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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 4 - May 15: E.s Alzette-Strasbourg, 232 km

Start time: 10:50 CEST
Estimated finish time: 16:45 CEST

Complete Live Report

Welcome to Cyclingnews.com's live coverage of the final "euro" stage of this year's Euro-Giro - a long, undulating leg from Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxembourg to Strasbourg in France. This stage is also the final one before the first rest day, during which the riders will transfer to Fossano in Italy where the race will commence in earnest.

Key points of today's stage are the Intergiro sprint at kilometre 103, and the mountain sprint at kilometre 165. In the overall classification, Stefano Garzelli (Mapei) holds a 13 second lead over Team Coast's Fabrizio Guidi, who will be hoping to pick up enough bonus seconds today to move into the pink jersey. Garzelli is not too concerned by this, but he did say yesterday that it would be nice to arrive in Italy with the pink jersey on his shoulders. We'll see.

Weather conditions today are perfect for riding: clear sunny skies and not too much wind. Only one rider, Leonardo Giordani (Team Colpack) did not start, meaning that there are 191 riders left in the race.

14:42 CEST - 140 km

An update on the day's racing so far: After the riders left Esch-sur-Alzette this morning to a big reception from the crowd, they headed south on the long road to Strasbourg. The average speed for the first hour was 32.9 km/h, which increased to 35 km/h after two hours.

After 56km, Volodymyr Bileka (Colnago-Landbouwkrediet) tried to break away, but the peloton did not let him go as they did his teammate Marc Streel yesterday.

Mauro Zinetti (Index Alexia) fell at kilometre 94, but was able to get back on his bike and regain the race.

The Intergiro at km 103.6 was won by Massimo Strazzer (Phonak) followed by Fabrizio Guidi (Team Coast) and Zoran Klemencic (Tacconi). That puts Guidi within 9 seconds of Garzelli on GC. If he wins or places second in the stage, then he will take the pink. That's no easy task.

Shortly after the Intergiro, Dimitry Konyshev (Fassa Bortolo) and Daniele Contrini (Gerolsteiner) attacked, and gradually built up a lead over the peloton. It is now 2'24 with 92 km to go, with the chase/tempo being set by Acqua e Sapone and Mapei.

14:56 CEST - 148 km

The leading pair of Dimitri Konyshev and Daniele Contrini are approaching the first and only mountain sprint of the day, a category three climb at km 165. They should stay away to take the points, as the Mapei/Acqua e Sapone led peloton is content just to set a steady tempo for the time being. They are travelling a little fast than yesterday, and the gap is quite manageable at 2'06.

15:11 CEST - 160 km

Konyshev and Contrini continue to power away up this steady climb, but their lead has been reduced to 1'50 by the combined chase. The pace may be higher today because of the rest day tomorrow - no need to save the legs for another long day in the saddle. Neither Konyshev nor Contrini are within 5'00 of Garzelli's lead on GC, so there is no need to chase them down just yet.

15:15 CEST - 163 km

Contrini takes the 3 mountain points on offer at La Petit Pierre, followed closely by Konyshev. There was no contest though, with Contrini lead the whole way. Not far behind them, the sprint for the remaining point on offer is quite fierce. Fredy Gonzalez (Colombia-Selle Italia) stops Mariano Piccoli (Lampre) from getting past by putting him into the barriers. But the move backfires on Gonzalez as Marzoli (Formaggi Trentini) comes by and take the 1 point.

Average speed is now 38.91 km/h.

15:27 CEST - 175 km/57 km to go

Pantani and Gaul
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

The gap is shrinking under the impetus of the Mapei/A&S chase and is now down to 1'36. Konyshev and Contrini attacked at 105km and have been away for nearly 70 km, and have enjoyed good conditions to ride in.

The rapidly growing Cyclingnews Giro d'Italia photo gallery has just been updated with some more pics from this morning's start in Esch-sur-Alzette. There are several photos of Luxembourg climbing legend Charly Gaul, who was clearly enjoying the occasion. In addition, there are more photos from the prologue and first few stages. Click here to view the full photo gallery.

15:40 CEST - 189 km/43 km to go

Konyshev and Contrini realise that they're wasting their time out in front, as the peloton is not going to allow them much freedom. They start soft pedalling and the gap shrinks rapidly. The peloton is now led by Index-Alexia. Perhaps today is Ivan Quaranta's day?

15:48 CEST - 194 km/38 km to go

It's not over yet...Konyshev and Contrini have decided to continue their escape, and their lead hs gone out to 1'10. The peloton is not riding slowly either, the Acqua team has things strung out, with some help from Formaggi Trentini, Tacconi Sport and Index-Alexia.

15:57 CEST - 197 km/35 km to go

The break is definitely finished now as Contrini takes a nature break while the peloton races by. Konyshev is caught soon after. The peloton is actually on a fast schedule today, and the race will finish well before 17:00.

16:04 CEST - 202 km/30 km to go

Just 30 kilometres to go now, as the average speed has increased to 40.2 km/h. The fast roads and beautiful conditions today have contributed to a quick race. A bunch sprint is inevitable, and Cipollini evidently has his eyes on a third stage win. Who can challenge him? McEwen normally finds Cipo's wheel at the end, although he punctured with 2 km to go yesterday. Strazzer and Hondo are in good form, as is Brown.

But Cipollini and Lombardi are very hard to beat as a pair. With his current form, Cipollini is nearly impossible to come around, hence McEwen's early jump in stage one. The question is, how do you get the jump on Lombardi?

16:14 CEST - 212 km/20 km to go

Cipollini's train is derailled on a bridge as there is a bad fall. Around seven riders down in total, including two Mercatone riders (Daniel Clavero and Francesco Secchiari), an Index-Alexia, Landbouwkrediet, Faat Zakirov (Panaria) and unfortunately Dimitri Konyshev (Fassa Bortolo).

It looks as though Secchiari has done something quite serious as he doesn't want to get going again. He is persuaded to but he is in a lot of pain.

There is a chasing group with Perez Cuapio and a few others, who should get back to the leading group.

16:19 CEST - 215 km/17 km to go

The Landbouwkrediet and Lotto teams are now making the pace at the front, presumably for Yuri Metlushenko and Robbie McEwen. Cipollini will have to do it with a minimum set of teammates today, as the chasing group is still around 20 seconds behind the peloton.

Perez Cuapio is giving it everything to get back to the main group, and attacks the chasers. Others in this group include Contrini (Gerolsteiner), Garcia Alonso (CSC), Rasmussen (CSC), Scirea (A&S), Engels (Raboank) and several more. They are making a little progress, but it might be too late. 15 seconds is the gap to the Belgian team led peloton.

16:27 CEST - 222 km/10 km to go

Barbero (Lampre) is successful in regaining the peloton, with Perez Cuapio following after him. Scirea is coming back too, but it may not matter as Cipollini still has four teammates with him, including Derganc and Lombardi.

Scirea goes around the final few cars and hooks onto the peloton.

Lotto, Telekom and Phonak are in the front of the group.

16:30 - 224 km/8 km to go

Now there are three Telekom riders leading, with Acqua e Sapone close behind. Cipollini certainly isn't out of it, but Telekom seem to have confidence in Hondo today. It seems as though most of Acqua e Sapone have made it back to the front now.

16:33 - 226 km/6 km to go

Telekom has them strung out as they enter the streets of Strasbourg. Jens Heppner is doing the work for Hondo at the front but is taken over by Acqua e Sapone. Here we go!

16:34 - 228 km/4 km to go

Four kilometres left - Cipollini and Hondo are fighting for position behind their respective trains as they ride towards the finish. Derganc does a massive turn, but is taken over by Telekom.

16:36 - 230 km/2 km to go

They turn beside the canal at 60 km/h, right over a bridge, then left onto the final straight. Here is Scirea leading the way, then Schaffrath (Telekom). Then Colombo. It's A&S 1-2-3 then Cipollini. Then it is Guidi, and McEwen.

16:37 - 231 km/1 km to go

The last roundabout sees a bit of action at the front, with McEwen now on Cipollini's wheel.

The Panaria boys are right behind them, but it's McEwen who gets it at last. Just.

Lombardi led out, Cipo waited a long time before jumping on the inside. McEwen stayed on his wheel and came round as Cipo faded to the left. He got it with the bike throw. A clean sprint.


1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Adecco                     5.37.13
2 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Acqua e Sapone
3 Enrico Degano (Ita) Panaria
4 Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria
5 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
6 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Team Coast
7 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Lotto-Adecco
8 Sven Teutenberg (Ger) Phonak
9 Massimo Strazzer (Ita) Phonak
10 Moreno Di Biase (Ita) Formaggi-Trentini 
11 Robert Hunter (Rsa) Mapei-Quick Step
12 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Team Telekom
13 Mykhaylo Khalilov (Ukr) Colombia-Selle Italia
14 Zoran Klemencic (Slo) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi
15 Cristian Moreni (Ita) Alessio
16 Giovanni Lombardi (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo
17 Santiago Perez Fernandez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 
19 Ruggero Marzoli (Ita) Formaggi-Trentini
24 Christophe Detilloux (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
25 Stefan Van Dijck (Ned) Lotto-Adecco

General classification after stage 4

1 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step         
2 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Team Coast                          0.09
3 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                        0.19
4 Juan 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
9 Cadel Evans (Aus) Mapei-Quick Step                       0.37
10 Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi                  0.41


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