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88th Giro d'Italia - PT

Italy, May 7-29, 2005

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Rest Day 2 - May 24: Lissone

Rest day wrap-up: Life in the mountains

By Les Clarke

Cliché warning: Baby-faced assassin ahead!
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After the drama of the opening nine stages, this year's Giro contenders have hit their stride as the mountains arrived. As expected, most of the sprinters have called time and said arrivederci to fair Italia, although a few bunch gallops have proven fruitful for Ale-Jet. Davitamon-Lotto's wily super-sprinter Robbie McEwen put his hand up for stage win #3, and CSC's great GC hope, Ivan Basso, almost put his hand up for the broom wagon.

Danilo Di Luca continues to be a threat on GC, trailing leader Paolo Savoldelli by a meagre 25 seconds, and Lampre-Caffita men Simoni and Cunego aren't far behind either. But it's Discovery's 'secret' weapon, Paolo Savoldelli, who has been living up to his nickname 'il Falco' and flying up the testing mountain passes in the Dolomiti. For fans of Ivan Basso, it's been a tragedy: after his surge through GC during the time trial and the opening mountain stages, Basso fell ill and struggled on Stage 13, a tough slog over six GPMs.

Many people assumed Di Luca would struggle with the upward tilt in the road, but how wrong that's proven to be. Although not at the pointy end of the field during the first mountain stage, he's been able to stick like the proverbial adhesive to the overall leaders - with great support by fellow Liquigas man Dario Cioni, who is currently ninth on GC, meaning that Liquigas are the only team with two riders in the top 10.

No more dummie spits, confrontations or finish-straight crashes, but plenty of mountains and subsequent exit stage left scenarios for the sprinters; not before they had a chance to hit out on a couple of finishes, particularly stages 10, 12 and 15. It's the climbers, however, that have controlled proceedings at the vital times - up the climbs, where the race can be won or lost.

Stage 10 - May 18: Ravenna - Rossano Veneto, 212 km

Bottoms up, Robbie
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In the last sprinter's stage before the (dreaded) arrival of the peloton in the mountains, Robbie McEwen sent out another clear signal that Petacchi wasn't going to take the sprinter's prize at the '05 Giro easily. McEwen pulled off a textbook bike throw, psyching out Petacchi on the way to his third stage win after some strong teamwork from the Davitamon-Lotto boys Gates, Vogels, Vierhouten and Brandt.

No big changes on GC, as expected, and it was time to hit the high stuff and see who had the goods to deliver in the Dolomiti with Stage 11 testing out the rider's legs for the first time.


Stage 11 - May 19: Marostica - Zoldo Alto, 150 km

Thumbs up for the pink jersey
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Although it was Discovery's Paolo Savoldelli that took the stage win, stage 11 remained the 'day of the Basso' as the CSC rider staked his claim for control of the Giro overall. Basso took the maglia rosa, with a lead of 18 seconds over il Falco, with previous leader Danilo Di Luca losing over a minute to Basso.

Di Luca, the 'surprise packet' of this year's race, appeared to struggle leading up to the finish in Zoldo Alto, and it looked like Giro Phase II would be a slip down the leaderboard after a great start. But he wasn't done yet. Discovery Channel DS Johan Bruyneel summed it perfectly: "Basso is the strongest uphill and is the favourite, but there is still a long way to go in this Giro d'Italia." How right he's proven to be.


Stage 12 - May 20: Alleghe - Rovereto, 178 km

Get your hands up if you're a winner!
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Ahhh, you've got to love it when a champion bounces back, and Alessandro Petacchi did that on stage 12, taking a comfortable bunch finish which belied the fact he was hurting from the previous stage - "Today I was in pain all day, yesterday's stage was still in the legs. It wasn't a walk." commented the Fassa fast man after the win.

Basso sat pretty in pink during the stage, and with the sprinters all lining up the finish in Rovereto, the GC contenders were kept quiet, particularly on the Passo di S Pelligrino, the standout climb of the day. After there it was a downhill run home, with Petacchi making the most of his train's excellent work to bring his tally of wins to two, one behind Robbie McEwen.


Stage 13 - May 21: Mezzocorona - Ortisei, 218 km

Climbs mountains, can't open bottles of champagne...
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It was time for the little men to rise up and grow several thousand metres as they faced six GPMs, the largest being the Passo di Sella, at 2244m, on stage 13. Traditionally this is where riders such as Gilberto Simoni have come to the fore, and it was little Colombian, Ivan Parra, who did his fellow Colombians proud by dominating in the heart of the Dolomiti Mountains for an emotional stage win.

Four minutes back on the stage was Savoldelli, who took the maglia rosa from Ivan Basso, putting 50 seconds into his fellow Italian. Basso clearly struggled on the stage, finishing over five minutes behind Parra at the finish in Ortisei. Savoldelli proved himself worthy of the race lead, and looked strong going into stage 14, which included the Stelvio pass.

Australians Robbie McEwen, Baden Cooke and Stuart O'Grady didn't take to the start in Mezzocorona, whilst Liquigas GC contender Stefano Garzelli was also absent. This is a clear indication that the mountains men now have the floor and as the race progresses we'll see who speaks the loudest.


Stage 14 - May 22: Egna - Livigno, 210 km

Savoldelli came to the fore on stage 14
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Big stages call for big performances, and Ivan Parra doubled his money with a second consecutive stage win on stage 14, which covered the famous Passo dello Stelvio. The 2758m monster is the highest point in the 2005 Giro, and this stage was no doubt the highest point in Parra's career, taking the win by almost two minutes, with a standout performance by Danilo Di Luca. Di Luca did enough to put himself in fifth on the stage, moving into second on GC, with Savoldelli still ahead by 25 seconds.

Lampre's Gilberto Simoni, who has been surprisingly quiet leading up to and during the event, moved into third overall, keeping a stealthy eye on the top men over the two weeks. Some say he's too old, but his performances tell a different story so far.


Stage 15 - May 23: Villa di Tirano - Lissone, 154 km

Familiar sight?
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Starting at altitude, Stage 15 was a downhill gallop, shortened by 50km, to Livigno, where Mr Petacchi proved himself a true stayer by taking his third stage win after enduring some tough miles in the mountains. With a wet finish it wasn't easy; once again, however, the Fassa train was able to reel in any token attacks in the final kilometres; a guided tour of Lissone for Ale-Jet in the last kilometre enough to get him over the line for win number three.


And coming right up...Stages 16 - 20: May 25 - May 29

With no major incidents or illness, GC remains largely unchanged heading into the final five stages - and with the finish in Milan calling out to them, the racing's sure to get a little crazy. Petacchi will be gunning for more wins on stages that'll undoubtedly end in fast finishes - and it's anyone's race at the top of the overall standings. Savoldelli still holds 25 seconds over Di Luca, who's proven to be a great revelation during this Giro. Experienced campaigner Simoni is 1'48 down on il Falco, and very well positioned to charge at the Discovery comeback kid with stages that encourage attacking riders.

Basso has now fallen well and truly by the wayside, and the young man on everyone's lips before the start in Reggio Calabria, Damiano Cunego, may find it a little too difficult to make up the eight-minute deficit currently facing him. Tomorrow's stage will be an opportunity for those willing to flex their sprinting muscles to do so, with a reasonably flat stage into Varazze. It's then onto Stage 17, where those with an attacking bent will be sure to have a go before the mountaintop finish in Limone Piemonte, after a tough little 30km rise.

On Stage 18, a crucial 34km individual time trial awaits, before the brutal ninteenth stage that includes the Colle della Finestre, an 18.5km giant waiting to rip the legs off riders already tired after 18 days of racing. This will be the ultimate selection stage, with a 45km climb up to Sestrieres as a 'softening up' for the riders before they hit the Finestre. And we all know the final stage means celebration time, albeit with a bit of token racing from some sprinters and maybe the odd attack or two. You can catch all the action - and there'll be plenty of it - on Cyclingnews, with all the latest news, results and live reports.


General classification after Stage 15

1 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team      70.54.09
2 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi                              0.25
3 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita                               1.48
4 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir                      2.11
5 Jose' Rujano Guillen (Ven) Selle Italia-Colombia                   2.18
6 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Credit Agricole                            3.25
7 Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) Domina Vacanze                               4.05
8 Emanuele Sella (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare                     5.50
9 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi                           6.40
10 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Illes Balears                              6.44
11 Markus Fothen (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                  6.51
12 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                              7.01
13 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Caffita                               8.03
14 Daniel Atienza Urendez (Spa) Cofidis-Le Credit Par Telephone      8.11
15 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Liberty Seguros-Wurth Team                 9.39
16 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                  11.14
17 Wim Van Huffel (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto                             11.26
18 Unai Osa Eizaguirre (Spa) Illes Balears                          11.48
19 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Domina Vacanze                              11.57
20 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Domina Vacanze                             13.48
21 Matthias Kessler (Ger) T-Mobile Team                             15.58
22 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) Phonak Hearing Systems                      18.06
23 Ivan Parra (Col) Selle Italia-Colombia                           18.24
24 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Rabobank                                 19.55
25 Patrice Halgand (Fra) Credit Agricole                            20.02
26 Francisco J Vila Errandonea (Spa) Lampre-Caffita                 20.43
27 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare               21.56
28 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Liberty Seguros-Wurth Team                28.36
29 Guido Trentin (Ita) Cofidis-Le Credit Par Telephone              32.35
30 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step                                   33.03
31 Laurent Lefevre (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                           33.56
32 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare                    35.37
33 Theo Eltink (Ned) Rabobank                                       38.11
34 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare                  38.45
35 Francesco Bellotti (Ita) Credit Agricole                         38.47
36 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC                                        39.53
37 Evgeni Petrov (Rus) Lampre-Caffita                               41.43
38 Steve Zampieri (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems                      42.31
39 Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) Liquigas-Bianchi                       43.27
40 Christophe Brandt (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto                          45.14
41 Johann Tschopp (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems                      45.19
42 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Credit Agricole                        46.25
43 Mauricio Alberto Ardila Cano (Col) Davitamon-Lotto               47.23
44 Andrea Noe' (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi                               47.59
45 Ruben Lobato Elvira (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir                   49.27
46 Cristian Moreni (Ita) Quick.Step                                 49.41
47 Joan Horrach Rippoll (Spa) Illes Balears                         52.01
48 Andrea Tonti (Ita) Lampre-Caffita                                56.46
49 Charles Wegelius (GBr) Liquigas-Bianchi                        1.00.59
50 Luis Felipe Laverde Jimenez (Col) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare    1.01.08
51 Jan Schaffrath (Ger) T-Mobile Team                             1.02.16
52 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir                       1.04.45
53 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                 1.05.02
54 Roberto Laiseka Jaio (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                   1.08.28
55 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC                                   1.12.26
56 Koldo Gil Perez (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Wurth Team               1.14.30
57 Marius Sabaliauskas (Ltu) Lampre-Caffita                       1.15.31
58 Dariusz Baranowski (Pol) Liberty Seguros-Wurth Team            1.17.05
59 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Lampre-Caffita                           1.20.07
60 Erik Zabel (Ger) T-Mobile Team                                        
61 Pavel Padrnos (Cze) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team         1.21.15
62 Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank                                1.22.03
63 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Lampre-Caffita                           1.22.32
64 Christian Werner (Ger) T-Mobile Team                           1.24.11
65 Cedric Vasseur (Fra) Cofidis-Le Credit Par Telephone           1.27.12
66 Jan Hruska (Cze) Liberty Seguros-Wurth Team                    1.28.55
67 Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi               1.31.47
68 Sven Montgomery (Swi) Gerolsteiner                             1.33.04
69 Cyrille Monnerais (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux                     1.39.09
70 Carlos Dacruz (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux                         1.39.19
71 Javier Ramirez Abeja (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Wurth Team          1.41.32
72 Addy Engels (Ned) Quick.Step                                   1.42.04
73 Michael Blaudzun (Den) Team CSC                                1.44.25
74 Sandy Casar (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux                           1.46.51
75 Manuele Mori (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir                        1.47.51
76 Daniel Schnider (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems                   1.48.37
77 Jose Luis Carrasco Gamiz (Spa) Illes Balears                   1.48.46
78 Andrea Peron (Ita) Team CSC                                    1.49.57
79 Rene' Andrle (Cze) Liberty Seguros-Wurth Team                  1.50.09
80 Ruslan Ivanov (Mda) Domina Vacanze                             1.50.30
81 Peter Luttenberger (Aut) Team CSC                              1.50.33
82 Angel Gomez Gomez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir                   1.50.36
83 Giovanni Lombardi (Ita) Team CSC                               1.52.47
84 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Rabobank                                   1.53.21
85 Raffaele Illiano (Ita) Selle Italia-Colombia                   1.53.26
86 Volodymyr Bileka (Ukr) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team      1.54.25
87 Christophe Kern (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                         1.57.30
88 Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Fassa Bortolo                           1.58.09
89 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Quick.Step                               2.01.52
90 Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Domina Vacanze                        2.04.17
91 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                   2.04.48
92 Michael Barry (Can) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team         2.05.01
93 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                        2.05.14
94 Marcel Strauss (Swi) Gerolsteiner                              2.05.28
95 Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Credit Agricole                       2.06.40
96 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                               2.06.44
97 Marco Velo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                                 2.07.48
98 Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (Mex) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare     2.08.33
99 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir            2.08.58
100 Walter Beneteau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                        2.10.45
101 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Domina Vacanze                         2.11.41
102 David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC                                2.12.23
103 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare               2.12.41
104 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Cofidis-Le Credit Par Telephone         2.13.31
105 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Rabobank                                2.15.13
106 Christian Vandevelde (USA) Team CSC                           2.15.22
107 Uros Murn (Slo) Phonak Hearing Systems                        2.15.37
108 Olivier Bonnaire (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                       2.15.54
109 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Quick.Step                               2.16.12
110 Leonardo Scarselli (Ita) Selle Italia-Colombia                2.16.18
111 Andrea Moletta (Ita) Gerolsteiner                             2.16.25
112 Benoit Joachim (Lux) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team       2.17.33
113 Lilian Jegou (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux                         2.19.13
114 Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Credit Agricole                        2.20.42
115 Jose' Antonio Garrido Lima (Spa) Quick.Step                   2.21.12
116 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Credit Agricole                         2.21.13
117 Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                          2.21.49
118 Gregory Rast (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems                     2.22.28
119 Matthew White (Aus) Cofidis-Le Credit Par Telephone           2.22.37
120 Massimo Codol (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                             2.23.13
121 Dario Andriotto (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi                        2.24.16
122 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                            2.25.09
123 Antonio Cruz (USA) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team         2.25.22
124 Bram Schmitz (Ned) T-Mobile Team                              2.26.15
125 Antonio Tauler Lull (Spa) Illes Balears                       2.27.49
126 Davide Bramati (Ita) Quick.Step                               2.27.56
127 Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                    2.28.13
128 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Cofidis-Le Credit Par Telephone        2.28.38
129 Bjoern Leukemans (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto                        2.29.32
130 Andre' Korff (Ger) T-Mobile Team                              2.29.42
131 Sergio Escobar Roure (Spa) Illes Balears                      2.30.17
132 Sven Krauss (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                2.30.27
133 Marco Milesi (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi                           2.30.47
134 Jason McCartney (USA) Discovery Channel-Pro Cycling Team      2.31.03
135 Fabio Baldato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                             2.31.06
136 Isaac Galvez Lopez (Spa) Illes Balears                        2.31.42
137 Ignacio Gutierrez Cataluna (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems       2.33.14
138 Henk Vogels (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto                             2.33.57
139 Franck Renier (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                          2.34.31
140 Roy Sentjens (Bel) Rabobank                                   2.34.56
141 Rony Martias (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                           2.35.12
142 Robert Forster (Ger) Gerolsteiner                             2.35.15
143 Simone Cadamuro (Ita) Domina Vacanze                          2.35.26
144 Paride Grillo (Ita) Ceramica Panaria-Navigare                 2.37.25
145 Sascha Urweider (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems                  2.38.27
146 Brian Vandborg (Den) Team CSC                                 2.39.46
147 Eric Baumann (Ger) T-Mobile Team                              2.40.01
148 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Francaise Des Jeux                         2.40.03
149 Mads Christensen (Den) Quick.Step                             2.40.17
150 Matthew Wilson (Aus) Francaise Des Jeux                       2.43.54
151 Unai Etxebarria Arana (Ven) Euskaltel-Euskadi                 2.44.15
152 Paolo Fornaciari (Ita) Lampre-Caffita                         2.45.43
153 Aurélien Clerc (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems                   2.48.08
154 Philippe Schnyder (Swi) Selle Italia-Colombia                 2.49.14
155 Trent Wilson (Aus) Selle Italia-Colombia                      2.50.55
156 Moreno Di Biase (Ita) Selle Italia-Colombia                   2.51.00
157 Frank Hoj (Den) Gerolsteiner                                  2.52.35
158 Mathieu Claude (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                         2.57.12
159 Russel Van Hout (Aus) Selle Italia-Colombia                   3.12.56

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