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86th Giro d'Italia - Grand Tour

Italy, May 10-June 1, 2003

Main Page     Stage Profile    Start List    Results

Stage 20 - May 31: Canobio-Cantu, 133 km

Complete Live Report

Start time: 13:56 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:00 CEST

Welcome to Cyclingnews' coverage of the 20th and penultimate stage of the Giro d'Italia, a short and generally flat stage of just 122 kilometres between Canobio and Cantu. This should be another day for the sprinters, but given that just about all of the big sprinters are out of the race (many of whom were outside the time delay on Thursday), the finish could be more open than usual. One name to watch might be Intergiro leader Magnus Bäckstedt of Team fakta-Pata Chips.

Tomorrow the Giro wraps up with an individual time trial. Gilberto Simoni is virtually assured, barring disaster, of taking the overall title. However the fight for the podium is extremely close between Stefano Garzelli and Yaroslav Popovych. Garzelli, who has shown he can handle himself well in a bunch sprint, may be looking for some precious bonus seconds today.

14:30 CEST
The race has started quickly, and a few short-lived attacks have gone clear, but the group is all together as they race through the town of Verbania.

14:40 CEST - 28 kms / 105 to go
The race is already on a pace of 49 km/h. Julian Winn (Team fakta) tried to join Leonardo Zanotti (De Nardi-Colpack) in an escape, but they were quickly pulled back.

14:55 CEST - 42 kms / 91 to go
Into the town of Belgirate and the field is still flying along, all together. The first half of the stage is exceedingly flat, however some small hills in the second half could help a break go clear, if anyone can break the grip of the peloton. The stage includes an Intergiro sprint and a GPM climb, although both of those competitions are basically wrapped up by Bäckstedt and Fredy Gonzalez, respectively.

15:10 CEST - 50 kms / 83 to go
The speed has dropped a bit, but is still quick, as the race covered 44 km in the first hour. The peloton remains intact at this point.

15:25 CEST - 56 kms / 77 to go
The Saeco team of Maglia Rosa Gilberto Simoni is working at the front of the peloton, keeping the race together. Every day that Simoni has extended his lead, he has also insisted that the race isn't over until Milan. Once again, he's showing that he and the team are prepared to control the race until the bitter end.

15:35 CEST
Rinaldo Nocentini, who figured in one of the early breaks of the day, suffered a flat, but rejoined the peloton fairly quickly.

It's another hot and sunny day at the Giro, after a few days of less than perfect weather in the mountains.

15:45 CEST - 72 kms / 61 to go
Saeco continues to set the pace in the field, which is rolling at a relatively casual pace right now. Riders are stocking up on drinks from the team cars and generally enjoying some quiet time, the last of the Giro given tomorrow's individual time trial.

15:51 CEST - 74 kms / 59 to go
Now the race is starting to pick up again, as Raffaele Illiano (Colombia-Selle Italia) attacks and gets a gap on the field.

15:54 CEST
Illiano's move sparked a small counter attack from behind, as eight riders moved clear of the field in pursuit of Illiano. Saeco is still leading the peloton as a few more riders decide to jump clear and try to bridge the gaps.

15:59 CEST - 80 kms / 53 to go
The attacks are coming thick and fast now, as riders scramble for wheels and try to establish a break. Julian Winn once again tried his luck, and now Michele Gobbi (De Nardi-Colpack) is working to get a gap.

16:04 CEST - 84 kms / 49 to go
Gobbi is still away as the chase is spread out all over the road behind him. Julian Winn continues his aggressive riding, and has pulled a few riders with him in another effort to bridge to the lone leader. The field is quite stretched out now and the pace is fast.

Gobbi has 15" on the chasers.

16:07 CEST
Lampre has now taken up the chase, most likely working for Jan Svorada as the Intergiro approaches. Suddenly two Domina Vacanze riders (Colombo and Lombardi) jumped clear, and who should chase them but Marco Pantani!

Up front Gobbi has been caught by the first chase group.

16:12 CEST - 93 kms / 40 to go
The group up front is swelling as behind another chase group is gaining momentum. Pantani now has two teammates with him, including Massimo Codol. The Pirate is urging on his teammates, anxious to keep this moving going.

16:15 CEST - 96 kms / 37 to go
At the Intergiro, the peloton is 35" behind the lead group.

1 Eddy Mazzoleni
2 Sandy Casar
3 Constantino Zaballa

16:18 CEST - 100 kms / 33 to go
Marco Pantani has decided to launch an attack of his own, along with his teammate Cristian Gasperoni.

The two quickly opened a bit gap on the lead group, before Sandy Casar (FDJeux.com) took up the chase. Denis Lunghi (Alessio) overtook Casar, and the two have joined Pantani and Gasperoni.

16:23 CEST - 103 kms / 30 to go
Pantani's lead group of four gained 9" on the break by the top of a small hill. Gasperoni got a small gap on the descent, which is on a narrow, winding road.

Now several riders have joined the leaders. The lead group now includes: Lunghi, Miholievic, Figueras, Lanfranchi, Mazzoleni, Pantani, Gasperoni, Zaballa, Colombo, Lombardi, Velo, among others. The composition of the lead group is ever-evolving.

16:27 CEST - 105 kms / 28 to go
In fact, Marco Pantani has three teammates in this lead group, making Mercatone Uno the best represented team in a group that now has over a minute on the field.

Marco Velo (Fassa Bortolo) has attacked the group, which has pulled back the five leaders.

16:32 CEST - 108 kms / 25 to go
Lombardi is chasing Velo, who turns and sees Lombardi coming and decides to wait for some help. The race is really on now, and it seems for the moment that the main peloton is not going to chase all out to catch this big breakaway.

16:35 CEST - 111 kms / 22 to go
The big chase is not too well organised behind Velo and Lombardi, who have 15" over this group, and 1'40" over the group of Maglia Rosa Gilberto Simoni.

Scott Sunderland is in this chase, and he has just joined a counter attack with two other riders (Bernucci, Miholievic) in search of Velo and Lombardi.

16:38 CEST - 113 kms / 20 to go
Velo and Lombardi are working well together, as behind the three chasers are being pulled back by the main break.

Gianni Faresin (Gerolsteiner) tries a new attack and gets the gap before being joined by Luca De Angeli (Selle Italia) and Massimo Codol (Mertaone Uno).

16:43 CEST - 118 kms / 15 to go
Velo and Lombardi are still away, with a 25 man chase group 20" behind. The peloton, however, is more than 2 minutes back and looks to be out of the action today.

Velo and Lombardi are now on a climb and starting to struggle a bit.

16:46 CEST - 120 kms / 13 to go
The two leaders are cresting the final GPM climb, still holding off the chase group. Eddy Mazzoleni and Giuliano Figueras have jumped clear of the chase group, as has Sunderland, trying to whittle down the size of the group.

16:50 CEST - 123 kms / 10 to go
De Nardi-Colpack is leading the main field now, with Saeco just behind, although there is no chance of catching the lead groups now. The peloton is 1:45 behind the two leaders, so it has pulled back some time.

Velo and Lombardi continue to trade pulls and work very well together, while the chase group is moving quickly but with little organisation.

16:52 CEST - 125 kms / 8 to go
Mazzoleni and Figueras are within sight of the two leaders, whose gap is falling. Velo has his gold necklace in his mouth, biting perhaps for good luck, or in pain. Tough to tell...

16:54 CEST - 127 kms / 6 to go
Velo and Lombardi have 32" on the main chase group, but Mazzoleni and Figueras are almost on their wheels, so it's about to become a foursome up front.

Mazzoleni takes advantage of the fact the Velo and Lombardi eased up just a bit, and he's gone straight through on a new attack. He's looking incredibly strong, and Lombardi was simply unable to grab his wheel as he shot through.

16:55 CEST - 128 kms / 5 to go
Mazzoleni has a chance to not only take a stage, but also crack the top ten of the general classification today. The three behind him have yet to bring him back and he still has a decent gap.

16:58 CEST - 130 kms / 3 to go
Out of the saddle on a slight rise, Mazzoleni is still flying to the finish and doesn't seem to be slowing down.

Behind him, Lombardi has decided to attack Velo and Figueras, and is closing the gap very quickly. Lombardi is on a mission now, and has done a remarkable job to bridge the gap to Mazzoleni.

17:00 CEST - 132 kms / 1 to go
With two kilometres to go, Lombardi is not afraid to pull. Figueras and Velo are slowly closing the gap now on the two leaders. Lombardi knows this now, and is content to ease up enough to let them back on. He knows he should have the fastest sprint of the group.

17:01 CEST - 133 kms / Finish
Velo leads the group out in the final 500 metres up a small rise. He's turning around, knowing the jump is about to come.

Mazzoleni starts the sprint but Lombardi has no trouble coming around to take the win.

1 Giovanni Lombardi (Ita) Domina Vacanze-Elitron         3.05.30
2 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Vini Caldirola-SO.DI
3 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
4 Marco Velo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
5 Mario Manzoni (Ita) Mercatone Uno - Scanavino
6 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
7 Michele Gobbi (Ita) De Nardi-Colpack
8 Constantino Zaballa Gutierez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
9 Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave
10 Vladimir Duma (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
General classification after stage 20
1 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Team Saeco                   
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
9 Serguei Gontchar (Ukr) De Nardi-Colpack                  16.28
10 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Vini Caldirola-SO.DI               20.00

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