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Photo ©: Schaaf

News for May 31, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Giro d'Italia news

Cadel Evans
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

The 85th Giro d'Italia is not over yet, and it won't be decided until Saturday's time trial from Cambiago to Monticello Brianza. Today's second Dolomite stage was a killer, 60 kilometres longer than yesterday's and run in hot and humid conditions. A five and a half hour prelude set things up for an exciting finale over the Santa Barbara and Passo Coe climbs, with several of the favourites losing big time today.

As Pavel Tonkov attacked was riding towards the stage win on the final climb, there was carnage behind him in the leading group. First to go was Dario Frigo (3rd on GC), followed by Aitor Gonzalez (4th) and then with 9 kilometres to go, maglia rosa Cadel Evans, who simply ran the engine dry and had to finish the stage at a tourist pace in the company of his two teammates Andrea Noe and David Dario Cioni. Still, Evans' performance in his first grand tour did more than raise a few eyebrows - he showed he has got what it takes.

Then there was the battle for the maglia rosa between Tyler Hamilton and "best of the rest" Paolo Savoldelli. 'Il Falco' flew up the final kilometres of the Passo Coe to put 1'50 into Hamilton and take the jersey, with Caucchioli getting in between to move into 2nd on GC and Hamilton 3rd at 1'28.

On paper, Hamilton looks to be the favourite for Saturday's 42.9 km time trial. But he needs to put 1'28 into Savoldelli, who will have the advantage of being Italian and in the maglia rosa. It could well be a brains vs. brawn match for the final GC of the 85th Giro d'Italia.

Stage 17 full results & report
Live report

Post stage comments

Pavel Tonkov (Lampre, 1st stage)

Pavel Tonkov
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

"I am not finished as a rider and I wanted to show it. I've had so much bad luck these past few years. This season, I returned to Lampre and I feel good there. At the beginning of Giro, I was about at 70 percent of my best because of bronchitis. I had trouble recovering. It is a pity because I've gone well in the third week."

"In this stage, I was afraid of Perez Cuapio after the attack he made on the Marmolada (stage 16). But he was not confident, he told me that we would not make it. I finished by telling him 'Ciao, ciao'."

"Now, I will think of the Tour de Suisse and the Vuelta. Last year, I had prepared to ride it. But I did not find a team after the problems of Mercury (Tonkov's team in 2001). This is a victory that I dedicate to my wife and my son, Alexandre, who was born at the beginning of the Giro. He is my second child. I am very happy with the thought of seeing my family in Spain very soon".

Paolo Savoldelli (Index-Alexia, 1st GC)

Paolo Savoldelli
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

"I've been very close (to the Maglia Rosa) a few times, so today is a great satisfaction for me, even to have the Maglia Rosa for one day. I never thought of this when the stage started today; I was just trying to not lose time to riders who were stronger than me. When I made my move, I saw Evans in trouble and so did Hamilton. He went and I followed him. I passed Hamilton and thought he was on my wheel but when I looked around, I could see he was hurting too so I literally sprinted for almost a kilometre. Later I paid for it."

"Compared to 1999, when I finished second in the Giro, I've improved in the mountains. I am undoubtedly not as strong against the clock."

"To win the Giro? It's simple: it is necessary me to be in front of Hamilton after the time trial. On that day, I can do well or badly. It is one month that I will remember. May 7 was my 29th birthday. In the morning, I lost my wallet. In the evening, my partner told me that she was pregnant".

On Cadel Evans: "I am in my 6th Giro and I've ridden 3 Tours de France; even though Evans had a bad day today, he's done great things in this Giro."

Dario Frigo (Tacconi, 33rd stage)

"I lost 15 minutes on the last climb. I didn't bonk today; my legs just weren't going - so maybe three weeks of racing aren't for me."

Dr Aldo Sassi (Mapei manager)

"Cadel hasn't really prepared for a three week race; he was supposed to peak for (Tour of) Romandie and help Garzelli at the Giro."

Maglia Rosa bio: Paolo Savoldelli

Date of Birth: May 7, 1973
Place of birth: Clusone (Lombardy, Italy)
Height: 1.80 m
Weight: 72 kg
Teams: Roslotto (1996-1997), Saeco (1998-2001), Index-Alexia (2002)



2 stages Tour de Romandie


1 stage + overall Tour de Romandie


2nd overall Giro d'Italia
TrophŽe Laigueglia
1 stage Giro d'Italia
3 stages + overall Giro del Trentino


Giro del Trentino
9th overall Giro d'Italia


1 stage Hofbrau Cup

A new team for Pantani?

Marco Pantani, who abandoned in stage 16 of the Giro, is talking about a new team for next year, as Mercatone Uno will probably not renew its sponsorship. "My team hasn't been invited to the Tour de France because I'm no longer a competitive rider," he conceded.

"I don't understand what happened in this Giro. I had trained more than for the other Giros d'Italia. Tests showed that the motor was good. Maybe I should have undergone mental tests. In this profession, serenity is essential, and I have not been in that situation."

"It's because of my absences in the big stage races that Mercatone Uno is pulling out (of sponsorship). I'm going to work to rebuild a new team with a new sponsor. My fans still believe in me. Cycling has always been generous to me, so I have to give something back."

Pantani, 32, won the Giro d'Italia in 1998, the same year in which he won the Tour de France. His last big win was the stage to Courchevel in the 2000 Tour de France.

Melchers and Zijlaard-Van Moorsel in separate World Cups

Team Farm-Frites Hartol's top two riders, Mirjam Melchers and Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel will compete in two separate World Cup races this weekend. On Sunday June 2, Melchers will race in Montreal for the 6th round of the road World Cup. Although there will be no other Farm Frites-Hartol riders present, she will have the help of Sharon van Essen, Areke Hassink (National Team) and Powerplate-Bik's Andrea Bosman.

Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel will be riding in Moscow for the third round of the track World Cup. She will race the 3000m individual pursuit, but will not start in the points race.

Wicklow 200 Classic

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

Ireland's Premier Leisure Cycle Challenge, The Wicklow 200 Classic is down for decision on June 16th. The event is often spoken in the same vein as a mountain stage in the Tour de France. Of course you don't have to take a bike to France, but you can participate here in the 'Garden County of Wicklow.'

The Challenge is approx (and I like this piece) 126 miles. Approx. means that you can go off at 7 am and get back within the given time for leisure cycle by 8 o'clock that evening.

The organisers are the Irish Veteran Cyclists Association. This year is the 20th edition of the event, and if one was to say that many have run similar events, unfortunately they have not stood the test of time, because success is not achieved overnight.

The Vets are in a celebratory mood and to mark the occasion of the 20th edition all participants will be presented with a unique souvenir quality racing jersey. The press blurb is adamant, and rightly so, that this is not an offer to be passed up. The jersey will be a badge of honour to be worn with pride on every cycling occasion. Of course as per nom for these cycling occasions the goody bag is always a bonus.

Naturally that will be a carrot for participation but the organisation stress that pre-registration is a must and June the 4th is the cut off date. Late entries will find to their peril (if they are accepted) that a penalty charge will be obligatory and unfortunately they will not be guaranteed some of the awards that will be presented on the day. Late entries cause headaches and are not welcome because this is a voluntary promotion run in a professional manner. So the organisation has to buy in before the event for the requisite number that have pre-entered.

Entries and enquiries to the event organiser, Dick O'Brien, at 24, Dowland Road, Walkinstown, Dublin 12. Telephone is (01) 4558216 or e-mail

The start and finish is the National Basketball Arena, Tymon Park, Dublin South. The event starts at 7 am and the maximum time for competing the '200' is 13 hours.

Also according to the blurb, 'The Feel Good Factor' is a request to collect sponsorship for the Bone Marrow for Leukaemia Trust at St. James's Hospital, Dublin. The Unit now carries out an average of 70 transplants per year, thus overcoming the need for patients to seek alternative treatment abroad. So go on, feel good by doing good and you will enjoy the Wicklow Challenge even more.

Ayala and Cady join Team Dare

The riders from the Schroeder Iron team - Victor Ayala and Ryan Cady - have joined Team DARE for the remainder of the season. The two new riders will join another former Net Zero/Schroeder Iron rider, Gregg Medinilla, in Team DARE, and will add a great deal of strength to the team.

They will also fill the hole in the team's roster created by the departure of Josh Goodwin, who went to another local team, and Haldane Morris who is not racing this season.

Serotta Women's Cycling adds Bisaro and Morse

North America's youngest elite-level women's racing team, Serotta Women's Cycling, got even younger today with the addition of two new team members, Ivana Bisaro and Meghan Morse.

Bisaro, 24, is a four-time Collegiate National Champion on both road and track; the Courtenay, British Columbia native first began competing as a teenager, but this is her first full season of road racing. Among her 2002 results are a gold medal in the Collegiate National Team Time Trial, top-ten finishes in both the Collegiate National Road Race and Criterium, and 21st in a strong international field at the recent Saturn-Timex Women's Classic.

Morse, a 20-year old from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a second-year collegiate racer who has made tremendous strides over the past twelve months, winning four collegiate events and finishing fifth in the Collegiate National Criterium. As with Bisaro, this will be Morse's first full season of USCF racing.

They will join the trio of Ashley Kimmet (Bethlehem, PA), Rebecca McClintock (Boulder, CO), and Grace Taylor (Carthage, NC) in regional and national-level events, including the First Union Liberty Classic, Fitchburg Classic, and Elite Road Nationals, for the remainder of the 2002 season.