News for June 4, 2001

Recent results and new features

84th Giro d'Italia news

Dario Frigo earned some more kudos for himself and the Fassa Bortolo team after winning the stage 15 time trial from Sirmione to SalÚ. After Belli's dramatic exclusion yesterday, it was enough to put the team that has lost two top riders in bizarre fashion in good spirits. However, Gilberto Simoni's ride that earned him second place on the stage was also a surprise, and it kept him in pink for the time being. What can Frigo do in the final week to try and unseat the cool Lampre climber?

Stage 15 comments

Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo, 1st stage)
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Dario Frigo
Photo: © AFP

"I hoped to win the Maglia Rosa again. But Simoni was too good. And now? He has made many efforts, he can fail even if the last week is apparently favourable for him. I will see from day to day."

There are only 15 seconds between us. Last year, I made up time on him in the SestriŤres time trial . This time, I think I rode a very nice time trial, largely on my limit."

"The the next stages, the absence of Belli is likely to hurt. I hope that Gotti, Figueras and Osa will attack, and become allies in principal."

Gilberto Simoni (Lampre, 1st GC)
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Gilberto Simoni
Photo: © AFP

"I am not a specialist but, as I said, this time trial demonstrated my powers of recovery. After two mountain stages, I still felt good. I was sure of myself. If Frigo astonished me in the stage to Arco, then today it was my turn."

"In the morning, I rode the course with Fondriest and four friends. It was like a Sunday stroll."

"I hesitated over the choice of equipment, the wheels, the gear ratio. I used a 53, I could not have pushed a bigger one because of the win. When I learned that the distance to Frigo at the Intergiro (23.9 km) was only 9 seconds, I even thought of the victory.

"I tried to remain supple, I took calculated risks in the corners. In any case, I gave it everything until the end. Ever since the beginning of the Giro I have been determined. I did not plan to lose. In this time trial, I beat Olano and Gontchar. I did not think I was stronger than them against the clock. But, it is all about the third week. The Maglia Rosa is magic."

"Belli's exclusion? It is not good to be offended by the supporters. In 1999 after the exclusion of Pantani, the public insulted us, called us "doped" on the climb of the Mortirolo. I can say to you that that hurt."

Abraham Olano (ONCE, 3rd stage/GC)

"Of course, I would have preferred to win. But Frigo is very strong. To be on the podium at the finish will be difficult."

"I regret not studying the time trial course because of the transfer that we had to take after the stage on Saturday. The parcours was very delicate, with many hard turns. I had to satisfy myself with the indications from Manolo Saiz who followed me in the car. It is clear I was handicapped."

Manolo Saiz (ONCE Directeur Sportif)

"Olano rode a good time trial. He must be able to finish in the top 5 in Milan. Then he will tackle the Hour Record on the following weekend after the finish, if everything is OK. Bravo Frigo who is very strong, not only in the Giro, but also since the beginning of season."

Gotti's parents' campervan searched

On Friday evening the financial police in Padova performed a search on Alessio rider Ivan Gotti's parents' motor home, at the end of the stage 13 that finished on Passo Pordoi. This branch of the Italian police are involved in surveying doping in sports, and they reportedly seized asthma drugs from the the van.

Team Alessio director sportif Bruno Cenghialta was not troubled, and showed the investigators the rider's medical booklet which gave him permission to use the drugs. "We are calm about this," he said. "Ivan has all the prescriptions, and it is his personal medicine for allergic problems. He has communicated this to the UCI and the FCI."

"After the seizure, the financial police went to the Alessio team hotel and checked Gotti's personal health records. I have not had any other communication with the police but it is probable that Gotti will be questioned after the Giro."

Ivan Gotti has won the Giro d'Italia twice in his career (1997 and 1999), and is currently lying in 8th place after the time trial.

VDB out with achilles strain

Frank Vandenbroucke's comeback has hit a pothole in Spain after he pulled out of the Euskal Bizikleta with a couple of stages to go. The reason for his abandon was a strained achilles tendon, a common problem in cycling.

"I wanted to ride further, but it was impossible," he said. "I had the condition to race. I found the first day very hard, but since then I have been feeling better. The legs are good, but I was troubled by my left achilles...I had no alternative: I had to stop."

"I hoped that I could make it to the end. After I gave up this stage race, I will lose one week's competition from my program."

VDB's starts in the Tour of Austria (June 11-17) and the Volta a Catalunya (June 21-28) are now in doubt.

Braikia out for the year

Danish sprinter Tayeb Braikia might have come to the end of the season. A nerve in his shoulder seems to be injured resulting in dysfunction of the shoulder muscles. Recovery might take three to six months.

"Lotto has said that if I am free from injuries I can also have a contract for next year. I don't think I would be treated like that in many places," Braikia told Danish newspaper BT.

Brakia was originally contracted by Linda McCartney for this season. After the team's downfall he got a contract with Lotto and manage to win the Classica del Almeria in early March, but crashed in the Vuelta a Murcia just a few days later.

Dahle back on the road

Norwegian MTB and road star Gunn Rita Dahle made her season's road debut this week end with a second place in the Norwegian Cup at Eidsvoll after Wenche Stensvold (Sponsorservice). Dahle cracked during the 1999 MTB World Championships after a season where she tried to double the World Cups on road and MTB. Dahle has been training on Mallorca for some weeks and didn't have high hopes before the race. Dahle will combine road and MTB racing also in the future.

Tour of Luxembourg announced

June 14-17 will mark the 61st edition of the Tour of Luxembourg, a UCI class 2.2 event covering a surprisingly large amount of territory in the tiny country, nestled between Belgium, France and Germany.

It starts on June 14 with a 182 kilometre stage from Echternach to Dippach, containing two climbs. The following day is the longest and hardest stage: 214 km from Wormeldange to Beckerich. This includes the Muur van Wormeldange, Cote de Schoos, Cote de Steinsel and Cote de Holtz.

On Saturday, June 16 there are 2 stages. A 102 km stage from Dudelange to Luxemburg in the morning, including the Cote de Hostert and Cote de Clausen, the latter to be climbed 6 times. In the evening there is a 14.5 kilometre time trial around Bettembourg.

The final stage is on Sunday, June 17, and it is a 172 kilometre leg from Wiltz to Diekirch, climbing the Cote de Kaundorf, Knupp, Cote de Vianden and Groensteen.

Teams

Domo-Farm Frites, Collstrop-Palmans, Vlaanderen-T-Interim, Rabobank, Bankgiroloterij-Batavus, Fassa Bortolo, Cofidis, Deutsche Telekom, US Postal Service, Mercury-Viatel, CSC-World Online, Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola, Lampre Daikin, Jean Delatour, AG2R, Team Fakta, De Nardi Pasta and a Luxemburg National team.

The stages

  • Stage 1 - June 14: Echternach-Dippach, 182 km
  • Stage 2 - June 15: Wormeldange-Beckerich, 214 km
  • Stage 3a - June 16: Dudelange-Luxemburg, 102 km
  • Stage 3b - June 16: Bettembourg-Bettembourg ITT, 14.5 km
  • Stage 4 - June 17: Wiltz-Diekirch, 172 km

Palmer Brulez dies

Former Belgian professional cyclist Palmer Brulez has in his home in Ardooie, West Flanders, aged 80. During his 16 year racing career, he rode with Briek Schotte and Rik Van Steenbergen. He will be buried on Friday, June 8 at 10:00 in Ardooie's church.

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