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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

News for May 16, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Giro d'Italia: Post stage comments

Today's fourth stage from Esch-sur-Alzette (Lux) to Strasbourg (Fra) ended as predicted in a bunch sprint. What did not go according to plan was Mario Cipollini's sprint, as he was pipped on the line by Australian champion Robbie McEwen. McEwen had glued himself to Cipollini's wheel for the final run in, and jumped with 150 metres to go to take his first Giro stage win.

The riders will have a rest day tomorrow while they transfer to Italy, in preparation for the first mountain stage on Friday.

Robbie McEwen (Lotto, 1st stage)

Robbie McEwen
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

I wasn't sure that I'd won when I crossed the line. I had to wait to hear my name called by the announcer for me to be certain. My team helped me quite well. Thanks to [Aart] Vierhouten I was able to take the wheel of Cipollini before the sprint. Cipollini tried to drift towards the side but there was enough room to get around him on the left."

"On the first day when Lombardi took me across to the right hand side and it ruined my sprint. Yesterday I had mechanical trouble - my front wheel was broken 4 km from the finish. So today was a very nice revenge."

"I don't think I'll finish this Giro. I must keep my strength for the Tour de France. I will stop maybe after 10 stages."

Mario Cipollini (Acqua e Sapone, 2nd stage and points leader)

"Everyone is looking at me to win. I was riding very well up to the sprint; we (Acqua&Sapone) always have to take the responsibility to ride the tempo for the sprint. But, taking the wind at 65 km/h is never easy. In any case, he (McEwen) rode well today."

"But this is good, this is how you learn from your mistakes to prepare for future victories."

Stefano Garzelli (Mapei-Quick Step, Maglia Rosa (1st GC)):

"It will be a tough stage (Friday) with the first climbs and I'll have to be very alert as to what might happen."

Ivan Quaranta (Index-Alexia, 64th)

"I felt good today and was in great position for the sprint, but (Guido) Trenti (Acqua & Sapone) pulled off and just slowed down in the middle of the road!"

"I had to brake and go around him...Mario Cipollini has to teach his team-mates to not just stop in the middle of the road during a sprint; we're going 70km/hr and you just can't do that!"

Gilberto Simoni (Saeco-Longoni Sport, 23rd GC)

"Now I'll have to be ready for the stage on Friday...surely there will be a battle when the climbs start."

Massimo Strazzer (Phonak, 1st Intergiro)

"I felt very good today but the two riders from Panaria (Degano and Brown) put me in to the barriers in the sprint so I had to slow down...but my form is good and I'm happy to have the Intergiro jersey."

Giro stage 4 coverage

Full results & report
Live report

Winner's Bio: Robbie McEwen

Born: June 24, 1972
Place of Birth: Brisbane, Australia
Height: 1.71 m
Weight: 66 kg
Teams: Rabobank (1996-1999), Farm Frites (2000), Domo (2001), Lotto (2002)
Current UCI ranking: 20th (968 pts)
Career wins: 45

Major wins


1 stage Giro d'Italia
Australian Championship
Grote Scheldeprijs
Etoile de Bessèges + 1 stage
2 stages Paris-Nice
4 stages Tour Down Under


Trofeo Calvia (Vuelta a Mallorca)
Circuit du Brabant Wallon
1 stage Tour Mèditerranèen
1 stage Tour de la Règion Wallonne
1 stage Ronde van Nederland
2 stages Herald Sun Tour
2 stages UNIQA Classic


G.P. Port de Soller (Vuelta a Mallorca)
1 stage Tour Down Under


1 stage Tour de France
1 stage Tour de Luxembourg
1 stage Route du Sud
1 stage Ronde van Nederland
2 stages Herald Sun Tour


1 stage Bay Cycling Classic
1 stage Vuelta a Andalucia/Ruta del Sol
2 stages Ronde van Nederland


1 stage Quatre Jours de Dunkerque
1 stage Tour de Luxembourg
2 stages Ronde van Nederland


LUK Cup Buhl
1 stage Vuelta a la Comunidad Murciana
1 stage Wien-Rabenstein-Wien
1 stage Rheinland-Pfalz Rundfahrt
1 stage Regio Tour
1 stage Tour de l'Avenir
3 stages Herald Sun Tour

Varriale arrested and suspended from racing

Panaria's Antonio Varriale (28) has been arrested by Italian police in Moniga sur Garda and accused of violating the country's anti-doping laws by possession of illegal substances. An investigation in the region has also reportedly uncovered a drug trafficking ring, with two people under suspicion of supplying such substances to athletes.

Varriale, who was not part of Panaria's team for the Giro d'Italia, was immediately suspended by his team manager Bruno Reverberi, pending further investigation. He was also suspended by the Italian Cycling Federation for the time being.

"I feel betrayed," said Reverberi at the start of today's fourth stage of the Giro in Esch-sur-Alzette. "This is a rider who I welcomed into my home two years ago when he was injured. One cannot be sure of anything."

Varriale was a roommate of Giuliano Figueras, who was recently suspended by the Italian Cycling Federation for six months for possession of illegal drugs during last year's Giro.

Reverberi asked his team doctor to examine the luggage of his riders in the Giro to see if they were carrying anything forbidden.

Reverberi said that the problem started in the amateur/U23 ranks. "When a rider starts taking these kind of products, there is a big risk that it continues in the pros. It is necessary to act firstly in these categories to prevent the problem."

Sevilla says Telekom approached him

Despite the denial from his Kelme team manager Pepe Quiles yesterday, Spaniard Oscar Sevilla confirmed that he had been approached by Team Telekom to possibly jump ship. "A lot of teams were interested in me, particularly Telekom which is a strong and organised team," said Sevilla to Marca today. "But we did not speak to each other enough to know whether they wanted me before the Tour de France."

Sevilla is still owed his salary by the team, saying that "My employer, Pepe Quiles, called me this morning to tell me not to worry. But he has already said that a number of times...The best thing for me and for my teammates is that this will be cleared up before the end of the year. But I want them to tell me exactly what is going on, to tell me the truth, because everyone is asking me, including my teammates and I don't know what to say. In any case, whatever happens I want everything to be sorted out by the end of the month. In one way or another."

7th Tour of Japan

Taking place from May 19-26 this year is the 2.5 category Tour of Japan, run over 6 stages and 865 kilometres. The route is identical to last year, starting in Osaka with the 140.8 km Sakai Senboku Circuit, travelling to Nara, Shuzenji, Motegi, and Utsunomiya before finishing in Tokyo with the 155.1 km Hibiya - Ooi Wharf Circuit.

There will be 16 teams of 6 riders, including Division II defending champions Mroz, as well as RDM-Flanders, AXA-VVZ, Comnet Senges, Jura Suisse, national teams from Kazakhstan, Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and seven Japanese teams.

The stages

  • Stage 1 - May 19: Sakai Senboku Circuit (Osaka), 140.8 km
  • Stage 2 - May 20: Todaiji Temple - Nunome Dam Circuit (Nara), 146.2 km
  • Rest day - May 21: Transfer to Shuzenji
  • Stage 3 - May 22: Japan Cycle Sports Center Circuit (Shuzenji), 120.0 km
  • Rest day - May 23: Transfer to Motegi
  • Stage 4 - May 24: Twin Ring Motegi (Motegi), 148.56 km
  • Stage 5 - May 25: Utsunomiya Forest Park Circuit (Utsunomiya), 154.5 km
  • Stage 6 - May 26: Hibiya - Ooi Wharf Circuit (Tokyo), 155.1 km


Mroz (Zugaj, M.Mroz, A.Wadecki, Klimenko, Niedzwiecki, Vilcinskas)

RDM-Flanders (Plas, Scheirlinckx, Landrie, Indekeu, Van Straelen, Engels)

AXA-VVZ Professional Cycling Team (Luppes, Dunning, Slippens, Stam, Hordijk, Mikli)

Team Comnet-Senges (S.Ganser, Cuppens, M.Ganser, Hauschke, Juretzek, Wiese)

Team Jura Suisse (Ackermann, Ludi, Chassot, Mori, Klinger, Ribolzi)

Kazakhstan National Team (Medyannikov, Mamyrov, Bazayev, Shestakov, Iglinskiy, Dymovskikh)

Australia National Team (S.Davis, Bates, Humbert, Pell, Laidler, McPartland)

Malaysia National Team (Musa, Wong, Selamat, Hassan, Rosli)

Hong Kong National Team (Kam Po Wong, Lau, Ho, Tsoi, Ngai Ching Wong, Tsang)

Shimano Racing (Abe, Suzuki, Imanishi, Ouchi, Kano, Yamamoto)

Aisan Ind. Racing (Tanaka, Sakaguchi, Suzuki, Eshita, Shinbo, Akita)

RT Nipponhodo (Hirise, Ayabe, Okazaki, Teteryuk, Beppu, Guillome, )

Team Bridgestone Anchor (Fukushima, Okada, Mizutani, Shibuya, Fujino, Hirose)

Sumita-Ravanello-Pealizumi (Iijima, Tanaka, Takahashi, Akasaka, Takamura, Yamada)

Miyata-Subaru Racing Team (Manabe, Asano, Nakagawa, Otsuka, Yukinari, Shinagawa)

Team Orbea Etxeondo (Baigudinov, Takeuchi, Teutenberg, Ida, Takahashi, Nevdach)

Courtesy of Miwako Sasaki/Japanese Cycle Sport