Lanbouwkrediet) @ 1hr 50min 46sec
  59. Sergio Barbero (Lampre) @ 1hr 54min 26sec
  60. Rinaldo Nocventini (Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavè) @ 1hr 54min 49sec
  61. Carlos Dacruz (FDJ) @ 1hr 55min 51sec
  62. Gianpaolo Cheula (Vini Caldirola) @ 1hr 57min 26sec
  63. Gabriele Colombo (Domina Vacanze) @ 2hr 1min 31sec
  64. Bernhard Eisel (FDJ) @ 2hr 2min 2sec
  65. Uwe Hardter (Gerolsteiner) @ 2hr 6mn 2sec
  66. Raffaele Illiano (Colombia-Selle Italia) @ 2hr 7min 57sec
  67. Daniele Pietropolli (Tenax) @ 2hr 9min 14sec
  68. Rodolfo Massi (Colombia-Selle Italia) @ 2hr 11min 24sec
  69. Tom Stremersch (Landbouwkrediet) @ 2hr 12min 0sec
  70. Giovanni Lombardi (Domina Vcanze) @ 2hr 13min 58sec
  71. Magnus Backstedt (Fakta-Pata Chips) @ 2hr 16min 3sec
  72. Lorenzo Bernucci (Landbouwkrediet) @ 2hr 16min 26sec
  73. Cristiano Frattini (Tenax) @ 2hr 17min 2sec
  74. Michele Gobbi (De Nardi) @ 2hr 18mn 29sec
  75. Oscar Pozzi (Tenax) @2hr 19min 56sec
  76. Fabio Baldato (Alessio) @ 2hr 21min 26sec
  77. Hector Mesa Mesa (Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavè) @ 2hr 21min 44sec
  78. Gianluca Tonetti (Tenax) @ 2hr 22min 48sec
  79. Mauro Gerosa (Vini Caldirola) @ 2hr 30min 34sec
  80. Mario Manzoni (Mercatone Uno) @ 2hr 30min 41sec
  81. Paolo Fornaciari (Saeco) @ 2hr 32min 18sec
  82. Julian Winn (Fakta-Pata Chips) @ 2hr 32min 22sec
  83. Dario Andriotto (Vini Caldirola) @ 2hr 32min 50sec
  84. Mario Scirea (Domina Vacanze) @ 2hr 33min 28sec
  85. Ruber Alvaro Marin (Colombia-Selle Italia) @ 2hr 35min 34sec
  86. Manuel Quinziato (Lampre) @ 2hr 37min 0sec
  87. Julian Usano Martinez (Kelme-Costa Blanca) @ 2hr 37min 59sec
  88. Simone Bertoletti (Lampre) @ 2hr 38min 34sec
  89. Jan Svorada (Lampre) @ 2hr 44min 46sec
  90. Leonardo Giodani (De Nardi) @ 2hr 48min 7sec
  91. Fabiano Fontanelli (Mercatone Uno) @ 2hr 49min 28sec
  92. René Joergensen (Fakta-Pata Chips) @ 2hr 52min 16sec
  93. Jordi Riera Valls (Kelme-Costa Blanca) @ 2hr 52min 43sec
  94. Johan Verstrepen (Landbouwkrediet) @ 2hr 56min 31sec
  95. Luca De Angeli (Colombia-Selle italia) @ 3min 0min 49sec
  96. Francesco Secchiari (Domina Vacanze) @ 3hr 3min 56sec
  97. Slavatore Scarmardella (Landbouwkrediet) @ 3hr 4min 15sec

Points Classification

  1. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco): 154 points
  2. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec): 154 (although Garzelli was tied on points Simoni won more stages)
  3. Jan Svorada (Lampre): 137
  4. Magnus Backstedt (Fakta): 119
  5. Eddy Mazzoleni (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec): 91

Climbers' Competition

  1. Fredy Gonzalez (Colombia): 100 points
  2. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco): 78
  3. Constantino Zaballa (Kelme): 65
  4. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec): 36
  5. Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo): 29

Intergiro

  1. Magnus Backstedt (Fakta) 50hr 20min 37sec
  2. Jan Svorada (Lampre) @ 2min 2sec
  3. Constant Zaballa (Kelme) @ 2min 23sec
  4. Fortunato Baliani (Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavè) @ 3min 6sec
  5. Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo) @ 3min 9sec

Team Classification (Fast Team):

  1. Lampre 269hr 37min 37sec
  2. Saeco @ 1min 8sec
  3. Alessio @ 5min 46sec
  4. Fassa Bortolo @ 18min 39sec
  5. Vini Caldriola-Sidermec @ 20min 54sec

Team Points (Super Team) Classification:

  1. Fassa Bortolo: 561 points
  2. Lampre: 394
  3. Alessio: 354
  4. Domina Vacanze: 343
  5. Vini Caldirola: 315

Here are the stages with results and running GC: The 5 following stages will have hill-top finishes: 7, 12, 14, 18, 19. Monte Zoncolan on the 12th stage was called "Terrible" by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

1st Stage: Saturday, May 10 LECCE - LECCE (Giro del Salento), 201 km. This flat stage is a tour of the Salento Peninsula, the heel of the Italian boot.

The Race: After a very slow start, for the most part, the race stayed together. In the final kilometers in the twisty streets of Lecce, Cipollini's team could not impose a high level of control upon the race. Petacchi's teamates made sure he was on Cipollini's wheel and protected him. This was an especially fine accomplishment since McEwen and Brown were bumping and fighting very hard for Cipollini's wheel. When the race came around the final corner, with a shorter drag race to the line that Cipo likes, Petacchi used his better jump to nail the race. Alessandro Petacchi prevented Cipollini from getting his historic win to tie Binda's 41 Giro stage wins. Cipo will have to wait another day.

Results:

  1. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) 5hr 16min 3sec
  2. Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) s.t.
  3. Angelo Furlan (Alessio) s.t.
  4. Isaac Galvez Lopez (Kelme) s.t.
  5. Robbie McEwen (Lotto) s.t.
  6. Graeme Brown (Panaria) s.t.
  7. Jimmy Casper (FDJ) s.t.
  8. Dario Pieri (Saeco) s.t.
  9. Jan Svorada (Lampre) s.t.
  10. Graziano Gasparre (De Nardi) s.t.

GC after the day's time bonuses:

  1. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) 5hr 15min 43sec
  2. Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) @ 8sec
  3. Angelo Furlan (Alessio) @ 12sec
  4. Andris Naudusz (CC Polsat) @ 14sec
  5. Mariano Piccoli (Lampre) @ 16sec
  6. Isaac Galvez Lopez (Kelme) @ 20sec
  7. Robbie McEwen (Lotto) s.t.
  8. Graeme Brown (Panaria) s.t.
  9. Jimmy Casper (FDJ) s.t.
  10. Dario Pieri (Saeco) s.t.

Petacchi also leads the Sprinter's and Combativity competitions.

map, stage 1

elevation, stage 1


2nd Stage: Sunday, May 11 COPERTINO - MATERA ,177 km
Ascent: MONTESCAGLIOSO (352 meters) 5 km, Average gradient, 5%.

The Race: All 169 riders started today's stage with an officlal departure time of 12:49. The predicted finish time is between 5 and 5:30 (8 - 8:30 AM Pacific time). The weather at Taranto on the coast is 23C (73F), but its in the 80's inland. The wind is 11mph from the Northwest.

The first hour's riding covered only 27 km with the group altogether.

The race stayed together until the climb to Montescaglioso. The climbers started throwing high heat and the sprinters got tossed. On the way down, Pantani's Mercatone team kept the pressure on. Some of the sprinters, including Petacchi and McEwen were able to chase and get back on. But the big men like Cipollini had to wait for another day. Finishing over 6 minutes down, Cipollini's dreams of Pink in 2003 are over.

In the final sprint between Baldato and Robbie McEwen, McEwen crossed the line first, but was disqualified and relegated to last place of the front group (70th) for trying to put Baldato into the barriers.

Results:

  1. Fabio Baldato (Alessio) 4hr 46min 57sec
  2. Gabriele Colombo (Domina Vacanze) s.t.
  3. Giuliano Figueras (Panaria) s.t.
  4. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) s.t.
  5. Bernhard Eisel (FDJ) s.t.
  6. Vladimir Duma (Landbouwkrediet) s.t.
  7. Stefan garzelli (Vini Caldirola) s.t.
  8. Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) s.t.
  9. Fabio Sacchi (Saeco) s.t.
  10. Bo Hamburger (Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavè) s.t.

GC after Stage 2:

  1. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) 10hr 2min 36sec
  2. Fabio Baldato (Alessio) @4sec
  3. Gabriele Colombo (Domina Vacanze) @ 19sec
  4. Giuliano Figueras (Panaria) @ 23sec
  5. Garziano Gasparre (De Nardi) @ 24sec
  6. Fabio Sacchi (Saeco) s.t.
  7. Denis Lunghi (Alessio) s.t.
  8. Kurt Asle Arvesen (Fakta) s.t.
  9. Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) s.t.
  10. Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo) s.t.

Sprinter's Jersey: Alessandro Petacchi
Climber's Jersey: Fredy Gonzalez
Intergiro: Mario Cipollini
Combativity leader: Alessabdro Petacchi
Team GC leader: Alessio

map, stage 2

elevation, stage 2


3rd Stage: Monday, May 12 POLICORO - TERME LUIGIANE, 145 km
Climb: FAGNANO CASTELLO (516 meters) 11.5 km, Average gradient, 3%.

The race: The stage got off to a slightly late start. 168 riders departed. Piccoli, who crashed yesterday, won't start after he was diagnosed with two broken ribs.

On the climb, the race did split up, but with grim determination, a lot of the riders came back over the undulating roads leading the Terme Luingiane. Petacchi got himself up to the front of the pack for the uphill drag-race to the finish line. He gets another well-deserved day in Pink.

Results:

  1. Stefano Garzelli (Sidermec) 3hr 34min 38sec
  2. Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) @ 2sec
  3. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) s.t.
  4. Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) s.t.
  5. Gabriele Colombo (Domina Vacanze) s.t.
  6. Paolo Lanfranchi (Panaria) s.t.
  7. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) s.t.
  8. Serhiy Honchar (De Nardi) s.t.
  9. Andrea Noe (Alessio) s.t.
  10. Graziano Gasparre (De Nardi) s.t.

GC after Stage 3:

  1. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) 13hr 37min 8sec
  2. Stefano Garzelli (Sidermec) @ 17sec
  3. Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) @ 27sec
  4. Gabriele Colombo (Domina Vacanze) s.t.
  5. Graziano Gasparre (De Nardi) @ 32sec
  6. Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) s.t.
  7. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) s.t.
  8. Denis Lunghi (Alessio) @ 39sec
  9. Andrea Noe (Alessio) s.t.
  10. Bo Hamburger (Formaggi Pinzolo) s.t.

Sprinter's jersey: Alessandro Petacchi
Climber: Fredy Gonzalez
Intergiro: Andris Naudusz
Leading Team on GC: Alessio

map, stage 3

elevation, stage 3


4th stage: Tuesday, May 13 TERME LUIGIANE - VIBO VALENTIA, 175 km
Climb: CRESTA DI ZUNGRI (608 meters), 9,6 km, average gradient, 4%

The race: This stage was aggressive from the gun with a break going in the first kilometer. The high speed tossed most of the sprinters on the Zungi climb, but they scrambled back on. On the final climb to the finish, Cipollini and some of the other speedsters got shelled again. With a break off the front with 5 kilometers to go, Fassa really came to the front to close the gap to keep Petacchi in Pink. Even Dario Frigo, a protected GC rider, was sent to the front to shut down the break. It came down to a sprint with a Petacchi and McEwen mano-a-mano. McEwen got it by inches. Perhaps the pain of his Stage 2 disqualification is eased a bit.

Results:

  1. Robbie McEwen (Lotto) 4hr 25sec
  2. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) s.t.
  3. Berhard Eisel (FDJ) s.t.
  4. Giovanni Lombardi (Domina Vacanze) s.t.
  5. Magnus Backstedt (Fakta) s.t.
  6. Isaac Galvez Lopez (Kelme) s.t.
  7. Graziano Gasparre (De Nardi) s.t.
  8. Vladimir Duma (Landbouwkrediet) s.t.
  9. Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) s.t.
  10. Denis Lunghi (Alessio) s.t.

GC after Stage 4:

  1. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) 17hr 37min 21sec
  2. Stefano Garzelli (Sidermec) @ 29sec
  3. Francesco Casagrande (Lmapre) @ 39sec
  4. Graziano Gasparre (De Nardi) @ 44sec
  5. Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) s.t.
  6. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) s.t.
  7. Denis Lunghi (Alessio) @ 51sec
  8. Bo Hamburger (Formaggi Pinzolo) s.t.
  9. Andrea Noe (ALessio) s.t.
  10. Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo) s.t.

Sprinter: Alessandro Petacchi
Climber: Fredy Gonzalez
Intergiro: Andris Naudusz
Top team in GC: Alessio

map, stage 4

elevation, stage 4


5th Stage: Wednesday, May 14 MESSINA - CATANIA 169 km
Climb: PORTELLA MANDRAZZI (1125 meters) 24.8 km, 4% gradient

The race: On the climb, Fredy Gonzalez and Ignacio Gutierrez got away and gained 3 minutes. Slowly, the lead came down and the riders were sucked up with little more than 10 km to go. The climb didn't really put much hurt on the riders. With everything together, Cipollini's Zebras had a reasonably organized leadout. Petacchi was followed by Cipo on Lombardi's wheel, going for the final lunge. Cipollini was on Petacchi's wheel and tried to come around. For a few meters it looked like Cipo was ahead, but with the final grunt at the line, Petacchi threw his bike and got the win by millimeters.

Results:

  1. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) 4hr 54min 43sec
  2. Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) s.t.
  3. Bernhard Eisel (FDJ) s.t.
  4. Cristiano Moreni (Alessio) s.t.
  5. Robbie McEwen (Lotto) s.t.
  6. Greame Brown (Panaria) s.t.
  7. Jan Svorada (Lampre) s.t.
  8. Dario Pieri (Saeco) s.t.
  9. Gabriele Balducci (Sidermec) s.t.
  10. Vladimir Duma (Landbouwkrediet) s.t.G

GC after Stage 5:

  1. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) 22hr 31min 44sec
  2. Stefano Garzelli (Sidermec) @ 49sec
  3. Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) @ 59sec
  4. Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) @ 1min 4sec
  5. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) s.t.
  6. Denis Lunghi (Saeco) @ 1min 11sec
  7. Bo Hamburger (Formaggi Pinzolo) s.t.
  8. Andrea Noe (Alessio) s.t.
  9. Marius Sabaliauskas (Saeco) s.t.
  10. Michele Scarponi (Domina Vacanze) s.t.
  11. Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) @ 1min 16sec

Sprinter (points): Alessandro Petacchi
Climber: Fredy Gonzalez
Intergiro: Moreno Di Biase
Top team in GC: Alessio

map, stage 5

elevation, stage 5


Thursday, May 15: Rest Day



6th Stage: Friday, May 16 MADDALONI - AVEZZANO, 218 km
Climb: VALICO DI MONTE SALVIANO (900 meters), 4.5 km, 3.5% gradient

Results:

  1. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) 5hr 11min 52sec
  2. Isaac Galvez Lopez (Kelme) s.t.
  3. Jan Svorada (Lampre) s.t.
  4. Marco Velo (Fassa Bortolo) s.t.
  5. Stefano Garzelli (Sidermec) s.t.
  6. Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) s.t.
  7. Giovanni Lombardi (Domina Vacanze) s.t.
  8. Graziano Gasparre (Di Nardi) @ 3sec
  9. Graeme Brown (Panaria) s.t.
  10. Daniele Bennati (Domina Vacanze) s.t.

GC after Stage 6:

  1. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) 27hr 43min 16sec
  2. Stefano Garzelli (Sidermec) @ 1min 9sec
  3. Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) @ 1min 27sec
  4. Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) @ 1min 32sec
  5. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) s.t.
  6. Marco Velo @ 1min 36sec
  7. Denis Lunghi (Saeco) @ 1min 39sec
  8. Bo Hamburger (Formaggi Pinzolo) s.t.
  9. Andrea Noe (Alessio) s.t.
  10. Marius Sabaliauskas (Saeco) s.t.

Sprinter: Alessandro Petacchi
Climber: Fredy Gonzalez
Intergiro: Moreno Di Biase
Fast team in GC: Alessio

map, stage 6

elevation, stage 6


7th Stage: Saturday, May 17 AVEZZANO - TERMINILLO (Campoforogna) 146, km
Climb: TERMINILLO 16.1 km, Average gradient, 7.3%.

Gilberto Simoni and Stefano Garzelli n the attack

Gilberto Simoni and Stefano Garzelli on the attack in stage 7.

Results:

1 Stefano Garzelli (Sidermec) 3hr 55min 19sec
2 Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) s.t.
3 Andrea Noe (Alessio) @ 2sec
4 Pavel Tonkov (CCC-Polsat) @ 14sec
5 Eddy Mazzoleni (Sidermec) @ 37sec
6 Marius Sabaliauskas (Saeco) @ 38sec
7 Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) s.t.
8 Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) @ 53sec
9 Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) @59sec
10 Julio Perez-Cuapio (Panaria) @ 1min 21sec

GC after Stage 7:

1 Stefano Garzelli (Sidermec) 31hr 39min 24sec
2 Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) @ 31sec
3 Andrea Noe (Alessio) @ 44sec
4 Marius Sabaliauskas (Saeco) @ 1min 28sec
5 Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) @ 1min 36sec
6 Pavel Tonkov (CCC-Polsat) @ 1min 40sec
7 Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) @ 1min 54sec
8 Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) @ 1min 56sec
9 Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) @ 2min 16sec
10 Eddy Mazzoleni (Sidermec) @ 3min 2sec

Sprinter's Jersey: Alessandro Petacchi
Climber:Fredy Gonzalez
Intergiro: Moreno Di Biase
Leading team in GC: Saeco

map, stage 7


8th Stage: Sunday, May 18, Rieti to Arezzo, 217 km
Climb: FORCA DELL'ARRONE KM. 4 km, Average gradient, 3.35%

The race: The Gazzetta web site says it all: "Giro, Finally Cipollini". Don Cipo has join the immortals and achieved his 41 Giro stage wins, equaling the great Binda. The Domina Zebras did their job and let loose the flying Tuscan who could not be beat this day.

I didn't note it yesterday, but the climb to the finish at stage 8 shattered the Giro dreams of several contenders. The Fassa Bortolo riders Frigo and Gonzalez both lost over 6 minutes, Casagrande is blown out. The selection has begun.

Results:

  1. Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) 5hr 29min 46sec
  2. Robbie McEwen (Lotto) s.t.
  3. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) s.t.
  4. Magnus Backsted (Fakta) s.t.
  5. Isaac Galvez Lopez (Kelme) s.t.
  6. Andris Nauduzs (CCC-Polsat) s.t.
  7. Jan Svorada (Lampre) s.t.
  8. Angelo Furlan (Alessio) s.t.
  9. Bernhard Eisel (FDJ) s.t.
  10. Crescenzo d'Amore (Tenax) s.t.

GC after Stage 7:

  1. Stefano Garzelli (Sidermec) 37hr 9min 10sec
  2. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) @ 31sec
  3. Andrea Noe (Alessio) @ 54sec
  4. Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) @ 1min 36sec
  5. Marius Sabaliauskas (Saeco) @ 1min 88sec
  6. Pavel Tonkov (CCC-Polsat) @ 1min 50sec
  7. Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) @ 1min 56sec
  8. Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) @ 2min 4sec
  9. Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) @ 2min 26sec
  10. Eddy Mazzoleni (Vini Caldirola) @ 3min 12sec

Sprinter's Jersey: Alessandro Petacchi
Climber: Fredy Gonzalez
Intergiro Moreno Di Biase
Top team in GC: Saeco

map, stage 8

elevation, stage 8


9th Stage: Monday, May 19 AREZZO - MONTECATINI TERME 160 km

Results:

  1. Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) 3hr 41min 58 sec
  2. Robbie McEwen (Lotto) s.t.
  3. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) s.t.
  4. Jan Svorada (Lampre)s.t.
  5. Daniele Bennati (Domina Vacanze) s.t.
  6. Giovanni Lombardi (Domina Vacanze) s.t.
  7. Berhanrd Eisel (FDJ) s.t.
  8. Dario Pieri (Saeco) s.t.
  9. Werner Riebenbauer (Fakta) s.t.
  10. Lars Ytting Bak (Fakta) s.t.

GC after Stage 9:

  1. Stefano Garzelli (Sidermec) 40hr 51min 16sec
  2. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) @ 40sec
  3. Andrea Noe (Alessio) @ 54sec
  4. Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) @1min 36sec
  5. Marius Sabaliauskus (Saeco) @ 1min 38sec
  6. Pavel Tonkov (CCC-Polsat) @ 1min 50sec
  7. Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) @ 1min 56sec
  8. Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) @ 2min 4sec
  9. Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) @ 2min 26sec
  10. Eddy Mazzoleni (Sidermec) @ 3min 12sec
  11. Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) @ 3min 12sec

Sprinter's Jersey: Alessandro Petacchi
Climber: Fredy Gonzalez
Intergiro: Moreno Di Biase
Top Team in GC: Saeco

map, stage 9


10th Stage: Tuesday, May 20 MONTECATINI TERME - FAENZA, 200 km

Climbs:
COLLA DI CASAGLIA 18.3 km, Average gradient, 4%
VALICO DEL TREBBIO 5.7 km, Average gradient, 6.85%

The race: A little before the Intergio sprint (before km 60), 16 riders went clear and eventually gained over 3 1/2 minutes on the field. Relentless presure from race leader Garzelli's Vini Calderola-Sidermec team brought the lead down to 2:30 with about 45 km to go.

On the penultimate climb, the Casale, Simoni just attacked, taking no one with him and rode up to the break. He passed many of the escaped riders. The breakaway has fallen apart. When Simoni went, Garzelli riding about 3rd behind his teammates, did nothing.

On the final climb, the Trebbio. Simoni is riding like a man possesed. He has made contact with a teammate that was in the break, Bertagnolli. Garzelli, not panicking, and the peloton is almost a minute back. Garzelli has no teammates left in the field.

On the climb, Simoni has 5 others, including Bertagnolli. Garzelli comes off the little peloton that has Casagrande attacking. Simoni is clearly in charge and the strongest rider. Over the top he looks back for Bertagnolli. He has lost a bit of time. The gap to Garzelli is 42 seconds.

Now it's a race to the finish. Arvesen, Tiralongo, Simoni and Bertagnolli being chased by Garzelli, Casagrande, some Kelme's, Tonkov and the rest of a slowly growing chasing peloton. Garzelli is doing lots of the work, but it just doesn't look organized and smooth enough to work. Rumsas is there, but it looks like he is leaving all the work to his treammate, Casagrande.

It isn't. Simoni is the new Pink Jersey.

Results:

  1. Kurt Asle Arvesen (Fakta) 5hr 34min 27sec
  2. Paolo Tiralongo (Pabnaria) s.t.
  3. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) @ 1sec
  4. Leonardo Bertagnolli (Saeco) @ 26sec
  5. Giuliano Figueras (Panaria) @ 26sec
  6. Michele Scarponi (Domina Vacanze) s.t.
  7. Kim Kirchen (Fassa Bortolo) s.t.
  8. Yaroslav Popovych (Lanbouwkrediet) s.t.
  9. Sandy Casar (FDJ) s.t.
  10. Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) s.t.
  11. Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo) s.t.
  12. Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) s.t.
  13. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) s.t.
  14. Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) @ 23min 42sec

GC after Stage 10:

  1. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) 46hr 25min 55sec
  2. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 2sec
  3. Andrea Noè (Alessio) @ 56sec
  4. Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) @ 1min 38sec
  5. Pavel Tonkov (CCC Polsat) @ 1min 52sec
  6. Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) @ 1min 58sec
  7. Raimondas Runsas (Lampre) @ 2min 6sec
  8. Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) @ 2min 28sec
  9. Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) @ 3min 23sec
  10. Michele Scarponi (Domina Vacanze) @ 3min 45sec

Sprinter's Jersey: Alessandro Petacchi
Climber: Fredy Gonzalez
Intergiro: Moreno Di Biase
Fast Team in GC: Saeco

map, stage 10

elevation, stage 10

A note from the Ex-Pro. When I came back from my trip this evening I found this note from Celestino Vercelli, ex-pro rider with many completed Giros under his belt. He rode for the great Brooklyn team with Roger De Vlaeminck, among others, in the 70's. He is now the owner of Vittoria shoes:

Dear Bill,
Here are some comments about the stage 7.
It was an important stage with end at Terminillo, Rome's mountain. The greatest of yesterday's stage were Garzelli and Simoni. In the past, both have been winners of the Giro d'Italia. Probably one of them will be the next winner.
All of the other contenders have lost a lot of time in this stage. Recovering this time will be very difficult. But for all the teams with the varied stages, all is still possible.
Pantani is very far from the Pantani that we all know. For Casagrande, Aitor Gonzales and Frigo, the great are defeated. For them we hope for some stage victories.
For Frigo and Gonzales we see hope in the time trials.
The Giro is still an open race.

Ciao, Celestino


11th Stage: Wednesday, May 21 FAENZA - SAN DONÀ DI PIAVE, 199 km.

The Race: It came down to a sprint on wet, slick, rainy roads. Domina had a classic Cipo lead-out train. Just before the final hard left turn to the straightaway Robbie McEwen jumped ahead. Isaac Galvez of Kelme was on the inside of Cipo. Galvez's bike broke loose and took Cipo flying across the road to the opposite side barriers. Cipollini slammed into Galvez. McEwen was clear and won the stage. As Cipollini was getting up, he was rubbing his shoulder. I hope he's OK.

Note: La Gazzetta reports that Cipollini went to the hospital to be checked, but there are no bones broken.

Results:

  1. Robbie McEwen (Lotto) 5hr 44min 15sec
  2. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) s.t. The first 82 riders plus Furlan and Cipollini will all given the same time
  3. Crescenzo D'Amore (Tenax) s.t.
  4. Mykhalo Khalilov (Colombia) s.t.
  5. Jan Svorada (Lampre) s.t.
  6. Guido Trenti (Fassa Bortolo) s.t.
  7. Gerhard Trampusch (Gerolsteiner) s.t.
  8. Lorenzo Bernucci (Landbouwkrediet) s.t.
  9. Andrus Aug (Di Nardi) s.t.
  10. Marco Velo (Fassa Bortolo) s.t.

GC after Stage 11:

  1. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) 52 hr 10min 8sec
  2. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 2sec
  3. Andrea Noè (Alessio) @ 56sec
  4. Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) @ 1min 38sec
  5. Pavel Tonkov (CCC Polsat) @ 1min 52sec
  6. Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) @ 1min 58sec
  7. Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) @ 2min 6sec
  8. Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) @ 2min 28sec
  9. Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) @ 3min 23sec
  10. Marco Velo (Fassa Bortolo) @ 4min 1sec

Sprinter's Jersey: Alessandro Petacchi
Climber: Fredy Gonzalez
Intergiro: Moreno Di Biase
Fast Team in GC: Saeco

map, stage 11

elevation, stage 11


12th Stage: Thursday, May 22 SAN DONÀ DI PIAVE - MONTE ZONCOLAN, 185 km
Climbs:
FUESSA 10.6 km:

First Part:TOLMEZZO, 940 meters, Average gradient 8.7%
Second Part: PONTE T. CHIANTONE A FUESSA, Average gradient 10.3%

SELLA VALCALDA 6.6 km, Average Gradient, 6.15%
MONTE ZONCOLAN 13,3 km, Average gradient, 9%, with a section of 27%.

The Race: 7 km to go on the Zoncolan. Wladimiro Belli (Lampre) has escaped from a collapsed breakaway and has 43 second gap on the remainders of the peloton. All the heads of state are here, Garzelli, Simoni, Casagrade, Pantani, Frigo, Gonzalez, Perez-Cuapio. Mercatone Uno is making hard tempo at the front. For the climb Pantani is packing a 28 on the back and Simoni has a spare bike with a triple.
5 km to go, Belli still has 43 seconds.
4 or so km to go, Simoni puts the hammer down! Only Casagrade can go with him. Garzelli and Popovych are gapped. They fly past Belli.
Simoni goes again. Casagrande can't stay with him. Garzelli comes up to Casagrande and Pantani claws his way up to them. So, it's Simoni smoothly riding alone with Garzelli now dropping Casagrande and Pantani. Simoni is in sight.
1 km to go: Simoni is riding beautifully alone. 22 seconds back are Garzelli and Pantani riding together followed closely by Casagrande and Popovych.

Results:

  1. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) 5hr 10min 29sec
  2. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 34sec
  3. Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) @ 39sec
  4. Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) @ 42sec
  5. Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) @ 43sec
  6. Julio Perez-Cuapio (Panaria) @ 1min 5sec
  7. Andrea Noè (Alessio) @ 1min 7sec
  8. Eddy Mazzoleni (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 1min 20sec
  9. Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo) @ 1min 30sec
  10. Kim Kirchen (Fassa Bortolo) @ 1min 31sec
  11. Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo) @ 1min 47sec
  12. Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) @ 1min 54sec
  13. Wladimiro Belli (Lampre) @ 2min

GC after Stage 12:

  1. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) 57hr 20min 18sec
  2. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 44sec
  3. Andrea Noe (Alessio) @ 2min 23sec
  4. Yaroslav Popovych Landbouwkrediet) @ 3min
  5. Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) @ 3min 54sec
  6. Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) @ 4min 20sec
  7. Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) @ 4min 42sec
  8. Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) @ 4min 49sec
  9. Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) @ 5min 56sec
  10. Pavel Tonkov (CCC-Polsat) @ 6min 37sec

Sprinter's Jersey: Alessandro Petacchi
Climber: Fredy Gonzalez
Intergiro: Moreno Di Biase
Fast Team in GC: Lampre

map, stage 12

elevation, stage 12


13th Stage: Friday, May 23 PORDENONE - MAROSTICA, 155 km
Climb: LA ROSINA 2.2 km, Average gradient 4%

The Race: The final circuits were very agressive with attacks taking advantage of the small climb. Garzelli and then Frigo took their best shots. It came down to a big sprint. Garzelli showed that he is that rare complete rider who can sprint, climb and time-trial, and that he will use every arrow in his quiver to take every second he can.

Results: Garzelli helps himself in the sprint and picks up a 8 second bonus.

  1. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) 3hr 38min 58sec
  2. Daniele Bannati (Domina Vacanze) s.t.
  3. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) s.t.
  4. Eddy Mazzoleni (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) s.t.
  5. Lorenzo Bernucci (Landbouwkrediet) s.t.
  6. Matteo Carrara (Di Nardi) s.t.
  7. Paolo Lanfranchi (Panaria) s.t.
  8. Giovanni Lombardi Domina Vacanze) s.t.
  9. Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) s.t.

GC after Stage 13:

  1. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) 60hr 59min 16sec
  2. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 36sec
  3. Andrea Noe (Alessio) @ 2min 23sec
  4. Yaroslav Popovych Landbouwkrediet) @ 3min
  5. Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) @ 4min 14sec
  6. Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) @ 4min 20sec
  7. Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) @ 4min 42sec
  8. Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) @ 4min 49sec
  9. Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) 5min 56sec
  10. Pavel Tonkov (CCC-Polsat) 6min 37sec

Sprinter's Jersey: Alessandro Petacchi
Climber: Fredy Gonzalez
Intergiro: Moreno Di Biase
Fast team on GC: Lampre

map, stage 13

elevation, stage 13


14th Stage: Saturday, May 24 MAROSTICA - ALPE DI PAMPEAGO, 162 km
Climbs:
PASSO DI ROLLE 23.1 km, Average gradient 5.5%
PASSO VALLES 6,8 km, Average gradient 7.1%
PASSO SAN PELLEGRINO 5,8 km, Average gradient 9%
ALPE DI PAMPEAGO 8.9 km, Average gradient 9.6%

The Race: Before the Passo Di Rolle, 16 riders broke away. Fredy Gonzalez took of from this group to get more mountians points. Over the climbs the break wore down until it comprised the following 6 chasing Gonzalez over the San Pellegrino: LANFRANCHI, LUNGHI, NOCENTINI, ZABALLA, BELLI, GOBBI. Gonzalez was caught to make 7.

Belli got away from the lead group on the final climb. In the small chasing peloton, Popovych attacked with 5 kilometers to go, Simoni answered. then Simoni was gone. The riders in the break were swept up and dropped with the exception of Belli. As in previous stages, Garzelli refused to panic and try to match the Simoni's powerful jump. He climbed at his own pace and limited the damage.

Results:

  1. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) 4hr 46min 43sec
  2. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 35sec
  3. Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) @ 36sec
  4. Julio Perez-Cuapio (Panaria) @ 49sec
  5. Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) s.t.
  6. Andrea Noè (Alessio) @ 56sec
  7. Francesco Casagrade (Lampre) @ 59sec
  8. Eddy Mazzoleni (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 1min 17sec
  9. Wladimir Belli (Lampre) @ 1min 39sec
  10. Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) @ 1min 43sec
  11. Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo) @ 1min 50sec
  12. Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) @ 2min 3sec

GC after Stage 14:

  1. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) 65hr 45min 49sec
  2. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 1min 19sec
  3. Andrea Noe (Alessio) @ 3min 39sec
  4. Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) @ 4min 9sec
  5. Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) @ 5min 8sec
  6. Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) @ 5min 33sec
  7. Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) @ 6min 45sec
  8. Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) @ 7min 18sec
  9. Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) @ 8min 19sec
  10. Wladimir Belli (Lampre) @ 8min 41sec

Sprinter's Jersey: Alessandro Petacchi
Climber: Fredy Gonzalez
Intergiro: Moreno Di Biase
Fastest Team in GC: Lampre

map, stage 14

elevation, stage 14


15th Stage: Sunday May 25 MERANO - BOLZANO (Individual time trial), 42.5 km

The race: Setting the road on fire, Aitor Gonzalez showed that he is coming into form, but far too late to have an impact on the important GC placings. The real story is that Simoni was able to put another 39 seconds on Garzelli. The fight for the last place on the podium continues as Popovych did a fantastic ride and put almost a minute between himself and Andrea Noe for what looks to be a good solid 3rd place in GC. Magnus Backstedt is now leading the Intergiro competition, having taken it from Moreno Di Biase. 138 riders finished the time-trial. Alessandro Petacchi crashed, but managed to finish last in the time trial. We won't know for a while if he will start tomorrow's stage. La Gazzetta Dello Sport says that no bones are broken.

Results:

  1. Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo) 54min 33sec
  2. Magnus Backstedt (Fakta) @ 51sec
  3. Serhiy Honchar (Di Nardi) @ 1min 22sec
  4. Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo) @ 1min 23sec
  5. Bogdan Bondariew (CCC Polsat) @ 1min 30sec
  6. Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) @ 1min 36sec
  7. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) @ 1min 40sec
  8. Kim Kirchen (Fassa Bortolo) @ 1min 41sec
  9. Sandy Casar (FDJ) s.t.
  10. Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) @ 1min 52sec
  11. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 2min 19sec
  12. Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) @ 2min 43sec
  13. Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) @ 2min 54sec
  14. Andrea Noè (Alessio) @ 3min 17sec
  15. Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) @ 3min 32sec

GC after stage 15:

  1. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) 66hr 41min 52sec
  2. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 1min 58sec
  3. Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) @ 4min 5sec
  4. Andrea Noè (Alessio) @ 5min 16sec
  5. Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) @ 6min 11sec
  6. Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) @ 6min 47sec
  7. Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) @ 6min 57sec
  8. Serhiy Honchar (Di Nardi) @ 9min 38sec
  9. Franco Pelizzotti (Alessio) @ 9min 42sec
  10. Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) @ 10min 11sec
  11. Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo) @ 15min 32sec

Sprinter's Jersey: Alessandro Petacchi
Climber: Fredy Gonzalez
Intergiro: Magnus Backstedt
Fastest Team in GC: Lampre

map, stage 15

elevation, stage 15


16th Stage: Monday, May 26 ARCO DI TRENTO - PAVIA, 207 km.

The Race: 138 riders started today, including the bruised Alessandro Petacchi who crashed in yesterday's time trial. There are now 5 complete teams left. Most of the notable pure sprinters have dropped out. McEwen, Cipollini, Brown and Galvez-Lopez are not in the race to contest the bunch sprints. The race was a quick romp across the flats with Fassa, woith lots of help from Domina and Lampre working to keep things together for Petacchi. Petacchi was the third rider around the final corner with 300 meters to go. Across the line, he sat up, but looked to do so with no small discomfort. As Petacchi coasted to a stop, a man spread his arms and ran behind him, keeping well-wishers from touching and hugging the sore sprinter.

Results:

  1. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) 4hr 39min 34sec
  2. Jimmy Casper (FDJ) s.t.
  3. Jan Svorada (Lampre) s.t.
  4. Daniele Bennati (Domina Vacanze) s.t.
  5. Graziano Gasparre (Di Nardi) s.t.
  6. Dario Pieri (Saeco) s.t.
  7. Andrus Aug (Di Nardi) s.t.
  8. Angelo furlan (Alessio) s.t.
  9. Ytting Bak Lars (Fakta) s.t.
  10. Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) s.t.

GC after Stage 16:

  1. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) 71hr 21min 26sec
  2. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 1min 58sec
  3. Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) @ 4min 5sec
  4. Andrea Noe (Alessio) @ 5min 16sec
  5. Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) @ 6min 11sec
  6. Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) @ 6min 47sec
  7. Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) @ 6min 57sec
  8. Serhiy Honchar (Di Nardi) @ 9min 38sec
  9. Franco Pelizzotti (Alessio) @ 9min 42sec
  10. Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) @ 10min 11sec

Sprinter's Jersey: Alessandro Petacchi
Climber: Fredy Gonzalez
Intergiro: Magnus Backstedt
Fastest Team in GC: Lampre

map, stage 16

elevation, stage 16


Tuesday, May 27: Riposo (Rest day).

From Celestino Vercelli, owner of Vittoria shoes and Ex-Pro Brooklyn:

"Ciao Bill,

We are entering upon the last and decisive week of the race. Until now, Simoni is the best climber. Also today in the chrono he has increased his lead on Garzelli who is his most formidable adversary. At the moment we don?t know if someone will surpass Simoni and will win the Giro. Today Gonzales and Popovich have also been very good at the chrono. Frigo has ridden well. Popovich is a very young cyclist and we have to follow him with attention because he could be the man of the future."


17th Stage: Wednesday, May 28, SALICE TERME - ASTI, 130 km

The race: It was a mad dash for the line. FDJ, with a couple of kilometers to go tried to do a parallel lead out to the Domina/Fassa boys' train and get Jimmy Casper up to the front. But Casper came off the wheels of his boys. Petacchi nailed it by half a wheel length on a fast closing Svorada who came up from behind.

Results:

  1. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) 2hr 39min 47sec
  2. Jan Svorada (Lampre) s.t.
  3. Giovanni Lombardi (Domina Vacanze) s.t.
  4. Angelo Furlan (Alessio) s.t.
  5. Werner Riebenbauer (Fakta) s.t.
  6. Jimmy Casper (FDJ) s.t.
  7. Raffaele Illiano s.t.
  8. Giuseppe Palumbo (Di Nardi) s.t.
  9. Robert Forster (Gerolsteiner) s.t.
  10. Andrus Aug (Di Nardi) s.t.

GC after Stage 17:

  1. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) 74hr 1min 13sec
  2. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 1min 58sec
  3. Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) @ 4min 5sec
  4. Andrea Noe (Alessio) @ 5min 16sec
  5. Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) @ 6min 11sec
  6. Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) @ 6min 47sec
  7. Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) @ 6min 57sec
  8. Serhiy Honchar (Di Nardi) @ 9min 38sec
  9. Franco Pelizzotti (Alessio) @ 9min 42sec
  10. Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) @ 10min 11sec

Sprinter's Jersey: Alessandro Petacchi
Climber: Fredy Gonzalez
Intergiro: Magnus Baxkstedt
Fastest Team in GC: Lampre

map, stage 17

elevation, stage 17


18th Stage: Thursday, May 29 SANTUARIO DI VICOFORTE - CHIANALE, 175 km
Climbs:
MONTEMALE DI CUNEO 4.2 km, Average gradient 7.36%
COLLE DI ESISCHIE 20.6 km, Average gradient 7.5%
COLLE SAMPEYRE 16.4 km, Average gradient 8.3%
CHIANALE 20 km, Average gradient 4.14%

Marco pantani on the attack

Marco Pantani on the attck. I don't know what stage this photo was of, but it is from the 2003 Giro.

The race: Over the Sampeyre, Simoni, Totschnig, Frigo and Popvych, followed by Garzelli's group over 40 seconds behind. Casagrande has retired.
The little, tiny roads have some snow at the top of the climb and it is cold rain on the descent. Pantani has crashed and is clutching his shoulder. Garzelli crashed with Pantani, bu he is up and chasing with Eddy Mazzoleni.
On the final climb: Popovych was alone after a quick descent, but Frigo closed up to him. Simoni is chasing the duo with a tired looking Totschnig reluctantly giving some help.
Simoni has lost Totschnig and has bridged up to Popovych and Frigo. Pantani is reported to be back on his bike and chasing, over 11 minutes back.
10 kilometers to go. Frigo takes a pull and Popovych is off. Simoni goes aroung Popovych and get Frigo's wheel. Now its Frigo and Simoni riding away.

On the final kilometers Dario Frigo pounds away with Simoni on his wheel. Frigo has just whipped the peloton. In the Sprint, Frigo dashes away. Garzelli rides a fantastic ride and preserves his second place. Fassa Bortolo now has 8 stage wins this Giro and Frigo leaps to 7th place on GC.

This was indeed a tough day. 35 riders were elimated from the giro for failing to make the finish line within the time limit. Purple Jersey holder Alessandro Petacchi was the last man accross the line and was among the eliminated, along with Moreno Di Biase and Julio Perez-Cuapio. 97 riders are left to start Friday's stage.

Results:

  1. Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo) 5hr 23min 43sec
  2. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) @ 10sec
  3. Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) @ 2min 38sec
  4. Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) @ 3min 12sec
  5. Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) @ 4min 1sec
  6. Andrea Noè (Alessio) s.t.
  7. Franco Pellizzotti (Alessio) @ 4min 4sec
  8. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 5min 8sec
  9. Serhiy Honchar (Di Nardi) s.t.
  10. Sandy Casar (FDJ) s.t.
  11. Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) @ 15min 59sec

GC after Stage 18:

  1. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) 79hr 24min 54sec
  2. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 7min 8sec
  3. Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) @ 7min 19sec
  4. Andrea Noè (Alessio) @ 9min 19sec
  5. Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) @ 9min 29sec
  6. Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) @ 10min 14sec
  7. Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo) @ 12min 27sec
  8. Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) @ 13min 48sec
  9. Serhiy Honchar (Di Nardi) @ 14min 48sec
  10. Wladimir Belli (Lampre) @ 19min 36sec

Sprinter's Jersey: Stefano Garzelli
Climber: Fredy Gonzalez
Intergiro: Magnus Backstedt
Fastest Team in GC: Saeco

map, stage 18

elevation, stage 18


19th Stage: Friday, May 30 CANELLI - CASCATA DEL TOCE, 236 km
Climb: CASCATA DEL TOCE 18.3 km, Average gradient 5%

The race: Pantani did start today's stage. I received some calls yesterday asking which shoes Dario Frigo was wearing because the TV pictures made the shoes look like White Vittoria Racers. Dario Frigo is wearing Vittoria Arrow Shoes.

There was a break along the big flat run-in to the climb, but it was eventually altogether on the climb. Then the attacks began. The big move came from Marco Pantani with 5 kilomters to go. He was reeled in. The Pellizotti went. Simoni counter-attacked and put more distance on an already suffering Garzelli. Frigo couldn't quite get up to him. The big fight now is for second place, with Popovych only 2 seconds behind.

Results:

  1. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) 6hr 20min 5sec
  2. Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo) @ 3sec
  3. Eddy Mazzoleni (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) s.t.
  4. Andrea Noè (Alessio) @ 10sec
  5. Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) @ 13sec
  6. Wladimir Belli (Lampre) @ 21sec
  7. Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) @ 27sec
  8. Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) s.t.
  9. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 36sec
  10. Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo) @ 39sec
  11. Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) @ 44sec
  12. Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) @ 46sec

GC after Stage 19:

  1. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) 85hr 44min 39sec
  2. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 8min 4sec
  3. Yaroslav Popvych (Landbouwkrediet) @ 8min 6sec
  4. Andrea Noe (Alessio) @ 9min 49sec
  5. Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) @ 10min 35sec
  6. Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) @ 11min 1sec
  7. Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo) @ 12min 38sec
  8. Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) @ 14min 21sec
  9. Serhiy Honchar (Di NArdi) @ 16min 28sec
  10. Waldimir Belli (Lampre) @ 20min 17sec
  11. Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) @ 27min 16sec

Sprinter (Points): Gilberto Simoni
Climber: Fredy Gonzalez
Intergiro: Magnus Backstedt
Top Team in GC: Saeco

map, stage 19

elevation, stage 19


20th Stage: Saturday, May 31 CANNOBIO - CANTÙ, 122 km.

The race: What a fantastic race! Elbows and belly-buttons all over the place with attack after attack. After the Intergiro, 27 riders managed to get off the front. From this group Marco Velo took off, chased by Giovanni Lomabardi. Figueras and Mazzoleni made contact with about 4 kilometers to go. But, just as they were together, Mazzoleni took off and was away alone until about 2 kilometers to go. Then, it was the 4 riders: Lombardi, Mazzoleni, Figueras and Velo. Hot on their heels, the remnants of the break came in at 4 seconds. The pack, with Simoni, Garzelli and Popovych toodled in at 1min 42 seconds. Almost all the important placings in this year's Giro are settled except for second place in GC with only two seconds seperating Garzelli and Popovych. The time-trial tomorrow will bring the suspense of this year's Giro down to almost the last minute.

Results:

  1. Giovanni Lombardi (Domina Vacanze) 3hr 5min 30sec
  2. Eddy Mazzoleni (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) s.t.
  3. Giuliano Figueras (Panaria) s.t.
  4. Marco Velo (Fassa Bortolo) s.t.
  5. Mario Manzoni (Mercatone Uno) @ 4sec
  6. Paolo Lanfranchi (Panaria) s.t.
  7. Michele Gobbi (Di Nardi) s.t.
  8. Constantino Zaballa (Kelme) s.t.
  9. Fortunato Baliani s.t.
  10. Vladimir Duma (Landbouwkrediet) s.t.

GC after Stage 20: The only change to the top tean was that Eddy Mazzoleni bumped Belli to 11th place.

  1. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) 88hr 51min 51sec
  2. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 8min 4sec
  3. Yaroslav Popvych (Landbouwkrediet) @ 8min 6sec
  4. Andrea Noè (Alessio) @ 9min 49sec
  5. Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) @ 10min 35sec
  6. Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) @ 11min 1sec
  7. Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo) @ 12min 38sec
  8. Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) @ 14min 21sec
  9. Serhiy Honchar (Di Nardi) @ 16min 28sec
  10. Eddy Mazzoleni (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) 19min 45sec
  11. Wladimir Belli (Lampre) 20min 17sec

Sprinter (points): Gilberto Simoni
Climber: Fredy Gonzalez
Intergiro: Magnus Backstedt
Fastest Team in GC: Saeco

map, stage 20

elevation, stage 20


21st and final Stage: Sunday, June 1 IDROSCALO - MILANO (individual time trial), 33 km

97 riders finished the 2003 Giro. No team ended the Giro with a complete team. Lotto had only one member remaining.

Gilberto Simoni wins the 2003 Giro d'Italia

Gilberto Simoni celebrating winning the 2003 Giro d'Italia with the Milan cathedral behind him.

Results:

  1. Serhiy Honchar (Di Nardi) 38min 9sec
  2. Mario Bruseghin (Fassa Bortolo) @ 19sec
  3. Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo) @ 20sec
  4. Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo) @ 26sec
  5. Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) @ 1min 3sec
  6. Sandy Casar (FDJ) @ 1min 5sec
  7. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) @ 1min 16sec
  8. Leonardo Bertagnoli (Saeco) @ 1min 18sec
  9. Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) @ 1min 19sec
  10. Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) @ 1min 21sec

Final Complete 2003 Giro d'Italia General Classification:

map, stage 21

elevation, stage 21

Total: 3,449 kilometers

Wednesday, June 4: Letter from ex-pro Celestino Vercelli:

"Saluti,

The Giro d'Italia is over. Simoni is a great winner, a fine climber and an honest and sincere man. He is eager to clash with Armstrong at the Tour de France. He's trying to understand why his adversary doesn't want to take part in the Giro as all the best cyclists have done; from Anquetil to Merckx, from Hinault to Indurain, from Fignon to Lemond.

Everyone is hoping he will take part in the Giro next year. We are sure that the Giro isn't less interesting than the Tour. It's only less popular and less well advertised. Everyone knows that it's as enchanting as the Tour. This year, the Giro had many people along the roadsides, especially in the Alps. For example, in the "Cascate del Toce" stage near the Swiss border there was a very warm welcome at the finish where everything was covered with pink paper.

It has been an honest Giro without doping doubts. It's so beautiful because the public still loves the cyclists. But, it's impossible not to make allowances for them. They suffer for hours passing through many difficulties. They go from high temperatures and the stifling heat of the South to the freezing cold of the snowy northern mountains. They risk their lives descending steep mountains. Fortunately, accidents are very rare.

It's true, the racers have their own Guardian Angel.

See you at the Tour,

Celestino."


The Teams. Final Giro rider start list:.

Alessio: BALDATO Fabio, CAUCCHIOLI Pietro, FURLAN Angelo, LUNGHI Denis, MARZOLI Ruggero, MIHOLIEVIC Vladimir, MORENI Cristian, PELLIZOTTI Franco.

CCC Polsat: TONKOV Pavel, BARANOWSKI Dariusz, BROZYNA Thomas, BONDARIEW Bogdan, CHMIELEWSKI Piotr, KOHUT Seweryn, NAUDUZS Andris, PRZYDZIAL Piotr, ROMANIK Radoslaw.

Panaria: FIGUERAS Giuliano, PEREZ CUAPIO Julio, BROWN Graeme Allen, LANFRANCHI Paolo, TIRALONGO Paolo, MAZZANTI Luca, LANCASTER Brett, BONGIORNO Guillermo.

Colombia-Selle Italia: CASTELBLANCO Joaquim, GONZALEZ MARTINEZ Fredy, GARCIA John Freddy, MARIN Ruber Alverio, MUNOZ Hernan D., DE ANGELI Luca. MASSI Rodolfo, ILLIANO Raffaele, KHALILOV Mykhaylo.

De Nardi-Colpack: HONCHAR Serhiy, AUG Andrus, CARRARA Matteo, GASPARRE Graziano, GIORDANI Leonardo, GOBBI Michele, PALUMBO Giuseppe, WEGELIUS Charles, ZANOTTI Leonardo.

Domina Vacanze: CIPOLLINI Mario, BENNATI Daniele, COLOMBO Gabriele, LOMBARDI Giovanni MONDINI Gianpaolo, ONGARATO Alberto, SCARPONI Michele, SCIREA Mario, SECCHIARI Francesco.

Fassa Bortolo: BRUSEGHIN Marzio, CIONI Dario David, KIRCHEN Kim, FRIGO Dario, GONZALEZ JIMENEZ Aitor, PETACCHI Alessandro, TOSATTO Matteo, TRENTI Guido, VELO Marco.

FDJeux: FRITSCH Nicolas, CASAR Sandy, CASPER Jimmy, DACRUZ Carlos, DEREPAS David, EISEL Bernhard, GUESDON Frédéric, LHUILLIER Regis, WIGGINS Bradley.

Formaggi Pinzolo: AGGIANO Elio, BALIANI Fortunato, CONTE Biagio, HAMBURGER Bo, DI BIASE Moreno, MESA MESA Hector O., MURAGLIA Giuseppe, NOCENTINI Rinaldo.

Gerolsteiner: CONTRINI Daniele, FARESIN Gianni, FORSTER Robert, HARDTER Uwe, WEIGOLD Steffen , SCHOLZ Ronny, STRAUSS Marcel, TOTSCHNIG Georg, TRAMPUSCH Gerhard.

Kelme: GALVEZ LOPEZ Isaac, GARCIA QUESADA Adolfo, GARCIA QUESADA Carlos, GUTIERREZ CATALUNA Ignacio, RIERA VALLS Jordi, RODRIGUEZ Alexis, USANO MARTINEZ Julian, ZABALLA GUTIEREZ Constantino.

Lampre: CASAGRANDE Francesco, BARBERO Sergio, BELLI Wladimir BERTOLETTI Simone, PICCOLI Mariano, QUINZIATO Manuel,RUMSAS Raimondas, SVORADA Jan, VILA ERRANDONEA Francisco.

Landbouwkrediet: ADYEYEV Sergiy, BERNUCCI Lorenzo, STREMERSCH Tom, DUMA Vladimir, GRYSCHENKO Ruslan, BILEKA Volodymyr, POPOVYCH Yaroslav, SCAMARDELLA Salvatore, VERSTREPEN Johan.

Lotto-Domo: MC EWEN Robbie, VERBRUGGHE Rik, VIERHOUTEN Aart, VERBRUGGHE Ief, STEGMANS Gert, MOERENHOUT Koos, MARICHAL Thierry, GATES Nick, VAN IMPE Kevin.

Mercatone-Uno: PANTANI Marco, CODOL Massimo, CONTI Roberto, FONTANELLI Fabiano, CLAVERO Daniel, GASPERONI Cristian, SZMYD Sylvester, RAVAIOLI Eddy, MANZONI Mario.

Saeco: SIMONI Gilberto, SACCHI Fabio, SPEZIALETTI Alessandro SABALIAUSKAS Marius, BERTAGNOLLI Leonardo, FORNACIARI Paolo, PIERI Dario,TONTI Andrea, CUNEGO Damiano.

Team Fakta: ARVESEN Kurt Asle, PETERSEN Jorgen Bo, HOJ Frank, BACKSTEDT Magnus, SUNDERLAND Scott, JOERGENSEN René, BAK Lars Ytting, RIEBENBAUER Werner, WINN Juilian.

Tenax: FRATTINI Cristiano, HVASTIJA Martin, D'AMORE Crescenzo, LELEKIN Sergei, MARINI Mirko, PIETROPOLLI Daniele, POZZI Oscar, TONETTI Gianluca, ZANETTI Mauro.

Vini Calderola-Sidermec (For brevity, in race reports I refer to this team as Sidermec): ANDRIOTTO Dario, APOLLONIO Massimo, BALDUCCI Gabriele, CHEULA Gian Paolo, GARZELLI Stefano, GEROSA Mauro, MASON Oscar, MAZZOLENI Eddy, ZAMPIERI Steve.

Predictions.

Updated Giro predictions: Our unrivaled panel of experts looked at their crystal balls after the 14th stage to Pampeago and are willing to venture their opinions on how the Giro will turn out in a week from now in Milan. These predictions were done before Popovych's superb time-trial on Sunday. They show that while they believe Simoni has firm hands on the Giro, the race will still evolve into an interesting conclusion with many changes to come.

Giuseppe Martinelli, Director Sportif of Simoni's Saeco team and former DS of Pantani's Mercatone Uno squad:
Pink Jersey: 1st Gilberto Simoni, 2nd Stefano garzelli, 3rd Yaroslav Popovych
Sprinter: Alessandro Petacchi
Mountains: 1st Aitor Gonzalez, 2nd Perez-Cuapio, 2nd Gilberto Simoni

Felice Gimondi, Tour Winner, Giro Winner, about everything winner:
Pink Jersey: !st Gilberto Simoni, 2nd Felice Casagrande, 3rd Yaroslav Popovycg
Sprinter: 1st Alessandro Petacchi
Climber: Perez-Cuapio, 2nd Simoni, 3rd Pellizzoti

Franco Bitossi, one of the Gods of cycling with too many victories to list:
Pink Jersey: 1st Gilberto Simoni, 2nd Yarosalv Popovych, 3rd Stefano garzelli
Sprinter: Alessandro Petacchi
Mountains: Aitor Gonzalez, 2nd Wldimir Belli, 3rd Franco Pellizzotti

Paolo Guerciotti, world famous bike maker and former Champion of Italy:
Pink Jersey: 1st Gilberto Simoni, 2nd Stefano garzelli, 3rd francesco Casagrande
Sprinter: Alessandro Petacchi
Climber: Aitor Gonzalez, 2nd Perez-Cuapio, 3rd Gilberto Simoni

Giro predictions, Every year I ask a group of knowledgable Italians their predictions for the Giro. I ask them for the General Classification (Pink Jersey) podium as well as the Climbers and Spinters competition winners. I'll post them as they come in today. Many thanks to Paolo Guerciotti for his help! He called Gianni Bugno while Signor Bugno was piloting a helicopter over Lecce. The predictions of La Gazzetta dello Sport are also listed below.

Felice Gimondi: One of the Gods of Cycling, winner of both the Tour and the Giro. He will be traveling to Bergamo for the Granfondo Gimondi on Sunday, the 11th. Special guests there will include Gimondi, Andrea Tafi, Roger De Vlaeminck and Paolo Guerciotti. Wish I could be there!

Pink Jersey: 1st Gilberto Simoni, 2nd Aitor Gonzalez, 3rd Francesco Casagrande.
Sprinter: 1st Mario Cipollini, Alessandro Petacchi, 3rd Robbie McEwen
Climber: Julio Perez-Cuapio, 2nd Stefano garzelli, 3rd Michele Scarponi. Plus the Colombians

Gianni Bugno: World Champion, winner of the Giro, one of the greatest riders in history.

Pink Jersey: Aitor Gonzalez, 2nd Gilberto Simoni, 3rd Stefano Garzelli
Sprinter: Mario Cipollini, 2nd Robbie McEwen
Climber: Marco Pantani, 2nd Francesco Casagrande, 3rd Stefano Garzelli

Antonio Mondonico: World famous frame builder whose bikes have been ridden to the podium of the Tour, Giro and Classics.

Pink Jersey: 1st Aitor Gonzalez, 2nd Gilberto Simoni, 3rd Francesco Casagrande or Stefano Garzelli
Climber: Gilberto Simoni
Sprinter: Mario Cipollini

Paolo Guerciotti: Former Champion of Italy,world famous bicycle producer and all around good-guy.

Pink Jersey: 1st Gilberto Simoni, 2nd Francesco Casagrande, 3rd either Aitor Gonzalez or Dario Frigo.
Sprinter: Mario Cipollini.
Climber: Gilberto Simoni or Julio Perez-Cuapio.

Giuseppe Martinelli: Former Sporting Director of Mercatone Uno and Marco Pantani. Now director of Saeco and Gilberto Simoni.

Pink Jersey: Gilberto Simoni, 2nd Aitor Gonzalez, 3rd Francesco Casagrande
Sprinter: Mario Cipollini, 2nd Robbie McEwen, 3rd Alessandro Petacchi
Climber: Gilberto Simoni, 2nd Dario Frigo, 3rd Stefano Garzelli

La Gazzetta Dello Sport: Here's a summary of their handicapping

The racers in the Pole position: Gilberto Simoni is the real standout. He is the point man of Saeco and is in terrific form. Not only has he won the Giro del Trentino for the first time and also that of the Appennines, but he probably also has the strongest team. Logic would indicate that the man from Trent is the favorite for number 1. This will, of course, be contested by the other racers. In any event, Simoni will not have an easy time of it.

Also on the card to be contenders for the Pink Jersey in Milan are Francesco Casagrande, Stefano Garzelli and Aitor Gonzalez. (Interestingly, the writer used the term "papabili" which is the Italian for people who are eligible to be pope. That might be an indication of how serious this race is in Italy).

Garzelli has returned to success in Trentino after being suspended form racing for 11 months. He has shown strength in the climbs (just ask Simoni) and will count the time trial among his friends.

Aitor Gonzalez. The Spaniard can be an important protagonist if he can stay with the best in the climbs of the last week. Italian sports fans don't like to predict that Gonzalez may be the first non-Italian to win the Giro since Tonkov in 1996.

Francesco Casagrande. The Tuscan, for one reason or another, has always had to defer his dreams of glory. This year, he will prove to be capable in the climbs. The time-trials could cost him. We should expect continued attacks from him.

Marco Pantani. For many years, he was the man to beat. For the last two Giros he languished in the last position. Now he has been regaining his form in Spain. Is he a protagonist? No one at this moment can answer. Perhaps not even he. In any case, his presence in the group will be large (the writer used the word "ingombrante" which means bulky or cumbersome).

The other contenders: Dario Frigo is the first among this group. He would merit inclusion in the top group if had not retired from the Tour of Romandie with knee problems. The other serious contenders are Tonkov, Caucchioli, Pellizotti, Scarponi, Rumsas and Popovych.