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Pearl Izumi

85th Giro d'Italia (GT)

Italy, May 11-June 2, 2002

Stage profile    Start list    Results

Stage 2 - May 13: Cologne-Ans/Liege, 209 km

Start time: 12:00 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:15 CEST

Complete Live Report

Welcome to Cyclingnews.com's live coverage of the second stage of the Giro d'Italia, which takes place from Kln (Cologne) in Germany to Ans/Liege in Belgium. The finish of today's 209 km stage is very similar to that used in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic which was held just over three weeks ago. The cte de St Nicolas followed by the final climb to Ans is almost identical to LBL. However the preceding 195 km is not, and there could well be another bunch sprint to decide the stage.

In pink today is Mario Cipollini (Acqua e Sapone) who rode superbly yesterday to pick up enough bonus seconds to move him into the overall lead. His closest rival is Phonak's Matthias Buxhofer who placed fourth in the prologue.

There was one non-starter today: Michele Bartoli, who abandoned yesterday due to a crash in which he fractured his right femur. There were two more abandonments during the stage: Cedric Fragniere (Phonak) and Saulius Ruskys (Gerolsteiner). The latter's withdrawal will really hurt Gerolsteiner's chances in the sprint.

Weather today: cool but sunny with a light wind.

14:45 CEST
Today's stage has been a little more active than yesterday's procession. After a very well attended and popular start, the attaces began after 7 kilometres. None of them managed to stay away for long though. The most successful have come from Lotto riders Thierry Marichal and Ief verbrugghe. Marichal attacked after 16 km and establish a maximum lead of 1'25 before he was caught at 32 km.

Ief Verbrugghe (brother of Rik) was the next to go and managed a 1'00 lead before being caught by Colombians Freddy Gonzalez (Selle Italia-Colombia) and Hector Mesa Mesa (Formaggi Trentini). The Colombians are obviously out to make an impact in this year's Giro, with Gonzalez taking the first mountain points at Kleinhau, followed by Verbrugghe and Mesa.

Gonzalez dropped back to the group and the other two continued on, and now have a 4'40 lead. The average speed after two hours of racing was a moderate 37.8 km/h.

15:10 CEST - 102 km
The riders have just reached the halfway point of today's stage, which also corresponds to the German/Belgian border. The gap between the peloton and the breakaways has stablised to 4'30, with the Acqua e Sapone team controlling the pace in the bunch. Question is, can they keep it together all the way to the finish to keep Mario in pink?

15:25 CEST - 110 km
The Acqua e Sapone tempo has decreased the advantage of the two breakaways, Ief Verbrugghe (Lotto) and Hector Mesa (Formaggi-Trentini). It has now been reduced to 3'52 with around 90 kilometres left to ride.

A key point again in today's stage is the Intergiro sprint, located at kilometre 179. The first three riders across the line get a 6, 4 and 2 second bonus, which is taken off their time in the general classification. There is also an Intergiro classification, but this is run off a different bonus second system just to make things fun: 30, 24, 18, 14, 9, and 4 for the first six across the line. These seconds only count in the Intergiro classification, and have no bearing on the overall GC.

15:37 CEST - 120 km/79 km to go
The pace has picked up in the peloton as they approach the feed zone at Malmedy. Three A&S boys lead the way, now just 3'15 behind Mesa and Verbrugghe.

The weather is perfect today - around 21 degrees, sunny, and not too much wind. The breakaway riders are fighting a losing battle though, as they will be caught well before the Intergiro.

15:50 CEST - 130 km/69 km to go
The peloton takes a break to refuel, but the three Acqua e Sapone riders are till taking their turn on the front, followed by Lampre and Saeco. The average speed so far is 36.89 km/h.

Paolo Bettini (Mapei), one of the favourites for today's stage, has moved up to the front.

16:02 CEST - 137 km/62 km to go
The gap has come down to 2'15 between the peloton and the two breakaway riders Ief Verbrugghe (Lotto) and Hector Mesa Mesa (Formaggi Trentini). Ief attacked after 25 km, and has been in the lead for over 110 km. He is now the virtual leader of the race, but they don't award prizes for that unfortunately.

16:13 CEST - 149 km/60 km to go
The peloton can almost see the two now, as they lead by 1'20 with 60 km to go. Still 30 km until the Intergiro, and they should be caught before then. The main peloton is still quite large, and has not strung out yet. All the sprinters: Cipollini, McEwen and Brown are noticeable near the front.

16:23 CEST - 153 km/56 km to go
The pair is finally caught after over 125 kilometres in the lead. The next action will come in just over 20 kilometres with the Intergiro sprint.

One rider in trouble is Index-Alexia's Ivan Quaranta, who goes off the back of the peloton on this long steady climb. He is helped back by three teammates, in the hope that he will do something in the finish or in the coming stages.

16:30 CEST
A fall takes out Alessio's Ivan Gotti, Bo Hambruger (Index-Alexia), and Julio Perez Cuapio (Panaria) into a ditch. Gotti gets up and starts chasing back on, and should make it as the peloton is not racing hard yet.

Average speed is 37.175 km/h.

16:38 CEST - 45 km to go
Perez Cuapio succeeds in his bid to rejoin the peloton, the memories of life in a Belgian ditch hopefully behind him. Gotti is back as well, which is good news for the 1997 and 1999 winner. In front, it's Gerolsteiner and Saeco setting some sort of a tempo, but there's no urgency yet.

16:51 CEST - 35 km to go
The Intergiro is getting closer as the sprinters try to move up. Graeme Brown (Panaria) wearing the purple points jersey is having a tough time of it as the road goes up. At 75 kg/1.77m, Brown is no lightweight, but he is very quick. He grimaces, but is not in as much trouble as Quaranta, who is off the back again.

16:57 CEST - 175 km/34 km to go
The Coast and Phonak teams lead the peloton towards the Intergiro sprint. Fabrizio Guidi (Team Coast) gets it from Strazzer (Phonak) and Sciandri (Lampre). Cipollini did not contest it.

16:59 CEST - 179 km/30 km to go
The Gerolsteiner team gets back on the front for Davide Rebellin, who will be good in this sort of finale. But now there's an attack from Yaroslav Popovych (Colnago-Landbouwkrediet). The U23 World Champion is joined by Aart Vierhouten (Lotto).

17:03 CEST - 182 km/27 km to go
Popovych and Vierhouten increase their lead to 15" on this descent, but the peloton is getting restless. The Mapei-Quick Step team move to the fore for their top men, Paolo Bettini and Stefano Garzelli. It's going to be tough for these two riders to stay away.

17:08 CEST - 185 km/24 km to go
The leaders work well together, but cannot resist the momentum of the peloton, which has pegged the gap back to under 10 seconds. But it's a good move, as this is not an easy finish. Acqua e Sapone have also got some of their team near the front.

17:11 CEST - 189 km/20 km to go
Gerolsteiner and Acqua e Sapone are at the front as they go under the 20 km to go banner, but Popovych and Vierhouten are still holding their lead.

Now Saeco's Alessio Galetti goes a big turn on the front, really stretching the peloton. He has plenty of Saeco teammates behind him, presumably to ensure that Simoni stays out of trouble. Fassa Bortolo is up there as well for Casagrande.

17:16 CEST - 192 km/17 km to go
A flat tire for Michael Rasmussen (CSC-Tiscali), who will have a lot of trouble getting back to the lead group, which is shedding riders quickly. Ivan Gotti is in trouble too, sitting just behind Jeremy Hunt at the back of the peloton. Popovych and Vierhouten have been caught, as Gerolsteiner, Mapei, Saeco and Fassa Bortolo continue to make the pace.

Gotti is finally dropped.

17:21 CEST - 194 km/15 km to go
With 15 km to go, the peloton is still over 100 riders, now led by the Coast team. Frank Hoj and Fabrizio Guidi are their main men for the day. The riders are almost on the parcours of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, where they will ride the final 11 km.

Daniele Nardello (Mapei) gets a flat tire.

17:25 CEST - 199 km/10 km to go
Nardello is going to have trouble getting on, as the bunch hit 100 km/h on the descent into Liege. They're now on the LBL parcourse, and the Lotto team takes over.

17:28 CEST - 202 km/7 km to go
They're strung out approaching the Cote de St Nicolas. Detilloux does the work for Lotto, followed by Vierhouten. Can Rik Verbrugghe get away?

Cipollini and McEwen are well placed, as they hit the hill.

Casagrande attacks on St Nicolas. Bettini goes with him, then Verbrugghe and Kessler.

17:30 CEST - 204 km/5 km to go
Garzelli is there too, and watches Casagrande. The six leaders are Garzelli, Verbrugghe, Casagrande, Kessler, Boogerd and a Kelme rider. Casagrande is over the top first followed by Garzelli.

Bettini has a mechanical at the worst possible time...

17:30 CEST - 205 km/4 km to go
Santiago Perez is the Kelme rider. He is one of the six leaders with 4 km to go. Boogerd, Verbrugghe, Casagrande, Garzelli and a CSC rider - Hamilton.

A few others join them for the final climb to Ans. Kessler and Vicioso. Mario Cipollini's group is at 25".

17:35 CEST - 208 km/1 km to go
Cipollini''s group is getting closer to the leaders, which are about 10 riders. Will he limit the damage enough?

17:38 CEST - 209 km/0 km to go
Simoni has problems following on this last climb, as 30 riders join together to contest the sprint. It looks as though Cipollini has lost too much time.

Perez leads for Kelme, with Casagrande in second wheel. The sprint is long and uphill. Garzelli is next to Casagrande, and follows him and gets him before the finish. Casagrande is second. That means that Garzelli is the new maglia rosa.


1 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step         5.25.12
2 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
3 Jens Heppner (Ger) Team Telekom
4 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
5 Tyler Hamilton (USA) CSC-Tiscali
6 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank
7 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
8 Cadel Evans (Aus) Mapei-Quick Step                 0.03
9 Michailov Kalilov (Ukr) Colombia-Selle Italia
10 Juan Carlos Dominguez (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems
11 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Team Coast
12 Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi
13 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Acqua e Sapone

General classification after stage 2

1 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
2 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Team Coast                    0.13
3 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                  0.19
4 Juan Carlos Dominguez (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 0.21
5 Matthias Kessler (Ger) Team Telekom                0.23
6 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 
7 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo           0.31
8 Mikhaylo Khalilov (Ukr) Colombia-Selle Italia      0.33
9 Matthias Buxhofer (Aut) Phonak Hearing Systems     0.34
10 Cadel Evans (Aus) Mapei-Quick Step                0.37
11 Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi            0.41
12 Andrea Noe (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
13 Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank
14 Daniele De Paoli (Ita) Alessio 
15 Serguei Gontchar (Ukr) Fassa Bortolo
55 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) Lampre
59 Marco Pantani (Ita) Mercatone Uno                 1.44



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