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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 2 - May 11: Copernico-Matera, 177 km

Complete Live Report

Start time: 12:49 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:30 CEST

Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the second stage of the Giro d'Italia, run over 177 kilometres between Copernico and Matera. Today's stage is a bit hillier than yesterday's coastal cruise, and the finish in Matera is also uphill. Nevertheless, it should turn out to be a bunch sprint like yesterday, and we'll probably see Petacchi, Cipollini, McEwen, Brown, Svorada, Furlan, Di Biase, Riebenbauer fight it out for the stage win.

The maglia rosa (pink leader's jersey) will today be worn by Alessandro Petacchi, who rode brilliantly in yesterday's finale to upstage Cipollini in Lecce. Petacchi came off Cipo's wheel with less than 100m to go to take the stage and Cipo simply had no answer. Perhaps today we'll see his zebra treno click into top gear, because it wasn't smooth yesterday.

Petacchi's Fassa Bortolo team will have the job of defending his lead, and no doubt Domina Vacanze and Lotto-Domo will lend a hand to keep the bunch together.

14:42 CEST - 51 km/126 km to go
Today's stage has not got off to a fast start, with the peloton crawling along at 27.3 km/h in the first hour, and not much faster than that in the second. There is no hurry, and no-one has chosen to attack from the gun yet, which again highlights the difference between the Giro and the other major tours (Tour de France and Vuelta Espana). But as we saw yesterday, once they do get going it gets quite fast: the average speed for the last 60 kilometres yesterday was around 46 km/h, although the overall average for the stage was just 38 km/h.

15:01 CEST - 66 km/111 km to go
It's reported that after two hours of racing, the average is up to 29.45 km/h, which means they covered 31.6 km in the second hour. It's been a fairly festive atmosphere along the parcours though, with lots of people enjoying the warm weather and choosing to spend their Sunday cheering the peloton in the Giro d'Italia.

15:26 CEST - 83 km/94 km to go
The riders have just passed the Intergiro point at Taranto Lungomare (km 82.5). And first across the line was none other than Mario Cipollini, who picked up 6 bonus seconds for the general classification as well as bonus seconds for the Intergiro. The current blue jersey wearer is Latvian Andris Naudusz (CCC-Polsat), who won the intermediate sprint yesterday.

Second place in the Intergiro was Petacchi, followed by Robert Forster (Gerolsteiner).

15:32 CEST - 86 km/91 km to go
The pace has slowed down again after the Intergiro, as the peloton takes its time through the feed zone at Taranto Via Metaponto. Petacchi and Cipollini are chatting to each other at the moment. Both are very distinctive: one in the rainbow jersey and the other in the pink jersey.

15:44 CEST - 96 km/81 km to go
We have the first attack of the day, with Formaggi Trentini teammates Elio Aggiano and Luis Filip Laverde flying off the front. That causes an instant reaction from the Fassa Bortolo team, which closes the gap down very quickly. Aggiano is a local, and really wants to make an impact today.

There is now a counter attack, with Julian Winn (Team fakta) and five others going away. But there is a Fassa Bortolo rider with them, and they get caught by the peloton again.

15:48 CEST - 102 km/75 km to go
The race has definitely started now, after almost three hours of fairly steady pace. There are a few small groups off the front of the very stretched out peloton. The average speed after three hours is 33.9 km/h.

The next group to escape the peloton contains Julio Perez Cuapio (Panaria), Kevin Van Impe and Aart Vierhouten (Lotto-Domo), Magnus Backstedt (team fakta-Pata Chips) and John Fredy Garcia (Colombia Selle Italia). Backstedt attacks the group and is now alone in the lead. He is chased by eight riders, who catch him to form a nine man leading group.

15:55 CEST - 106 km/71 km to go
Oscar Pozzi (Tenax), Ruben Marin (Selle Italia), Bo Hamburger (Formaggi), Ruslan Gryschenko (Landbouwkrediet), Gert Steegmans (Lotto-Domo), Denis Lunghi (Alessio), Dario Cioni (Fassa Bortolo), Ignacio Gutierrez (Kelme) and Magnus Backstedt (Team fakta-Pata Chips) have a 15 second lead on the peloton, which is now being led by Saeco.

The chase is effective, as Fabio Sacchi (Saeco) closes down the gap. Now there's a new attack, by fakta's Lars Bak. The Danish team is definitely trying to animate the Giro so far. But once again, the chase is strong, and there is a semi-regrouping.

16:02 CEST - 111 km/66 km to go
Mario Cipollini punctures, but gets a very quick wheel change and is on his way back to the peloton. Mario Scirea waits for him, and there are no problems for the World Champ, who is looking for his 41st Giro stage win today.

Cipo is still not happy with his bike, and gets some mechanical assistance from his team car at the back of the peloton. Cyclingnews readers will no doubt be aware that they can win a replica of Cipollini's S-Works E5 bike by filling out this form.

16:16 CEST - 121 km/56 km to go
The speed is now a lot steadier after that last flurry of attacks. No-one was able to get away, and the peloton has regrouped, with the Fassa Bortolo team doing the work in front.

16:26 CEST - 127 km/50 km to go
It's still gruppo compatto, as French sprinter Jimmy Casper (FDJeux.com) rides on the front. He's one sprinter we didn't mention as a potential stage winner, but has been in fairly good form this year, winning stages in the GP Erik Breukink, Driedaagse van West Vlaanderen, and the Giro della Liguria.

16:39 CEST - 137 km/40 km to go
We're into the final hour now, but there's still no sign of any more racing, with several teams cruising on the front. The average speed after nearly four hours is 35.54 km/h.

16:45 CEST - 141 km/36 km to go
There are some 15 kilometres to go until the day's only mountain sprint, at Montescaglioso (km 156). It's a cat. 3 climb and is not too hard, but may cause some splits in the peloton, depending on how they take it.

Lotto-Domo and Vini Caldirola are sitting on the front of the peloton at the moment.

16:49 CEST - 145 km/32 km to go
The bunch has averaged 36 km/h for the first four hours, and it probably won't be much higher than that at the end of the stage. Joaquim Castelblanco (Selle Italia) punctures, but has no problem in getting a wheel change and is back with the peloton.

16:53 CEST - 149 km/28 km to go
Mariano Piccoli (Lampre) has crashed and is off the side of the road, wondering where he is. He has a sore back and doesn't really want to get back on his bike. But he is persuaded eventually and starts his ride to the finish.

Lotto-Domo has increased the pace at the front, then Vini Caldirola takes over.

16:58 CEST - 153 km/24 km to go
Magnus Backstedt does a massive turn, with Scott Sunderland right on his wheel. The peloton is racing towards the climb at Montescaglioso.

Elio Aggiano (Formaggi) attacks on the climb. He is joined by Paolo Tiralongo (Panaria) and Hernan Dario Munoz (Selle Italia). The attack is not good enough, and the peloton catches them on a steep section. There are no real curves on this climb - it's just straight up.

17:02 CEST - 155 km/22 km to go
Cipollini is a long way back down the peloton, in the company of his teammates. He is losing ground and is really struggling. A fan runs onto the road and gives him a push, risking injury as he dodges cyclists.

Perez Cuapio is on the front of the peloton, looking at his rivals. Marco Pantani is one of them, as he rides next to Casagrande and Garzelli.

17:05 CEST - 156 km/21 km to go
All the climbers are in the front part of the peloton, which has put 30 seconds into Cipollini's group. Kurt Arvesen (fakta-Pata Chips) looks for the mountain points, but it's Fredy Gonzalez Martinez (Selle Italia) who takes them, and the first mountains jersey. Casagrande was second, followed by Garzelli.

The peloton is in several sections over the top. It looks as though race leader Petacchi is in the second group.

17:09 CEST - 159 km/18 km to go
The descent off Montescaglioso is quite technical, and Petacchi's group is chasing to get back to the leaders. He has a 20 second gap to close. But Cipollini is a lot further behind - possibly over a minute over the top.

17:12 CEST - 161 km/16 km to go
Petacchi's group is now only 8 seconds behind the leaders, which are not really committed to racing to the finish. Roberto Conti and Daniel Clavero (Mercatone Uno) have other ideas, and start to drive the pace up again. Casagrande, Pantani, Aitor Gonzalez, Sunderland, Arvesen are all there in the group of 35-40 riders.

This is impressive work by Pantani's team, with six men on the front. The finish will suit Pantani, who is no slouch in a sprint, especially an uphill one.

Cipollini's third group is at 56 seconds.

17:16 CEST - 164 km/13 km to go
Petacchi's group has rejoined the leading peloton, but Cipollini's group is still chasing, with Domina Vacanze doing a lot of work. The peloton is still being led by Mercatone Uno.

Cipollini's group starts to break up, but now reforms and resumes the chase at 40 seconds.

17:19 CEST - 167 km/10 km to go
The front peloton passes under the 10 km to go banner, with Marco Pantani's Mercatone Uno train at the front, followed by Stefano Garzelli's Vini Caldirola boys, and also Alessandro Petacchi, who is now near the front and looking for another stage win.

Cipo is 1'01 behind, and it doesn't look as though he'll come back. At least his teammates waited for him this time...

17:23 CEST - 169 km/8 km to go
Giusseppe Muraglia (Formaggi) attacks and gets a gap, but will have a hell of a time trying to hold off the peloton.

17:26 CEST - 171 km/6 km to go
Muraglia has 10 seconds lead on the Mercatone Uno driven peloton, which is closing the gap. Muraglia succumbs, and immediately Oscar Pozzi (Tenax) attacks. Gianni Faresin (Gerolsteiner) counters, and closes the gap.

Cipollini has given up the chase.

17:29 CEST - 172 km/5 km to go
Five kilometres to go, and Oscar Pozzi and Gianni Faresin have a 5 second lead on the peloton, which is now led by Saeco and Vini Caldirola. Pozzi is dropped, leaving Faresin in front. He's strong, but he probably won't be able to hold them.

Petacchi and McEwen are in the peloton, but not near the front yet.

17:31 CEST - 173 km/4 km to go
Elio Aggiano sets off after Faresin, who is clinging onto his slender lead. Two Vini Caldirola riders are driving the peloton still. It's over, as the Fassa Bortolo train clicks into gear. Petacchi is followed by McEwen and Garzelli.

17:33 CEST - 175 km/2 km to go
Fortunato Baliani (Formaggi) attacks, and gets a very tiny gap. The peloton is swarming now, with Fassa Bortolo and Panaria riders in front. Baliani can't do it and is caught.

17:35 CEST - 177 km/0 km to go
Petacchi is in good position in the final kilometre, as his teammates lead him out. But Figueras gets a good leadout from his own teammate, and goes on the right. On the left it's Baldato and McEwen battling it out, and McEwen moves Baldato towards the barriers. McEwen wins the stage, but will have to survive a protest.

In the last 20 metres, as Baldato was moving up on his inside, McEwen threw an elbow, which may cost him the stage. Baldato immediately threw up his arm as he crossed the line. He is not happy with McEwen's manoeuvre.

The jury has relegated McEwen to last position, and Baldato is the winner of stage 2. Petacchi is still the overall leader, with Baldato now in second place.

Thank you for following stage 2 of the Giro with Cyclingnews. We'll be back at the same time (14:30CEST) with stage 3 tomorrow, from Policoro to Terme Liugiane, run over 145 km.


1 Fabio Baldato (Ita) Alessio                    4.46.57
2 Gabriele Colombo (Ita) Domina Vacanze
3 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Panaria
4 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
5 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) FDJeux.com
6 Volodomyr Duma (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
7 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola
8 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Lampre
9 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco

General classification after stage 2

1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo       10.02.36
2 Fabio Baldato (Ita) Alessio                       0.04
3 Gabriele Colombo (Ita) Domina Vacanze             0.19
4 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo  0.23
5 Graziano Gasparre (Ita) De Nardi-Colpack          0.24
6 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Team Saeco
7 Denis Lunghi (Ita) Alessio
8 Kurt Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team fakta-Pata Chips
9 Serhiy Honchar (Ukr) De Nardi-Colpack


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