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83rd Giro d'Italia - GT

Italy, May 13 - June 4, 2000

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Prologue - May 13: Vatican, Rome, 4.6 km


Jan Hruska
Photo: © AFP

Jan Hruska won the prologue by a few fractions of a second ahead of one of the main favourites, Paolo Savoldelli. Mario Cipollini's strong ride showed his ambitions to grab the pink leader's jersey via bonus seconds on the early stages.

Ivan Gotti, last year's winner did not reach top 25 but he has never been a top time trialler. Marco Pantani was not able to make it among the top 130 among the 179 riders. One rider was missing. 1994 winner Evgenij Berzin (Mobilvetta) did not pass the blood test.

Erik Dekker, the ITT-specialist, had a flat tyre in the prologue. He lost too much time changing his wheel and came in 177th, 43 seconds behind Hruska.

Vitalicio's Czech comes good

By Gabriella Ekström, correspondent

Czech Jan Hruska riding for Spanish team Vitalicio Seguros was one of the favourites for the win before the race had started. Hruska showed that his ability to time trial should not be doubted when he took the lead from early starter Jose Enrique Gutierrez of Kelme-Costa Blanca by six seconds. The 26 years old Spaniard, José Enrique Gutierrez is not to be confused with the much younger U23 TT World Champion José Ivan Gutierrez, who rides for non-participating team ONCE.

The prologue was contested on a pretty tricky course, with a lot of sharp corners close to eachother. The fact that most of the course was cobbled didn't help improve the riders comfort either, and more than one rider was grateful that it did not rain. In fact, some of the bigger Italian names wouldn't still be alive if it had been raining. One of them is Mario Cipollini, who appeared in a bright white body suit, to the amusement of his fans and of course his sponsors. Super Mario had clearly set his target for today. He was to win the prologue, or at least finish so close to the winner that he could take over the much wanted maglia rosa at one of the following stages. We know what kind of pink spectacle to expect if that happens. His ride over the 5 kilometer course was somewhat dangerous as he on more than one occassion threatened to rip the spectators of the sidewalks. He did not make the podium, but his efforts still payed off, and Cipollini will be within four seconds reach of the maglia rosa tomorrow.

Another Italian rider who cared more about results than style was Paolo Savoldelli. The 27 years old Saeco rider did not have a smooth ride at all. His knees were pointing out, and his wheels were sliding all over the cobbles, but still he went on to finish second, less than a second behind Hruska. If his bike had gone straight through the corners instead of all over the place, he would had been the winner, but on the other hand, Paolo Savoldelli did not come to win the prologue.

So what happend to the Italians' fallen hero? Did Marco Pantani appear at least. Yes he did, with his golden ear ring and his goateee, but he looked rather pale and sat quietly as he waited for his start. He messed his chain up about midways during the race, and lost about ten seconds, but he finished 40 seconds down on Jan Hruska in 174th place. Marco Pantani was never much of a prologue rider, and it is not possible to tell if he will survive the three week race, or if he has been out of the action for too long, just by watching the prologue.

He still knows how to attract attention though, and he did not seem less popular with the fans. One thing that is certain is that his presence is appreciated by the journalists and the Italian fans, and therefore it is also good for the race.

The last rider rolling off the podium was last year's winner, the sharp nosed Italian from San Pellegrino, Ivan Gotti. In the name of his victory last year he was carrying the pink leader's jersey, but it didn't lift him above his normal time trial level, instead he just travelled through the stage, waiting for the stages to come that will suit him better.

All the riders were checked and blood tested before the start, and there was one rider who did not pass. The winner of the 1994 edition, Evgeni Berzin, riding for Mobilvetta, was found with a too high hematocrit and was not allowed to start.

"I have been a bit ill, and that might have been what brought my hematocrit up." said Berzin. He continued, "I dont think it is legal to judge me without any kind of proof, but that has already happened and I'm not happy about going home in this condition." Berzin was immedeately fired by his team Mobilvetta.


1 Jan Hruska (Cze) Vitalicio Seguros                         5.38 (48.93 km/h)
2 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Saeco-Valli & Valli  
3 Bradley McGee (Aus) La Française des Jeux                  0.01
4 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Saeco-Valli & Valli  
5 José Rubiera Vigil (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca                0.06
6 José Enrique Gutierrez Cataluna (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca  
7 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) Lampre-Daikin                     0.07
8 Mirko Gualdi (Ita) Mobilvetta Design-Rossin  
9 Juan Carlos Dominguez (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros  
10 Servais Knaven (Ned) Farm Frites                          0.08
11 Denis Zanette (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 
12 Marco Velo (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom 
13 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Liquigas-Pata                       0.09
14 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 
15 William Chann McRae (USA) Mapei-Quick Step 
16 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                           0.10
17 Serguei Gontchar (Ukr) Liquigas-Pata 
18 Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros       0.11
19 Simone Bertoletti (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 
20 Marcel Duijn (Ned) Rabobank 
21 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) Mapei-Quick Step 
22 Matthew White (Aus) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec 
23 Dario Pieri (Ita) Saeco-Valli & Valli 
24 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 
25 Daniele Contrini (Ita) Liquigas-Pata                      0.12
26 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 
27 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Francaise des Jeux 
28 Ludo Dierckxsens (Bel) Lampre-Daikin                      0.13
29 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom 
30 Maximilian Sciandri (GBr) Linda McCartney Racing Team 
31 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Polti 
32 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Regain                 0.14
33 Enrico Zaina (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom 
34 Candido Barbosa (Por) Banesto 
35 Mariano Piccoli (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 
36 Tayeb Braikia (Den) Linda McCartney Racing Team 
37 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 
38 Victor Hugo Pena Grisales (Col) Vitalicio Seguros         0.15
39 Sergio Barbero (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 
40 Dariusz Baranowski (Pol) Banesto 
41 Enrico Cassani (Ita) Polti 
42 Cristian Moreni (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 
43 Jeroen Blijlevens (Ned) Polti 
44 Pavel Padrnos (Cze) Saeco-Valli & Valli 
45 Axel Merckx (Bel) Mapei-Quick Step 
46 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca              0.16
47 Andrea Noè (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 
48 Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros 
49 Marco Milesi (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec 
50 Massimo Codol (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 
51 Pascal Richard (Swi) Linda McCartney Racing Team
52 Biagio Conte (Ita) Saeco-Valli & Valli 
53 Andris Nauduzas (Lat) Aguardiente Nectar-Selle Italia 
54 Simone Borgheresi (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom 
55 Grzegorz Gwiazdowski (Pol) La Française des Jeux          0.17
56 Andrea Peron (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 
57 Fabiano Fontanelli (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom 
58 Daniel Schnider (Swi) La Française des Jeux               0.18
59 Niki Aebersold (Swi) Rabobank 
60 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Rabobank 
61 Gianluca Bortolami (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec 
62 Francisco Casagrande (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec        0.19
63 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Rabobank 
64 Ruslan Ivanov (Mda) Amica Chips-Tacconi Sport 
65 Roberto Sgambelluri (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Regain 
66 Jean-Michel Tessier (Fra) La Française des Jeux 
67 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 
68 Fabio Baldato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 
69 Ivan Basso (Ita) Amica Chips-Tacconi Sport                0.20
70 Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 
71 Addy Engels (Ned) Rabobank 
72 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) La Française des Jeux 
73 Ivan Quaranta (Ita) Mobilvetta Design-Rossin 
74 Mario Scirea (Ita) Saeco-Valli & Valli 
75 Andrea Tonti (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Regain 
76 Riccardo Forconi (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom 
77 Orlando Sergio Gomes Rodrigues (Por) Banesto              0.21
78 Bart Voskamp (Ned) Polti 
79 Ivan Gotti (Ita) Polti 
80 Vladimir Duma (Ukr) Ceramica Panaria-Gaerne 
81 Paolo Fornaciari (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 
82 Coen H. Boerman (Ned) Rabobank 
83 Francesco Secchiari (Ita) Saeco-Valli & Valli 
84 Niklas Axelsson (Swe) Ceramica Panaria-Gaerne 
85 Yvon Ledanois (Fra) La Française des Jeux 
86 Koos Moerenhout (Ned) Farm Frites 
87 Roberto Conti (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec               0.22
88 Silvio Martinello (Ita) Polti 
89 Cristian Gasperoni (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Regain 
90 Davide Bramati (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 
91 Dmitri Konyshev (Rus) Fassa Bortolo 
92 Santiago Blanco Gil (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros 
93 Hernan Buenahora (Col) Aguardiente Nectar-Selle Italia 
94 Jan Svorada (Cze) Lampre-Daikin 
95 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Amica Chips-Tacconi Sport 
96 Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Aguardiente Nectar-Selle Italia 
97 Mauro Gerosa (Ita) Amica Chips-Tacconi Sport              0.23
98 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Banesto 
99 Elio Aggiano (Ita) Vitalicio Seguros 
100 Thomas Brozyna (Pol) Banesto
101 Oscar Sevilla Ribera (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
102 Daniele De Paoli (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom             0.24
103 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
104 Mauro Zanetti (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec
105 Eladio Jimenez Sanchez (Spa) Banesto
106 Alessandro Pozzi (Ita) Costa de Almeria
107 Vitali Kokorine (Rus) Amica Chips-Tacconi Sport          0.25
108 Gianpaolo Mondini (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Regain
109 Michel Lafis (Swe) Farm Frites
110 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Farm Frites
111 Ermanno Brignoli (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom
112 Unai Osa Eizaguirre (Spa) Banesto
113 Miquel Van Kessel (Ned) Farm Frites
114 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Rabobank                           0.26
115 Cristiano Frattini (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
116 Franck Perque (Fra) La Française des Jeux
117 Graziano Recinella (Ita) Mobilvetta Design-Rossin
118 Björnar Vestöl (Nor) Linda McCartney Racing Team
119 Ivan Ramiro Parra Pinto (Col) Vitalicio Seguros
120 Mario Manzoni (Ita) Mobilvetta Design-Rossin             0.27
121 Pieter Vries (Ned) Farm Frites
122 Filippo Casagrande (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec
123 Alessio Girelli (Ita) Aguardiente Nectar-Selle Italia
124 Chepe Gonzalez (Col) Aguardiente Nectar-Selle Italia
125 Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita) Amica Chips-Tacconi Sport
126 Enrico Degano (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Gaerne
127 Raul Montana (Col) Aguardiente Nectar-Selle Italia
128 Martin Van Steen (Ned) Farm Frites
129 Filippo Baldo (Ita) Mobilvetta Design-Rossin             0.28
130 Jimmy Casper (Fra) La Française des Jeux
131 Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) Banesto
132 Guido Trenti (USA) Cantina Tollo-Regain
133 Jose Manuel Uria Gonzalez (Spa) Polti                    0.29
134 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
135 Alessio Galletti (Ita) Saeco-Valli & Valli
136 Félix Cardenas (Col) Kelme-Costa Blanca
137 Daniel Clavero Sebastian (Spa) Polti
138 Marco Fincato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                        0.30
139 Matthé Pronk (Ned) Rabobank
140 Luis Oran Castaneda Ramos (Col) Vitalicio Seguros
141 Tom Leaper (Aus) Ceramica Panaria-Gaerne
142 Marco Della Vedova (Ita) Lampre-Daikin                   0.31
143 Antonio Varriale (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Gaerne
144 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Farm Frites
145 Paolo Valoti (Ita) Mobilvetta Design-Rossin              0.32
146 José Javier Gomez Gonzalo (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
147 Stefano Cattai (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
148 Maurizio De Pasquale (Ita) Linda McCartney Racing Team
149 Matthew Stephens (GB) Linda McCartney Racing Team
150 Massimo Donati (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec
151 Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Banesto                           0.33
152 Moreno Di Biase (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Regain
153 Giuseppe Calcaterra (Ita) Saeco-Valli & Valli
154 Andrea Ferrigato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                     0.34
155 Ciaran Power (Irl) Linda McCartney Racing Team
156 Marco Vergnani (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Regain                0.35
157 Diego Ferrari (Ita) Amica Chips-Tacconi Sport
158 Evgueni Seniouchkine (Blr) Ceramica Panaria-Gaerne
159 David McKenzie (Aus) Linda McCartney Racing Team
160 Julio Alberto Perez (Mex) Ceramica Panaria-Gaerne        0.36
161 Luca Cei (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Gaerne
162 Oscar Pellicioli (Ita) Polti
163 Leonardo Scarselli (Ita) Aguardiente Nectar-Selle Italia
164 Marco Zanotti (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
165 Milan Kadlec (Cze) Mobilvetta Design-Rossin              0.37
166 Ricardo Ochoa (Spa) Kelme Costa Blanca                   0.38
167 Domenico Romano (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Gaerne            0.38
168 Ruggero Borghi (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec
169 Ruber Albeiro Marin (Col) Nectar-Selle Italia
170 Massimo Giunti (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Regain                0.39
171 Fredy Martinez (Col) Aguardiente Nectar-Selle Italia
172 Juan José De Los Angeles Segui (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca  0.40
173 Filippo Simeoni (Ita) Amica Chips-Tacconi Sport
174 Marco Pantani (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom
175 José Joaquim Castelblanco (Col) Kelme-Costa Blanca       0.41
176 Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Mobilvetta Design-Rossin
177 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank                               0.43
178 Justina Spinelli (USA) Farm Frites                       0.45
179 Benjamin Brooks (Aus) Linda McCartney Racing Team        0.51

DNS Evgeni Berzin (Rus) Mobilvetta Design-Rossin (failed HCT test)

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