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86th Giro d'Italia - Grand Tour

Italy, May 10-June 1, 2003

Main Page     Stage Profile    Start List    Latest Live Report

Stage 12 - May 22: San Dona-Monte Zoncolan, 185 km

Complete Live Report

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

Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia, the second mountain stage and one of the hardest stages in the race. Today's finish is atop the 13.3 km climb of Monte Zoncolan, a very steep mountain averaging 9 percent, with sections of up to 22 percent. The last 3.7 km of this climb averages nearly 12 percent, which gives you an idea of how tough it is. Most riders will be using a 38 or a 39 tooth chainring on the front, or even a triple chainring. On the back, many are opting for a 27 or 28 tooth rear cog to get up this monster.

But before that they have two more climbs to overcome: the first at Fuessa (km 129) is another very steep Cat. 1 climb, taking the riders up to 1012 metres. The second is the Cat. 2 climb of Sella Valcalda (km 162) which is not quite as steep, but will still hurt. The Intergiro today is located at km 73.8, before the climbs really start.

The weather today is good: It's sunny and windy, and there's a strong tailwind blowing the riders up the Alpe Carniche. That should make life a little easier, but it won't really help on the climbs.

14:28 CEST - 118 km/67 km to go
The situation in the race at the moment is that we have a breakaway of six riders who have a 2'45 lead on the fast moving peloton as they hit the steep Cat. 1 climb of Fuessa. The six are: Fortunato Baliani and Bo Hamburger (Formaggi), Constantino Zaballa (Kelme), Sergiy Adyeyev (Landbouwkrediet), Mauro Zanetti (Tenax), and John Fredy Garcia (Selle Italia). The six attacked at 43 km, and built up a maximum lead of 3'42 after 90 km. Baliani won the Intergiro sprint ahead of Constantino Zaballa and Bo Hamburger.

The peloton was down to 158 riders at the start, as neither Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) nor Isaac Galvez (Kelme) signed on, after they crashed yesterday on the last corner with 150m to go.

14:35 CEST - 121 km/64 km to go
It looks like Mauro Zanetti has been dropped from the break on the climb of Fuessa, and it's down to five riders: Baliani Hamburger, Constantino Zaballa, Adyeyev and Garcia. They are being chased at 2'20 by Adolfo Garcia (Kelme), Pietro Caucchioli (Alessio) and mountains leader Fredy Gonzalez Martinez (Selle Italia).

14:46 CEST - 127 km/58 km to go
The leaders have done the main part of the Fuessa, and are now on a short descent climbing up to the summit of the pass. Cyclingnews' Tim Maloney reports the that descent off the other side is very technical and very narrow.

In the peloton, which is closing in on the leaders, there was a crash at the base of the climb: Moreni, Guesdon, Tiralongo, Carlos Garcia Quesada, and Muraglia all came down, with Moreni and Tiralongo forced to abandon the race.

In front, we have Fortunato Baliani, Bo Hamburger, Constantino Zaballa, Sergiy Adyeyev and John Fredy Garcia, who are being chased by Adolfo Garcia (Kelme), Pietro Caucchioli (Alessio) and mountains leader Fredy Gonzalez Martinez (Selle Italia). However, Adolfo Garcia is in trouble on the climb.

The average speed after 3 hours is 42.25 km/h.

14:58 CEST - 133 km/52 km to go
Marzio Bruseghin (Fassa Bortolo) has attacked the peloton, and bridged up to the chasing group on the climb. He attacked them and has now caught the leaders. He attacks again, and puts 10 seconds into a group with Caucchioli, Zaballa, Baliani and Fredy Gonzalez. The peloton is not so far behind however.

15:06 CEST - 134 km/51 km to go
Bruseghin is now being chased by Fredy Gonzalez at 15", as the others struggle over the top of this steep climb of Fuessa.

Bruseghin is one of Fassa Bortolo's better placed riders in this Giro: he's currently 22nd at 8'05. Only Marco Velo is ahead of him (10th at 4'01).

15:12 CEST - 134 km/51 km to go
Bruseghin took the points on the climb ahead of Fredy Gonzalez, with Constantino Zaballa (not Ignacio Gutierrez) taking third.

Simoni's Maglia Rosa group is at 2'13.

15:18 CEST - 139 km/46 km to go
Marzio Bruseghin and Fredy Gonzalez are being caught by the group behind them with Zaballa, Caucchioli and Baliani as they fly down the descent of the Fuessa. The next climb of Sella Valcalda commences in 16 km.

Cyclingnews spoke with Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre, 7th on GC at 2'06) this morning before the start. Rumsas is Lampre's best placed rider on GC, although Casagrande is 9th at 3'23). "I'm feeling good," he said. "I feel like I can do something in this Giro. Everything between me and Casagrande is pretty good. Casagrande is good on a day like today with the real steep climbs.

On the issue of Lampre being excluded from the Tour de France, Rumsas said. "That's the way things happen. It's given me a bit more motivation to show what I can do in this year's Giro."

15:27 CEST - 145 km/40 km to go
Marzio Bruseghin is currently still alone, a little way ahead of a chase group with Fredy Gonzalez, Pietro Caucchioli, Constantino Zaballa, Wladimir Belli, Tomas Brozyna, Gianni Faresin, Sandy Casar, Bo Hamburger, Sergiy Adyeyev and Adolfo Garcia Quesada.

15:32 CEST - 148 km/37 km to go
Fortunato Baliani, one of the early attackers, has been caught by the gruppo maglia rosa, which contains all the favourites at the moment. They are some 3'45 behind Marzio Bruseghin, who is the sole leader in the stage. A group of 10 riders is in between (2'06 behind Bruseghin), containing Belli, Brozyna, Caucchioli and Gonzalez, among others.

Michele Gobbi (De Nardi) has attacked the peloton and caught the 10 chasers.

15:39 CEST - 155 km/30 km to go
Marzio Bruseghin, who attacked on the first climb of Fuessa, is now 2'25 in front of a group of 11 riders: Fredy Gonzalez, Pietro Caucchioli, Constantino Zaballa, Wladimir Belli, Tomas Brozyna, Gianni Faresin, Sandy Casar, Bo Hamburger, Sergiy Adyeyev, Adolfo Garcia Quesada and Michele Gobbi. The peloton is at 3'42, led by the men from Saeco.

Bruseghin is now on the second climb of Sella Valcalda.

15:49 CEST - 161 km/24 km to go
Bruseghin is powering along, with 1 km to go until the top of the Sella Valcalda climb. 1'05 behind him there is a group of chasers, with Caucchioli, Fredy Gonzalez, Wladimir Belli, Tomas Brozyna, Garcia Quesada, with the rest of the chasers being scattered down the mountain.

The Saeco led peloton is gradually disintegrating on the climb, and is at 2'25. It contains all the main GC riders, including Simoni, Garzelli, Casagrande, Rumsas and Pantani.

Wladimir Belli and Adolfo Garcia Quesada have dropped their companions, and are now in pursuit of the leader. That is until mountains leader Fredy Gonzalez catches them just before the top of the climb.

15:58 CEST - 163 km/22 km to go
Belli, Fredy Gonzalez and Quesada are pursuing Fassa Bortolo's Marzio Bruseghin, who has just crossed the top of the Sella Valcalda climb. 1'00 behind, Gonzalez takes the points for second, in front of Quesada and Belli. Thus the Colombian will increase his lead in the mountains classification.

Saeco is getting some help from a Domina Vacanze rider at the front of the peloton, as it heads to the top some 2'30 behind Bruseghin. Caucchioli, Casar and Brozyna are 1'40" in front of the peloton.

16:04 CEST - 170 km/15 km to go
On the descent of the Sella Valcalda, Wladimir Belli tells Fredy Gonzalez off for not going any work and taking the mountain points. Gonzalez doesn't seem to think much of this argument.

Belli and co. are caught by Caucchioli, Casar, Faresin and Brozyna, to form a group of seven riders 47" behind Bruseghin.

16:07 CEST - 172 km/13 km to go
Bruseghin hits the base of the zoncolan with 2'35 on the peloton, and 57" to a chase group of seven with Belli, Fredy Gonzalez, Adolfo Garcia Quesada, Caucchioli, Casar, Faresin and Brozyna. He gets rid of his helmet and starts hammering up the bottom of the climb. 13 km of pain awaits him.

The peloton starts shedding helmets and riders, at a similar rate.

16:11 CEST - 174 km/11 km to go
Belli sets off in pursuit of Bruseghin, riding a fairly big gear (38 x 15 it looks like). He is focusing on Marzio Bruseghin, who is still pedalling very smoothly on this climb.

The maglia rosa group is down to about 25 riders, and has just dropped Aitor Gonzalez. Scott Sunderland is there in the middle, as are Rumsas, Popovych, Casagrande, Garzelli and Simoni.

16:13 CEST - 175 km/10 km to go
One of Pantani's teammates gets to the front, but it's not for long. Then Baranowski takes over for CCC-Polsat. They catch Fredy Gonzalez. Perez Cuapio, Simoni and Pantani are now in the front row.

Belli has almost caught Bruseghin. He does so, just after the 10 km to go banner.

16:15 CEST - 176 km/9 km to go
Belli has now caught and passed Bruseghin, and is 1'05 ahead of the peloton as they head under the 10km to go banner. The bunch is splintering, but still contains all the GC riders. Pellizotti, Tonkov are dropped from a leading group of about 15.

16:17 CEST - 176 km/9 km to go
Belli is struggling along up the Zoncolan, with a small lead to Bruseghin, then a group with Caucchioli, Faresin, and Garcia Quesada, and 58" on the peloton, which has shelled Tonkov Figueras and Pellizotti.

16:20 CEST - 177 km/8 km to go
Bruseghin is 23" behind Belli, and about the same in front of the main group, which has now caught all those in front save for these two. Simoni is looking very comfortable in fourth wheel, as are Garzelli, Rumsas, Perez Cuapio and Pantani.

Gasperoni is going most of the work at the front of the bunch for his teammate Pantani.

The chasing bunch has closed to within 40" of Belli, and has caught Bruseghin. Gasperoni, Pantani, Garzelli, Casagrande, Rumsas, Simoni, Perez Cuapio, Popovych, Noe, Gontchar are all there.

16:26 CEST - 178 km/7 km to go
The peloton, which is still some 15-20 riders strong, is 53" behind Wladimir Belli, who is alone in the lead. Pantani's teammate Cristian Gasperoni is doing all the work on the front, and Pantani looks a little better today, as he sits next to Simoni.

Aitor Gonzalez is also in the peloton, obviously having a better day today.

16:29 CEST - 179 km/6 km to go
Wladimir Belli has 6 km to go until the top, and is 46" front of the peloton, which contains most of the GC riders including Simoni, Garzelli, Noe, Popovych, Casagrande, Rumsas, as well as Gasperoni (still on the front), Aitor Gonzalez, Pantani, Mazzoleni, Scarponi, Perez Cuapio.

Gasperoni finally finishes his job, and Mazzoleni takes over for Garzelli. Simoni doesn't look as though he has any teammates, but it probably doesn't matter.

16:32 CEST - 180 km/5 km to go
Belli passes the 5 km to go banner with a 40" lead on the peloton, which is still 15 riders and led by Eddy Mazzoleni. Pellizotti and Tonkov were dropped earlier, and are the biggest losers of the GC riders today.

Simoni looks extremely comfortable.

16:35 CEST - 181 km/4 km to go
Wladimir Belli is now approaching the last 4km, which is the toughest part of the Monte Zoncolan. He is being chased by a peloton containing most of the favourites, with Simoni, Noe and Garzelli riding behind Eddy Mazzoleni. Marco Pantani is also well placed.

Belli takes the left hand turn and hits the steep part with 25" lead.

16:37 CEST - 182 km/3 km to go
Mazzoleni is doing another great job again for Garzelli, as this peloton closes in on Wladimir Belli. Tonkov, Figueras and Pellizotti are 1'24 behind.

Simoni attacks with 3 km to go, and Casagrande, Popovych and Garzelli struggle to hold his wheel.

Simoni looks behind and sees what the damage is. Pantani and Scarponi are close behind him. Simoni and Casagrande catch Belli, who can't hold them. Garzelli is next on the road.

16:40 CEST - 183 km/2 km to go
Simoni drops Casagrande on a 20 percent section. This is incredibly steep, and Casagrande can feel it. Chasing them are Garzelli, Popovych, Scarponi and Pantani, but not together.

Simoni still looks comfortable, and will probably win this stage.

Garzelli is riding well though, and is now with Casagrande. Pantani has caught them. Impressive stuff.

16:42 CEST - 184 km/1 km to go
Simoni is leading, but only by 10 seconds. Garzelli drops Casagrande and Pantani on a steep section, but they come back to him. Casagrande struggles to hold them, and now it's two bald headed riders in pursuit of the maglia rosa.

Casagrande is caught by Popovych, and the pair are about 5" off the back wheels of Garzelli and Pantani. Simoni still leads by 10" and is on his way to the stage win.

With 1 km to go, Simoni has 22" on Pantani and Garzelli and 30" on Casagrande and Popovych.

Pantani and Garzelli are giving it everything to try and close the gap, and Pantani lifts the pace on a really steep section in the last 700m. Garzelli holds him. The pair, who look like teammates still, can see the maglia rosa tantalisingly 25" in front of them.

Popovych and Casagrande haven't given up though, and have nearly caught Garzelli and Pantani.

This is an incredibly steep climb, and Garzelli is suffering all the way up. The gap to Simoni is now 30". Pantani can't hold Garzelli any more.

16:50 CEST - 185 km/0 km to go
Simoni starts to suffer, but he wins the stage on Monte Zoncolan. Garzelli takes second at 34", followed by Casagrande, Popovych and Pantani, who suffered in the last 400m.

Perez Cuapio came in just in front of Noe in sixth, while Aitor Gonzalez (9th) had a much better ride today. Scott Sunderland came in just out of the top 20.

The general classification remains with Gilberto Simoni, who now has 44" lead on Garzelli and 2'23 on Andrea Noe. The Giro is definitely not yet decided.


1 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Team Saeco                  5.10.29
2 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola-SO.DI          0.34
3 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Lampre                    0.39
4 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago      0.42
5 Marco Pantani (Ita) Mercatone Uno - Scanavino        0.43
6 Julio A. Perez Cuapio (Mex) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo 1.05
7 Andrea Noe' (Ita) Alessio                    
8 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Vini Caldirola-SO.DI
9 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Fassa Bortolo                   1.30
10 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Fassa Bortolo 

General classification after stage 12

1 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Team Saeco                      
2 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola-SO.DI          0.44
3 Andrea Noe' (Ita) Alessio                            2.23
4 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago      3.00
5 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Lampre                    4.14 
6 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu) Lampre                        4.20

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