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87th Giro dell'Emilia - 1.1
Italy, September 25, 2004
Finally Basso: Ivan takes Emilia win
Italians and Ullrich strong with World's next week
By Tim Maloney, European Editor
With his baby daughter Domatilla in his arms, a delighted Ivan Basso told RAI-TV's Alessandra DiStefano that, "After a long time trying, I'm really happy to finally win here." Runner-up two years ago, the Giro dell'Emilia is Basso's favourite race in Italy and with his solid performance today in Bologna, the classy 26 year old CSC rider must now be considered one of the favourites for next week's World's.
With eight days to go before the World Elite Road Championships in Verona, the difficult Giro dell'Emilia was to be a good test for those who weren't riding at the Vuelta a Espaņa. Basso, runner-up in this year's Tour de France as well as six other members of the Italian Squadra Azzura national team for Verona were on hand as well as German Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile), clearly in ascendant form after a disappointing Tour De France and Olympic Games. With a close third place in the Giro di Lazio a week ago and a victory last week in the Coppa Agostoni, Ullrich was also looking for a final test before the World's next week. The powerhouse German rider showed today that he is not only a favourite for the World Road title but will be hard to beat in next Wednesday's Elite TT Road Championships in Bardolino.
Italian riders like Michele Bartoli (CSC) and Gilberto Simoni (Saeco), both left off the Squadra Azzura in Verona, were looking to make a statement at the Giro dell'Emilia, but a major crash with 50km to go took all of these big-name riders out of contention today. Just off the plane from Argentina, World Cup leader Davide Rebellin was also not selected for the Squadra Azzura, so he was forced to seek dual citizenship in South America to have the possibility to ride the World Pro Road Championships in his home town. But Rebellin was also caught in the same crash as the others and ended up abandoning the Giro dell'Emilia. Rebellin explained post race that, "I was looking for some good training today and unfortunately I crashed...but my legs felt good today."
How it unfolded
On a beautiful clear and cool fall morning, the Giro dell'Emilia started in Cento at 10:30. After numerous attacks, a break finally stuck after 30km. The lead quartet consisted of Rumsas (Acqua e Sapone), Adamsson (Barloworld), Bernucci (Colnago-Landbouwkrediet) and Aggiano (LPR). The quartet had a lead of 3'30 at the first sprint in San Giovanni in Persicato after 51km, but with T-Mobile riding tempo on the front for Ullrich, that was their maximum advantage. As the peloton ascended the Monzuno climb after 100km, the break had less than 3'00 lead as Rumsas took the KOM points.
On the 2km ascent of Paderno 30km later, T-Mobile was chasing hard with Ivanov and Ullrich, marked by Casagrande (Vini Caldirola) and local lad Luca Mazzanti. On the outskirts of Bologna after 150km, there was a huge crash with 20 riders hitting the deck, including Bartoli, three Rabobankers including Boogerd and Rasmussen, Gibo Simoni and Gerolsteiner's Davide Rebellin, but only Cristian Gasperoni (Colnago-Landbouwkrediet) was taken to the hospital. There was a split with 30 riders ahead and 40 chasing 0'30 back, including Michele Bartoli.
Under the constant pressure of T-Mobile, the break was caught after 120km of liberty, just before the final three circuits. The spectacular finale of the Giro dell'Emilia is a 9km tour up to the Basilica of San Luca atop Colle della Guardia, and including the final lap, there were four ascents of the difficult 3km climb, with an average grade of 10% and the steepest pitches of 18% coming halfway up after the "Curva delle Orfanelle".
The first attacks on San Luca came from Barloworld, while a disappointed Bartoli abandoned when he realized he couldn't close the gap to the front runners. Joining him were Boogerd, Simoni and Rebellin, all victims of the crash with 45km to go. The front half of the peloton exploded immediately on the first ascent of San Luca and up front, Casagrande, Basso, Sella and Mazzanti passed the finish line with Nocentini, Bertagnolli and Pellizotti at 0'08, with Ullrich, Frigo, Kolobnev, Anza, Wegmann and others at 0'15. on the winding 6 km descent of Casalia, the front groups came together to make a break of six as Sella dropped back to the chase group.
After a difficult year for Casagrande, the skinny Tuscan climber was looking to salvage something Saturday in Emilia. 86'ed from the Vuelta a Espaņa for high haematocrit at the beginning of September, Casagrande was fired from Lampre and picked up by Vini Caldirola for the rest of the season. Under a warm afternoon sun, the break started the second trip up San Luca with a 0'20 gap on the chasers. As the sextet ascended along the long galleria that leads to the San Luca Basilica, Basso and Casagrande were up front and the CSC rider looked like he has regained his superb form of the Tour de France. Casagrande's forcing the second time up San Luca shelled everyone except Basso, who hung tough just behind.
The second time atop Colle della Guardia, Casagrande's forcing had done the job as only he and Basso were still in front. Pellizotti, Nocentini and Bertagnolli were gapped at 0'10, with Mazzanti at 0'20 and chasers Ullrich, Anza, Sella and Frigo at 0'40. The gaps stayed the same on the descent between the three groups. On the penultimate climb of San Luca, Casagrande and Basso were still away, with the forcing of the Tuscan making it difficult for the three chasers, Pellizotti, Nocentini and Bertagnolli chasing desperately 0'20 behind. This trio could see the two leaders up the road but they just couldn't get across on the steep slopes.
As the bell sounded atop with one 9km lap to go, Casagrande and Basso taken control of the race, with a 0'45 lead on the three chasers and a solo Ullrich crushing a huge gear at 1'10. The German had dumped his six former chase companions, who were at 1'20. Casagrande was still riding hard on the front of the lead duo, although Basso wasn't just riding on his wheel. Behind, Ullrich's incredible surge had brought him up to the three chasers and as the final ascent up San Luca started, the leaders were a study in contrasts. In the lead, Casagrande pounded a huge gear out of the saddle, while a composed, seated Basso pedaled a small gear. The mano a mano up front continued as Casagrande tried to crack Basso on the steepest part of San Luca. Behind, Nocentini and Bertagnolli had gapped Ullrich and Pellizotti.
Like two match sprinters, Basso and Casagrande played cat and mouse as the finish line approached. As the road flattened out in the last 200m, Casagrande wound it up in a big gear on the inside, but the clever Basso jumped outside in a smaller gear and took the win by two bike lengths ahead of Casagrande. Nocentini was third at 0'10, just ahead of Bertagnolli, while Ullrich had passed Pellizotti for fifth.
Images by Fotoreporter Sirotti
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Csc 4.56.45 (39.751 km/h) 2 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Vini Caldirola 3 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Acqua&Sapone 0.18 4 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Saeco 0.27 5 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile 0.35 6 Franco Pellizzotti (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi 0.46 7 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 1.16 8 Marcel Strauss (Sui) Gerolsteiner 1.26 9 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Panaria 10 Igor Pugaci (Mda) De Nardi 11 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Domina Vacanze 12 Giuseppe Di Grande (Ita) Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave 1.34 13 Jure Golcer (Slo) Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave 1.53 14 Emanuele Sella (Ita) Panaria 2.09 15 Santo Anza. (Ita) Colnago-Landbouwkrediet 2.23 16 Leonardo Giordani (Ita) De Nardi 3.16 17 Theo Eltink (Ned) Rabobank 4.33 18 Vladimir Duma (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet 19 Sergio Barbero (Ita) Lampre 20 Patxi Vila (Spa) Lampre 21 Freddy Gonzalez Martinez (Col) Colombia-Selle Italia 22 Juan Gomis (Spa) Saunier-Duval 23 Oscar Pozzi (Ita) Tenax 24 Francesco Bellotti (Ita) Barloworld 25 Matej Mugerli (Slo) Vini Caldirola 26 Tomas Nose (Slo) Phonak 4.40 27 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet 28 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Lampre 5.12 29 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner 5.17 30 Niklas Axelsson (Swe) Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave Courtesy of Stephane David
2003 Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Spa) iBanesto.com 2002 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 2001 Jan Ullrich (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom 2000 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre 1999 Michael Boogerd (Ned) 1998 Mirko Celestino (Ita) 1997 Alexandre Gontschenkov (Rus) 1996 Michele Bartoli (Ita) 1995 Davide Cassani (Ita) 1994 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) 1993 Maurizio Fondriest (Ita) 1992 Gianni Bugno (Ita) 1991 Davide Cassani (Ita) 1990 Davide Cassani (Ita) 1989 Dimitry Konychev (Rus) 1988 Tony Rominger (Swi) 1987 Jean-Francois Bernard (Fra) 1986 Hubert Seiz (Swi) 1985 Acacio Da Silva (Por) 1984 Ezio Moroni (Ita) 1983 Cesare Cipollini (Ita) 1982 Pierino Gavazzi (Ita) 1981 Pierino Gavazzi (Ita) 1980 Gianbattista Baronchelli (Ita) 1979 Francesco Moser (Ita) 1978 Bernt Johansson (Swe) 1977 Mario Beccia (Ita) 1976 Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel) 1975 Enrico Paolini (Ita) 1974 Francesco Moser (Ita) 1973 Franco Bitossi (Ita) 1972 Eddy Merckx (Bel) 1971 Gianni Motta (Ita) 1970 Franco Bitossi (Ita) 1969 Gianni Motta (Ita) 1968 Gianni Motta (Ita) 1967 Michele Dancelli (Ita) 1966 Carmelo Preziosi (Ita) 1965 Michele Dancelli (Ita) 1963 Italo Zilioli (Ita) 1962 Bruno Mealli (Ita) 1961 Diego Ronchini (Ita) 1960 Pierino Baffi (Ita) 1959 Ercole Baldini (Ita) 1958 Diego Ronchini (Ita) 1957 Bruno Monti (Ita) 1956 Bruno Monti (Ita) 1955 Nino Defilippis (Ita) 1954 Nino Defilippis (Ita) 1953 Gino Bartali (Ita) 1952 Gino Bartali (Ita) 1951 Luciano Maggini (Ita) 1950 Luciano Maggini (Ita) 1949 Virgilio Salimbeni (Ita) 1948 Fausto Coppi (Ita) 1947 Fausto Coppi (Ita) 1946 Adolfo Leoni (Ita) 1943 Nedo Logli (Ita) 1942 Adolfo Leoni (Ita) 1941 Fausto Coppi (Ita) 1940 Osvadlo Bailo (Ita) 1939 Serafino Biagioni (Ita) 1938 Carrado Ardizzoni (Ita) 1937 Cesare Del Cancia (Ita) 1936 Giuseppe Olmo (Ita) 1935 Aldo Bini (Ita) 1934 Marco Cimatti (Ita) 1931 Glauco Servadei (Ita) 1930 Mario Bonetti (Ita) 1929 Allegro Grandi (Ita) 1928 Alfonso Piccin (Ita) 1927 Domenico Piemontesi (Ita) 1925 Constante Girardengo (Ita) 1924 Pietro Linari (Ita) 1923 Michele Gordini (Ita) 1922 Constante Girardengo (Ita) 1921 Constante Girardengo (Ita) 1920 Giovanni Brunero (Ita) 1919 Constante Girardengo (Ita) 1918 Constante Girardengo (Ita) 1917 Angelo Gremo (Ita) 1914 Ezio Corlaita (Ita) 1913 Alfonso Calzolari (Ita) 1912 Ugo Agostoni (Ita) 1911 Clemente Canepari (Ita) 1910 Luigi Ganna (Ita) 1909 Eberardo Pavesi (Ita) Past winners by Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com