Race ReportAt the end of the race Mirko Celestino said two words: "Thanks Michele". The two words were enough to render the sense of what had happened during the day. Polti's Mirko Celestino won the 81st Giro dell'Emilia from Massimo Donati. A few seconds back, and manifestly disinterested in the sprint, came Michele Bartoli. Bartoli looms large in Italian cycling these days. He is the obvious leader of the Italian team for the Worlds, he directed the attack in this race and looked as if he could have won the race if he desired.
Celestino is a young rider with great athletic talents and after 7 second placings he has finally won his first professional race in Italy. He has now virtually ensured that he has a place in the Italian team alongside Bartoli.
Bartoli had to say thanks too. With 10 kms to go, he punctured and he had to swap bikes with a Asics teammate. But in a flash he was back with Celestino and Donati. Later it was confirmed that Celestino and Donati had waited for him.
This northern classic (around Bologna) was raced in cold and rain - the usual weather for the race. After 65 kms, 10 riders including Zanini, Roscioli and Elli attacked and stayed away for around 100 kms. If Zanini and Roscioli were aiming to demonstrate to Antonio Fusi, the Italian National Team selector, that they could ride the first 150 kms of the Worlds fast, then they were successful. They were eventually caught and the race went through a period of constant surging and attacks.
The last survivor of the 10 was Stefano Zanini and he was pulled in by Celestino and Donati who were pushing hard. Bartoli was also in this group as they headed to the finish. Most active in the pursuit was Davide Rebellin, Andrea Tafi, Gianni Faresin and Wladamir Belli.
Celestino said: "Michele is the champion to which I aspire. I want to have a career like he has made for himself. He is the biggest favourite for the Worlds."
Bologna, 197 kms:
1. Mirko Celestino (Ita) Polti 4.37.00 (42.671) 2. Massimo Donati (Ita) Saeco 3. Michele Bartoli (Ita) Asics 0.02 4. Alberto Elli (Ita) Casino 0.59 5. Wladimir Belli (Ita) Festina 0.59 6. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Polti 0.59 7. Christian Gasperoni (Ita) Amore e Vita 0.59 8. Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei-Bricobi 0.59 9. Sandro Giacomelli (Ita) Amore e Vita 0.59 10. Felice Puttini (Swi) Ros Mary 0.59 12. Gianni Faresin (Ita) Mapei-Bricobi 0.59 13. Oscar Pellicioli (Ita) Mercatone Uno 1.05 14. Franco Ballerini (Ita) Mapei-Bricobi 1.18 15. Nicklas Axelsson (Swe) Scrigno-Gaerne 1.18 16. Marco Vergnani (Ita) Kross-Sella Italia 1.33 17. Amilcare Tronca (Ita) Ballan 1.39 18. Bo Hamburger (Den) Casino 1.42 19. Stefan Colagè (Ita) 1.56 20. Vladislav Bobrik (Rus) Riso Scotti 2.09 22. Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Cantina Tollo 2.18 24. Rodolfo Ongarato (Ita) Ballan 2.18 27. Luca Scinto (Ita) Asics 2.18 31. Fabio Roscioli (Ita) Asics 5.32 34. Stefano Zanini (Ita) Mapei-Bricobi 5.32 Started: 158 Finished: 42
1909 Eberardo Pavesi (Ita) 1910 Luigi Ganna (Ita) 1911 Clemente Canepari (Ita) 1912 Ugo Agostoni (Ita) 1913 Alfonso Calzolari (Ita) 1914 Ezio Corlaita (Ita) 1917 Angelo Gremo (Ita) 1918 Constante Girardengo (Ita) 1919 Constante Girardengo (Ita) 1920 Giovanni Brunero (Ita) 1921 Constante Girardengo (Ita) 1922 Constante Girardengo (Ita) 1923 Michele Gordini (Ita) 1924 Pietro Linari (Ita) 1925 Constante Girardengo (Ita) 1927 Domenico Piemontesi (Ita) 1928 Alfonso Piccin (Ita) 1929 Allegro Grandi (Ita) 1930 Mario Bonetti (Ita) 1931 Glauco Servadei (Ita) 1934 Marco Cimatti (Ita) 1935 Aldo Bini (Ita) 1936 Giuseppe Olmo (Ita) 1937 Cesare Del Cancia (Ita) 1938 Carrado Ardizzoni (Ita) 1939 Serafino Biagioni (Ita) 1940 Osvadlo Bailo (Ita) 1941 Fausto Coppi (Ita) 1942 Adolfo Leoni (Ita) 1943 Nedo Logli (Ita) 1946 Adolfo Leoni (Ita) 1947 Fausto Coppi (Ita) 1948 Fausto Coppi (Ita) 1949 Virgilio Salimbeni (Ita) 1950 Luciano Maggini (Ita) 1951 Luciano Maggini (Ita) 1952 Gino Bartali (Ita) 1953 Gino Bartali (Ita) 1954 Nino Defilippis (Ita) 1955 Nino Defilippis (Ita) 1956 Bruno Monti (Ita) 1957 Bruno Monti (Ita) 1958 Diego Ronchini (Ita) 1959 Ercole Baldini (Ita) 1960 Pierino Baffi (Ita) 1961 Diego Ronchini (Ita) 1962 Bruno Mealli (Ita) 1963 Italo Zilioli (Ita) 1965 Michele Dancelli (Ita) 1966 Carmelo Preziosi (Ita) 1967 Michele Dancelli (Ita) 1968 Gianni Motta (Ita) 1969 Gianni Motta (Ita) 1970 Franco Bitossi (Ita) 1971 Gianni Motta (Ita) 1972 Eddy Merckx (Bel) 1973 Franco Bitossi (Ita) 1974 Francesco Moser (Ita) 1975 Enrico Paolini (Ita) 1976 Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel) 1977 Mario Beccia (Ita) 1978 Bernt Johansson (Swe) 1979 Francesco Moser (Ita) 1980 Gianbattista Baronchelli (Ita) 1981 Pierino Gavazzi (Ita) 1982 Pierino Gavazzi (Ita) 1983 Cesare Cipollini (Ita) 1984 Ezio Moroni (Ita) 1985 Acacio Da Silva (Por) 1986 Hubert Seiz (Swi) 1987 Jean-Francois Bernard (Fra) 1988 Tony Rominger (Swi) 1989 Dimitry Konychev (Rus) 1990 Davide Cassani (Ita) 1991 Davide Cassani (Ita) 1992 Gianni Bugno (Ita) 1993 Maurizio Fondriest (Ita) 1994 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) 1995 Davide Cassani (Ita) 1996 Michele Bartoli (Ita) 1997 Alex. Gontschenkov (Rus)Past Winners by Mario Stiehl, Berlin