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(''); }; }; ?>
Home Cyclingnews TV   News  Tech   Features   Road   MTB   BMX   Cyclo-cross   Track    Photos    Fitness    Letters   Search   Forum  
Giro Home
Live coverage
2003 Map
Stages & results
Start List
Scott Sunderland diary
Guido Trenti diary
Robbie McEwen interview
Petacchi's Pinarello Dogma
Magnus Backstedt interview
Graeme Brown interview
2002 Giro

Recently on Cyclingnews.com

Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

86th Giro d'Italia - Grand Tour

Italy, May 10-June 1, 2003

Main Page     Stage Profile    Start List    Latest Live Report

Stage 18 - May 29: Santuorio Vico-Chianale, 175 km

Complete Live Report

Start time: 11:05 CEST
Estimated finish time: 16:30 CEST

Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST.

Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia. Today is another important day in the mountains, finishing atop the final climb to Chianale. Gilberto Simoni enters the day with a nearly two minute lead over Stefano Garzelli, but fortunes can change quickly in the mountains. Nonetheless, Simoni has proven himself to be the strongest man of this year's race, and it will be up to the others to attack and put the Saeco leader under pressure.

14:30 CEST
The big news of the day so far is the abandon of Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) at km 94. Casagrande was in difficulty on the second climb of the day, the Colle d'Esischie. Several other riders have abandoned today, including yesterday's breakaway Martin Hvastija (Tenax) and Ronny Scholz (Gerolsteiner).

Approaching the summit of the Colle d'Esischie, a break of 13 riders is around six minutes ahead of the Maglia Rosa group of Gilberto Simoni. The thirteen riders are: Dariusz Baranowski (CCC-Polsat), Wladimir Belli (Lampre), Volodymyr Bileka (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago), Pietro Caucchioli (Alessio), Gianni Faresin (Gerolsteiner), Carlos Garcia Quesada and Constantino Zaballa Gutierrez (Kelme), Fredy Gonzalez Martinez (Colombia-Selle Italia), Paolo Lanfranchi (Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo), Marius Sabaliauskas and Alessandro Spezialetti (Saeco), Cyclingnews diarist Scott Sunderland (Team fakta-Pata Chips), and Steve Zampieri (Vini Caldirola).

14:45 CEST - 105 kms / 70 to go
At the summit of the Colle d'Esischie, the order over the line was Gonzalez, Zaballa, Lanfranchi, Baranowski, and Sunderland. Simoni's group is 4'30" behind, as five of the leaders have now pulled clear. That makes the first group on the road Belli, Faresin, Gonzalez, Lanfranchi, and Zaballa. The rest of the break is chasing, some 50" back.

14:55 CEST - 115 kms / 60 to go
The lead groups are descending the Colle d'Esischie. There's no respite between climbs, and next on the menu is the Colle di Sampeyre.

Word has come through that Kurt Asle Arvesen (Team fakta) abandoned today after 80 km, suffering from a flu.

15:05 CEST - 122 kms / 53 to go
The lead group now consists of Belli, Zaballa, Lanfranchi, and Faresin, as Gonzalez has in fact been dropped from the front. Simoni's group is now just 3'12" behind these four, with the remnants of the big break of 13 still spread out in between.

15:15 CEST - 125 kms / 50 to go
The lead group has reformed, minus a few riders. The seven man chase group has caught the leaders, but Caucchioli has found himself in difficulty, making it a group of ten up front. Behind this group, Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) has escaped the Simoni group and is chasing the leaders. He is 1'27" behind the leaders at this point, while in the main group Simoni looks to be putting the pressure on.

15:25 CEST
As the race works its way up the Colle di Sampeyre, the second GPM climb of the day, Simoni has moved clear, taking Dario Frigo and Franco Pellizotti with him, although Pellizotti has shown more difficulty in holding the pace of the Maglia Rosa. Simoni is chasing the leaders out ahead, and steadily pulling them back.

15:30 CEST - 137 kms / 38 to go
The weather conditions from the previous climb and the valley have changed dramatically, and the riders are now facing snow on the climb of the Sampeyre! Simoni has shot up the mountain and in very little time wiped out the entire leading group. The Maglia Rosa once again leads the way, with Frigo and Totschnig on his wheel.

The pace of today's race, despite the climbing, has been quite high. The first hour saw the riders cover 46 kilometres.

Already at the summit of the Sampeyre, the lead three go over with Popovych just joining from behind. Stefano Garzelli goes over the summit 45" behind Simoni. This will be a tricky descent.

15:35 CEST - 141 kms / 34 to go
The riders are taking no risks for the moment, descending quite gingerly over a very slushy road. Many are searching for clear patches of pavement.

Further down the mountain, conditions are beginning to improve, and speeds are picking up. Popovych has attacked, and is now descending alone ahead of Simoni and Totschnig, with Frigo not too far behind.

15:39 CEST - 144 kms / 31 to go
Simoni is clearly descending with a bite more caution, even as the snow fades and the roads clear a bit. Totschnig is about 50 metres ahead of the Maglia Rosa on a very narrow road. Popovych, meanwhile, is really forcing it out front.

15:43 CEST - 147 kms / 28 to go
The road is still wet, but the sun is peeking through now on the descent. Simoni is still close behind Totschnig, who is pulling back Dario Frigo in the plunge from the Sempeyre. Popovych still has the gap, but it's not very significant, around 15".

15:45 CEST - 149 kms / 26 to go
Garzelli and Pantani have gone down in a turn. Garzelli looks to be up and on his way, but Pantani is not looking good, showing the signs of a possible broken collarbone. The Pirate's in pain.

The helmet's off, and it looks like this might be it for Marco.

15:49 CEST - 152 kms / 23 to go
Up front, Popovych remains alone out front, and is in the valley approaching the final climb of the day. The weather looks better at the summit of the last climb, but the riders aren't out of the rain yet.

15:55 CEST - 155 kms / 20 to go
Popovych is around 30" ahead of Frigo, who himself is still clear of Totschnig and Simoni.

Unconfirmed reports have Pantani back up and on his bike, doing what he can to finish the stage. He's obviously lost a considerable amount of time following his crash, and is in plenty of pain, but don't count him out yet.

16:00 CEST - 160 kms / 15 to go
On the lower slopes of the climb, Simoni is already forcing the pace with Totschnig, who so far is holding the wheel of the Maglia Rosa.

Behind, Garzelli is chasing with the help of Eddy Mazzoleni, but the gap between Garzelli and Simoni is over three minutes! Garzelli doesn't look particularly happy, and his pedaling rhythm is not smooth.

Frigo has caught Popovych, so there are two men in front, followed by the Simoni/Totschnig duo.

16:05 CEST - 162 kms / 13 to go
Frigo has been dropped by Popovych and is already reeled in by Simoni. At the same time, Totschnig has lost Simoni's wheel. So... Popovych still leads, followed by Simoni and Frigo, then Totschnig and others behind. Garzelli is starting to look a bit better, but he's still a long way back.

Popovych is starting to struggle a bit, and has noticed the gap was small enough that he would be better off easing up and letting Simoni and Frigo join him. Simoni immediately pulls through and is now setting the pace at the sharp end of the race.

16:09 CEST - 164 kms / 11 to go
Marco Pantani is evidently more than 11 minutes behind Simoni at this point. Garzelli is 3'05" back. Fourth place overall, Andrea Noe, is around 2 minutes behind Simoni at the moment.

16:13 CEST - 166 kms / 9 to go
Popovych is losing ground on Frigo and Simoni, paying for his earlier efforts. Simoni jumped around Popovych to maintain contact with Frigo, sensing that the Ukranian was starting to fade. The gap is now around 12".

The (in)famous devil has made his appearance, screaming fanatically has he runs with Simoni and Frigo for a few precious metres.

16:17 CEST - 168 kms / 7to go
Frigo and Simoni have removed their helmets and are committed now to battling for the stage win. Frigo of course will hope that Simoni will take more interest in his time on general classification, and he's looking around for Simoni to pull through as they hit a faster portion of the climb. Their gap is 33" now over Popovych and 1'05" over Totschnig.

16:22 CEST - 170 kms / 5 to go
Frigo pulls through on a very fast false flat, and both riders are in the big rings on this very irregular climb. Popovych is working hard, trying not to lose too much ground on Frigo and Simoni, and should be moving into 2nd place overall tonight following Garzelli's crash.

16:22 CEST - 170 kms / 5 to go
Frigo and Simoni are nearing tougher portions of the climb, with gradients up to 10%. Popovych has lost a bit of ground, however, and is now around a minute back. Frigo is looking very strong and doing most of the work at the front.

16:28 CEST - 172 kms / 3 to go
Popovych is really starting to fade now, as Totschnig has caught and passed him. Nonetheless, he is still pulling time on Garzelli. The next group back is Franco Pellizotti, Andrea Noe, and Raimondas Rumsas.

Up front, Frigo and Simoni are still flying, and Simoni is even looking in a bit of trouble keeping the pace.

16:30 CEST - 173 kms / 2 to go
Garzelli is now in the company of Serguei Gontchar and Sandy Casar, but isn't pulling back enough time on Popovych.

16:32 CEST - 174 kms / 1 to go
Simoni takes over the pace under the red kite, but Frigo is keen to keep up front. It's a fast finish for a mountain summit, and the gradient isn't too steep. The lead changes hands again as Simoni brings them in within 400 metres to go.

16:32 CEST - 175 kms / Finish
Frigo waits patiently to start the sprint... He goes at 300m to go on the left, and easily moves clear to take the win.

Totschnig comes across in 3rd place, 2.37 behind.

Popovych has lost a lot of time on the two leaders, and finishes in 4th, 3'12" back.

1 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                         5.23.43
2 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco                                0.12
3 Georg Totschnig (Aut) Gerolsteiner                         2.38
4 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago            3.12
5 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu) Lampre                              4.01
6 Andrea Noe' (Ita) Alessio
7 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Alessio                            4.04
8 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola-SO.DI                5.08
9 Serguei Gontchar (Ukr) De Nardi-Colpack
10 Sandy Casar            
General classification after stage 18
1 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Team Saeco                       79.24.54
2 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola-SO.DI                7.08
3 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago            7.19
4 Andrea Noe' (Ita) Alessio                                  9.19
5 Georg Totschnig (Aut) Gerolsteiner                         9.29


Mail the commentary team    Latest Live Report