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Italy, May 19-June 10, 2001
Stage 14 - June 2: Cavalese - Arco (Garda Trentino), 163 km
Complete Live Report
Start time: 1235
Welcome to the (unscheduled) live coverage of stage 14 of the Giro d'Italia. After yesterday's mighty mountain battle broke the hearts of many with Giro ambitions, today could prove important for the climbers to gain time before tomorrow's time trial.
There are just two climbs on the agenda today: Monte Bondone (km 82.5) and Santa Barbara (km 147). The finish is at the bottom of the descent of Santa Barbara, in Arco.
The results of the Intergiro sprint (km 61.3): 1. Massimo Strazzer (Mobilvetta), 2. Di Biase (Mobilvetta) 3. Stefano Zanini (Mapei)
1505 CEST - 71 km/92 km to go
The peloton is riding up Monte Bondone, at a very steady tempo (avs so far is 27.6 km/h). To give you an indication, sprinter Mario Cipollini is leading the group. However, they are only on the lower slopes at the moment.
But now, Roberto Conti (Cantina Tollo) lifts the pace, immediately followed by his teammate Di Luca, a Lampre rider and Tosatto. All it does is annoy the rest of the peloton, but it's an indication that things are getting serious. Lampre have got to the front of the peloton now.
1517 CEST - 74 km/89 km to go
The group is starting to thin out now at the front, as Camenzind takes a turn for Lampre. Prominent is Fredy Gonzalez (Selle Italia), leader of the mountains classification. Also, Sergey Yakovlev is quite distinctive in his turquoise Khazak champion's jersey.
Mario Aerts (Lotto) is suffering at the rear of the group.
One big surprise yesterday was how much time Stefano Garzelli (Mapei) lost. He finished over 13 minutes down when he was dropped on the second last climb of the day. Mapei are now talking about putting him in the Tour...
1530 CEST - 78 km/85 km to go
The peloton, still led by Camenzind, is just 5 kilometres from the top of Monte Bondone, riding at a brisk but not brutal pace. Figueras (Panaria) is in second wheel, followed by Yakovlev (Cantina Tollo). The weather is once again perfect.
Jean Cyril Robin (Bonjour) has abandoned, the first rider to do so on stage 14. Further to the news about Garzelli: He actually didn't start today, along with teammate Manuel Beltran, and Davide Rebellin (Liguigas).
1540 CEST - 80 km/83 km to go
2 kilometres to go until the top of Monte Bondone. Julio Perez Cuapio (Panaria), who won yesterday's stage, is hovering next to Yakovlev, and just behind his teammate Figueras. Camenzind leads, Simoni is well back in the peloton with the Mercatone Uno team. However, he doesn't look worried in the slightest.
1545 CEST - 82 km/81 km to go
A long string of riders led by Oscar Camenzind rides up to the top of Monte Bondone. With about 400 m to go, an Alessio rider attaccks for the mountain points, but he is overtaken by a Selle Italia rider (Baliani?), another Selle Italia rider takes third. About 35 riders cross the top of the climb in the leading bunch.
1559 CEST - 95 km/68 km to go
Perez Cuapio is not very confident on the descent, and quickly drops to the back of the leading group. Ruslan Ivanov (Alessio) takes a turn, along with Mauro Gentili (Cantina Tollo) and Pavel Padrnos (Saeco).
The results of the Monte Bondone GPM: 1. Fortunato Baliani (Selle Italia), 2. Pietro Caucchioli (Alessio) and Hernan Buenahora (Selle Italia).
1608 CEST - 104 km/59 km to go
The leaders have reached the base of the descent, and are riding through the feed zone in Lasino. A couple of Mercatone riders have to wait for Pantani, however the speed has dropped again to a "training tempo". It is 30 kilometres to the next (and last) climb.
For some reason, two people have decided to get married on the parcours. Did they exchange vows as the Maglia Rosa rode by?
1618 CEST - 110 km/53 km to go
Gianni Faresin (Liquigas) and Renzo Mazzoleni (Colpack) have attacked, followed by Cesar Solaun (iBanesto) and Rene Andrle (ONCE). They have a small gap. Jose' Castelblanco (Selle) is chasing them.
It is reported that Jan Ullrich (Telekom) is in a group 2'20 behind. Perhaps he won't lost 31 minutes today!
1630 CEST - 118 km/45 km to go
Francesco Secchiari (Saeco) launches himself off the front of the peloton, as the Lampre team watch disinterestedly. He will try to make up the advantage to the leaders, which now number 5 (Faresin, Mazzoleni, Solaun, Andrle and Castelblanco). They have 32 seconds to Secchiari, and 40 to the peloton.
Now, Sergey Yakovlev goes after Secchiari.
1635 CEST - 122 km/41 km to go
The five leaders pass through the finish in Arco for the first time, with a 33 second advantage on a lone Secchiari, and 56 seconds on the peloton. Now there is the minor matter of the Santa Barbara climb, which rises 1000m in 20 km.
The sprinters group (with Ullrich) comes through at 3'30
Solaun and Castelblanco have ridden away from the other three as the road starts to go uphill again. Max Sciandri, Massimo Codol, and Juan Garate are the Lampre riders leading the peloton, and they have just caught Secchiari.
Andrle and Faresin are about 10 seconds behind Mazzoleni, who is in turn 30 seconds behind Castelblanco and Solaun, who doesn't want to work, as it might endanger Unai Osa's GC position.
The peloton catches Faresin and Andrle.
The main part of the Santa Barbara climb is 13 kilometres long, averaging 7.3 percent. The steepest part is reported to be 23 percent.
1700 CEST - 135 km/28 km to go
Pantani is riding near the front of the Lampre peloton, as they hit the lower slopes of Santa Barbara. Simoni, Belli, Gontchar, Gotti, Frigo, Olano, and Camenzind are all there.
Castelblanco is now on his own, leading the race. He has 16 seconds on Solaun, and 1'31 on the Maglia Rosa group.
Pantani attacks! But doesn't get very far...
1706 CEST - 137 km/26 km to go
Pantani has managed to lift the pace, the there are signs of worry showing on the Lampre riders faces. However, all the favourites (save for Di Luca, who is gone) hold their own in the dwindling pack.
Castelblanco is lying 15th at 6'49, and could move himself a little way up the rankings if he keeps going like this. He gets some assistance from the Selle Italia team car. Solaun is now at 50 seconds, with the peloton at 1'05.
1710 CEST - 138 km/25 km to go
Camenzind and Garate lead Simoni, Frigo and Belli. Solaun is caught and passed. Simoni is preparing to increase the pace, and Frigo is waiting.
Camenzind pulls off, his work done for the day. Pantani is dropped from about a 20 manleading group.
Juan Garate is doing an excellent job for Simoni, who leads Contreras, Frigo, Belli, Savoldelli, Gotti, Gontchar, Figueras... Simoni attacks! Belli is right on his wheel, and the bunch comes back.
1716 CEST - 140 km/23 km to go
The gap to Castelblanco is now only 30 seconds, as Figueras takes over and lifts the pace. Only 11-12 riders remain in the leading group. Olano and Caucchioli are suffering on the back.
Figueras attacks with Osa (4th overall) on a flat section. A good move! The other 9 watch each other.
Andrea Noe goes after them, but they already have a good gap and he comes back. Gotti, Luttenberger, Savoldelli and Simoni follow. Simoni lifts the pace as the climb gets steeper.
Figueras and Osa can see Castelblanco now.
1720 CEST - 142 km/21 km to go
Frigo is not having a brilliant day, but he's hanging on in about 6th wheel. Belli looks to be a little stronger today, and has been able to match Simoni's attacks.
Gotti attacks, Simoni won't let him go though! There are 10 riders chasing Figueras and Osa, who are about 10 seconds behind Castelblanco.
1724 CEST - 144 km/19 km to go
Unai Osa jumps across to Castelblanco, and goes straight past! He is now 5 or 6 seconds in front of Castelblanco and Figueras.
Chasing them are Buenahora and Noe, followed by the group with Gotti, Luttenberger, Simoni, Frigo, Belli, Savoldelli, Contreras. Luttenberger attacks in pursuit, with 3km to the top of the climb.
1727 CEST 146 km/17 km to go
Noe suffers up the 15 percent section, which is now getting steeper! It's reported as 18% and certainly looks it. Unai Osa leads the race, crawling up the mountain with 1 km to the top.
Buenahora follows, with Figueras. Then a group with Simoni, Frigo, Belli, Contreras at 30 seconds.
1730 CEST - 147 km/16 km to go
Simoni's group catches Buenahora near the top, as Frigo and Belli and Contreras hang on grimly. Osa still leads by 30 seconds through. The orange clad "Simoni Hooligans" get in the way while encouraging their hero.
Belli and Contreras are suffering, and Frigo and Simoni ride together. Belli lost some time when he punched a Lampre supporter (who actually wasn't in the way at the time).
Osa wins the GPM, Simoni second and Frigo third, 10 seconds down.
That last kilometre really hurt. Osa starts the descent, which is very technical. This is a Savoldelli special (but Falco is about 1 minute behind them now).
1735 CEST - 150 km/13 km to go
Gontchar and Savoldelli are chasing down this extremely tricky descent. The leading group have reformed (Frigo, Belli, Figueras, Simoni, Buenahora, Contreras) and are about 10 seconds behind Uani Osa.
1738 CEST - 153 km/10 km to go
Savoldelli and Gontchar make contact with the six riders in the Maglia Rosa group! Superb work again...
Unai Osa is still off the front though, but not by much.
1742 CEST - 157 km/6 km to go
The situation with 6 km to go, is that Unai Osa (iBanesto) has just been caught by a group of 8 with the Maglia Rosa Gilberto Simoni (Lampre). The other riders are: Frigo, Belli, Figueras, Buenahora, Contreras.
Savoldelli and Gontchar have lost the leaders again.
1747 - 2 km to go
Simoni and Osa open up a little gap at the base of the descent. Simoni is going for the stage win, but Frigo, Belli, Contreras, and Buenahora catch them. Figueras is off the back too.
Belli attacks! Good move. Simoni has to chase and he does so.
1749 - 0 km to go
The six riders are together at 1 km to go. Simoni leads them, followed by Contreras. Gontchar and Savoldelli won't get them.
Buenahora leads out the sprint, Simoni goes after him, but Contreras wins in front of Belli and Osa.
Unofficial 1 Carlos Contreras Caņo (Col) Selle Italia-Pacific 2 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 3 Unai Osa Eizaguirre (Spa) iBanesto.com 4 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 5 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 6 Hernan Buenahora (Col) Selle Italia-Pacific 7 Sergej Gontchar (Ukr) Liquigas-Pata 8 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffe' 9 Peter Luttenberger (Aut) Tacconi Sport 10 Andre Noe (Ita) Mapei General classification after stage 14 1 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 2 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 0.48 3 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 1.19 4 Unai Osa Eizaguirre (Spa) iBanesto.com 1.48