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Pearl Izumi
Limar helmets

85th Giro d'Italia (GT)

Italy, May 11-June 2, 2002

Stage profile    Start list    Results

Stage 1 - May 12: Groningen-Munster, 215 km

Start time: 12:00 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:40 CEST

Complete Live Report

Welcome to Cyclingnews' coverage of the first stage of the Giro d'Italia, a 215 kilometre journey from the starting town of Groningen (Netherlands) to Köln (Germany). The first 66 kilometres will be through Dutch territory, while the remainder will be in Germany. The stage is flat and finishes with three 5 km laps in Munster.

The riders have had to deal with a headwind today, and there has been no hurry to get to Munster. The first hour saw 32.4 kilometres covered, while the second hour saw a total of 69 kilometres covered. That means that the riders are 30 minutes behind the slowest schedule at this point.

Only one rider didn't start after yesterday's prologue, and that was Slovenian Gorazd Stangelj (Fassa Bortolo). Stangelj crashed during the prologue and broke his collarbone, and will be out for the rest of the month.

15:15 CEST - 120 km

Not a great deal has happened today, due to the headwind and the slightly damp conditions. A crash after 49 kilometres saw Mapei's Paolo Bettini and Cadel Evans hit the ground, along with Gabriele Colombo (Acqua e Sapone). However there were no serious consequences, and the riders are back in the still compact peloton.

The first sprint was won by Belgian Marc Streel (Colnago-Landbouwkrediet), from Columbian John Fredy Garcia (Selle Italia), with Belgian Kurt Van Lancker (Lotto) in third.

15:30 CEST - 128 km

The 197 rider peloton is still together with less than 100 kilometres to go in the stage. Some riders are still taking "nature stops" so the pace obviously isn't on yet. The Phonak team is visible near the front, but race leader Dominguez is back with Pantani and his Mercatone Uno team. Perhaps they're planning a coup?

15:45 CEST

It's early to say yet, with two hours of racing left, but it looks quite likely that today's stage will finish in a bunch sprint. The big favourite to win is of course Mario Cipollini (Acqua e Sapone) who could get close to the pink jersey today. Then there is Robbie McEwen (Lotto), whose wife Angelique has just given birth to a baby boy, and has cause to celebrate. He's quick too, as he has shown this year.

Others include Phonak's Massimo Strazzer, possibly with more motivation after his team's win yesterday. Ivan Quaranta, Moreno Di Biase, Danilo Hondo and Stefan van Dijk are all sprinters to watch.

A fall brings down a few riders, with some equipment changes necessary. Most are chasing back on through the convoy, and should regain the peloton.

16:00 CEST - 80 km to go

Today's stage was actually lengthened to 220 kilometres after the organisers were forced to reroute the peloton due to some bad roads. Another reason why they're behind schedule. Still no signs of any racing yet, but any moment now...

After four hours of racing, the average speed is 34.6 km/h.

16:15 CEST - 70 km to go

The pace picks up as Mario cipollini's Acqua e Sapone zebra squad goes to the front. Three of them are trying to lead out Cipollini for the Intergiro time bonus sprint. Robbie McEwen (Lotto) also moves up, as he has a chance of gaining the pink jersey too.

McEwen now gets on the Lotto train, which is running side by side the Acqua e Sapone boys. Saeco is making a move on the left hand side as well.

16:27 CEST - 12 km to go until Intergiro

The pace is still high, with Cipollini's team controlling things, with the help of Lotto-Adecco. Everyone wants the bonus seconds on offer in the Intergiro sprint. Colpack is also doing a bit of work on the front.

16:39 CEST - 54 km to go

The whole Acqua e Sapone team is at the front with one goal in mind. The Intergiro sprint is won by, you guessed it, Mario Cipollini (6 seconds bonus). Second is Pettachi (Fassa Bortolo) and third is another Acqua e Sapone rider - Giovanni Lombardi. If Cipollini wins the stage, he will take the maglia rosa by one second.

Pavel Tonkov (Lampre) has problems with something stuck in his cassette, but the Lampre mechanic removes it with the help of a screwdriver.

16:50 CEST - 48 km to go

The peloton has slowed down again after the Intergiro, the results of which are now official: 1. Cipollini (6" bonus), 2. Petacchi (4"), 3. Lombardi (2"). That puts Cipollini within 9 seconds of Dominguez' lead. A stage win is worth 10 seconds.

Denis Bondarenko (Formaggi Trentini) is the first rider to attack, and he is chased by a Phonak rider and the rest of the peloton, who will no doubt close the gap.

16:59 CEST - 42 km to go

There is definitely more urgency in the group now, as they can sense the finish after this very long stage. Saza Gajicic (Formaggi Trentini) falls in the middle of the road, but is not too badly hurt and gets back on his bike. No-one has attempted to attack, and the peloton is rolling as one towards the finish in Munster.

17:08 CEST

Another fall: Gert Verheyen (Rabobank), Gian Mario Ortenzi (Mercatone Uno) and Paolo Lanfranchi (Index-Alexia). All riders are unhurt, and regain the peloton which is now being led by Gerolsteiner, presumably for either Sven Teutenberg or Saulius Ruskys.

17:20 CEST - 15 km to go

The peloton is now in Munster, still all together and riding the three 5 km laps that will finish this stage. The crowds in Munster are huge, a testament to the efforts of the organisers in this city who have heavily promoted the event.

Parts of the course are cobbled, but the roads are otherwise quite good. 15 km to go, with Gerolsteiner on the front.

17:25 CEST - 11 km to go

They're approaching two laps to go and the Gerolsteiner trio at the front have really lifted the pace. Also at the front are Team Coast and Telekom - all the German teams. Danilo Hondo (Telekom) won two stages last year, and will be very motivated today.

But Cipollini's team is right behind them.

17:28 CEST - 8 km to go

Averaging around 52 km/h over these final laps, the peloton is lined out for its first bunch sprint in this year's Giro. Team Telekom are now at the front with over a lap to go, as the Acqua e Sapone team moves up on the outside. Also well placed are Frank Hoj (Team Coast - 9" behind Dominguez) and Robbie McEwen.

17:33 CEST - 5 km to go

One lap to go, and it's Lotto's Aart Vierhouten leading the way with teammate McEwen on his wheel. Then there is Cipollini's teammate Mario Scirea. Cipo himself is not far behind.

Team Coast takes over the pace making for Fabrizio Guidi, but then Martin Derganc comes through for A&S. He has five or six teammates with him, and they mean business. Quaranta is trying to get Cipollini's wheel, but McEwen wants it too.

17:37 CEST - 2 km to go

Two kilometres left, and McEwen and Guidi are riding a keirin race in 5th wheel. Both want the wheels of the zebra boys.

A fall at the back takes out Fabio Sacchi and another Saeco rider. Also Konyshev. It causes a split in the peloton, with about 30 in the leading group.

17:39 CEST - 0 km to go

Cipollini gets a perfect leadout in the last kilometre. McEwen is on his wheel, then Hondo and Strazzer. Lombardi hits out into the last corner with Cipo on his wheel. Perfect - Cipollini gets it and the maglia rosa. McEwen is third. Graeme Brown (Panaria) gets second. Two Aussies and one Italian.

Lombardi may be cautioned for impeding McEwen, who had to go a very long way around before making his run to the line. Cipollini probably had it under control anyway, and Graeme Brown rode a very smart race on Cipo's wheel to take second.

Michele Bartoli (Fassa Bortolo) is stretchered into an ambulance off after a fall - it doesn't look good for him. That's bad luck for the team. Race doctor Tredeci says that he might have a fracture in his right leg.

Of the main GC riders, no-one was hurt in the fall but both Frigo and Casagrande were caught in the second group, that lost 25 seconds. Garzelli and Simoni made it to the front peloton of 28.


1 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Acqua e Sapone       5.37.14
2 Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria
3 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Adecco
4 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Telekom
5 Sven Teutenberg (Ger) Phonak
6 Robert Hunter (RSA) Mapei-Quick Step
7 Miguel Angel Meza (Mex) Colpack
8 Michailov Kalilov (Ukr) Colombia-Selle Italia
9 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Rabobank
10 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Colpack
11 Giovanni Lombardi (Ita) Acqua e Sapone
12 Isaac Galvez (Spa) Kelme

General classification after stage 1

1 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Acqua e Sapone 
2 Matthias Buxhofer (Aut) Phonak               0.11
3 Frank Hoj (Den) Team Coast                   0.12
4 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Adecco             0.13
5 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step         0.20
6 Massimo Strazzer (Ita) Phonak
7 Robert Hunter (RSA) Mapei-Quick Step         0.21
8 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
9 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
25 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco


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