Italy, May 19-June 10, 2001
Stage 15 - June 3: Sirmione - SalÚ ITT, 55.5 km
Complete Live Report
Welcome to the 15th stage of the Giro d'Italia, a 55.5 kilometre individual time trial from Sirmione to SalÚ. The conditions for the early riders have been wet, although rain isn't falling at the moment as Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto) comes into the finish with the fastest time so far. The parcours is technical and undulating, and the rain has made things difficult.
Telekom's Guiseppe Guerini has just stopped with a mechanical problem.
One of the favourites, Jan Hruska (ONCE) has caught his 2 minute man Spezialetti on a rise. The conditions are rapidly improving now - bright sunshine and the roads are getting drier. Rik Verbrugghe certainly didn't get the best conditions this time.
Danilo di Luca (Cantina Tollo) has just started as Andrea Peron (Fassa Bortolo) betters Verbrugghe's time by over 45 seconds.
Paolo Savoldelli (Saeco) is on his way now, and the conditions are perfect. Hruska is nearing the finish of his ride, but will he have enough to beat Peron? Definitely not, as he finishes in a time of 1:22:16, only good enough for 76th place at the moment.
World TT champion Sergey Gontchar (Liquigas) has just left the starting ramp, as we are now down to the top 15 riders, all of whom will depart at 3 minute intervals. There have been a few changes to the top 10, but Andrea Peron still has the fastest time at 1'14'29.
Andrea Noe (Mapei) and would-be World Hour Record breaker, Abraham Olano (ONCE) have now left, and are chasing Gontchar at 3 and 6 minutes respectively.
Carlos Contreras and Hernan Buenahora (Selle Italia) have left. Only Osa, Frigo and Simoni to come. Of the two Colombians, Contreras is the best time trialist and is a real chance for a podium finish in Milan.
At the 12km mark, Sergey Gontchar has posted the fastest time of the day, 12 seconds ahead of Noe.
Unai Osa (iBanesto) and Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo) have left now. Only Simoni to come...
All the riders have left, with Olano and Gontchar battling it out at the intermediate time splits. Dario Frigo has 55 kilometres to take more than 44 seconds out of Simoni. On past form e.g. Tour de Romandie, he should do it easily. However, wearing the Maglia Rosa generally counts for a minute or two.
Gontchar comes through the 24 km check 29 seconds in front of Marco Velo (fastest to date). Olano still to come.
Now Olano comes through the second check, 14 seconds ahead of Gontchar. He is probably the favourite to win this TT. Frigo comes through the 12km mark in 14'45 - that's the fastest so far!
Simoni comes through in 14'49, just a few seconds slower than Frigo.
Unai Osa comes through the 25 km mark in around 34 minutes, which puts him 7th at the moment. The real battle is between Simoni and Frigo, and Olano and Gontchar. Frigo has a chance of winning the stage and taking the pink again, but it will be close.
Dario Frigo is the fastest at kilometre 25, with a time of 31:14. That's 23 seconds quicker than Olano, who is now only six seconds from Gontchar.
Marco Velo has just posted a time of 1:14:20, the fastest of the day.
Simoni went through the 25 km check in 31:23, 9 seconds slower than Frigo. At the moment, Simoni's Maglia Rosa looks safe.
Dario Frigo is 58 seconds faster than Olano after 35 km. Azevedo comes through in 1:14:00, but Gontchar is quicker than this by 53 seconds. Olano posts 1:12:51, the best so far.
And now it seems Simoni is suffering - he's 37 seconds down on Frigo at 35 km.
Frigo is taking a lot of risks on the technical course, but they're paying off - all he needs is 44 seconds on Simoni to take the jersey back.
Ivan Gotti comes through in 1:17:05 - that's 4'16 slower than Olano, who may well move into 3rd overall today.
39 seconds is the difference between the two now - this is going to be very close. Frigo has 5km to go.
Carlos Contreras finishes with 1:18:00, which is not going to keep him in fourth place. Buenahora is better, at 1:17:25. What can Osa do?...Somewhat better in 1:15:42. That means the top 3 GC will be Simoni/Frigo(?) and Olano.
Dario Frigo finishes in 1:11:35 taking plenty of risks in the final cobbled section. Simoni comes back a bit, and posts 1:12:04, so he keeps the Maglia Rosa.
1 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 1.11.35 (46.519 km/h) 2 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 0.29 3 Abraham Olano Manzano (Spa) O.N.C.E. 1.16 4 Serguei Gontchar (Ukr) Liquigas-Pata 1.32 5 Josť Azevedo (Por) O.N.C.E. 2.25 6 Marco Velo (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Stream TV 2.45 7 Andrea Peron (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 2.54 8 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 3.40 9 Laurent Desbiens (Fra) Kelme-Costa Blanca 3.44 10 Andrea Noe (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 3.49 11 Unai Osa (Spa) iBanesto.com 4.07 12 Ief Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 4.09 13 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio 4.21 General classification after stage 15 1 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 2 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 0.15 3 Abraham Olano Manzano (Spa) O.N.C.E. 4.32 4 Unai Osa (Spa) iBanesto.com 5.12 5 Sergey Gontchar (Ukr) Liquigas 6.10 6 Jose Azevedo (Por) O.N.C.E. 7.14 7 Andrea Noe (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 7.35 8 Ivan Gotti (Ita) Alessio 7.39 9 Hernan Buenahora (Col) Selle Italia 7.40