24th Gran Premio Industria e Artigianato Di Larciano - 1.2

Italy, April 29, 2000

1999 Results    Past winners

Di Luca sharpens his Giro

A select group sprint decided this year's Gran Premio Industria e Artigianato, 200 kilometres around a circuit in Larciano. The course involved climbing the San Baronto five times, which was enough to remove two thirds of the field. 131 started, 41 finished with the win going to Cantina Tollo's sprinter/rouleur, Danilo Di Luca. He beat Lampre's Sergio Barbero and Alessio's Nicola Miceli, with Gontchar and Casagrande rounding out the top five. It was Di Luca's third victory of the year, having won the Pantalica Trophy and a Stage in the Tour of the Basque Country.

Not a bad bunch of riders, and all Giro favourites in one way or the other. Di Luca said afterwards that he hoped to maintain his form in order to win a few stages, but he is not sure about the overall. Last year, he withdrew in stage 11 after lying second overall. This year, he intends to finish in order to win stages and help teammate Roberto Sgambelluri for the overall.

"The result in Larciano is important because it means that I am close to my best condition. I remained in contention until the end and had very good legs. It is a good boost for the morale for the Giro," he said afterwards.

"The sprint was beautiful. I was following Miceli, but perhaps too much. When Barbero jumped, then I did not lose my nerve, and I came off the wheel of Miceli and a hundred of meters from the finish I was side by side with Barbero in a tight finish. He [Barbero] was riding strongly, but so was Francesco Casagrande," he said of his sprint.

In the first part of the race, Mapei-Quick Step were keen to attack to try and set up Bettini, using Beltran and Scinto in an early break. However, they lost World Champion Oscar Freire at kilometre 92 who was complaining of cold symptoms. Mapei, along with several other teams could not get completely clear of the bunch, and Casagrande's Vini Caldirola team were doing their best to keep things together.

With 61 kilometres to go, the decisive move came from Barbero the third time up San Baronto. He was followed by Casagrande and the two established a good gap to a shattered bunch. Meanwhile, Di Luca and Massimo Donati (Vini Caldirola) were chasing and they caught the two with 30 kilometres to go. Two Vini Caldirola riders out of four was good odds, but they still had San Baronto to climb for the last time. On its slopes, Barbero attacked again, and was followed by Casagrande again who was first to the top. Di Luca, Miceli, Gontchar and Gianluca Valoti (Colpack) were the little grouop behind them, although Valoti couldn't hold on.

The five man break had enough on Bettini and Sgambelluri to deprive them of a potential win, and it was Di Luca who was the ultimate victor. Gontchar gained some more confidence out of his fourth place, but Barbero and Miceli were a little unhappy not to have won. The former said that he needed "patience. My task is now only the Giro. Simoni will go for the GC and I the stage wins."

Miceli will not contest today's Giro di Toscana, but will instead do the Rund um den Henninger Turm on Monday in Germany. He has not been given a start in the Giro by his team however, and was extremely disappointed. "With my current shape, I'm sure I would not have let them down," he said.

Results - 200 km

1 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Cantina Tollo			     4.58.00 (40.26 km/h)
2 Sergio Barbero (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
3 Nicola Miceli (Ita) Alessio
4 Serguei Gontchar (Ukr) Liquigas-Pata
5 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec
6 Vladimir Duma (Ukr) Ceramica Panaria-Gaerne		   	0.10
7 Roberto Sgambelluri (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Regain
8 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Amica Chips-Tacconi Sport
9 Ruslan Ivanov (Mda) Amica Chips-Tacconi Sport
10 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
11 Freddy Excelino Gonzalez (Col) Aguardiente Nectar-Selle
12 Massimo Donati (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec
13 Gianluca Valoti (Ita) Colpack
14 Uros Murn (Slo) KRKA-Telekom Slovenije
15 Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita) Amica Chips-Tacconi Sport
16 Denis Lunghi (Ita) Colpack
17 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Liquigas-Pata				0.15
18 Stefano Della Santa (Ita) Alexia Alluminio
19 Hernan Buenahora (Col) Aguardiente Nectar-Selle Italia
20 Niklas Axelsson (Swe) Ceramica Panaria-Gaerne
21 Riccardo Forconi (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom
22 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo				0.20
23 Alexandre Shefer (Kaz) Alessio				0.25
24 Marco Velo (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom			2.40
25 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
26 Ruber Albeiro Marin (Col) Aguardiente Nectar-Selle Italia
27 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
28 Cristiano Frattini (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
29 Gianni Gobbini (Ita) Colpack
30 Paolo Fornaciari (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
31 Axel Merckx (Bel) Mapei-Quick Step
32 Stefano Cattai (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
33 Filippo Baldo (Ita) Mobilvetta Design-Rossin
34 Podenzana (Ita Massimo Podenzana (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom
35 Rodolfo Massi (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Regain
36 Marco Fincato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
37 Marcello Siboni (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom			5.00
38 Simone Borgheresi (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom
39 Gianluca Sironi (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec
40 Filippo Simeoni (Ita) Amica Chips-Tacconi Sport
41 Andrea Ferrigato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo

Started: 131
Finished: 41

Past Winners

1998 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Kross-Selle Italia 200 kms in 4.40.00 (42.06)
1999 Massimo Podenzana (Ita) Mercatone Uno 200 kms in 5.08.00 (38.161)