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Pearl Izumi

85th Giro d'Italia (GT)

Italy, May 11-June 2, 2002

Stage profile    Start list    Results

Stage 18 - May 31: Rovereto-Brescia, 143 km

Start time: 13:30 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:00 CEST

Complete Live Report

14:30 CEST

Welcome to the live coverage of the 18th stage of the Giro d'Italia, the third last stage of the three week long race. After the last couple of brutal stages in the Dolomites, today is relatively easy: 143 kilometres from Rovereto to Brescia, with one categorised climb at km 32.6. The Intergiro is located at km 80.2, and there are three 6 km finishing circuits in Brescia, each with a small climb.

Today's stage shouldn't change the general classification, as most will be saving their legs for tomorrow's time trial. Paolo Savoldelli (Index-Alexia) is the current leader with 55 seconds gap to Pietro Caucchioli (Alessio) and 1'28 to Tyler Hamilton (CSC). It's going to be a great battle between the three in tomorrow's stage.

14:45 CEST - 34 km/109 km to go

Today's stage saw 141 riders take the start - the only rider who did not was German Jens Heppner (Telekom), the wearer of the maglia rosa for the middle 10 days of the Giro. He finished in the gruppetto yesterday some 36 minutes behind Pavel Tonkov. However, he certainly had his day in the sun in this Giro.

Speaking of sun, today's stage is being run in pleasant 25 degree conditions with light clouds - another perfect day for racing.

Average speed after 1 hour: 27.1 km/h

15:00 CEST - 37 km/106 km to go

The first and only mountain sprint of the day was won by Saeco's Alessio Galletti, with Ruben Marin (Selle Italia) second and Pavel Tonkov (Lampre) third. The outright leader of the mountains competition, Julio Perez Cuapio (Panaria) didn't have to worry about sprinting for this one, as he has a 36 point lead on Joaquim Castelblanco, who will keep second place.

Yesterday's stage put paid to the hopes of several favourites, including Dario Frigo, Aitor Gonzalez and Cadel Evans. Cyclingnews caught up with Cadel today to find out how he is feeling, and you can read that in his latest diary entry.

15:20 CEST - 46 km/97 km to go

The peloton is still together after 45 km of racing, and the tempo is not even piano - more pianissimo at the moment with well over two hours of racing to come. Everyone is obviously feeling the effects of the last couple of days, coming on top of two hard weeks of racing.

15:32 CEST - 55 km/88 km to go

The main group is now in Storo, after descending from the GPM. Average speed after two hours is just 26.8 km/h, but things are picking up now, with several breaks occurring.

Three riders have attacked to coincide with the live TV coverage: Mariano Piccoli (Lampre), Uros Murn (Formaggi Trentini) and Vladimir Miholievic (Alessio). The peloton is strung out in pursuit.

Fabrizio Guidi (Team Coast) has given up.

15:37 CEST - 59 km/84 km to go

The trio are caught by the peloton, with Index-Alexia leading the charge. There are five of them on the front now with Savoldelli in sixth wheel, bedecked in pink. Then the Acqua e Sapone team of Mario Cipollini, who will be looking for a fifth Giro stage win today in Brescia.

15:46 CEST - 65 km/78 km to go

Cristian Moreni (Alessio) takes advantage of the steady tempo to mount a strong attack. He quickly gets a gap, but whether he can hold it is another question as the peloton is in one long line. It will take a big effort to hold them off.

15:53 CEST - 70 km/73 km to go

Moreni is riding very strongly, opening up a 55 second lead on the peloton, which has now bunched up again. He is just near the halfway point of the stage, riding next to the very picturesque Lago d'Idro. The peloton is now being led by Acqua e Sapone.

16:01 CEST - 75 km/68 km to go

Moreni has 5 km until the Intergiro in Vestone, and has increased his lead to 1'28. He is really moving, despite a good tempo being set in the peloton. Massimo Strazzer has lost his nearest competitor for the Intergiro, Fabrizio Guidi, who abandoned earlier today. That puts Mykhaylo Khalilov (Selle Italia) in second overall in front of Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo).

16:06 CEST - 80 km/63 km to go

Moreni takes the Intergiro with a 1'20 gap back to the peloton, led by Strazzer. Cipollini didn't place in the end, although he was looking at getting up there for it. Strazzer is an expert at the Intergiro, and will win his second blue jersey in a row.

Results of the Intergiro: 1. Cristian Moreni 2. Massimo Strazzer, 3. Biagio Conte, 4. Massimo Apollonio, 5. Mariano Piccoli and 6. Alessandro Petacchi.

16:20 CEST - 90 km/53 km to go

Moreni is doing well, having attacked at the 65th kilometre. His lead is now up to 1'48, with a string of 10 riders in one line leading the peloton in pursuit. The Alessio man is trying for a stage win for his team, which has been the strongest (overall) in this Giro but without any individual wins. However, he has to contend with the might of Mario Cipollini's zebra train today.

16:30 CEST - 99 km/45 km to go

Alessio's Cristian Moreni is the leader of the 18th stage at the moment, with a 2'55 gap over the peloton which is riding along at a steady tempo. Alessio Galletti (Saeco) moves to the front to try and increase the pace. He gets some help from Hector Mesa Mesa (Formaggi Trentini), and the two get a small gap over the peloton.

The overall average speed is now 31.8 km/h.

16:34 CEST - 101 km/43 km to go

A new attack in the peloton from Luis Laverde (Formaggi Trentini). Only Hernan Dario Munoz (Selle Italia) takes the trouble to chase. But they've got a bit of work to do to close a 3 minute gap to Cristian Moreni.

Munoz can't follow Laverde, and goes back to the peloton. Laverde is then caught by Telekom's Serguei Yakovlev and Tacconi's Eddy Mazzoleni. Then Addy Engels (Rabobank) bridges up.

16:41 CEST - 105 km/39 km to go

Moreni loses a lot of his lead on this climb, which is not steep but has enough in it to make life tough. The four chasers (Mesa Mesa, Yakovlev, Engels and Mazzoleni) are 1'28 behind the Alessio rider, with the peloton another 10 seconds behind. It's now quite hot, with temperatures around 30 degrees.

16:47 CEST - 109 km/34 km to go

Cristian Moreni is now on the descent, but only has a 48 second lead on the four chasers, with the peloton at 1'00. Acqua e Sapone are still in front of the peloton, so they've obviously decided that today is a Cipollini day. The small hill in the finishing circuits may make it tough though.

The peloton catches the chasing four riders.

16:52 CEST - 110 km/33 km to go

Massimo Strazzer is chasing in the second group, after being dropped on the climb. He is 1'35 behind Moreni, while the first peloton is only 46" behind. Strazzer will have a lot of work to do as Acqua e Sapone is riding hard tempo on the front.

16:57 CEST - 112 km/31 km to go

Moreni's lead has shrunk to 31 seconds to the main peloton, while Strazzer's group is at 55 seconds. He should be able to get back on, but whether he can sprint well at the end remains to be seen. Cipollini is riding in about 10th wheel in the main peloton.

17:01 CEST - 114 km/29 km to go

The Alessio rider sits up, as he realises that it's fruitless to hold off the Acqua e Sapone juggernaut. He probably went a bit early today, as he seemed to have good legs at first.

Tyler Hamilton's teammates lead the peloton now, as Strazzer's group gets back on.

17:05 CEST - 116 km/27 km to go

A combination of teams are leading the peloton: Index-Alexia, CSC-Tiscali and Acqua e Sapone. They're approaching the three finishing circuits in Brescia, each 6 km in length containing a small climb. Will it be enough to prevent a mass sprint?

Aart Vierhouten (Lotto-Adecco) gets assigned the water carrying duties, and he returns to the peloton with 5 drink bottles for his teammates.

17:11 CEST - 119 km/24 km to go

The Lotto team get to the front, presumably to set something up for Verbrugghe, who is a chance in this sort of a finish. But the Acqua e Sapone, Index-Alexia and CSC teams don't let up. It's a race to get to the bottom of the first climb.

17:17 CEST - 125 km/18 km to go

The peloton hit the three finishing circuits, led by Index-Alexia and CSC-Tiscali. Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto-Adecco) is lurking near the front, as are Savoldelli and Cipollini. A massive crowd cheer them through.

Two Danes, Bo Hamburger (Index-Alexia) and Jimmi Madsen (CSC) lead the way up the first climb. Andrea Peron is also there for CSC.

17:21 CEST - 127 km/16 km to go

The climb is cobbled and has several corners. An attack comes from Matteo Tosatto, with Peron following. Dario Frigo goes after them and straight away gets the front.

17:25 CEST - 131 km/12 km to go

Evans catches the peloton again - he doesn't look too badly hurt. The peloton close down on Frigo's little breakaway, with Conti and Derganc doing the work. Cipollini is still there, but there is a second peloton with Perez Cuapio and all the Kelme riders at about 10 seconds. Probably a fall split the group. Tonkov is also in the second group.

17:28 CEST - 133 km/10 km to go

The peloton are on the second climb now, led by a zebra train. Denis Lunghi (Colpack) attacks on the cobbles, but has trouble on the corners and falls. Ouch. He loses his lead as the peloton comes past. Verbrugghe is well back on the peloton, which has regrouped it seems.

17:34 CEST - 137 km/6 km to go

The peloton get the bell with 1 lap to go, as Acqua e Sapone are in complete control of the race. Martin Derganc is at the front again. Cipollini is in fourth wheel, behind Lombardi.

Fassa Bortolo get to the front to try and bring Petacchi into a winning position.

17:35 CEST - 138 km/5 km to go

Zanette (Fassa Bortolo) leads up the climb for the last time, as a Rabobank rider attacks -it's Steven de Jongh, normally best known as a sprinter. He takes the first corner OK, and the second corner. But only has a small lead. Scirea chases him down.

17:38 CEST - 140 km/3 km to go

Michael Boogerd counter-attacks, with Mazzoleni and a Phonak rider on his wheel. But A&S are right there, and it looks like Cipollini's fifth win coming up.

17:39 CEST - 141 km/2 km to go

Michael Boogerd gives it everything but can't hold off the zebra train. Konyshev is also up there for Fassa Bortolo. Another Cipo v. Petacchi shootout? Savoldelli is still right up there.

17:40 CEST - 142 km/1 km to go

Kelme muscle in to bring Galvez up. But Fassa Bortolo lead in the last km. Lombardi is there, with Petacchi and then Cipollini.

17:41 CEST - 143 km/0 km to go

Cipollini wins - just. Petacchi led that out from a loooong way. Haselbacher (Gerolsteiner) is third. That was tough for Cipo, who had to rely on Petacchi rather than Lombardi to lead him out - but he did it and won clearly.

Savoldelli gets another pink jersey, but can't open the spumante bottle. No doubt the podium girls superglued it on after he sprayed them liberally with it yesterday.


1 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo     4.12.44 (34.423 km/h)
2 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
3 Rene' Haselbacher (Aut) Gerolsteiner
4 Lars Michaelsen (Den) Team Coast 
5 Massimo Strazzer (Ita) Phonak Hearing Systems
6 Mariano Piccoli (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 
7 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
8 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Lotto-Adecco 
9 Mauro Gerosa (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi 
10 Biagio Conte (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
11 Cristian Moreni (Ita) Alessio 
12 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
13 Uros Murn (Slo) Formaggi-Trentini    
14 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
15 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Index Alexia
16 Matthias Kessler (Ger) Team Telekom
17 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Lampre-Daikin
18 Mykhaylo Khalilov (Ukr) Colombia-Selle Italia
19 Lorenzo Bernucci (Ita) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 
20 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
22 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank
28 Geert Verheyen (Bel) Rabobank

General classification after stage 18 

1 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Index Alexia                   84.49.55
2 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio                           0.55
3 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC Tiscali                     1.28
4 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Lampre-Daikin                    1.39
5 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) Lampre-Daikin                          3.08
6 Fernando Escartin (Spa) Team Coast                        3.19
7 Georg Totschnig (Aut) Gerolsteiner                        5.32
8 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                         7.54
9 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca           8.12
10 Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi                   9.41
11 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems          10.41
12 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago         11.34
13 Ivan Gotti (Ita) Alessio                                12.05
14 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Alessio                         14.13
15 Cadel Evans (Aus) Mapei-Quick Step                      14.20
16 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi               14.45
17 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank                          15.50
18 Julio Perez Cuapio (Mex) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo       16.36
19 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo     17.55
20 Andrea Noe' (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                      19.24 


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