Italy, May 19-June 10, 2001
Stage 20 - June 9: Busto Arsizio - Arona, 181 km
Complete Live Report
Start time: 1200 CEST
Welcome to the live coverage of the second last stage in the Giro d'Italia. Today is the only remaining mountainous stage from Busto Arsizio to Arona, with the main difficulties being two ascensions of the 1389m Mottarone.
1500 CEST - 80 km to go
The current situation after three hours of racing is that four riders: Danilo Di Luca (Cantina Tollo), Marzio Bruseghin (iBanesto), Guiliano Figueras (Panaria) and Matthias Kessler (Telekom) have broken away on the first ascent of the Mottarone. They lead the 60 strong Maglia Rosa group by 1'51.
1506 CEST - 107 km/74 km to go
The gap is being brought down by a serious Lampre chase. It is now 1'22. The conditions are not great for racing as it is quite wet.
Danilo Di Luca (Cantina Tollo) won the first GPM at km 67.6.
Other news: Two non-starters, Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo) and Guisseppe Di Grande (Tacconi).
1514 CEST - km 112/69 km to go
At the intergiro, the gap is reduced to 1'13. The road will start climbing again soon, but the second summit of the Mottarone is at 140 km/41 km to go.
The results of the Intergiro: 1. Marzio Bruseghin (iBanesto), 2. Matthias Kessler (Telekom) and 3. Danilo di Luca (Cantina Tollo).
1530 CEST - 124 km/57 km to go
The four riders still hold just under one minute's advantage, as they approach the foot of the Mottarone.
News has come through about the results of some more counter-analyses of urine tests. It seems that although Roland Meier's and Sergio Barbero's B samples were positive for EPO, that of Bo Hamburger's was not. This is as yet unconfirmed.
Bad news as well for Bonjour: They had 10 bikes stolen from a team van last night.
1539 CEST - 129 km/52 km to go
The leaders hit the base of the Mottarone with 27 seconds. Immediately, Matthias Kessler attacks. However, Gilberto Simoni jumps out of the peloton past Kessler and Figueras. He is now leading the stage and looking very strong.
Simoni's attack has completely shattered the peloton. Cna he stay away for the next 50 kilometres? He hasn't won a stage yet...
He is been pursued by Figueras, Kessler and Osa (12 seconds), then Noe (Mapei), Gotti (Alessio), Contreras (Selle Italia), Gontchar (Liquigas).
The chasing groups have joined, with Figueras, Osa, Noe, Gotti, Contreras, and Gontchar. Simoni has 52 seconds. Is Kessler still in between them?
Another group, with Azevedo, Olano (ONCE, Velo (Mercatone Uno) and several more. If Osa can put 1'06 into Olano, he will move into 2nd place on GC.
Here is Kessler - he is just about to be caught by the Olano group.
1558 CEST - 136 km/45 km to go
Gilberto Simoni is powering away through the rain up the Mottarone, chased by a group of 6 at 1'05. Olano's group is at 1'45, and his 2nd place is in a little danger.
Simoni has slightly increased his lead to 1'06, but Unai Osa's group isn't gaining any ground on Olano.
More news about the Liquigas investigation: "Official investigations are under way into six cyclists in the Giro who are suspecting of using doping substances. Five of them are from the Liquigas team, number six is Ivan Gotti.
No names were mentioned by team manager Fabio Bordonali, the only thing he has said is that Davide Rebellin isn't one of the five suspended riders. Italian newspapers say the following riders are involved: Sergei Gontchar, Denis Zanette (winner of stage 10), Ellis Rastelli (winner of stage 1) and Gianni Faresin. A sports doctor is involved in the investigations too.
1609 CEST - 42 km to go
Simoni leads over the top of the Mottarone, with Gotti, Osa, Contreras, Gontchar, Noe, Figueras following at 1'30
Olano's group comes through at 2'27. There's some chasing to do now for them down this very slippery mountain.
1615 CEST - 144 km/37 km to go
The conditions on the descent are terrible, but Simoni is making the best of them as he keeps his 1 minute lead over Osa and Gontchar, who have attacked Gotti, Contreras, Noe and Figueras.The latter is by himself on the descent.
Fabio Sacchi (Saeco) has abandoned
1619 CEST - 34 km to go
Demon descenders, Jose Azevedo and Paolo Savoldelli have just caught Figueras, and are going after Gotti, Contreras and Noe.
The gap from Osa and Gontchar (2 and 3 on the road) to Simoni is 1'30.
1630 CEST - 158 km/23 km to go
Gilberto Simoni is still alone (1'28), being chased by Sergey Gontchar (Liquigas) and Unai Osa (iBanesto). Not far behind them (1'42 behind Simoni) is a group with Contreras, Noe, Gotti, Figueras, Azevedo, Olano, and Savoldelli. So Olano is still safely in second overall.
1633 CEST - 159 km/22 km to go
Gontchar and Osa sit up, and are caught by the Olano group. We have 9 riders chasing Simoni now at 1'28.
Paolo Savoldelli (Saeco) has taken off on another part of the descent. He is alone following Simoni, and no-one is game to chase.
He has 20 seconds on the Olano group, and is 1'32 behind Simoni.
1643 CEST - 14 km to go
Savoldelli is losing ground on the determined Simoni - now 1'50. The Olano group is at 2'30, and have just been joined by Marco Velo (Mercatone) and Matteo Tosatto (Fassa Bortolo).
This is excellent riding by Simoni, who is leading from the front in his maglia rosa. The others won't catch him, but they may catch Savoldelli who is in front by 30 seconds. Several more riders (Guerini, Kessler, Bruseghin, Caucchioli, Duma) join Olano's group which is now around 19 riders.
Other racing: Iban Mayo (Euskaltel) has won the 11th Classique des Alpes in France. He beat Lance Armstrong (USPS) and Pavel Tonkov (Mercury) in a solo breakaway.
1652 CEST - 174 km/7 km to go
Simoni has 2'12 on Savoldelli, and 3'06 on the Olano group on the last little climb of the day.
Figueras has taken off in pursuit of Simoni and he is joined by De Paoli (Mercatone)
1658 CEST - 4km to go
Gilbero Simoni, the leader in the Giro d'Italia, will win his first stage in impressive style. Paolo Savoldelli should take second after a brave ride, but he is 2'28 behind Simoni. The 20 strong Olano group follows another 40 seconds behind.
1702 CEST - 1 km to go
Gilberto Simoni rides through a rather sparse (and damp) crowd with 1 kilometre to go, he looks behind, but there's no-one in sight. He looks relieved, relaxed and takes the victory. There are more people to cheer him at the end.
Paolo Savoldelli rides in for second, with Figueras leading out De Paoli for third.
Unofficial 1 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 5.03.38 2 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffe' 2.24 3 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo 2.42 4 Daniele De Paoli (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Stream TV 5 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 3.02 6 Marco Velo (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Stream TV 7 Sergey Gontchar (Ukr) Liquigas 8 Vladimir Duma (Ukr) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo 9 Unai Osa (Spa) iBanesto.com 10 Andrea Noe' (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 11 Peter Luttenberger (Aut) Tacconi Sport 12 Ivan Gotti (Ita) Alessio 13 Abraham Olano Manzano (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski 14 Carlos Contreras Caņo (Col) Selle Italia-Pacific 15 Jose' Azevedo (Por) O.N.C.E.-Eroski 16 Aleksander Shefer (Kaz) Alessio 17 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio General classification after stage 20 1 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 2 Abraham Olano Manzano (Spa) O.N.C.E.-Eroski 7.31 3 Unai Osa Eizaguirre (Spa) iBanesto.com 4 Sergej Gontchar (Ukr) Liquigas-Pata 5 Jose' Azevedo (Por) O.N.C.E.-Eroski 6 Andrea Noe' (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 7 Ivan Gotti (Ita) Alessio 8 Carlos Contreras (Col) Selle Italia 9 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio 10 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo