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83rd Giro d'Italia - GT

Italy, May 13 - June 4, 2000

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Stage 10 - May 23: San Marcello to Padova, 257 km

Quaranta cruises to outstanding win

By Gabriella Ekström, correspondent

Francesco Casagrande
Photo: © AFP
As already mentioned, the stage today was just another day at the office for the riders, even if it ended with one the coolest sprints seen this year. The day started with a climb up Abetone, where the race finished yesterday. Luis Oran Castenada from Vitalicio Seguros broke away early and brought nine other riders with him over the top, there among Karsten Kroon, the Rabobank rider wearing the green jersey and Felix Raphael Cardenas from Kelme, who also crossed the summit of Abetone first.

Karsten Kroon later crashed heavily, but was able to rejoin the peloton with some cuts and bruises, and a bandaged left arm. The break was neutralized, and the pace really tranquil for most of the day. The Italians chatted away with the cameras and those who suffered from yesterday's stage took it very easy. Just when you started to think that this stage needed some action, and longed for a break a la McKenzie, a Linda McCartney rider attacked. Today it was Italian Maurizio Di Pasquale, and he took Daniele Contrini from Liquigas and Evgeni Seniouchkine from Panaria-Gaerne with him.

The three riders were chased by a number of others, like Paolo Valoti from Mobilvetta, together with Andrea Ferrigato from Fassa Bortolo and Mariano Piccoli from Lampre, and later also Koos Moerenhout from Farm Frites. Contrini won the Intergiro sprint, ahead of Di Pasquale and Seniouchkine, but when his little group had a 50 seconds gap to the peloton, Mercatone Uno decided to close the gap down. The yellow team went to the front with eight guys, among them Pantani, and neutralized the break with thirty kilometers to go.

After the break was brought back, everything calmed down again, and no rider got a gap bigger than a few hundred meters during the following thirty minutes. Saeco, Mobilvetta and Farm Frites were in charge of the peloton with ten kilometers ago. Fassa Bortolo's Dario Frigo punctured with less than ten k's to the finish, and had to work hard to get back to the speeding peloton. It wouldn't be too convinient for him to lose a lot of time like this, as he is one of the riders Fassa Bortolo would like to see high in the G.C.

With five kilometers to go, Farm Frites riders Michel Lafis and Wim Vansevenant had taken over much of the work at the front. Lampre had a few guys right behind them, and so had Saeco. Lampre found themselves at the front much too early today, and worse was that they had Saeco perfectly placed behind them.

A late attack came from Mercatone Uno's Fabiano Fontanelli, and he was the first rider under the red flag, but was caught by Saeco's Dario Pieri right afterward. Lampre had no riders but Svorada left in the last kilometer, so he had to do the sprint on his own. Cipo' looked perfectly placed, but no-one payed much attention to Quaranta, who was sitting a few wheels down.

Quaranta went really early, and came from far behind, and Cipo' (who looked like the winner) never saw him coming. Even if he had seen him coming, it isn't likely that the outcome would have been different. Quaranta performed a fabulous sprint, the best one this Giro, and was never threatened by Svorada or Cipollini.


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