13,'min'=>15, 'refresh'=>500); // IN GMT $refresh[2]=array('hr'=>14,'min'=>00, 'refresh'=>300); // IN GMT $refresh[3]=array('hr'=>15,'min'=>50, 'refresh'=>0); // IN GMT //add new $refresh rows as you like in chronological order. Set refresh => 0 for no refresh line // foreach (array_keys($refresh) as $r) { // foreach not available in PHP3! Have to do it like this reset ($refresh); while (list(, $r) = each ($refresh)) { if (time() > gmmktime($r[hr], $r[min], 0, $m, $d, $y)) $delay=$r[refresh]; }; if ($delay) { return ("\n"); } else { return(''); }; }; ?>
Home  Tech   Features   Road   MTB   Cyclocross   Track   News   Images    Feedback 

Pearl Izumi

85th Giro d'Italia (GT)

Italy, May 11-June 2, 2002

News for May 18, 2002

Edited by Anthony Tan

Chesini arrested

Click for larger image
Nicola Chesini
Photo: © AFP

Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo's roller-coaster Giro took a big dip yesterday when team member Nicola Chesini was arrested in his hotel room in Cuneo after the stage 5 finish in Piemonte. According to team manager Roberto Reverberi, his arrest is believed to be connected with the Varriale investigation; Antonio Varriale is a team-mate of Chesini's, and was arrested on Monday in Brescia.

Varriale -- who was not riding in the Giro -- is under investigation for the alleged selling of performance-enhancing drugs, conspiracy and receiving stolen goods, and has been told to remain at his home until further notice by the magistrate of Brescia, who is also responsible for the investigation of Roberto Spano.

Panaria directeur-sportif, Bruno Reverberi, who said on Wednesday he felt "betrayed" as a consequence of Varriale's actions, has suspended him from racing. Reverberi has also asked the team doctor to carefully inspect the luggage of all their riders.

The blows to the Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo team come in the same week that revelatory sprinter Graeme Brown has been giving Mario Cipollini and Robbie McEwen a run for their money in the first four stages of the Giro.

53 riders and team staff are still under investigation by the Italian police following the raid after stage 17 of last year's Giro d'Italia.

Chesini was lying in last place on the Giro general classification.

Stage 5: Giro hits the hills

Yesterday the Giro started for "real", on the first stage of media-montagne from Fossano to Limone Piemonte with Stefano Garzelli winning in triumphant fashion.

The Rubix Cube-clad boys from Mapei devised perfect race tactics by sending Bettini up the road early into the stage, forcing the other teams to chase.

The Colletto del Moro climb, 25km from the finish, sorted the men from the boys with gradients up to 21 percent; Frigo and Pantani being the most significant casualties.

Tyler Hamilton crashed spectacularly, but was back on his bike in no time thanks to team-mate Carlos Sastre, who just happened to be passing by and also just happens to ride the same size bike.

Simoni, Casagrande, Belli and Escartin are all looking good as the race moves closer to the Dolomiti.

Post stage comments

Stefano Garzelli (Mapei, 1st stage, 1st GC)

"I wanted to win this stage because to win a mountain stage is always beautiful, however an extra 12 seconds for the stage win is also good to take. Also a great effort by Pellizotti.

"In this stage, it was expected that Bettini or Nardello would escape in a small group; and when Bettini got in front, it was the ideal scenario.

"On the Colletto del Moro, I saw that the other contenders are also in great form, including Casagrande, Simoni, Hamilton and Boogerd. The others? I cannot say - I did not see them.

"The next days? We will see after each day and we will be marking any escapes. But there is still a long way to go, and one can have variations in form, in one direction or another."

Francesco Casagrande (Fassa Bortolo, 4th stage, 2nd GC)

"For sure, Garzelli had a great ride. I thought of attacking but I preferred to climb without taking any big risks at this stage.

This year, I have worked hard on improving in the time-trials and and little less in the mountains. In this Giro, I now have an ideal position in the general classification."

Gilberto Simoni (Saeco, 3rd stage, 3rd overall)

"I did not feel great on the final climb but I held my position well. It is an encouraging sign."

Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno, 76th stage, 64th overall)

"I do not have the form. The speed was too fast for me - my legs did not follow."

Franco Pellizotti (Alessio, 2nd stage, 18th overall)

"I thought of winning the stage, but unfortunately I was overtaken in the final metres. But I am glad to have tested myself. It is my first Giro, I can only discover and learn.

"I can say to you that I will try to attack again as soon as possible."

Giro non-starters; Romano's too-close connection?

Italian Domenico Romano (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) was not at the start line in Fossano for the fifth stage of the Giro, citing a sore wrist as the problem.

Romano is a close relation and friend of compatriot Antonio Varriale, who was arrested in Brescia on Monday in the attempt to conceal prohibited doping products.

Romano comes from Naples, the same region in Italy as Varriale. They also spent their first two seasons together in the Panaria squad before Romano transferred to the Belgian team Landbouwkrediet-Colnago; the transfer more a result of no wins rather than a fall-out with his friend Varriale.

There were also three other non-starters before yesterday's stage: Italians Francesco Secchiari and Daniel Clavero (Mercatone Uno), the former hospitalized in Strasbourg after a fall on stage 4; and German Danilo Hondo (Telekom), who found out on Wednesday his mother had passed away.

Latest newsflashes

May 25 - Mathew Hayman interview: Making hay while the sun shines
May 25 - Stage 12 wrap up, Post stage comments, Lunghi wins 12th stage, Simoni out, Saeco cancels journos' football game, Perfetto denies doping
May 24 - Stage 11 wrap up, Post stage comments, Simoni not in the clear yet, Cadel Evans re-launches website, Garzelli case to be heard on June 3, Frigo taken for a ride, Saeco pulls Simoni before B sample announced, Mercatone flicks Sgambelluri
May 23 - Stage 10 wrap up, Post stage comments, Simoni allowed to continue, regardless of B test, Mapei to continue in the Giro
May 22 - Stage 9 wrap up, Garzelli's B sample positive, Post stage comments, Gutted Garzelli to take a break from cycling, Cipollini comments, Castellano comments, Why probenecid?, Policeman admits to supplying Varriale and co. with doping products, Simoni non-negative for cocaine
May 21 - Stage 8 wrap up, Post stage comments, Santi Perez hospitalised with cranial trauma, Garzelli's counter-analysis due on Tuesday, Varriale and the wicked fridge

Complete story index