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Pearl Izumi

85th Giro d'Italia (GT)

Italy, May 11-June 2, 2002

News for May 27, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Giro news: Stage 14 wrap up

Tyler Hamilton
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

Tyler Hamilton finally shook off the injury problems that dogged him in the first week of the Giro to take his first ever stage win in a grand tour, the stage 14 time trial in Numana. Hamilton was fastest at every time check on the very tough course, ending up beating previous World TT Champ Serguei Gontchar (Fassa Bortolo) by 31 seconds, and a very impressive Cadel Evans (Mapei-Quick Step) by 51 seconds.

The time trial changed the GC quite significantly, with Jens Heppner losing all but 48 seconds of his lead, with Evans and Hamilton now in second and third place. The final week promises to be a thriller.

Stage 14 full results & report
Live report

Post stage comments

Tyler Hamilton (CSC-Tiscali, 1st stage)

"I am very happy with this result after my problems at the beginning of the Giro. I suffered on the climbs after my fall in the 5th stage but I think that that problem is behind me. This is a very important win for me. I rode the parcours four times when I came here in March. I carried out another reconnaissance this morning. This is one of the things that I learned from Lance Armstrong. Work hard, always hard, towards becoming a "top cyclist".

"I had several reasons for leaving Lance and US Postal. The main one is after four years in that team I had the chance to become a team leader, when I spoke with Bjarne Riis last July. This is a position that I wanted before the end of my career."

"Win the Giro? That's going to be very hard. I previewed both the stages in April and I knew right away that those two stages are going to be the deciding factor in the Giro. A few seconds here today is really nothing compared to the possibilities in [stages] 16 and 17."

"It's tough question just because of the way I've been feeling after the hard crash in stage 5. I haven't been feeling my best. I've been suffering a bit on the climbs because I haven't been able to use my whole body. Standing up is not the same as it used to be because I have pain my shoulder and my ribs. I guess you could see that yesterday in the final kilometres guys were out of the saddle but I had to stay in the saddle and spin a small gear."

"If I can recover next week we'll see. Casagrande and Frigo are very strong and Cadel Evans showed yesterday that he's definitely a contender. For me, those three are the leading riders here at the Giro. Every day I've been feeling a little bit better after that crash."

On why CSC rode hard in stage 13. "We didn't necessarily ride that way to have me attack at the end but we wanted the stage to be hard. Maybe that helped me today - some riders were maybe more tired today because of the way we rode."

Jens Heppner (Telekom, 1st GC)

Jens Heppner
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

"I was really hoping to keep the maglia rosa. When I saw that this would be very difficult to realize, there was a little bit of bluff. But I thought that there was a possibility. I was better on the first part of the parcours."

"At the end of it all, this is a result that could make me keep the pink jersey until Wednesday. On the next stage (Tuesday), Cipollini will no doubt try to win. But I have no illusions for the following days. On Wednesday evening, I will be finished in the maglia rosa."

Cadel Evans (Mapei, 2nd GC)

"I wasn't feeling great at the start, but I got into my rhythm on the climb and even gained time after the intergiro (at 21.2km). It (the Giro) is progressing well so far; I'm just going to wait and see what happens and take it day by day."

Francesco Casagrande (Fassa Bortolo, 4th GC)

"For four days I have been bothered by my breathing problems. The result does not surprise me. What I hope is that I can get better in the next few days to be ready for the mountains."

Kelme gunning for Aitor Gonzalez

Kelme's directeur sportif at the Giro, José Luis Laguía, believes that Aitor Gonzalez can finish in a good GC position in Milan next Sunday. After a solid time trial by Gonzalez, where he finished 5th, 55 seconds behind Tyler Hamilton, he is now in 6th overall on the classification at 1'15 to Jens Heppner. The differences are small at the moment, with the real tests to come on Wednesday and Thursday (stages 16 and 17).

"We are on the right track for a good position in this race," said Laguía in an interview with Marca. "After inspecting the circuit this morning I was convinced that Aitor was going to be one of the best riders. The terrain suited him and he was very motivated...I think that this is the first time that he has disputed a time trial as technical as this one. He maintained a good rhythm until the end, and I think he rode one of the best time trials of his career."

The stage 8 winner is set for a good position in the Giro, and has started to mature as a rider for the three week tours after his first outing in the Tour de France last year, when he abandoned in stage 10.

Rest day tomorrow

The second rest day of the Giro is set for tomorrow (Monday, May 27) where the riders will transfer north to Terme Euganee. On Tuesday they will face a flat 156 kilometre stage, a perfect opportunity for Mario Cipollini to snag a fourth stage win. After that there will be two very hard days in the Dolomites, that will most likely determine the outcome of this Giro.

Stage 16 features the Passo di Fedaia and the Passo Pordoi (2239 metres, the highest point in this year's race) before the descent into Corvara in Badia for the finish.

Stage 17 from Corvara in Badia to Folgaria is a monster at 222 km, and features two tough climbs right at the beginning before a long, gradual descent and two more climbs to finish the stage.

After that there is a tricky, flattish stage 18 from Rovereto to Brescia, which could suit the sprinters, followed by the Cambiago to Monticello Brianza time trial (42.9 km). This is all uphill, but doesn't have any steep climbs in it.

Finally there is the finishing stage 20 on Sunday from Cantù to Milano, another good chance for the sprinters.

Don't miss all the action on Cyclingnews this week, with live coverage of each stage starting approximately 14:30 local time (5:30am PDT = 8:30am EDT = 10:30pm Australian Eastern time)

Three fractured ribs for Codol

Italian cyclist Massimo Codol (Lampre) didn't start today's 14th stage time trial due to three fractured ribs. Codol fell in stage 13 and hit a safety barrier on the side of the road. Doctors at the hospital in Ancona x-rayed him and discovered that he had fractured his seventh, eighth and ninth ribs.

Verbruggen not happy; nor are the riders

The president of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), Hein Verbruggen says that "a lot of the riders are fed up" with the ongoing problem of doping, which he believes is swinging in favour of the clean riders now. In an interview published in L'Equipe, Verbruggen declared that he was "furious" with the riders that are still breaking the rules.

"These people don't know what damage they are doing to their trade and to their colleagues! I get a lot of calls from riders who ask me how to eliminate them for definitively. A lot of riders are fed up."

"I am certain that the recent winners of the Grand Tours, World Cups and World Championships are absolutely clean," added Verbruggen. "There is zero medicine in their analyses, zero! This is the reason I am certain that someone can perform well without all this junk. But we will always have cheaters, always."

Verbruggen believes that things are definitely improving. "Our medical followup is going very well. Look at the problem of ferritin, which appeared two years ago. It is practically resolved."

He added that the teams were working well with the UCI in this area. "One positive case does not mean that the responsibility automatically returns to the team. A rider can do that on his own. Look at Frigo, he acknowledged that he had gone to the airport to buy an ampoule and he ended up with salt water. He did that by himself."

Verbruggen was also asked about the delay between the drug test and the result of the analysis of Gilberto Simoni from the Tour of Trentino (nearly four weeks). He replied that there was simply too much work for the anti-doping labs to get through. "It is not as if they have nothing to do...the labs are overflowing. The more tests we do, the longer it will take to know the results."