86th Giro d'Italia - Grand Tour
Italy, May 10-June 1, 2003
Stage 16 - May 26: Arco Trento-Pavia, 207 km
Complete Live Report
Start time: 12:07 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:00 CEST
Coverage starts 14:30 CEST.
Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia. After
another big mountain stage Saturday and the individual time trial yesterday,
the peloton today faces a pan-flat run from Arco Trento to Pavia. It's a long
stage at 207km, and should provide another bunch sprint opportunity. However,
the big sprinters of the Giro have largely disappeared, with the obvious exception
of Alessandro Petacchi, winner already of four stages. Petacchi may not be at
his best today, having crashed heavily in the time trial. Petacchi started the
race today but is reportedly quite sore from his tumble. This could make for
an interesting and more open sprint if the bunch arrives together in Pavia.
Gilberto Simoni still leads overall, having taken still more time from Stefano
Garzelli in the time trial.
14:30 CEST - 110 km / 97 to go
It comes as little surprise that today's race has started quickly, and will
likely stay quick. The average speed after two hours of racing is more than
48 km/h. Despite the speed, two riders have managed to go clear after 53km.
In the lead is the duo of Piotr Chimielewski (CCC-Polsat) and Sergei Adyeyev
(Landbouwkrediet-Colnago). At the 110km mark their advantage over the peloton
14:40 CEST - 117 km / 90 to go
The two leaders extended their lead to around 3'20", but this might be
the extent of their advantage. The peloton, which is being led by Fassa Bortolo,
appears to be pulling back a bit of time. The gap is already back under the
3 minute mark now.
14:55 CEST - 127 km / 80 to go
Cyclingnews spoke with Alessandro Petacchi's team director Sefano Zanatta, who
explained the star sprinter's condition after his time trial crash. "He
didn't sleep that well last night but he wants to start," Zanatta said.
"He's going to start and see how he feels. If there's no complications
or other pain we think he'll be OK, otherwise he may well abandon during the
stage. We'll wait and see at this point."
15:00 CEST - 130 km / 77 to go
The slow, steady capture of the two leaders looks to be underway. Their advantage
is down to 2'20", which is not enough to stay away with this far. Fassa
Bortolo is still leading the way.
15:15 CEST - 140 km / 67 to go
The gap is tumbling now, as Adyeyev and Chimielewski have just 1'45" over
the field. The average speed has slowed a bit, down to a still rapid 44 km/h
for just over three hours of racing.
Lotto-Domo's Robbie McEwen took out two stage wins in this year's Giro before
retiring, as planned, after the 13th stage. McEwen will be targeting the green
jersey in the Tour de France once again this year, and Cyclingnews had a chance
to speak to McEwen to discuss how he has been riding. See
the McEwen interview here.
Still dropping... the two leaders are just over a minute ahead of the field,
still under the control of Fassa Bortolo. Perhaps Petacchi is feeling up to
chasing his fifth win of this year's Giro.
15:35 CEST - 155 km / 52 to go
The two leaders are now just 40" ahead, and their capture is almost a done
deal. The peloton is actually not riding too hard, and some riders are taking
advantage of a lull to fetch drinks from the team cars. Marco Pantani is in
a familiar position, at the back of the field and surrounded by teammates.
15:40 CEST - 158 km / 49 to go
The Intergiro sprint in today's race comes fairly late in the stage, in Lodi,
at kilometre 172.9. Magnnus Bäckstedt of Team fakta is the current wearer
of the blue jersey of Intergiro leader. The big Swede has also mixed it up a
bit in the bunch sprints, and with the likes of Cipollini and McEwen absent,
he could still stand a chance of a stage win.
15:45 CEST - 161 km / 46 to go
The Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave team has sent several riders to the front of the
field, which is no longer headed by just Fassa Bortolo. Petacchi is sporting
bandages on his left elbow and knee, and most likely his back as well. After
his fall yesterday, his skinsuit was completely ripped and he looked to be in
a good deal of pain.
After more than 100km in the lead, the Adyeyev-Chimielewski duo is on the verge
of being caught. The race vehicles are moving forward, leaving the space between
breakaway and peloton clear.
Chimielewski takes a look behind and presto, there's the peloton.
15:50 CEST - 164 km / 43 to go
A new attack, and this time it's Team fakta's Frank Høj who gets a good
jump. A few riders immediately try to get his wheel.
15:55 CEST - 168 km / 39 to go
Marco Pantani decided to stop and heed the call of nature at a rather inopportune
moment, now that the peloton is steadily picking up steam in preparation for
the Intergiro sprint. Pantani's teammates are all at the back helping to pace
their leader back into the field.
Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave is still mobilised at the head of the peloton, thinking
of Moreno Di Biase for the Intergiro.
15:59 CEST - 173 km / 34 to go
At the Intergiro, Lampre's Jan Svorada gets the sprint ahead of Di Biase and
16:03 CEST - 175 km / 32 to go
Following the sprint, three riders have gone clear. Høj is away once
again, along with Fabiano Fontenelli (Mercatone Uno) and Oscar Pozzi (Tenax).
They have a decent gap ahead of the field and are immediately working well together.
16:05 CEST - 176 km / 31 to go
The peloton is not inclined to let a new move go away at this late stage of
the race, and the three leaders have been reeled in. Lampre is active at the
front, as Jan Svorada has a good chance in the sprint.
16:08 CEST - 178 km / 29 to go
The Lampre crew is not pleased with some new attacks that are going away, as
the team would like to keep a steady rhythm going at the head of the field.
Lotto-Domo's Gert Steegmans has gone away on his own and opened a small gap.
Not an easy task now for a lone rider to stay away.
The race organisers have thrown in another kamikaze finish, with a corner just
300m before the finish line. Many riders have expressed their discontent with
the dangerous finishes in this year's race, and the fact that today is dry will
make the road safer, but on the other hand the race will be moving faster. Sprinters
Steegmans is back in the fold.
16:15 CEST - 182 km / 25 to go
Gruppo compatto... The field is all together with 25km to go. The race is moving
quickly but on a wide, straight road, the peloton is not yet completely stretched
16:15 CEST - 186 km / 21 to go
Werner Riebenbauer (Team fakta) has taken an unfortuate tumble into the muck.
He went down after a touch of wheels in the field and dove into a water-filled
ditch at the left. No doubt a softened blow, but now he's wet and muddy and
clearly not happy. A quick wheel change from ace mechanic John Sessa and he's
back on his way.
16:28 CEST - 192 km / 15 to go
Fifteen kilometres to go, and the group is all together, cruising along. Saeco
is moving up in the field to protect race leader Gilberto Simoni. No one team
is handling the pace making right now.
16:34 CEST - 197 km / 10 to go
Fassa Bortolo is also moving up now, after having let the other teams handle
the work in the last 20km or so. Still a steady pace heading towards the 10km
16:38 CEST - 200 km / 7 to go
Petacchi is present at the front, so despite his injuries he looks set to give
it a shot in today's sprint. The pace is steadily picking up now that the finish
is almost at hand. Bruseghin is leading the charge for Fassa Bortolo. Alessio
is also sending riders to the front.
16:41 CEST - 202 km / 5 to go
Fassa Bortolo is unhappy with the perceived interference from Domina Vacanze
in the leadout train. The De Nardi-Colpack squad has just put three riders on
the front, but once again the Fassa Bortolo boys men are moving up to take their
place. Kirchen and Tosatto are leading the train.
16:44 CEST - 204 km / 3 to go
Fassa Bortolo is really picking up the pace now, and it's a nervous finish for
the sprinters' teams. Garzelli is well protected by his Vini Caldirola teammates.
Domina Vacanze has two men in particular looking for the win today, Giovanni
Lombardi and Daniele Bennati. Yesterday's stage winner Aitor Gonzalez just did
a healthy pull at the head of the field, and has now pulled off.
16:45 CEST - 206 km / 1 to go
Domina Vacanze is well positioned as some of the lesser sprinters like Jimmy
Casper try to work their way into the mix. Backstedt is trying to get on Petacchi's
wheel, which is clearly the place to be. Angelo Furlan (Alessio) is fighting
for the same spot.
16:46 CEST - 207 km / Finish
Casper is on Petacchi's wheel into the final corner. Bennati leads Petacchi.
Casper makes a desperate charge, but the battered and bruised Petacchi still
comes through to take his fifth win!
1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 4.39.34
2 Jimmy Casper (Fra) FDJeux.com
3 Jan Svorada (Cze) Lampre
4 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Domina Vacanze-Elitron
5 Graziano Gasparre (Ita) De Nardi-Colpack
6 Dario Pieri (Ita) Team Saeco
7 Andrus Aug (Est) De Nardi-Colpack
8 Angelo Furlan (Ita) Alessio
General classification after stage 16
1 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Team Saeco
2 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola-SO.DI 1.58
3 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 4.05
4 Andrea Noe' (Ita) Alessio 5.16
5 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu) Lampre 6.11
6 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Lampre 6.47
7 Georg Totschnig (Aut) Gerolsteiner 6.57
8 Serguei Gontchar (Ukr) De Nardi-Colpack 9.38
9 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Alessio 9.42
10 Marco Pantani (Ita) Mercatone Uno - Scanavino 10.11
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