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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 19 - May 30: Canelli-Cascata Toce, 239 km

Complete Live Report

Start time: 9:31 CEST
Estimated finish time: 16:20 CEST

Welcome to Cyclingnews' coverage of the 19th stage of the Giro d'Italia, the longest stage of the race at 239 km, and also the last mountain stage, with the finish atop the 1675m high Cascata del Toce. However other than this final climb, the main part of which measures 18.3 km and averages 4.9 percent (12 percent for the final 3 km), there are no other categorised climbs today. The Intergiro sprint is located at Borgomanero (km 135.7), although that competition has all but been decided, with Magnus Backstedt (fakta-Pata Chips) having a 1'44 lead over Jan Svorada (Lampre) after Moreno Di Biase missed out on the time cut yesterday.

Speaking of fakta, Kim Andersen's team had a bad day yesterday in the bad weather conditions, losing Kurt Arvesen (abandoned), Jorgen Bo Petersen, Lars Ytting Bak, Werner Riebenbauer and Frank Hoj (all missed the time cut). That means only Scott Sunderland, Magnus Backstedt, Julian Winn and Rene Jorgensen are left to carry the team home to Milan. In addition, a large rock demolished the bonnet and the windscreen of the team car yesterday - thankfully no-one was injured, but it did make navigation hard.

After yesterday's stage, Gilberto Simoni has the Giro securely in his grasp. The Saeco climber has been incredibly consistent in all the mountain stages, and only Dario Frigo was able to beat him yesterday. It didn't matter to Simoni, who know has a 7'08 lead to Stefano Garzelli and 7'19 to the improving Yaroslav Popovych. Garzelli will be trying to put time between himself and Popovych today to ensure his second place on GC, which will come right down to the final TT in Milan.

14:35 CEST - 197 km/42 km to go
The race has been going for five hours now, after an early 9:30 am start. The pace hasn't been brutal (39.15 km/h), with many riders wishing to recover after yesterday's epic. After a fairly quiet start, a group of riders attacked at the 165 km mark: Denis Lunghi (Alessio), Leonardo Giordani (De Nardi), Rinaldo Nocentini and Luis Laverde Jimenez (Formaggi), Adolfo Garcia Quesada and Constantino Zaballa (Kelme), Sergiy Adyeyev and Volodimir Bileka (Colnago-Landbouwkrediet), Daniele Pietropolli and Oscar Pozzi (Tenax). The best placed rider in the break is Garcia Quesada, and he's 32 minutes down on GC in 18th overall, thus no threat to Simoni's lead.

The break reached a maximum lead of 2 minutes at km 193, with Saeco and Mercatone Uno controlling the pace. Pantani started today despite his injuries from yesterday.

14:43 CEST - 202 km/37 km to go
At the Intergiro in Borgomanero, it was indeed fakta's Magnus Backstedt who crossed first, in front of Jan Svorada and Bernhard Eisel. So Backstedt is even further in front of Svorada in that classification, and will almost certainly wear the blue jersey in Milan.

14:48 CEST - 208 km/31 km to go
The leaders have passed the intermediate sprint (no points, just prizemoney) in Crodo, with Kelme's Constantino Zaballa winning the sprint. Behind them, Mercatone Uno is controlling the bunch with Mario Manzoni and Roberto Conti, who hope that Marco Pantani can realise his dream of winning a mountain stage today. The gap is 1'49 at the moment.

14:54 CEST - 212 km/27 km to go
Rinaldo Nocentini (Formaggi) has attacked the leading group, and is being chased by Zaballa as they approach the foot of the Cascata del Toce climb. Sergiy Adyeyev and Volodimir Bileka have caught Zaballa, together with Denis Lunghi. The four are 10 seconds behind Nocentini.

Garzelli's Vini Caldirola team and also a couple of riders from the FDJeux.com team are making the tempo in the peloton, 1'50 behind the break.

14:57 CEST - 214 km/25 km to go
Rinaldo Nocentini goes under the 25 km to go banner, with a small lead to four riders: Sergiy Adyeyev and Volodimir Bileka (Landbouwkrediet), Constantino Zaballa (Kelme) and Denis Lunghi (Alessio). The rest of the break is a bit further down the climb, and will be caught by the peloton soon.

15:02 CEST - 215 km/24 km to go
Not all of them will be caught soon: Garcia Quesada and Oscar Pozzi have closed the gap to the chasing four, which is 15" behind the lone Rinaldo Nocentini. They have been climbing for the best part of 20 km, although the official Cascata del Toce climb hasn't started yet.

The peloton, with Garzelli in second wheel, is at 1'55. Frigo is right up there, as is Scott Sunderland and Gilberto Simoni.

15:07 CEST - 219 km/20 km to go
Nocentini continues his solo escape, with 25" on a group of six riders: Sergiy Adyeyev and Volodimir Bileka (Landbouwkrediet), Constantino Zaballa and Adolfo Garcia Quesada (Kelme), Oscar Pozzi (Tenax) and Denis Lunghi (Alessio).

Garzelli's men are upping the tempo, gradually, with the peloton becoming strung out behind them. The climb proper begins at 18.3 km to go.

15:11 CEST - 221 km/18 km to go
Nocentini's lead to the peloton has shrunk to 1'24, while Adyeyev is trying to follow him alone. Behind him, Bileka, Zaballa, Garcia Quesada and Lunghi are about 1 minute in front of the peloton.

After sitting up, Nocentini is caught by Adyeyev, Zaballa and Lunghi, forming a group of four in front.

15:15 CEST - 223 km/16 km to go
The four leaders hit the climb with a 48" gap to the peloton, which is eating up the gap fast. Garzelli's men are trying to make the tempo hard enough to get rid of Popovych, which is not going to be easy!

15:18 CEST - 225 km/14 km to go
Nocentini, Lunghi, Zaballa and Adyeyev are just 25" in front of the peloton with 14 km to go, with Garzelli sitting in third wheel. They get a cheer from the Devil, a well known figure who happens to be standing on the side of the road.

Zaballa keeps trying, but the speed of the peloton is irresistible, and they are caught.

15:21 CEST - 226 km/13 km to go
The peloton is still quite large, but the pace will tell soon. Riders are handing their helmets off to soigneurs on the side of the road. Popovych and Noe are very close to Garzelli, who still has his teammates on the front. Simoni is a bit further back.

Now the peloton is thinning down, with many riders just cruising up after such a long day. There is no danger that they'll miss the time cut though.

15:25 CEST - 228 km/11 km to go
The peloton cross a small wooden bridge with just under 12 km to go. There are around 40 riders left, including all the GC riders. Garzelli is still second wheel, with Mazzoleni behind him. Totschnig, Rumsas, Noe, Popovych and Simoni are all ready. It looks like Steve Zampieri (Vini Caldirola) is the man doing all the work.

15:28 CEST - 229 km/10 km to go
The bunch is steadily making its way up the many hairpins of the Cascata del Toce, still climbing in the trees. Steve Zampieri has led from the bottom, with Garzelli on his wheel. All the others are there, and Pantani is on Simoni's wheel. Frigo moves up.

15:32 CEST - 230 km/9 km to go
Zampieri leads the way still, with 9 km of this climb to go. There are now about 30 riders left in the bunch, and no-one has attacked yet. Probably they're waiting until the last 5 km when it gets steeper. At the moment, it's not much over 4 percent.

15:35 CEST - 232 km/7 km to go
Kim Kirchen (Fassa Bortolo) hands his helmet to the team car, and makes his way back into the small peloton. The road is a little flatter now, as they hit 7 km to go. Zampieri hasn't eased his pace at all, and has led for the last 13 km.

Pietro Caucchioli and Kim Kirchen have now attacked on the flat, before the last 5 km of steep climbing.

15:37 CEST - 234 km/5 km to go
Caucchioli and Kirchen open up a 13" gap to the Vini Caldirola led peloton, as they start the final 5 km.

Pantani attacks the peloton. Simoni reacts immediately. Then Frigo drags the peloton up to Pantani. The bunch is now in pieces. Kirchen and Caucchioli are caught.

Pantani, Simoni, Frigo, Belli, Pellizotti are a small distance in front of the bunch. Garzelli is not there.

15:40 CEST - 235 km/4 km to go
Pantani accelerates again, but Simoni won't let him go. Belli, Frigo, Pellizotti can hang on too. The next group with Garzelli, Rumsas, Totschnig, Aitor Gonzalez, Eddy Mazzoleni, are a little way back.

Pantani attacks on a flat spot. He gets a gap to Simoni and co. Garzelli's group has caught back on, and Popovych is there too.

15:43 CEST - 236 km/3 km to go
Pantani is caught again by Simoni, who is making it his personal job to chase down the pirate.

Pellizotti attacks next, and Simoni goes after him, easily closing the gap. He catches him and hits the front. They now have a decent gap. Frigo and Noe are trying to chase.

15:46 CEST - 237 km/2 km to go
Frigo and Noe come back to the chasing group, which numbers 11. Simoni and Pellizotti are leading still, and Simoni could well be trying for a third stage win. The gap is small though: less than 10 seconds.

They are now in a long tunnel, with the exit at 1 km to go. Simoni attacks Pellizotti in the tunnel and his now on his own.

15:48 CEST - 238 km/1 km to go
Simoni emerges from the tunnel on his own, in the lead. Pellizotti hasn't given up though, and is 5 seconds off the back of the maglia rosa. Popovych leads the chasing group.

Popovych can't get rid of Garzelli though, although he is suffering. Pantani has been dropped.

Frigo, Mazzoleni, Noe and Pellizotti are now together, chasing Simoni with 500m to go. The gap is still small.

15:50 CEST - 239 km/0 km to go
Frigo sprints after Simoni, but he won't get him. Simoni wins the stage, from Frigo and Mazzoleni. Popovych comes in as 8th, just in front of Garzelli, who will keep his second place on GC by about 2 seconds.


1 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Team Saeco                         6.20.05
2 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                             0.03
3 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Vini Caldirola-SO.DI
4 Andrea Noe' (Ita) Alessio                                   0.10
5 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Alessio                             0.13
6 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Lampre                       
7 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu) Lampre 
8 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
9 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola-SO.DI
10 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Fassa Bortolo

General classificaiton after stage 19

1 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Team Saeco                        85.44.39
2 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola-SO.DI                 8.04
3 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago             8.06
4 Andrea Noe' (Ita) Alessio                                   9.49
5 Georg Totschnig (Aut) Gerolsteiner                         10.35
6 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu) Lampre                              11.01
7 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                            12.38
8 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Alessio                            14.21


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