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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

86th Giro d'Italia - Grand Tour

Italy, May 10-June 1, 2003

Main Page     Stage Profile    Start List    Latest Live Report

Stage 11 - May 21: Faenza-San Dona, 222 km

Complete Live Report

Start time: 11:40 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:00 CEST

Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the 11th stage of the Giro d'Italia, a long, dead flat sprinter's stage between Faenza and San Dona. There are no mountains to climb today, but that will be more than compensated for in tomorrow's 12th stage to Monte Zoncolan (click here for our special preview). Today's main interest is the Intergiro sprint at Piove di Sacco after 136.7 kilometres, with Moreno Di Biase aiming to hold onto his jersey from the clutches of fakta's Magnus Backstedt.

Team Saeco will have the job of controlling the tempo today for much of the stage, after Gilberto Simoni grabbed the maglia rosa yesterday by 2 seconds in a daring attack with 40 km to go. Simoni's move surprised and hurt Garzelli, who will try and make amends in the coming stages. But it does now put pressure on Saeco to defend the jersey, which will make the job a bit easier for Garzelli's team.

14:37 CEST - 82 km/140 km to go
The stage has been under way for three hours now, and all day the riders have been battling strong crosswinds. However the pace has been far from severe, with the peloton averaging just over 27 km/h in the first hour, and 32 km/h after the second.

Two Tenax riders: Sergei Lelekin and Mirko Marini decided they would try for an early breakaway, attacking after 36 km and gaining an immediate advantage. The bunch has not reacted, and the pair now have 13'40 lead after 80 km of racing. There's still a long way to go however.

Neither rider is a threat on the general classification, as Lelekin is 142nd at 1:13:01, and Mirko Marini is 145th at 1:13:39.

14:50 CEST - 102 km/120 km to go
The leading pair still have 120 kilometres to go before the finish of the stage, and now their gap has been pegged at 13'08 by the Fassa Bortolo squad, which wants to set things up for sprinter Alessandro Petacchi, who has already won three stages.

15:03 CEST - 111 km/111 km to go
The stage has reached the halfway point and we still have two leaders: Sergei Lelekin and Mirko Marini, who are both from the Tenax team. The pair have 12'55 on the peloton which is riding at a faster tempo now.

In the first three hours, the average speed was 36.25 km/h.

15:18 CEST - 124 km/98 km to go
Marini takes an intermediate prime at Pegolotte, gaining some prizemoney for the team. Both he an Lelekin will also pick up quite a bit of cash for the Intergiro sprint, at 137 km.

The gap back to the peloton is around 12 minutes.

15:33 CEST - 139 km/83 km to go
Sergei Lelekin takes the Intergiro sprint at Piove di Sacco, followed by Mirko Marini. The pair have been away since kilometre 36, and have an 11 minute lead on the peloton, which is slowly closing the gap. But it might be too slowly to pick them up in time for the finish.

15:38 CEST - 142 km/80 km to go
Magnus Backstedt takes third place in the Intergiro sprint ahead of Moreno Di Biase, who congratulates Backstedt. Di Biase will therefore keep his jersey, but Backstedt is closing the gap.

The distance between the peloton and the leaders at the intergiro was 9'56. The average speed of the leaders was 37.15 km/h.

15:49 CEST - 149 km/73 km to go
It's raining lightly at the moment, which may affect the spirits of everyone, but will not change the fact that the peloton has to close a gap of 8'35 to Mirko Marini and Sergei Lelekin.

In front of the peloton we have the sprinters teams, Domina Vacanze and Fassa Bortolo, followed by Garzelli's Vini Caldirola team and Simoni's Saeco boys.

15:55 CEST - 153 km/69 km to go
The roads are quite wet at the moment from the light rain, although it's not particularly cold. Marini and Lelekin don't seem to mind, and are swapping off turns as they have been doing all day. They are taking the corners quite gingerly though.

The gap is now 7'28.

16:02 CEST - 160 km/62 km to go
The work by the sprinters teams is doing its job on this long flat stage to San Dona. Mirko Marini and Sergei Lelekin, who have been out there for 125 km, now lead the back by 6'38. It looks as though they'll get caught, but we'll see. They are still riding smoothly and eating and drinking a lot.

Marco Pantani and his team are coming back to the peloton after a puncture or a mechanical.

16:08 CEST - 164 km/58 km to go
Despite the wet conditions, the crowds are still quite large on the side of the road, cheering the riders on as they flash by in 30 seconds.

Gilberto Simoni's Maglia Rosa is not visible at the moment, as he has a red rain jacket on. He does have pink shorts on, which are recognisable.

Bruseghin and Cioni are working for Fassa Bortolo in front, with help from Francesco Secchiari (Domina). Julian Winn (fakta) is also up there. The gap is now 5'44.

16:18 CEST - 173 km/49 km to go
The leaders Marini and Lelekin pass through Veneto with a massive crowd cheering them on. 4'05 behind them is the peloton, which is rapidly gobbling them up. It's still Fassa Bortolo and Domina Vacanze with a couple of men on the front doing the damage. Saeco, with Simoni well place, is right behind them, followed by Garzelli and his team.

16:25 CEST - 179 km/43 km to go
There is a crash in the peloton, and a Sidermec rider comes down quite heavily off a bridge. It looks like Oscar Mason, and he is not in a hurry to move.

The gap to the two leaders is 3'08.

Mason gets up painfully, and is assisted to a stretcher. He will be taken away to hospital for further examination. It looks like he's broken something, but it's not clear yet.

16:32 CEST - 182 km/40 km to go
We're approaching the finish in San Dona, where the riders will have to do a finishing circuit of 6 km. Of note is that there is a sharp corner with 200m to go in the sprint, which should make things interesting...

The roads have dried up now, but another storm threatens. The two Tenax riders Sergei Lelekin and Mirko Marini are now just over 2 minutes in front of the peloton.

16:38 CEST - 186 km/36 km to go
Lelekin and Marini are riding into a massive storm, and will might not be caught by the peloton before it breaks. They seem doomed though, as the lead shrinks to under two minutes.

The juggernaut of the peloton is still rolling along in pursuit, but it's not at full speed yet.

16:47 CEST - 190 km/32 km to go
The storm has broken, and Lelekin and Marini are in the middle of it, just over a minute in front of the Fassa Bortolo and Saeco led peloton. Jordi Riera (Kelme) decides that this is a good moment to attack.

16:51 CEST - 193 km/29 km to go
Giusseppe Muraglia (Formaggi), Lars Bak (fakta-Pata Chips) and Khalilov (Selle Italia) catch Riera, and now there are four in pursuit of two.

16:54 CEST - 195 km/27 km to go
It all comes back together, with Saeco keeping the tempo high in the peloton. Sergei Lelekin and Mirko Marini are caught with just over 25 km to go. The roads are quite wet now, but the storm may have passed.

Graeme Brown (Panaria) is last wheel.

17:01 CEST - 201 km/21 km to go
Francesco Casagrande punctures, but gets a wheel change and help from his teammates. He should have no problems getting back to the peloton, which is driven along by Saeco and Fassa Bortolo.

The jury has just communicated that any rider who crashes in the last 1700m will be given the same time as the winner.

17:06 CEST - 205 km/17 km to go
Raffaele Illiano (Selle Italia) attacks, but goes nowhere fast. The Fassa Bortolo train is too fast. At the back of the bunch, Domina's Daniele Bennati puts on his zebra striped arm warmers.

17:13 CEST - 211 km/11 km to go
Fassa Bortolo is continuing to set a high pace on the front, with Dario Frigo quite prominent. Garzelli's teammates are up there too.

Mario Cipollini is gearing up for another sprint, and Robbie McEwen is right on his wheel.

17:18 CEST - 215 km/7 km to go
They're on the finishing circuit now, as two of Mario Cipollini's men: Lombardi and Mondini, do a practice run for the next lap. Garzelli's squad takes over and ups the tempo a little. Nick Gates (Lotto-Domo) takes the second last corner before the finish in front.

Graeme Brown loses his chain, and has to stop. He won't make it back.

17:21 CEST - 217 km/5 km to go
Scirea crashes just as they reach one lap to go. That's a valuable rider for Cipo, but he seems ok. In front, Tosatto lifts the tempo for Fassa Bortolo, but Colombo, Bennati, Ongarato and Cipo are right behind him. Petacchi and McEwen are up there too.

17:22 CEST - 218 km/4 km to go
FDJ's Eisel is near the front too, behind the combined Domina Vacanze and Fassa train.

17:24 CEST - 220 km/2 km to go
Kirchen goes really hard and gaps his teammates, but he comes back. Now the Domina train clicks into top gear with 2 km to go.

17:25 CEST - 221 km/1 km to go
McEwen is right on Cipo's wheel, but Petacchi and Galvez are moving up outside. Hvastija (Tenax) attacks with 1 km to go, but will have trouble

17:26 CEST - 222 km/0 km to go
McEwen takes the last corner first as Cipo crashes. McEwen wins! Petacchi second. Crescenzo D'amore is third.

It was Galvez who slipped on the corner first, and Cipo had nowhere to go. Galvez was crushed by Cipo...McEwen's handling skills are excellent, and he realised how important it was to get to that corner first. He takes his second stage win.

Gilberto Simoni and Stefano Garzelli safely finished in the peloton, 5 seconds behind McEwen, thus Simoni well wear pink in tomorrow's stage to Monte Zoncolan, which should be a good one.


1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Domo                       5.44.12
2 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                 0.02
3 Crescenzo D'amore (Ita) Tenax                    
4 Mykhaylo Khalilov (Ukr) Colombia-Selle Italia          
5 Jan Svorada (Cze) Lampre      
6 Guido Trenti (USA) Fassa Bortolo
7 Gerhard Trampusch (Aut) Gerolsteiner 
8 Lorenzo Bernucci (Ita) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago

General classification after stage 11

1 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Team Saeco              
2 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola-SO.DI               0.02
3 Andrea Noe' (Ita) Alessio                                 0.56
4 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Alessio                           1.38
5 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) CCC-Atlas-Polsat                       1.52

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