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83rd Giro d'Italia - GT

Italy, May 13 - June 4, 2000

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Stage 17 - May 31: Meda to Genoa, 224km

Alvaro not Igor

By Gabriella Ekström, correspondent

Alvaro Gonzalez
Photo: © AFP
Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano from Spanish team Vitalicio Seguros attacked just before the Intergiro sprint of the day. Unlike the attack yesterday that also came before the Intergiro, Gonzalez de Galdeano managed to stay away over and after the sprint. The popular rider from Cantina Tollo, Danilo 'Di Caprio' Di Luca abandoned the stage, suffering from tendonitis in his left achilles.

Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano won the mountain prize at the top of Creto di Montoggio, and had a gap of seven minutes at maximum. Now when he has reached the outskirts of Genova, his gap has decreased to three minutes. Behind him rides a group of four, Dimitri Konyshev from Fassa Bortolo, still wearing the maglia ciclamina, Mariano Piccoli from Lampre, always an aggressive attacker, Max Sciandri from Linda McCartney and Paolo Fornaciari from Mapei. Outside the city they were a minute ahead of the peloton, but when they cross the line for the first time, they're only ten seconds ahead of the bunch.

The riders will follow the promenade along the beautiful beach in Genova up and down three times, six kilometers every lap. As usually it is the teams with a good or decent sprinter who are interested in bringing everybody back together. The group with Sciandri is already eliminated, but is their enough racing time left for them to reach Gonzalez de Galdeano?

The Spaniard follows the empty beach with the ash grey sand. Genova is a very beautiful city, even though the cloudy weather doesn't invite to any sun bathing today. Palms follow the long beach walk, and the pavement is made by coloured bricks laid in big patterns. Two laps to go now, and the gap has decreased from 2.21 to 1.48 during this lap. Looking good for Galdeano. His Vitalicio Seguros team has sent three man to the top of the peloton, and they're doing anything but chasing. When he passes the line to enter the final lap, he still has 1.08 to the chasing bunch. He is very tired and his head is awry, but his long day will soon be over. A lone rider breaks away from the peloton, he is from Linda McCartney. It is Macca!

Two others try the same, Mobilvetta's Milan Kadlec and Selle Italia's Freddy Gonzales sway across the road just ahead of the chasing FDJ's and the braking Vitalicio's. They're not gonna make it, and the same goes for Macca. Rabobank realizes that Galdeano wont be caught unless somebody does something, and they send four guys to the front to make way for De Jongh. A stubborn rider from Vitalicio fights himself up alongside them and finally in among them. Order is restored. Gonzalez de Galdeano will win this today. He throws his hands in the air with over 500 meters to go, for once satisfied with the fact that the peloton underestimated him.


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