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Pearl Izumi

85th Giro d'Italia (GT)

Italy, May 11-June 2, 2002

Stage profile    Start list    Results

Stage 15 - May 28: Terme Euganee-Conegliano, 156 km

Start time: 13:30 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:10 CEST

Complete Live Report

14:30 CEST

Welcome back all our readers to the live coverage of the 85th Giro d'Italia, which had its second rest day yesterday. There remain just 6 stages in the race to determine the winner, and it's still a very open contest, with Francesco Casagrande, Tyler Hamilton, Cadel Evans and Dario Frigo the big favourites, along with Aitor Gonzalez, Pietro Caucchioli, Fernando Escartin, Paolo Savoldelli and Rik Verbrugghe as good podium chances.

We'll find out more in tomorrow's mountain stage, but for now the riders can enjoy a relatively flat run from Terme Euganee to Conegliano over 156 kilometres to ease themselves back into racing. The stage has "Mario Cipollini" written all over it, especially in the absence of his main competitor Robbie McEwen (Lotto-Adecco) who has gone home after winning a couple of stages.

The main features are a cat. 3 climb at km 21.4 and the Intergiro sprint at km 111.1, before three 4.3 km finishing laps in Conegliano.

14:41 CEST - 40 km

Joaquim Castelblanco (Selle Italia) won the mountain sprint at km 21.1 in front of mountains leader Francesco Casagrande (Fassa Bortolo) and Hernan Dario Munoz (Selle Italia). Unfortunately for the Selle Italia team, John Fredy Garcia fell on the lead up to the climb, and has pulled out of the race.

The peloton is all together at the 40 km mark, after a brief foray by Bondarenko, Pugaci and Bileka. 28.1 km were covered in the first hour.

14:54 CEST - 50 km/106 km to go

The pace has picked up substantially now, with Lotto-Adecco's Thierry Marichal the next to try an attack. He broke clear at km 37 and now has a 1 minute advantage with 106 km to go.

Before the start this morning, all 158 riders left in the race were subject to blood (health) tests. No rider was considered unfit to start on the basis of the UCI's criteria, which take into account several blood parameters including hematocrit and hemaglobin.

15:10 CEST - 60 km/96 km to go

Thierry Marichal has extended his lead to 2'18 over the peloton, which has increased its speed to match the Belgian.

Ruggero Marzoli (Formaggi Trentini) has retired from the race.

Cyclingnews' Tim Maloney reports from the finish in Conegliano that it's raining there at the moment, but should clear in time for the finale. The final circuit is quite technical - not a straightforward run for Cipollini at all. So we could see riders like Guidi and Strazzer get up to challenge Re Leone.

15:23 CEST - 69 km/87 km to go

Marichal, who attacked after 37 kilometres, is still clear of the peloton, with a lead of around 2'30. After a slow start to the stage (28.1 km/h), the average speed has lifted to 34.4 km/h after two hours. That means 40.7 kilometres have been covered in the last hour.

15:35 CEST - 74 km/82 km to go

The leader of the 15th stage is still Lotto-Adecco's Thierry Marichal, who has just a 2'00 advantage over the Telekom and Acqua e Sapone led peloton. It's raining steadily on the parcours, meaning that Marichal should be feeling quite at home. (OK no jokes about the Belgian weather).

15:44 CEST - 80 km/76 km to go

Marichal continues his lone, wet ride as the rain jacket wearing peloton keeps him in check, courtesy of Telekom and Acqua e Sapone. Marichal's gap is now 1'55 and it's stable for some time.

It's now raining quite hard.

15:54 CEST - 93 km/63 km to go

Belgian Thierry Marichal (Lotto-Adecco) has just passed through Castelfranco with 63 km to go. He has a 1'45 gap to the peloton, pushing a moderately big gear at around 90 rpm. Cipollini's zebra men are setting the tempo in the bunch.

Alessandro Bertolini (Alessio) takes some time out to greet his family - not for long though, as the peloton is not travelling slowly.

16:04 CEST - 95 km/61 km to go

The peloton passes through the feed zone at Castelfranco Veneto, and there is a slight slowing in the tempo, allowing Marichal to keep his 1'43 lead.

Milan Kadlec (Lampre) and Oscar Mason (Saeco) both puncture.

16:11 CEST - 100 km/56 km to go

Marichal is starting to realise that he's not going to make it to the finish in the lead, although he has given his sponsors a good bit of exposure on TV. The gap is now just 40".

Mario Cipollini is noticeable near the front of the bunch, as is Tyler Hamilton. Both trying to keep out of trouble as the rain continues to come down.

Will Cipollini risk anything in a sprint? Or will he take it easy and allow someone else to take the win. You have to put money on his teammate Giovanni Lombardi, who seems to have a knack of winning sprints in the rain.

16:17 CEST - 107 km/49 km to go

Marichal sits up and has a bite to eat and it seems as though as he'll be caught. But the peloton takes a break too, and Marichal actually increases his lead to 50 seconds! Just 5 km to go until the Intergiro, so things will likely get more lively, although no one can really beat Massimo Strazzer now.

16:22 CEST - 111 km/45 km to go

Thierry Marichal (Lotto-Adecco) picks up six bonus GC seconds for winning the Intergiro in Montebelluna. Second is Strazzer, followed by Petacchi. They cross just 20 seconds behind Marichal.

16:29 CEST - 116 km/40 km to go

Just under an hour of racing to go in this very wet 15th stage of the Giro d'Italia. Appropriately it's the Acqua e Sapone team along with Telekom who are sharing the workload at the front of the peloton, which has now caught the Lotto-Adecco rider Thierry Marichal, who was on his own since kilometre 37.

The average speed at the Intergiro was 37.25 km/h.

16:34 CEST - 120 km/36 km to go

The attacks are starting now as we get closer to the finish. Mathew Hayman (Rabobank) is the first to go, but there is an immediate reaction from Cipollini's team. Hayman, who has had a solid season so far in the Belgian classics, does not last long by himself. It's the riders from Telekom who close the gap.

16:41 CEST - 126 km/30 km to go

It's still Jens Heppner's Telekom boys leading the peloton, with the occasional contribution from Roberto Conti (Acqua e Sapone). But Cipollini's men are ready for action, just behind Telekom.

The rain is still falling, meaning that this is going to be a tricky and dangerous finish. Still 17 km to go until the final three laps in Conegliano.

16:48 CEST - 131 km/25 km to go

The speed has picked up now, with the peloton motoring along at 45 km/h. The six Telekom riders and two Acqua e Sapone riders are keeping a tight control at the front, although other teams such as Mapei are starting to get edgy.

More news from John Fredy Garcia, the Colombian champion from Selle Italia who abandoned the race after crashing very early on today. He is claiming to the race jury that Francesco Casagrande (Fassa Bortolo) punched him and knocked him off his bike. If that is the case, then Casa faces a possible expulsion from the Giro. We'll keep you posted.

16:54 CEST - 136 km/20 km to go

Just 7 km to go until the three finishing laps. Telekom still leads the peloton. More teams are getting involved now, with a Gerolsteiner and a CSC rider getting up to the front.

16:59 CEST - 140 km/16 km to go

Now the battle for position is very apparent, as a Mercatone Uno rider gets involved up in front. But Acqua e Sapone and Telekom keep their heads, and continue to control the pace. Fontanelli (Mercatone) takes the opportunity to attack on the finishing circuit.

17:02 CEST - 143 km/13 km to go

Fontanelli doesn't get too far and is swamped as another storm hits the peloton. Three laps (correction from earlier correction) to go and the attacks start as the peloton is strung out.

Christophe Detilloux (Lotto-Adecco) attacks. Cipollini's team chases.

17:06 CEST - 157 km/9 km to go

Detilloux almost misses a corner after the motorbike gets a bit close to him. He has to take his foot out and loses what small advantage he has. He is pretty annoyed with the moto rider.

Colombo, Scirea and Derganc are leading the charge for Cipollini with 2 laps to go. There's a long corner with 300m to go which will make things interesting.

17:09 CEST - 159 km/7 km to go

Cipollini's men are in control of this leadout as they circumnavigate the second last lap. An attack from Sciandri and Astarloa goes nowhere.

17:11 CEST - 161 km/5 km to go

Mauro Zinetti (Index-Alexia) takes a flyer, risking everything for a chance at glory. He can't get more than 20 metres in front of the zebra train, now led by Martin Derganc, the Slovenian champion.

The first lap was raced at over 48 km/h.

17:13 CEST - 162 km/4 km to go

One lap to go and it's Derganc, Scirea, Colombo, Lombardi, Cipollini and Trenti - all the A&S boys in front. An attack from Rolf Soerensen (Colnago-Landbouwkrediet) is brave but goes nowhere.

17:14 CEST - 164 km/2 km to go

Phonak gets two riders in front for Strazzer, who is looking for Cipollini's wheel. Vierhouten and Petacchi also have a battle for Cipollini's wheel. Acqua e Sapone take over again.

17:16 CEST - 165 km/1 km to go

Colombo does his turn with 1.5 km to go, then Trenti. Lombardi is in front of Cipollini. It looks perfect for the lion king

17:17 CEST - 166 km/0 km to go

Lombardi does his job for Cipollini, but Petacchi jumps early. Lombardi moves. Petacchi stops. Cipollini wins from Galvez and Petacchi, who lost all his momentum on that last corner when he had to go round the long way...


1 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo     3.58.09
2 Isaac Galvez Lopez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
3 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
4 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Rabobank
5 Zoran Klemencic (Slo) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi
6 Rene' Haselbacher (Aut) Gerolsteiner 
7 Massimo Strazzer (Ita) Phonak Hearing Systems
8 Christophe Detilloux (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 
9 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport
10 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank 
11 Angelo Furlan (Ita) Alessio
12 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 
13 Moreno Di Biase (Ita) Formaggi-Trentini
14 Oscar Cavagnis (Ita) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
15 Mariano Piccoli (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
16 Enrico Degano (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
17 Volodymyr Bileka (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
18 Giovanni Lombardi (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo

General classification after stage 15

1 Jens Heppner (Ger) Team Telekom                        68.12.42
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Mapei-Quick Step                         0.48
3 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC Tiscali                      1.06
4 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                   1.07
5 Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi                     1.11
6 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca            1.15
7 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio                            1.20
8 Fernando Escartin (Spa) Team Coast                         1.40
9 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Index Alexia                        1.49
10 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                         2.13
11 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Lampre-Daikin                    2.17
12 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Alessio                           2.28
13 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                        2.40
14 Georg Totschnig (Aut) Gerolsteiner                        3.00
15 Andrea Noe' (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                        3.25


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