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Pearl Izumi

85th Giro d'Italia (GT)

Italy, May 11-June 2, 2002

Stage profile    Start list    Results

Stage 12 - May 24: Campobasso-Chieti, 200 km

Start time: 11:35 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:00 CEST

Complete Live Report

14:25 CEST

Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the 12th stage of the Giro d'Italia, 200 kilometres from Campobasso to Chieti. Today's stage is relatively mountainous, although there is no uphill finish. There are two mountain sprints at kilometre 58.9 and 69.3, with the Intergiro located at the top of a 1236m climb at kilometre 87.9. The finishing circuit in Chieti is also quite tough, with a climb each lap.

Today's big news is of course the non-start of Gilberto Simoni (Saeco). The stage 11 winner was pulled out of the race by his team before the start of today's stage, presumably due to circumstances surrounding his "non-negative" test for cocaine. Although under UCI rules, Simoni is theoretically allowed to race and win the Giro, more information in this case may have come to light, forcing his withdrawal.

Also, Roberto Sgambelluri (Mercatone Uno) was pulled out by his team, likely relating to his positive drug test for Nesp, an improved form of EPO.

That leaves Francesco Casagrande as the best climber in the race, although he will lose time in the time trials to riders like Tyler Hamilton.

14:35 CEST - 95 km/105 km to go

After the usual steady start (33.6 km covered in the first hour) in wet conditions, the racing intensified leading into the two mountain sprints. Ruggero Marzoli (Formaggi Trentini) won the sprint on the Macerone Pass, with Joaquim Castelblanco (Selle Italia) second and Francisco Cerezo Perales (CSC) third.

Ivan Quaranta (Index-Alexia) abandoned 2 km from the top of the climb, having lost the bunch.

The second climb (Rionero Sannitico Pass, km 69) was won by Castelblanco followed by his teammates Hernan Dario Munoz and Juan Diego Ramirez Calderon third.

14:48 CEST - 109 km/91 km to go

Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) abandoned after 70 km, followed by Lotto's Stefan van Dijk at 79 km. That leaves 164 riders in the race.

The peloton regrouped before the Intergiro at km 88, which was won by Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) from Dario Frigo (Tacconi) and Mikailo Khalilov (Selle Italia). The average speed after the Intergiro was 31.8 km/h, but this is due to the large amount of climbing in the first part of the stage. The parcours is downhill for a while now, and that pace has picked up.

15:01 CEST - 118 km/82 km to go

Several groups have formed on the descent, with race leader Jens Heppner in the first group and not looking in any danger of losing time today. With the recent withdrawals, Heppner may find himself in pink until the last week if he continues in his excellent form.

The peloton are now passing through the feed zone.

15:16 CEST - 131 km/69 km to go

A breakaway group of six riders has established itself 1'50 in front of the peloton: Alessandro Bertolini (Alessio), Peter Wrolich (Gerolsteiner), Lorenzo Bernucci (Landbouwkrediet), Bert Grabsch (Phonak), Denis Lunghi (Colpack) and Matthias Buxhofer (Phonak).

15:31 CEST - 142 km/58 km to go

The breakaway group of six riders has now extended its lead to four minutes with 58 kilometres to go. The rain is still falling and the roads are very wet.

For those of you interested in Cadel Evans' progress, we've posted a new diary/Q&A from him. Click here to read the latest report.

15:43 CEST - 149 km/51 km to go

The lead of the breakaways (Bertolini, Wrolich, Bernucci, Bert Grabsch, Lunghi and Buxhofer) is still 4'05 as they negotiate this very wet, twisty parcours leading into Chieti. It was here in the first stage of the Giro last year that Casagrande crashed out, and the Fassa Bortolo rider is obviously nervous about today's stage.

Denis Lunghi is the best placed of the breakaways on GC, 51st at 17'38 behind Heppner. So there is no real danger for the pink jersey from this group.

15:55 CEST - 154 km/46 km to go

There are still plenty of fans out braving the weather, which is pretty ordinary today.

Rabobank is leading the chase in the peloton. The gap is now 2'50.

16:05 CEST - 164 km/36 km to go

The leading six (Bertolini, Wrolich, Bernucci, Bert Grabsch, Lunghi and Buxhofer) are gradually being hauled back to the peloton as they approach the two finishing circuits in Chieti. The peloton contains all the top GC riders, but not many sprinters. The sprinters' group of 70 riders is around 11 minutes down.

16:15 CEST - 171 km/29 km to go

Denis Lunghi (Colpack) has decided to make a solo bid for victory, before the inevitable happens and the breakaway group is caught. He is on a small climb just before the two finishing circuits, which also contain one climb per lap.

Dario Frigo punctures, and his Tacconi teammates drop back for him and he gets going again.

16:23 CEST - 176 km/24 km to go

Lunghi has opened up a half a minute lead on the five chasers, with the maglia rosa group at 2'45. It's a very handy lead, and may be enough to secure him the stage win, as the gap has not come down much.

16:28 CEST - 179 km/21 km to go

Lunghi continues to extend his lead over the chasing group, which is now down to four riders (B. Grabsch, Buxhofer, Bertolini, and Bernucci). Peter Wrolich has been dropped.

Lunghi is on the final descent into Chieti, where he will have two 10 km laps to go.

16:32 CEST - 180 km/20 km to go

Two laps/20 kilometres to go for solo escape artist Denish Lunghi (Colpack). He has a 40 second lead on Lorenzo Bernucci (Landbouwkrediet), Bert Grabsch, Matthias Buxhofer (Phonak), Alessandro Bertolini (Alessio), with Gerolsteiner's Peter Wrolich trying to chase back on.

The peloton is at 3'12, meaning that they have lost some time to the break. It looks good for Lunghi, who can climb and should be able to stay away.

Lampre and Phonak riders are leading the chase as they come through with 2 laps to go.

16:41 CEST - 184 km/16 km to go

The peloton has eased off the throttle a little as they realise there's no point risking a crash on this finishing circuit to try and catch the breakaways. The situation is that Colpack's Denis Lunghi is in the lead, having attacked with 30 km to go. He has around 1 minute on a group of four riders (Bertolini, Buxhofer, B. Grabsch and Bernucci), with Peter Wrolich (Gerolsteiner) further behind.

16:46 CEST - 186 km/14 km to go

Finally the rain has eased off, although the roads are still quite wet and slippery. The peloton is riding as a block at the moment, nearly 5 minutes behind Denis Lunghi, who will surely win the stage.

16:48 CEST - 189 km/11 km to go

We spoke to soon - another thunderstorm has hit the riders as they approach one lap to go.

Lunghi seems to be relishing it though, as he crosses the line for the bell lap. The four chasers are at 1'24 and will certainly not catch the leader, but should stay away to contest 2nd through 5th place.

The peloton is taking it very gingerly on the final descent.

16:53 CEST - 192 km/8 km to go

Lunghi has a "moment" on a corner where he nearly loses it. However, he's still on the bike and climbing the hill in Chieti for the final time.

16:56 CEST - 193 km/7 km to go

Denis Lunghi is pedalling his way smoothly up this final climb. When he reaches the top he'll have 5 km to go before he can claim the stage win. At 1'20 behind him, Lorenzo Bernucci and Bert Grabsch (Phonak) are chasing, with Bertolini and Buxhofer a little further back. Austrian Peter Wrolich is in no-man's land at 3'00, with the peloton now cruising at 6'00.

Andrea Noe (Mapei) has a word to teammate Cadel Evans, and it looks like he's telling him not to attack. The peloton is in a "go slow and get to the finish" mode.

17:02 CEST - 195 km/5 km to go

Lunghi takes his rain jacket off in preparation for the descent, as he now has just 5 km to go. All he has to do is stay on the bike (no easy task on this parcours) and he'll take a well earned win.

17:06 CEST - 198 km/2 km to go

Denis Lunghi is losing his lead, and it is down to 50 seconds with two kilometres to go as Bernucci is descending really well behind him. However, he won't catch the little Colpack rider, who is on the final run in now.

17:07 CEST - 200 km/0 km to go

Denis Lunghi is (Colpack) is the winner of the 12th stage, having attacked with 30 km to go from a breakaway group of six. He looks very relieved and happy as he salutes the crowd several times.

Bert Grabsch wins the sprint from Bernucci to take second, 35 seconds behind, while Bertolini beats Buxhofer for fourth place. Peter Wrolich (Gerolsteiner) will take 6th.


1 Denis Lunghi (Ita) Team Colpack-Astro                  5.38.17
2 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Phonak Hearing Systems                 0.37
3 Lorenzo Bernucci (Ita) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago            0.38
4 Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Alessio                        0.54
5 Matthias Buxhofer (Aut) Phonak Hearing Systems            
6 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Gerolsteiner                          3.44
7 Mykhaylo Khalilov (Ukr) Colombia-Selle Italia             7.47
8 Mariano Piccoli (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
9 Alexandre Moos (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems
10 John Freddy Garcia (Col) Colombia-Selle Italia
11 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
12 Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank
13 Jens Heppner (Ger) Team Telekom
14 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems
15 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Index Alexia
16 Andrea Noe' (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
17 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) Lampre-Daikin
18 Igor Pugaci (Mda) Saeco-Longoni Sport
19 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank
20 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio
21 Cadel Evans (Aus) Mapei-Quick Step 
22 Gianni Faresin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 
23 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo
24 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
26 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo

General classification after stage 12

1 Jens Heppner (Ger) Team Telekom                       58.40.30
2 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                  2.58
3 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Index Alexia                       3.43
4 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio
5 Fernando Escartin (Spa) Team Coast                        3.46
6 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago           3.50
7 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                        3.55
8 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca           3.58
9 Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi                    4.00
10 Cadel Evans (Aus) Mapei-Quick Step                       4.03
11 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Alessio                          4.17
12 Andrea Noe' (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                       4.22
13 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC Tiscali                    4.26
14 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi                4.43
15 Georg Totschnig (Aut) Gerolsteiner                       4.46
16 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Lampre-Daikin                   4.48
17 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank                           4.50
18 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                        
19 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                    4.57


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