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Prologue - May 19: Pescara, ITT, 7.6 km

Stage profile    Results    Next stage

Red headed Rik gets first Belgian win for 23 years

By Jeff Jones
Click for larger image
Rik Verbrugghe
Photo: © AFP

Lotto Adecco's Rik Verbrugghe has taken out the opening stage of the 84th Giro d'Italia, a 7.6 kilometre prologue along the beachfront in Pescara. The Belgian set a blistering pace on the flat, fast parcours, assisted by a tailwind that blew strongly for the first half of the race. His time of 7.44 was equivalent to an average speed of 58.874 km/h, the fastest time trial ever in any Grand Tour.

Verbrugghe became the first Belgian to wear the Maglia Rosa since Johan de Muynck, who wore it 23 years ago. Although a noted time trialist, he surprised himself with the result. "I came to win a stage," he said. "It is already done. I was ready mentally for this prologue - I knew I had a chance."

Using some of his and his manager Claude Criquelion's race savvy, Verbrugghe decided to start in the first half of the field. He started in a 55x16 gear, and reached top speed after 500 metres. The rest was ridden in a 55x11.
Click for larger image
Rik Verbrugghe
Photo: © Sirotti

The result pulverised his opponents, the nearest of which was the very much in-form Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo) who finished 9 seconds behind, with Czech René Andrle (ONCE) third at 11 seconds. Even the more fancied time trialists such as Jan Hruska (ONCE, 4th), Abraham Olano (ONCE, 10th), Serguei Gontchar (Liquigas, 11th), Paolo Savoldelli (Saeco, 21st) or Jan Ullrich (Telekom, 85th) had no answer to the Belgian's speed.

Others, such as Gilberto Simoni (Lampre, 50th), Ivan Gotti (Alessio, 52nd), Danilo Di Luca (Cantina Tollo, 56th), Stefano Garzelli (Mapei, 67th), Francesco Casagrande (Fassa Bortolo, 68th), Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno, 128th) weren't expected to do as well, and they lost anywhere up to 49 seconds on Verbrugghe.

The previous record average speed in a Grand Tour was 55.152 km/h, set by Chris Boardman in the 1994 prologue of the Tour de France in Lille over 7.2 kilometres. In the Giro, Alex Zulle held the record at 53.771 km/h in the Trieste time trial in 1998, over 40 kilometres.

How good is Verbrugghe, and does he want to win overall? "I do not have ambitions to win the Giro but I will try and keep the maglia rosa for as long as possible," he said.

"I believe I can become a tour rider, even though certain classics, La Flèche Wallonne or Liège-Bastogne-Liège, suit me well. With [Mario] Aerts, there are two of us being protected within the team."

Results

1 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                           7.44 (58.895 km/h)
2 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                             0.08
3 René Andrle (Cze) O.N.C.E.-Eroski                           0.10
4 Jan Hruska (Cze) O.N.C.E.-Eroski                            0.12
5 Andrea Peron (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                            0.13
6 Andrea Noé (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                           0.14
7 Rouslan Ivanov (Mda) Alessio                                0.16
8 Isidro Nozal Vega (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski                     0.17
9 Marco Velo (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Stream TV
10 Abraham Olano Manzano (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski                0.18
11 Sergej Gonchar (Ukr) Liquigas-Pata
12 Jon Odriozola (Spa) iBanesto.com                           0.19
13 Noan Lelarge (Fra) Bonjour
14 Gabriele Colombo (Ita) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone        0.21
15 Alvaro Gonzales (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski
16 Simone Bertoletti (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
17 Endrio Leoni (Ita) Alessio
18 Mariano Piccoli (Ita) Lampre-Daikin                        0.22
19 Simone Borgheresi (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Stream TV
20 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                      0.23
21 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffé
22 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                         0.24
23 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
24 Glenn D'hollander (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                       0.25
25 Sergio Barbero (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
26 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
27 Nathan O'neill (Aus) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo              0.26
28 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio                            0.27
29 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom
30 José Azevedo (Por) O.N.C.E.-Eroski
31 Roberto Petito (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                         0.28
32 Nico Eckhout (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
33 David Latasa Lasa (Spa) iBanesto.com
34 Cesar Solaun Solana (Spa) iBanesto.com
35 Maximilian Sciandri (GBr) Lampre-Daikin                    0.29
36 Alexis Rodriguez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
37 Alberto Elli (Ita) Team Deutsche Telekom
38 Jésùs Manzano Ruaño (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
39 Giuseppe Guerini (Ita) Team Deutsche Telekom
40 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
41 Massimo Strazzer (Ita) Mobilvetta Design
42 Stefano Casagranda (Ita) Alessio
43 Davide Casarotto (Ita) Alessio                             0.30
44 Oscar Camenzind (Swi) Lampre-Daikin
45 Pavel Padrnos (Cze) Saeco Macchine Per Caffé
46 Ermanno Brignoli (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Stream TV
47 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Liquigas-Pata                        0.31
48 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffé             0.32
49 Luca Scinto (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
50 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
51 Dario Andriotto (Ita) Alexia Alluminio                     0.33
52 Ivan Gotti (Ita) Alessio
53 Giuseppe Di Grande (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
54 Francisco Leon Mañe (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
55 Tom Leaper (Aus) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo                  0.34
56 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone
57 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) iBanesto.com
58 Alessandro Cortinovis (Ita) Team Colpack-Astro
59 Miguel Peña Caceres (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski
60 Roberto Conti (Ita) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone           0.35
61 Franck Bouyer (Fra) Bonjour
61 Juan Garate (Spa) Lampre-Daikin
63 Peter Luttenberger (Aut) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
64 Aleksander Shefer (Kaz) Alessio
65 Riccardo Forconi (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Stream TV
66 Nicola Miceli (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
67 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                    0.36
68 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
69 Martin Hvastja (Slo) Alessio
70 Antonio Varriale (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
71 Andrej Hauptman (Slo) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
72 Vladimir Duma (Ukr) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
73 Daniel Clavero Sebastian (Spa) Mercatone Uno-Stream TV     0.37
74 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffé
75 Ief Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
76 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) iBanesto.com
77 Massimo Codol (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
78 Enrico Degano (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
79 Laurent Dufaux (Swi) Saeco Macchine Per Caffé
80 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo           0.38
81 Francisco Garcia Rodriguez (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski
82 David Navas Chica (Spa) iBanesto.com
83 Sergej Yacovlev (Kaz) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone
84 Massimiliano Mori (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffé
85 Jan Ullrich (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom
86 José Arrieta (Spa) iBanesto.com                            0.39
87 Guido Trenti (USA) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone
88 Matthias Kessler (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom
89 Marco Magnani (Ita) Alexia Alluminio
90 Carlos Garcia (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca                     0.40
91 Rafaël Mateos Perez (Spa) Team Colpack-Astro
92 Uros Murn (Slo) Mobilvetta Design
93 Gianni Faresin (Ita) Liquigas-Pata                         0.41
94 Michele Colleoni (Ita) Team Colpack-Astro
95 Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Selle Italia-Pacific
96 Francesco Secchiari (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffé
97 Ellis Rastelli (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
98 Hans De Clercq (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                          0.42
99 Christophe Brandt (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
100 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
100 Diego Ferrari (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
102 Mario Aerts (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
103 Leonardo Scarselli (Ita) Selle Italia-Pacific
104 Stefano Cattai (Ita) Liquigas-Pata                        0.43
105 Mirko Marini (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
106 Julio Perez Cuapio (Mex) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
107 Unai Osa Eizaguirre (Spa) iBanesto.com
108 Jean Robin (Fra) Bonjour
109 Mauro Gerosa (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola           0.44
110 Davide Bramati (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
111 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) Fassa Bortolo
112 Michele Coppolillo (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
113 Marcello Siboni (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Stream TV
114 Mauro Zanetti (Ita) Alessio
115 Filippo Simeoni (Ita) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone        0.45
116 Jeroen Blijlevens (Ned) Lotto-Adecco
117 Mario Scirea (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffé
118 Laurent Desbiens (Fra) Kelme-Costa Blanca
119 Paolo Bossoni (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola          0.46
120 Giampaolo Mondini (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Stream TV
121 Paolo Fornaciari (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
122 Andrea Brognara (Ita) Alexia Alluminio                    0.47
123 Fabrice Salanson (Fra) Bonjour
124 Massimiliano Gentili (Ita) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone   0.48
125 Timothy Jones (Zim) Mobilvetta Design
126 Joaquim Lopez Torrella (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
127 Damien Nazon (Fra) Bonjour
128 Marco Pantani (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Stream TV
129 Denis Zanette (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
130 Kevin Livingston (USA) Team Deutsche Telekom
131 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski
132 Pascal Derame (Fra) Bonjour                               0.49
133 Fabio Baldato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
134 Devis Miorin (Ita) Mobilvetta Design
135 José Cuenca Martinez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
136 Marco Villa (Ita) Alexia Alluminio                        0.50
137 Hernan Buenahora (Col) Selle Italia-Pacific
138 José Castelblanco Romero (Col) Selle Italia-Pacific
139 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
140 Eddy Serri (Ita) Alexia Alluminio
141 Daniele De Paoli (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Stream TV            0.51
142 Mickael Pichon (Fra) Bonjour
143 Juan De Los Angeles (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
144 Domenico Romano (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
145 Ruggero Borghi (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola         0.52
146 Mario Manzoni (Ita) Alexia Alluminio
147 Gianni Gobbini (Ita) Team Colpack-Astro
148 Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone
149 John Fredy Garcia (Col) Selle Italia-Pacific
150 Biagio Conte (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffé               0.53
151 Renzo Mazzoleni (Ita) Team Colpack-Astro
152 Dmitri Konyshev (Rus) Fassa Bortolo                       0.54
153 Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) iBanesto.com
154 Giovanni Lombardi (Ita) Team Deutsche Telekom
155 Cristian Pepoli (Ita) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone
156 Pascal Herve (Fra) Alexia Alluminio
157 Kurt Van Lancker (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                       0.55
158 Frédéric Mainguenaud (Fra) Bonjour
159 Denis Lunghi (Ita) Team Colpack-Astro
160 Carlos Contreras Cano (Col) Selle Italia-Pacific          0.56
161 Ruben Marin Valencia (Col) Selle Italia-Pacific
162 Manuel Beltran Martinez (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step
163 Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Mobilvetta Design                  0.57
164 Zoran Klemencic (Slo) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
165 Gianluca Tonetti (Ita) Selle Italia-Pacific               0.58
166 Domenico Gualdi (Ita) Mobilvetta Design
167 Fredy Gonzales Martinez (Col) Selle Italia-Pacific
168 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Team Colpack-Astro
169 Marco Zanotti (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
170 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bonjour
171 Roberto Sgambelluri (Ita) Team Deutsche Telekom           1.00
172 Ivan Quaranta (Ita) Alexia Alluminio                      1.01
173 Moreno Di Biase (Ita) Mobilvetta Design                   1.02
174 Fabio Bulgarelli (Ita) Team Colpack-Astro                 1.03
175 Gustavo Otero Gomez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
176 Michele Gobbi (Ita) Mobilvetta Design                     1.05
177 Kai Hundertmark (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom               1.11
178 Gianluca Valoti (Ita) Alexia Alluminio                    1.13
179 Hidenori Nodera (Jpn) Team Colpack-Astro                  1.18
180 José Jaime Gonzales Pico (Col) Mobilvetta Design          1.28

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