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Pearl Izumi
Limar helmets

85th Giro d'Italia (GT)

Italy, May 11-June 2, 2002

Stage profile    Start list    Results

Stage 3 - May 14: Verviers-E.s. Alzette, 206 km

Start time: 12:00 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:45 CEST

Complete Live Report

Today's third stage of the Euro Giro takes the riders from Verviers in Belgium to Esch-Sur-Alzette in Luxembourg, the fourth country visited by the Giro in four days. So far everything has gone very well for the organisers, with massive crowds turning out on the roads in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium to cheer on the race. It's a strong sign that despite the problems in cycling in recent years, the sport is still quite attractive.

After yesterday's (very) miniature Liege-Bastogne-Liege, which in the end turned out to be quite selective and not a bunch sprint as some had predicted, today's 206 kilometres are more suited to the sprinters. The first part of the stage is hilly though, with two mountain sprints in the first 116 km. Then there is the Intergiro sprint at km 166, before the riders head into Esch-Sur-Alzette, doing a 10 km lap before the actual finish.

193 riders started this morning, after Colombian Carlos Contreras (Selle Italia) was forced out of the race due to the flu. The weather today has not been as good as yesterday, with some torrential rain and wind accompanying the riders on their journey.

14:45 CEST - 72 km

An update on the race so far: The first mountain sprint (Cat. 3) at km 20 was taken by Lampre's Mariano Piccoli, followed by Fredy Gonzales (Colombia-Selle Italia) and Ruggero Marzoli (Formaggi Trentini). 10 km later, Belgian Marc Streel (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) attacked, and no-one went with him. Streel took advantage of the lethargic peloton to build a massive lead, currently 18'14 as the riders cross into Luxembourg at km 72.

Marc Streel tried a similar thing in last year's Liege-Bastogne-Liege, but wasn't successful although he did manage a huge lead. However today's stage is significantly flatter - If he's feeling good, he could pull it off.

15:00 CEST - 95 km

Streel continues on his lonely ride, getting closer to the second mountain prime at km 110. On the general classification, he is 9'29 behind Garzelli, so no real threat there. Garzelli will not have to worry about him in the mountains and can afford to lose the jersey. Today's stage is more for the sprinters to take control.

15:15 CEST - 108 km

Marc Streel's lead has started to drop now as he feels the effects of his efforts. It's now 16'18, and he is still over 10 kilometres in front of the peloton. He will claim the mountain points with no difficulty of course, but the question is now when he will be caught. It will still be a good ride for his Colnago-Landbouwkrediet, one of the few Divsion II teams in this Giro.

In the peloton, Massimo Strazzer (Phonak) punctures, but quickly gets back on.

15:28 CEST - 113 km

Marc Streel climbs the GPM Um Knupp, a 3rd category climb (one of two today). He takes the points, and starts the descent. There is still some more climbing to come, although there are no more mountain points on offer. Overall, the stage is quite up and down and the finish in Luxembourg is quite tricky. However, all things considered, the sprinters should have their way.

Once again, the riders are around 30 minutes behind the slowest schedule, so the finish is expected around 17:45.

15:44 CEST - 121 km

The peloton is enjoying some afternoon sun as they toil away on the roads in Luxembourg. Race leader Stefano Garzelli is mid-way down the peloton, and not looking like he is in a hurry. Francesco Casagrande in the green mountains jersey is nearer the front.

Marc Streel, who attacked after 30 km, is now 13'12 in front of the group. The average speed so far is 34.0 km/h.

15:51 CEST - 83 km to go

The peloton reaches the feed zone in Eschdorf and take a break to refuel. Acqua e Sapone ride on the front, and will surely start the serious chase soon. Streel is certainly hurting out on his own, but is holding his advantage and will be out there for some time to come.

16:00 CEST - 73 km to go

Streel's lead has come down rapidly and is now 9'14. He is no longer the "virtual maglia rosa" but that is probably the furthest thing on his mind right now. Several teams are taking care of the work in the peloton, including Phonak, Acqua e Sapone, Team Coast and Telekom.

16:05 CEST - 66 km to go

The lead of Streel is 8'48 for 66 km to go, and he is really hurting now on the climbs. The peloton is strung out and is aiming for the Intergiro (km 166), where there are bonus seconds on offer. Streel should stay away to win that though.

16:16 CEST - 57 km to go

The Acqua e Sapone team have two riders on the front, but there is a bigger presence from Team Coast, who are working for their sprinter Fabrizio Guidi. He won the Intergiro sprint yesterday and that helped him into second overall on GC. Guidi and Team Coast would love to take the pink today.

Marco Pantani is chasing back on with his whole team after a mechanical.

16:25 CEST - 51 km to go

Another storm sends the riders hurrying back to the team cars for their rain jackets. The finish is dry at the moment, but this is a dangerous time for the GC riders. Garzelli has realised this and is quite close to the front, as the pace picks up for the intergiro.

Marc Streel is less than 5 minutes in front now, but still perservering.

16:39 CEST - 45 km to go

As the rain continues to come down, Marc Streel continues to plug away in the lead. He is now just 2'45 in front of the peloton, which is not chasing quite as hard as it was previously. Streel seems to be pedalling a huge gear (or a medium gear slowly).

16:44 CEST - 164 km/42 km to go

Streel has 2 km until the Intergiro, and he will certainly take the 6 bonus seconds on offer (and of course 30 Intergiro bonus seconds). His lead is still 2'42 as the rain stops again.

16:48 CEST - 166 km/40 km to go

Streel takes the Intergiro in with 2'20 lead on the peloton. The battle for second place (4" bonus) goes to Strazzer (Phonak), then Khailov (Selle Italia) with Guidi (Team Coast) in fourth. That won't help him in the GC.

It's now sunny, although the roads are still wet.

16:56 CEST - 168 km/38 km to go

Just 1'33 between the peloton and Streel - the sprint for the intergiro diminished that quite substantially. At this rate, he will be caught with around 30 km to go. So far, Streel has been in the lead for 140 km, gaining some excellent exposure for his sponsors (Colnago/Landbouwkrediet) and a few points in the mountains, intergiro and most combative classifications. But there will be no stage win for the Belgian today.

He will be allowed some more time out in front though, as Mapei is on the front of the peloton and not riding hard.

17:03 CEST - 171 km/35 km to go

The peloton slowed down for a few kms before getting ready to wind it up again for the last 20 km. So Streel can stay out for longer, although he doesn't seem to be enjoying life at the moment. Roberto Conti (Acqua e Sapone) starts the train, with Mapei's Nardello on his wheel. Garzelli is in fourth wheel.

The gap went out to 2'00 and is now down to 1'48.

17:15 CEST - 177 km/29 km to go

Marc Streel is now in the final stages of his long solo effort, which began at kilometre 30 and has lasted nearly 150 kilometres. Now it's the turn of the sprinters to show their stuff, and Cipollini is already eyeing off another stage win. In the first stage, he finished in front of Graeme Brown and Robbie McEwen, probably the first time that two Australians have finished in the top 3 in a Giro stage.

Cipollini was certainly helped by his leadout man Giovanni Lombardi, who pulled off at the same time as McEwen launched his sprint. McEwen had to go a long way round and eventually finished third. Meanwhile, Brown simply held onto Cipollini's wheel and finished close behind the towering Tuscan.

17:21 CEST - 181 km/25 km to go

Who will it be today? Cipollini is the odds on favourite, but don't discount Brown and McEwen, as well as Danilo Hondo, Massimo Strazzer, Robert Hunter, Fabrizio Guidi...

Team Coast and Acqua e Sapone are getting serious about the chase, as they still need to close a 1'00 gap.

17:28 CEST - 189 km/17 km to go

Streel has the honour of crossing the line in Esch-Sur-Alzette with a 50 second lead with 17 km to go. A reward for his efforts out in front. He is not a GC threat so the peloton did not have to close the gap down in a hurry.

Now Streel has found an extra pair of legs as he tries to stay in front of the peloton. He looks behind, but he's still got a good lead. The peloton is led by Index-Alexia for Ivan Quaranta, who is obviously feeling a little better today. Then the Acqua e Sapone boys are right behind. McEwen is on Cipollini's wheel as usual.

17:34 CEST - 193 km/13 km to go

It's over for Streel. He sits up as the peloton flies by with 13 km to go. That's 162 km in the lead for the plucky Belgian.

The peloton slows as it tackles a small climb, with a lot of riders clearly suffering. Paolo Bettini gets to the front with Garzelli on his wheel in the pink. Verbrugghe is also there, as is Simoni.

17:38 CEST - 194 km/12 km to go

A Phonak rider attacks Paolo Bettini's one man train. It's Alexandre Moos and he gets Hernan Dario Munoz (Selle Italia) and Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto) with him.

No chance though, as the peloton closes it down.

17:42 CEST - 196 km/10 km to go

Cipollini is very well placed on Garzelli's wheel, as three Mapei riders lead the way. Robert Hunter is on the front now as the riders negotiate a series of corners coming into the finish.

17:46 CEST - 198 km/8 km to go

Mapei continue to set the pace with Hunter, Bettini, Noe and Garzelli in that order. McEwen is now next to Garzelli and behind his teammate Van Dijk. The Phonak team are trying to get into the action as well.

17:49 CEST - 200 km/6 km to go

It's still Mapei at the front but the A&S squad is right behind them. On the left, Rabobank for Steven de Jongh. But they can't break the Mapei shackles.

17:50 CEST - 201 km/4 km to go

Saeco take over from the Mapei train, with A&S still right behind them. Max Sciandri (Lampre) takes a flyer with 4 km to go.

But here comes the Cipo train. Now fully operational and travelling very quickly. Sciandri doesn't last long.

17:53 CEST - 204 km/2 km to go

Cipollini has three teammates in front of him, with Lombardi getting ready for the final leadout. Colombo and Scirea are in charge now. Danilo Hondo and Biagio Conte are right up there on Cipollini's wheel. McEwen is not there any more.

17:54 CEST - 205 km/1 km to go

Graeme Brown is on Hondo's wheel with 1 km to go, but it looks like a Cipo sprint. Lombardi winds it up with Cipo and Hondo right behind him. Cipollini looks and then goes. He wins. Strazzer is second and Hondo third.

17:55 CEST - 206 km/0 km to go

Cipollini takes his 36th Giro stage win, as the others were fighting for his wheel in the finale. It didn't help them. Hondo had it in the end, then Brown moved Strazzer off Hondo's wheel, forcing Strazzer to sprint (which turned out ok for him as he got second). Hondo in third and Kelme's Isaac Galvez came fourth.

No changes to the GC, with Garzelli leading Guidi and Verbrugghe.


1 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo  5.46.57 (35.62 km/h)
2 Massimo Strazzer (Ita) Phonak Hearing Systems
3 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Team Telekom
4 Isaac Galvez Lopez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
5 Mykhaylo Khalilov (Ukr) Colombia-Selle Italia
6 Graeme Brown (Aus) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo 
7 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
8 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Rabobank
9 Moreno Di Biase (Ita) Formaggi-Trentini 
10 Sven Teutenberg (Ger) Phonak Hearing Systems

General classification after stage 3

1 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step             16.57.42
2 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Team Coast                         0.13
3 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                       0.19
4 J. Carlos Dominguez (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems        0.21
5 Matthias Kessler (Ger) Team Telekom                     0.27 
6 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                0.31
7 Mykhaylo Khalilov (Ukr) Colombia-Selle Italia
8 Matthias Buxhofer (Aut) Phonak Hearing Systems          0.34 


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