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Pearl Izumi

85th Giro d'Italia (GT)

Italy, May 11-June 2, 2002

Stage profile    Start list    Results

Stage 7 - May 19: Versilia circuit, 159 km

Start time: 13:15 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:00 CEST

Complete Live Report

14:43 CEST    50 km/109 km to go
Welcome to the Cyclingnews coverage of the 7th stage of the Giro d'Italia, a short stage covering three laps of a circuit on the Tuscan coast, more or less in Mario Cipollini's back garden. Although the braod coast road here is traditionally a vwenue for a sprinters' finish, the circuit does include a sharpish 350 m climb each time (scoring as a third category climb on the second lap only), but at 18 km between the third ascent and the finish it will probably not be enough to split the race up definitively.

After an hour and a half's riding, the field are taking it very easy, still short of the end of the first lap, with both Alessandro Petacchi and maglia ciclamina Mario Cipollini having taken advantage of the relaxed pace to stop and meet their families along the course.

14:58 CEST    58 km/101 km to go
With two laps to go, the pace has picked up a bit on the run-in to the Intergiro sprint, although the bunch is not exactly lined out. Trains are forming with six Phonak riders up there for blue jersey Massimo Strazzer; they also have Sven Teutenberg in third place in this rather well-remunerated classification (the prizes are substantially bigger than for the points or mountains jerseys).

15:06 CEST    63 km/96 km to go
Teutenberg leads out Strazzer with Fabrizio Guidi (Coast) on his wheel and Ivan Quaranta getting mixed up as well - the result is very close and as the judges study the photofinish pictures, there is a flurry of activity as a few riders try to attack, but they are all contained.

Stefano Garzelli, now wearing the green jersey of the mountains competition, punctures but gets a brisk wheel change.

The Intergiro result is first announced as Strazzer ahead of Guidi and Teutenberg, and then corrected to Quaranta first ahead of Strazzer and Moreno Di Biase.

15:32 CEST    80 km/79 km to go
On the approach to the climb, with the mountains of the Garfagnana looming ahead of them, the pace picks up; a touch of wheels in the bunch brings down Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) and Luca Mazzanti (Mercatone Uno) but without serious consequences. At the front it has mainly Telekom taking up their duties in defence of the maglia rosa, with help from Gerolsteiner; as the climb gets closer the Fassa Bortolo and Mapei jerseys start to gather.

15:40 CEST    86 km/73 km to go
The writing on the road on the climb mostly says "Pantani" but it is the Colombians Hector Mesa Mesa (Formaggi Trentini) and Joaquim Castelblanco (Colombia - Selle Italia) who make the first moves, but they are brought back by Francesco Casagrande and Wladimir Belli riding tempo; behind them Paolo Bettini is among those in difficulties.

15:45 CEST    88 km/71 km to go
Castelblanco attacks again on the upper slopes of the climb and takes the three points 10 seconds ahead of the field (led over by man in the shadows Dario Cioni ahead of Francesco Casagrande); there have been a few splits in the bunch but they will probably be brought together on the descent, although some riders (including Bettini) have seemingly been definitively dropped.

16:00 CEST    100 km/59 km to go
After the descent - 10 kilometres of fairly technical hairpins - a group of around fifty riders has consolidated, well lined out, with repeated solo attacks from riders who think that taking Cipollini to the finish is a silly idea; however a second group including the maglia ciclamina are not too far behind and likely to join up any minute.

Through Viareggio town, a group of half a dozen riders gets a few seconds clear, and three more get across to them while Telekom are diong all the chasing.

16:06 CEST    107 km/52 km to go
The ten leaders, who include local boy Max Sciandri and Rik Verbrugghe, take the bell working well together with 49 seconds lead; behind them the bunch has eased up a bit and other riders have joined them from behind (including Cipollini and Robbie McEwen).

The leaders are:
Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Alessio
Cristian Moreni (Ita) Alessio
Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
Gianni Faresin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
Maximilian Sciandri (GBr) Lampre - Daikin
Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto - Adecco
Dario Cioni (Ita) Mapei - Quick Step
Oscar Pereira Sio (Spa) Phonak
Raphael Schweda (Ger) Team Coast
Denis Lunghi (Ita) Team Colpack - Astro

16:23 CEST    120 km/39 km to go
As the race turns off the coast road into the marble-quarrying areas inland, the gap has grown to 1.38 while there was a bit of chatting going on in the bunch, but Telekom are now getting some help from Kelme and Landbouwkrediet.

16:35 CEST    129 km/30 km to go
The highest placed of the leading group is Gianni Faresin, 28th at 5.49, so the break is not an immediate threat to Heppner's lead.

Telekom, Kelme and Gerolsteiner are still leading the chase, with the gap steady around 1.30, 5 kilometres before the foot of the final climb.

16:42 CEST    134 km/25 km to go
Faresin and Pereira seem to be driving the break along, and some of the others look to be barely holding on. At the 25 km banner the gap is down to 1.20.

16:47 CEST    137 km/22 km to go
The break are losing ground on the easier lower section of the climb; behind a group of three riders - Kessler, Engels and Marzoli - are trying to bridge the gap; behind them the Australian champion's jersey of Robbie McEwen is riding at the front alongside the race favourites.

Moreni attacks from the break; Verbrugghe and Cioni are the first to react and come back to him strongly. Schweda is a few metres behind, but the rest are dropped.

16:50 CEST    139 km/20 km to go
Verbrugghe puts the hammer down and leaves his two companions. He has 1.24 lead over the bunch at the 20 km to go banner.

16:56 CEST    140 km/19 km to go
Verbrugghe crests the summit alone, 15 seconds ahead of Cioni and 25 seconds ahead of a Schweda, Moreni and Lunghi. Behind him a Tacconi rider loses it on a corner in the bunch; on this twisting descent the roads are dry and well surfaced, but there can be problems with marble dust on the roads in this area.

17:04 CEST    149 km/10 km to go
Steve Zampieri is another victom of the descent, without any apparent serious consequences. About a minute behind Verbrugghe several of the other riders in the break have regrouped; Cioni is between them at 33 seconds. Another minute behind them Cipollini and McEwen are still in the bunch of forty or so riders with the maglia rosa.

17:10 CEST    154 km/5 km to go
Into the onshore breeze, Verbrugghe is demonstrating his time-trialling skills; Cyclingnews.com interviewee Cioni has faded and been caught by the group of six, now a minute down, and not workign together as well as they could.

Verbrugghe is nearly taken off by a stray dog, but survives the scare. He has taken a few risks on this run-in, including overcooking a few corners on the descent and cutting under the tape that was supposed to be closing off an exit lane from a roundabout at one point.

17:15 CEST    157 km/2 km to go
Verbrugghe has 48 seconds lead on the group, and 1.45 from the bunch.

17:19 CEST    
Verbrugghe stays out of trouble and takes the win alone.

Faresin leads out from a long way in the sprint for second, but is taken easily by the rest, led by Schweda, Moreni and Sciandri.

Petacchi leads in the bunch sprint for 9th place ahead of Guidi and McEwen. Heppner will keep his pink jersey comfortably.

Results (159 km)

1 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                        4.03.59 (39.10 km/h)
2 Raphael Schweda (Ger) Team Coast                            0.59
3 Cristian Moreni (Ita) Alessio
4 Maximilian Sciandri (GBr) Lampre-Daikin                     1.02
5 Gianni Faresin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 
6 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems
7 Denis Lunghi (Ita) Team Colpack-Astro   
8 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                    1.08
9 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                     1.46
10 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Team Coast
11 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Adecco 
12 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
13 Matthias Buxhofer (Aut) Phonak Hearing Systems  
14 Geert Verheyen (Bel) Rabobank

General classification after stage 7

1 Jens Heppner (Ger) Team Telekom                         35.25.30
2 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                     3.33
3 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago             3.43
4 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio                             3.45
5 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi                   3.57
6 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca                4.09
7 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                    4.16
8 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Index Alexia                         4.27
9 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport                   4.33
10 Santiago Perez Fernandez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca          4.36
11 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                         4.39
12 Juan Carlos Dominguez (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems         4.43
13 Fernando Escartin (Spa) Team Coast                         4.44
14 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC Tiscali                      4.46
15 Cadel Evans (Aus) Mapei-Quick Step                         4.47
16 Juan D. Ramirez (Col) Colombia-Selle Italia                4.50
17 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                         4.52
18 Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi                     5.02
19 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca            5.05
20 Gianni Faresin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
21 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank                             5.08
22 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                          5.22


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