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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

 UCI codes explained

6th Giro della Provincia di Lucca - 2.3

Italy, February 24-27, 2004

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Stage 4 - February 27: Castelnuovo di Garfagnana-Altopascio, 138 km

Brard takes final stage

Florent Brard (Chocolade Jacques)
Photo ©: Sirotti

Frenchman Florent Brard (Chocolade Jacques) has won the final stage of the Giro di Lucca, finishing 9 seconds ahead of the miniature peloton at the end of the shortened 138 km stage between Castelnuovo di Garfagnana and Altopascio. Race leader Alessandro Bertolini (Alessio-Bianchi) finished in the bunch and kept his 1'51 lead over Thomas Ziegler (Gerolsteiner) and Matteo Tosatto (Fassa Bortolo), thus claiming the final overall classification.

The organisers decision to eject most of the field for being too slow in yesterday's stage left only 18 riders in contention for the last stage. Originally scheduled for 188 km, it was decided to cut the race to only 138 km to account for the small size of the bunch. The group rode at a steady pace of 39 km/h for the first two hours until Elio Aggiano (LPR) attacked on the Côte de Montecarlo to stir things up. He was immediately brought back, but that was the signal for more attacking, with Secchiari and Aggiano being particularly active.

Alessandro Bertolini (Alessio-Bianchi)
Photo ©: Sirotti

The two riders eventually got together and worked to build a 15 second lead over the rest. They were joined by Pospyeyev and Vogondy, but the other 14 riders brought them all back on the Côte de Montecarlo again. After an attack by Gavazzi and Vogondy, Florent Brard attacked on the last lap to forge the winning move. The French rider, who has not won a race since October 2001, made use of his time trialling skills to increase his advantage to a maximum of 45". He had 33" with 10 km to go and 25" with 5 km to go, and that was enough to ensure his victory in Altopascio.

The sprint for second was won by Gabriele Balducci (Saeco) ahead of Matteo Tosatto (Fassa Bortolo), with most of the riders arriving in the same time.


Images by Fotoreporter Sirotti


1 Florent Brard (Fra) Chocolade Jacques Wincor-Nixdorf    3.24.41
2 Gabriele Balducci (Ita) Saeco                              0.09
3 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                             
4 Kyrylo Pospyeyev (Ukr) Acqua & Sapone-Caffe Mokambo            
5 Elio Aggiano (Ita) Team L.P.R.-Piacenza Management SRL         
6 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team CSC                                  
7 Thomas Ziegler (Ger) Gerolsteiner                              
8 Nicola Gavazzi (Ita) Saeco                                     
9 Emanuele Sella (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Margres                 
10 Przemyslaw Niemec (Pol) Miche                                 
11 Oscar Pozzi (Ita) Tenax                                       
12 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie         
13 Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi                    
14 Francesco Secchiari (Ita) Domina Vacanze                      
15 Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) Alessio-Bianchi                     
16 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra)                              
17 Dean Podgornik (Slo) Tenax                                    
18 Igor Pugaci (Mda) De Nardi                                0.40
Final general classification
1 Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi             16.17.03
2 Thomas Ziegler (Ger) Gerolsteiner                          1.51
3 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                         2.50
4 Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) Alessio-Bianchi                  2.58
5 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team CSC                              3.02
6 Gabriele Balducci (Ita) Saeco                              3.19
7 Emanuele Sella (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Margres             3.58
8 Nicola Gavazzi (Ita) Saeco                                 6.21
9 Kyrylo Pospyeyev (Ukr) Acqua & Sapone-Caffe Mokambo        6.44
10 Oscar Pozzi (Ita) Tenax                                   8.12
11 Florent Brard (Fra) Chocolade Jacques Wincor-Nixdorf      8.20
12 Francesco Secchiari (Ita) Domina Vacanze                  8.30
13 Elio Aggiano (Ita) Team L.P.R.-Piacenza Management SRL    8.34
14 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie     8.41
15 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra)                          8.43
16 Przemyslaw Niemec (Pol) Miche                             8.44
17 Igor Pugaci (Mda) De Nardi                               13.43
18 Dean Podgornik (Slo) Tenax                               18.34