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86th Giro d'Italia - Grand Tour

Italy, May 10-June 1, 2003

Main Page     Stage Profile    Start List    Latest Live Report

Stage 10 - May 20: Montecatini-Faenza, 200 km

Complete Live Report

Start time: 11:39 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:00 CEST

Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the 10th stage of the Giro d'Italia. Today could be an exciting day, as the race tackles a 200km course with four GPM climbs and one InterGiro sprint. This could be a day for a breakaway to decide the outcome, although nothing is assured. The summit of the final climb comes 22 kilometres before the finish, so there should be a fast plunge towards the line.

Stefano Garzelli starts the day once more in the maglia rosa of race leader, while Mario Cipollini can begin the day knowing that his chances today may be slim, but he has impressed the world by equalling and then surpassing the all time stage victory record of Alfredo Binda. From this point on, it's the record of Mario Cipollini.

14:30 CEST
It's been an aggressive start to the racing today, and in advance of the InterGiro sprint a group of some 16 riders went clear, with a five man chase group on its heels. At the InterGiro sprint in Cavallina, Kelme's Constantino Zaballa Gutierez was first across the line.

The group of 16 now has a 1'50" advantage over the peloton.

14:50 CEST 95 km to go
One rider did not take the start today, Gerolsteiner's Daniele Contrini. At kilometre 98 in the stage, Aussie Brett Lancaster called it quits.

Meanwhile, four riders chasing the leaders have been rejoined by the main group. These four are Magnus Bäckstedt (Team fakta), Cristian Moreni (Alessio), Moreno Di Biase (Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave), and Maruo Zanetti (Tenax). Up front, the lead group's advantage over the peloton has gone up to 3'20".

Also, the first GPM was taken by Fredy Gonzalez of Colombia-Selle Italia.

15:00 CEST 90 km to go
Reader Sven Donkers has reminded us that today is the birthday of Kelme's sprinter Isaac Galvez Lopez, who just turned 28. A happy birthday to Isaac, even if a sprint win will be a difficult gift to come by.

The lead group still has nearly three and a half minutes over the peloton. The race averaged 37 km/h in the first three hours of racing. Things have settled down a bit now after an opening hour which saw repeated attacks until the big break finally stuck.

15:08 CEST 88 km to go
Approaching the second climb of the day, the Colle Carnevale, the break is holding its advantage. No clarification yet on just who is in this move besides the four chasers who joined, and Gonzalez, who took the first GPM.

15:30 CEST 72 km to go
Through the feed zone, and the leading group built on its lead slightly, increasing the gap to 3'40" over the main field.

The composition of the lead group is as follows: Arvesen, Bileka, Bruseghin, Carrara, Cioni, Gonzalez, Gryschenko, Iliano, Lanfranchi, Lunghi, Nocentini, Scholz, Bertognelli, Tiralongo, Vila, and Zaballa.

15:35 CEST
Team fakta's Kurt Atle Arvesen said yesterday that today's profile was tailor made for him. Fakta has been riding aggressively in this year's Giro, and Magnus Bäckstedt has been looking for opportunities in both the breaks and the bunch sprints.

15:42 CEST
The leading group is hovering around the 3 minute mark over the main field. Two riders within this group, Fredy Gonzalez and Constantino Zaballa, are battling for control of the king of the mountains competition. Gonzalez, who has gotten the better of Zaballa at the GPM sprints today, currently has the edge.

The leaders are descending some winding, narrow roads and Gryschenko is having a bit of trouble hanging onto the back of the group.

15:48 CEST, 58km to go
In the main field, the pace is high and many of the top sprinters, including Cipollini, are actually dropped and riding in a group well over a minute behind.

The climbs today are not enormous, but there is very little in the way of flat roads on today's course.

Stefano Garzelli is riding comfortably at the front, well protected by his Vini Caldirola teammates.

15:55 CEST, 53 km to go
The leaders are climbing another of the unclassified climbs. Despite the fact that there are only four GPM climbs, a number of relatively short but steep climbs are causing plenty of pain. Lanfranchi and Gonzalez of Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo are doing a lot of work setting the pace in the lead group of 16.

Casagrande and Tonkov are riding near the front of the peloton, lending a hand to Garzelli's team in keeping the break's gap in check.

16:00 CEST, 50 km to go
The race is continuing at a brisk pace, and the lead group of 16 is doing well to push forward with their advantage. The concern is evident in the main field, as Gilberto Simoni has sent his Saeco team to the front to carry on with the chase. The gap now is around 2'40".

16:02 CEST, 47 km to go
Fassa Bortolo's Dario Cioni is grabbing bottles and some fuel from the team car at the back of the break. The leaders will have to still work quite hard to hold off the chase from behind, though their advantage is steady for the moment.

16:07 CEST, 44 km to go
The gap is slowly coming down, and stands now at 2:28 between the break and the peloton.

Saeco's Leonardo Bertagnolli, the highest placed rider on GC in the break, has actually decided to try a move off the front of the lead group. He's quickly opened up a gap on a small climb.

16:10 CEST, 42 km to go
Bertagnolli's attack has not had the intended effect. The Saeco rider probably wanted to trim down the break a bit and get rid of a few riders, but instead he's been caught and all coordination in the break has disappeared for the moment. The Saeco rider is once more at the front trying to push the pace back up, but for the break to stay away they'll have to work together. Bertagnolli's just jumped again.

16:14 CEST, 40 km to go
The break is once again climbing one of the final hills of a very tough parcours. Fassa Bortolo's Bruseghin has decided to take his turn in setting the pace, even as Bertagnolli continues to put in his own accelerations.

Gilberto Simoni has decided at the same time to liven things up in the main field and he's attacked the group! Garzelli's Vini Caldirola team was riding at the front, and they'll have to up the pace and work to bring Simoni back. Simoni's flying now, climbing out of the saddle.

16:18 CEST, 38 km to go
Simoni is still away, and is actually closing the gap on the back end of the break. He's closed a 2'30" gap in virtually no time. But at the same time, his teammate Bertagnolli has attacked again off the front of the break. Simoni's really looking strong. Whether this will get him any time today is not clear yet, but he's putting Garzelli under some serious pressure and Garzelli's team is crumbling a bit at the front of the main field.

16:22 CEST, 36 km to go
Simoni currently sits in 2nd on GC, just 31" behind Garzelli. The break now is shattered. Zaballa is attacking on the climb as well, and the group is spread out all over the road.

16:28 CEST, 29 km to go
At the moment it's Constantino Zaballa of Kelme who is out alone and leading the race. He's descending well on another extremely narrow and technical descent. The main field has been reduced to around 30-40 riders, thanks to the aggressive riding of Simoni and the difficulties of the hills at the end of today's course.

Simoni is around 25" ahead of Garzelli and the first peloton. Zaballa is still out front, and it may indeed be Simoni who's the second man on the road. What has happened to the remnants of the break is not yet clear.

16:31 CEST, 26 km to go
Charly Wegelius (De Nardi-Colpack) has gone down in a turn on a quick descent, and he's up but clearly in a lot of pain. He looks to have landed heavily on his back side, but he should be back on the bike soon. Wegelius was in Garzelli's group at the time.

Zaballa continues his push, committed to going for the stage win on his own.

16:35 CEST, 25 km to go
The situation now is that Zaballa has 1'16" over Simoni, who himself is about 24" ahead of the Garzelli group. Simoni is now picking off the remnants of the initial break, some of whom were still hanging on behind Zaballa. They're on the Monte Trebbio climb now, which is a fairly tough climb, particularly after today's racing.

Simoni has now caught Fredy Gonzalez, who has wrapped up a lot of GPM points today thanks to the repeated climbing.

16:38 CEST
Zaballa is still clear on his own, as Simoni is in a small group with the final members of the break, including Arvesen, Gonzalez, and his teammate Bertagnolli, who will try to help Simoni however he can.

Simoni now has 58" over Garzelli, who has lost almost all of his teammtes and now has to take the chase in his own hands.

Bertagnolli is leading Simoni at the moment, which is a good performance by Bertagnolli given his attacks in the break in the last hour.

16:40 CEST, 23 km to go
Garzelli is now completely isolated and under a lot of pressure. Casagrande has attacked him, and Noe, Tonkov, Popovych, and others are right on his will.

Bertagnolli and Simoni are working on bringing back Zaballa. They've wiped out the Kelme rider's 1'30" advantage are are almost on his wheel. Simoni's on fire today, and could be racing into the pink jersey. They're about 1km from the summit of the Monte Trebbio.

16:43 CEST, 22 km to go
The Saeco duo of Bertagnolli and Simoni are still hammering, although now it's Simoni who's setting the pace as Bertagnolli tries to hang on with his leader. They've caught Zaballa and also let Arvesen onto the group to add a little horsepower.

16:46 CEST
At the GPM sprint, Zaballa has come across in last position because Simoni has forced the pace so much. Paolo Tiralongo is the other member of this lead group, so up front we have Simoni, Bertagnolli, Zaballa, Arvesen, and Tiralongo.

And just as we say that, Arvesen begins to drop off the pace at the summit and so does Bertagnolli. Tiralongo and Simoni are the two forcing the pace.

16:49 CEST
Garzelli is working hard and has pulled back some time, now just 42" behind Simoni. Casagrande and Noe are in the Garzelli group, but the responsibility is clearly on the shoulders of the pink jersey to lead the chase.

Arvesen is back with the leaders, so there are four riders flying towards the finish: Simoni, Bertagnolli, Tiralongo, Arvesen.

Behind, Marco Pantani and Dario Frigo are rejoining the first chase group after beind tailed off a bit on the Monte Trebbio.

16:55 CEST, 19 km to go
The chase group has swelled considerably, and is steadily pulling back Simoni's move. In fact, Casagrande has put in another attack from the chase to keep the pace high, and also keep Garzelli under pressure. Popovych and Tonkov appear to also be keeping themselves at the head of this group.

17:00 CEST, 15 km to go
The break and chase alike are flying down more winding descents. The four leaders are still clear, clinging to their advantage. Pantani is trying to rejoin the Garzelli group after having some trouble keeping pace on the descent and almost missing a turn.

The chase group is quite close to the leaders now, and Garzelli has most likely salvaged his race lead.

17:04 CEST, 10 km to go
The chase group of Stefano Garzelli is around 20" behind Simoni and company. Casagrande continues to force the pace, although the riders in the chase have left the majority of the work to the isolated race leader, Stefano Garzelli.

Pantani looks like he did in fact go down in one of the turns. He's rejoined the chase, but was looking at his elbow and may be a bit scraped up.

17:07 CEST, 6 km to go
The four leaders are still clear, just barely. Casagrande has Rumsas and Belli working with him in the chase, while Garzelli is happy to have some others helping out.

The gap from the leaders is about 18". It went up a bit after the final descent, and these four are giving everything they can to hold on to the finish.

17:09 CEST, 4 km to go
The chase is losing a bit of steam as coordination dwindles in the crucial final kilometres. Garzelli wants to keep the jersey, but he's had a tough run today chasing the opportunist Simoni.

The four leaders are looking good for the finish.

17:11 CEST, 2 km to go
Arvesen, who remember yesterday predicted a stage made for him today, could be the best bet for a sprint win if the four stay away. Tiralongo has plenty of motivation as well, and of course Simoni will want the glory and the precious 20" time bonus for a stage win.

17:12 CEST, 1 km to go
Simoni's brave move looks to have worked, at least for some time gains. The break should stay clear. Now, who will win the sprint?

Simoni has just launched the first attack in the final kilometre!

17:14 CEST, Finish
Simoni's attack looked good, but Arvesen comes and takes the sprint, as predicted!

The chase group comes in, and it looks like Garzelli might be out of pink. With a time bonus, Simoni should be in the lead by 2".

1 Kurt Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team fakta-Pata Chips        5.34.23
2 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo          0.01
3 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Team Saeco                        
4 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Team Saeco                   0.10
5 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo        0.26 
6 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Domina Vacanze-Elitron  
7 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Fassa Bortolo   
8 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
9 Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJeux.com          
10 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Lampre                    
11 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo            
12 Georg Totschnig (Aut) Gerolsteiner               

General classification after stage 10

1 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Team Saeco                     46.25.55
2 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola-SO.DI              0.02
3 Andrea Noe' (Ita) Alessio                                0.56
4 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Alessio                          1.38
5 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) CCC-Atlas-Polsat                      1.52
6 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago          1.58




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