Recently on Cyclingnews.com

Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Giro d'Italia Cycling News for May 27, 2007

Edited by Steve Medcroft

The "killer" marks Simoni and Bruseghin

By Jean-François Quénet in Bergamo

Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas) chases
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Danilo Di Luca had to give back 38-seconds (plus a time bonus) of his lead over arch-rival Gilberto Simoni on Saturday . "I expected the attack from Paolo Savoldelli today," the 'killer' explained after the race. I didn't expect that Simoni would be strong enough on the downhill to go with him though."

The maglia rosa says he didn't worry too much though. "I still had four teammates with me. Two of mine were swapping turns with two of Cunego's." Di Luca said the work of his teammates to manage the gap to Simoni allowed him to stay fresh for the 40 kilometres approaching the final climb to Bergamo.

"Simoni might have spent more energy than Cunego and me and it's possible that he'll pay for it tomorrow," Di Luca said. "But he also has taken 50 seconds back. I'm not anxious about that. I still have a comfortable margin on him (2'42). I can even lose one or one and half more minutes on the Tre Cime and the Zoncolan (climbs) but I want to keep a one minute advantage before the (final) time trial in Verona the day before the finish in Milan because Simoni and I are pretty much equal against the clock."

Di Luca says he's extremely respectful of the capacities of his adversaries. "I keep thinking that Simoni is the number one favorite in this Giro d'Italia," he said. "Tomorrow, he'll attack again."

Di Luca says he next biggest worry is Marzio Bruseghin or Lampre - Fondital - winner of the Friday's uphill time trial. "I can lose some more time to Simoni but I have to gain some over Bruseghin who is within one minute of me on GC and is a true time trialist" Bruseghin remains remains almost two minutes ahead of his team leader, Damiano Cunego.

Simoni says moto assisted Garzelli in win

By Jean-François Quénet

After the stage finish in Bergamo, which was held on the same streets as the Tour of Lombardy until the last classic of the season moved to Como two years ago, Gilberto Simoni argued with the motorbike driver of the cameraman of Italian TV station RAI who supposedly helped Stefano Garzelli jump across and pass him in the final metres. "You have made him win!" Simoni yelled.

Garzelli didn't share this opinion. "I don't think the motorbike has given me any advantage," he said. "I was 50 metres behind the moto before the last curve. The motorbike just went slower than me out of that curve. It's because of the effort I put there that I was able to rejoin Simoni."

Garzelli looks past Giro to 2008 World's

By Jean-François Quénet

Garzelli does it!
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Being 12th on GC at the start of the last week of the Giro isn't exactly what Stefano Garzelli expected prior to the beginning of the race in Sardegna but Garzelli says his stage win in Bergamo is relief from the suffering.

"I've gone all right for the past three days," he said at the finish of Saturday's stage, but was quick to recall Stage 10 to Genova when he reached the sanctuary of Nostra Signora della Guardia in 19th position 2.07 behind Leonardo Piepoli. "Since the first kilometer that day, I wasn't going at all," he said. I've suffered the heat like never before."

Garzelli knows exactly where his Giro turned for the worse. "Five riders from the famous breakaway [on Stage 8 - ed.] are still ahead of me," he said. "Considering the way I'm going now, I should be able to finish in the top five and that will be a good result."

At 34, Garzelli says he can now set his 2007 ambitions beyond the Giro. "Next year the world championship will be held in Varese, the town where I was born. It's something I'd like not to miss because it's exceptional for any bike rider to race for the rainbow jersey at home."

Pinotti welcomed like a hero at home

By Jean-François Quénet

Bergamo is a true cycling town, always recalled as the home of the great Felice Gimondi who hails from the neighborhood in Sedrina. Two recent winners of the Giro are also from this area: Ivan Gotti, who described all the details of the route on Italian television during the live coverage, and Paolo Savoldelli, who tried his best for a stage win on home soil.

But the most popular of all the Bergamo riders was probably Marco Pinotti. The engineer who joined T-Mobile held the pink jersey for four days and has really enchanted the people. Still in the top 20 on GC, Pinotti knew that there would be a crowd of supporters waiting for him at the finish of Stage 14. Local fans read his daily column in L'Eco Di Bergamo, where he explained the difficulty of the transfers between two stages in today's edition; his vehicle spent three hours on highway A4 the day before. "The organization of the Giro said there are only one third of last year's transfers but I'll have to tell Angelo Zomegnan that transfers should be counted in hours on the road, not in kilometres," Pinotti wrote.

Besides being a fan favorite, Pinotti was instrumental in Saturday's racing. "I was lucky to enter the breakaway today," he said as he was mobbed by fans at the finish. "We were 12 away on the San Marco and I thought it was good for playing the stage win but my directeur sportif told me there was a hard battle starting behind us between the big-named riders. When they caught us, the rhythm was extremely high."

Pinotti crossed the line in 19th position, just one minute after Stefano Garzelli which means the T-Mobile rider is in good position to be aggressive at the final time trial from Bardolino to Verona next weekend.

Is Dupont France's climber in the making?

By Jean-François Quénet

France's climbing hope;
Photo ©: Jean-François Quénet
(Click for larger image)

The Ag2r rider present in the group of the maglia rosa towards the end of stage wasn't the expected Rinaldo Nocentini but young Frenchman Hubert Dupont who finished 18th together with Marco Pinotti.

"At the first (king of the) mountain prize, I was very badly positioned," Dupont said after the stage. "I had to put in a crazy effort to find my place again in the peloton. I didn't expect such a hard race so early in the stage."

One year after John Gadret (who is expected to be Ag2r's mountain sensation in the coming Tour de France) placed in the top ten in two hilly stages of the 2006 Giro, the 26 year-old Dupont, who started his career with RAGT two years ago, has pleased his team with his finish at Bergamo.

The rider from Lyon says his success on Saturday inspires him to make another attempt to do well in the mountains. "It was nice to be up there with the big guns of the Giro," Dupont said. "This race is my main goal of the year. I'm freed from riding for GC now (he's 27th with 23:15 deficit, ed.), so I'll try and catch another breakaway in the last week. I can only do it in the mountains; It suits me better than the flat stages where I get tired quickly."

Tinkoff pleased with Petrov's mountain TT

By Gregor Brown

Evgeni Petrov (Tinkoff Credit Systems)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Team president Oleg Tinkov commented on Evgeni Petrov's good performance in the mountain time trial. The Russian Tinkoff rider opened the chase for a birthday victory with an excellent time on the first intermediate, then lost half a minute to Marzio Bruseghin on a final stretch (the team boss thinks it happened because of a wrong gear choice).

"It's a great pity Evgeni didn't make him a great birthday present like this," said Oleg Tinkov, "Anyway, he gave it all in an even battle of the strongest. Johan Bruyneel phoned me up to express his admiration of Petrov's performance, and I value his praise high as he's a great expert. I think Petrov has never been as strong as now, and it's very important for me that he's reached this peak with my team. I don't believe though, it's his absolute maximum, he's just turned 29 and will be even stronger next year."

As to Petrov's prospects for a high finish in Milan, I'm sure, barring accidents, he'll make top-10; he's absolutely capable of top-5; top-3 would be fantastic..."

Previous News   Next News

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2007)