11,'min'=>00, 'refresh'=>500); // IN GMT $refresh[2]=array('hr'=>12,'min'=>30, 'refresh'=>300); // IN GMT $refresh[3]=array('hr'=>16,'min'=>00, 'refresh'=>0); // IN GMT //add new $refresh rows as you like in chronological order. Set refresh => 0 for no refresh line // foreach (array_keys($refresh) as $r) { // foreach not available in PHP3! Have to do it like this reset ($refresh); while (list(, $r) = each ($refresh)) { if (time() > gmmktime($r[hr], $r[min], 0, $m, $d, $y)) $delay=$r[refresh]; }; if ($delay) { return ("\n"); } else { return(''); }; }; ?>
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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 17 - May 28: Salice Terme-Asti, 117 km

Complete Live Report

Start time: 14:12 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:00 CEST

Welcome back after the rest day for Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia. Today is a short stage of just 117 km, with no major difficulties. It should be another day for the sprinters, and if Alessandro Petacchi can win one day after his time trial tumble on Sunday, what's to stop him from adding another today?

14:30 CEST
The official race start was given at 14:12, a few minutes ahead of schedule. So far the group is staying together.

14:45 CEST - 21 kms / 96 to go
Saeco's Andrea Tonti has decided to pick up the pace, and has started riding tempo at the head of the field. Otherwise no action yet as the riders stretch their legs a bit following the second rest day of the Giro.

14:58 CEST - 30 kms / 87 to go
A breakaway has formed, including Gianpaolo Mondini (Domina Vacanze), Jordi Riera Valls (Kelme), Giuseppe Muraglia (Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave), Ruber Alverio Marin (Colombia-Selle Italia), and Martin Hvastija (Tenax). The group gained a small advantage before Hvastija jumped again and went on alone. He is 40" ahead of the field.

15:10 CEST - 36 kms / 81 to go
Hvastija's advantage is going up, and the Tenax rider now has 1'12" over the field, which is probably content to let him go for the moment. It's a short stage, however, so the leeway given to any break will probably be small.

15:25 CEST - 47 kms / 70 to go
Hvastija has hit his stride now, and the peloton is still not reacting. He has a gap of 2'30". The race is not exactly poking around either, with 41km covered in the first hour.

15:35 CEST - 53 kms / 64 to go
The gap between Hvastija and the peloton is hovering around 2'30", but it seems his moment in the sun may start to come to a close. Fassa Bortolo has moved to the front of the field to begin the steady chase for the team's sprint king Alessandro Petacchi.

15:40 CEST
Although today will almost certainly be a day for the sprinters, race leader Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) will be paying attention and thinking of overall victory at the end of the week.

"Even after more than two weeks of hard racing I still feel good," Simoni told Reuters on the rest day. "The stages in the Dolomites were very tough, but I've recovered well and I'm looking forward to the final stages. Garzelli is my biggest rival. Two minutes is a good lead to have but it might not be enough and so I'll attack again if I feel good. I'm not going to let this Giro slip from my grasp."

15:50 CEST - 63 kms / 54 to go
Fassa Bortolo is doing the job, and Hvastija's gap is already down to 1'40" and will almost certainly continue to fall quickly.

It's another hot and sunny day at the Giro, and the temperature has hit 30 degrees.

15:56 CEST - 70 kms / 47 to go
Hvastija is approaching the one GPM climb of the day, which can hardly be called a mountain. More importantly, the stage's Intergiro sprint comes at the 86km mark, and the fight for the blue jersey is still very close between Magnus Bäckstedt (Team fakta) and Moreno Di Biase (Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave). Bäckstedt currently leads the competition.

Fredy Gonzalez Martinez leads the mountains classification.

Right before the GPM sprint, Hvastija was reeled in by the field (that was quick), and Fortunato Baliani managed to nip Gonzalez at the line for the points.

16:05 CEST - 76 kms / 41 to go
Two Fassa Bortolo riders lead the field, with Marco Pantani and several of his teammates right behind. Simoni is also well placed near the front, having a mid-day snack. The race is moving fairly quickly with a long single file line at the front.

16:11 CEST - 80 kms / 37 to go
Magnus Bäckstedt is moving up in the field with the help of a teammate, getting ready for the Intergio sprint. Jan Svorada of Lampre also looks to be interested in the sprint, not to mention Di Biase.

16:18 CEST - 87 kms / 30 to go
Bäckstedt has three teammates up front, taking over for Fassa Bortolo at the head of the race. Rene Joergensen and Jorgen Bo Petersen wind up the leadout, completely stretching out the field behind. Bäckstedt is perfectly positioned in fourth spot.

There's a gap in the peloton and Simoni is caught at the head of the second group, but he's got a teammate to quickly work to bring him back up, but it's no easy task. Two more Saeco riders lend their legs to close the gap.

Bäckstedt gets the Intergiro fairly calmly.

16:20 CEST - 88 kms / 29 to go
Following the sprint, Julian Usano Martinez (Kelme) and Luis Laverde Jimenez (Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave) attack and get a decent gap on the peloton. They've got 8" on the field.

16:23 CEST - 92 kms / 25 to go
The duo is caught, and a counter attack goes immediately from Kelme's Alexis Rodriguez on a short hill. He's joined by several riders, including Hector Mesa, who goes straight through and launches his own counter.

16:26 CEST - 94 kms / 23 to go
Rodriguez catches Mesa, and attacks again. Mesa is chasing close behind as the two fight for the lone lead. The peloton is strung out behind in the chase.

Confirmation comes through that Bäckstedt took the Intergiro ahead of Di Biase and Svorada.

16:30 CEST - 97 kms / 20 to go
Fassa Bortolo and Saeco are the two teams with the most riders working at the front of the pelotonm as Rodriguez builds a gap of 18".

Rodriguez had 18", but he's being pulled back quickly now.

16:37 CEST - 102 kms / 15 to go
Fifteen kilometres to go and the peloton is all together, moving quickly under the control of Fassa Bortolo. Riders looking to challenge Petacchi in the sprint today include Svorada, Bernhard Eisel and Jimmy Casper (FDJeux.com), Angelo Furlan (Alessio), and the Domina Vacanze duo of Giovanni Lombardi and Daniele Bennati.

16:40 CEST
Entire teams (or at least several members) are jockeying for position now, trying to keep Fassa Bortolo in check. Stefano Garzelli is near the front with several teammates, FDJeux.com is well represented, and two Saeco riders just moved up to get in the mix. Not to mention Gerolsteiner which is also getting involved.

16:44 CEST - 108 kms / 9 to go
Already the peloton is under the 10km to go banner. The pace is extremely high and we're heading for a big bunch charge to the line. Gerolsteiner and Alessio each have a rider up front keeping the pace high. Gilberto Simoni is not as far foward as he should be, and through a turn he slipped back a few places. At the same time, Garzelli's Vini Caldirola team is moving up the left side of the field.

16:46 CEST
Fassa Bortolo has Bruseghin back at the head of the line, pounding the pedals. He's already been replaced by Vini Caldirola, however. The front of the field is a nervous place to be at the moment as everyone readies for the sprint.

Fortunato Baliani makes an appearance for Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave now.

16:47 CEST - 113 kms / 4 to go
The finish of today's stage has one right turn, but farther from the line than some recent days.

De Nardi-Colpack is yet another team to move up, thinking likely of Graziano Gasparre for the sprint. But here comes the Domina Vacanze train...

16:50 CEST - 115 kms / 2 to go
FDJeux.com gets it going up front, but Casper is not on his teammates wheel. Casper wants to be in front of Petacchi, not on his wheel, and the two are rubbing elbows a bit fighting for position.

16:52 CEST - 117 kms / Finish
Into the last kilometre and it's an all out fight. Domina Vacanze starts the sprint, with a Fassa Bortolo rider in second, followed by Petacchi.

Peetacchi gets a run for the line from Jan Svorada and Jimmy Casper, but he holds off the entire field to take his sixth stage win! Casper loses a few places and it appears Lombardi took third.

1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo               2.39.47
2 Jan Svorada (Cze) Lampre
3 Giovanni Lombardi (Ita) Domina Vacanze-Elitron
4 Angelo Furlan (Ita) Alessio
5 Werner Riebenbauer (Aut) Team fakta-Pata Chips
General classification after stage 17
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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