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58th Giro Della Provincia Di Reggio Calabria - 1.3

Italy, March 8, 2003

1998 Results    Results    Past winners

No time wasted: Gonzalez wins first race of season

By Tim Maloney, European Editor

For his debut in Fassa Bortolo colours, Spanish rider Aitor Gonzalez showed why he's considered one of the top talents in the sport of cycling today with a solid solo victory in the 58th edition of the Giro Della Provincia Di Reggio Calabria. Having been cleared by the UCI last week to race for Fassa Bortolo, after a long and bitter dispute with Domina Vacanze team over team transfer rights, Gonzalez didn't waste any time showing that he likes racing in Italy with his win, which may foreshadow his goal for the 2003 season, the Giro d'Italia.

"I'm happy to win today and really surprised, too!", an obviously pleased Gonzalez told Italian TV in a post-race interview. And Fassa Bortolo doubled their pleasure today in Reggio Calabria with the bunch sprint win by Pippo Pozzato in 2nd place.

Run across the toe of the Italian boot, it has been five years since the Giro Della Provincia Di Reggio Calabria was run, but Giro organizers have added this race to Trofeo Panatalica on Sunday and Trofeo de l'Etna on Tuesday for a three race series in southern Italy and Sicily. Starting in warm and windy weather conditions in Stilo, the race headed south along the Ionian sea coastline, then climbed west across the toe of Italy and once again headed south along the Tirrenean coast to the provincial capital of Reggio Calabria, with a strong tailwind keeping the pace high in the final 80km. There were numerous attacks all day, but nothing stuck for long until the final climb of Melia, where Sicilian pocket climber Paolo Tiralongo (Panaria-Fiordo) got a 20" gap by the summit with 28km to go.

A strong chase behind kept Tiralongo in check, but when Aitor Gonzalez made his move on the descent from Melia, he quickly bridged up to Tiralongo. When they hit the rolling coast road, Gonzalez made his solo move and dumped Tiralongo, and that turned out to be the race winning move. Try as they might behind, Alessio, Saeco and Domina Vacanze chased hard to try and pull back Gonzalez, but the 28 year old winner of the 2002 Vuelta España and the final TT stage of the 2002 Giro showed why he is one of the best riders in today's peloton to hold them off, with impressive strength and sang froid.

With 8km to go, Gonzalez had increased his lead to 34", but eventually the chasers began to pull him back. Entering the final 500m, Gonzalez was still in command of the situation and as he crossed the line for his first win in Fassa Bortolo colours, Gonzalez's bullfighter's salute showed that the classy Spaniard was clearly back to his winning ways.

Results - 194 km

1 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Fassa Bortolo               5.10.53 (37.44 km/h)
2 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                         0.01
3 Fabio Baldato (Ita) Alessio
4 Paolo Bossoni (Ita) Sidermec
5 Uros Murn (Slo) Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave'
6 Miguel Martin Perdiguero (Spa) Domina Vacanze-Elitron
7 Oscar Mason (Ita) Sidermec
8 Francesco Bellotti (Ita) Team Scanavino
9 Daniele Righi (Ita) Lampre
10 Graziano Gasparre (Ita) De Nardi-Colpack
11 Cristian Gasperoni (Ita) Team Scanavino
12 Roberto Petito (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
13 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
14 Vladimir Duma (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
15 Massimiliano Mori (Ita) Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave'
16 Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Tenax
17 Oscar Pozzi (Ita) Tenax
18 Ruggero Marzoli (Ita) Alessio
19 Raffaele Illiano (Ita) Colombia-Selle Italia
20 Gianluca Sironi (Ita) Sidermec
21 Sergiy Adyeyev (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
22 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Team Saeco
23 Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita) De Nardi-Colpack
24 Jamie Burrow (GBr) Amore & Vita-Beretta
25 Vladimir Miholievic (Cro) Alessio
26 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Team Saeco
27 Ivan Basso (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
28 Alexandre Shefer (Kaz) Team Saeco
29 Timothy Jones (Zim) Amore & Vita-Beretta
30 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Team Scanavino                       0.07
31 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
32 Sergio Barbero (Ita) Lampre                                0.09
33 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) Fassa Bortolo                         0.17
34 Andrea Noe' (Ita) Alessio
35 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
36 Scott Davis (Aus) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
37 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
38 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
39 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Domina Vacanze-Elitron
40 Massimiliano Gentili (Ita) Domina Vacanze-Elitron
41 Massimo Giunti (Ita) Domina Vacanze-Elitron                0.33
42 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave'            0.44
43 Raffaele Ferrara (Ita) Alessio
44 Andrea Tonti (Ita) Team Saeco                              8.03
45 Simone Masciarelli (Ita) Sidermec
46 Cristian Pepoli (Ita) Team Saeco                           9.00
47 Fabiano Fontanelli (Ita) Team Scanavino                    9.30
48 Hernan D. Munoz (Col) Colombia-Selle Italia
49 Biagio Conte (Ita) Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave'
50 Marco Milesi (Ita) Sidermec
51 Claudio Lucchini (Ita) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
52 Salvatore Scamardella (Ita) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
53 Maximilian Sciandri (GBr) Lampre
54 Joaquim Castelblanco (Col) Colombia-Selle Italia
55 Bo Hamburger (Den) Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave'
56 Andrea Masciarelli (Ita) Sidermec
57 Enrico Cassani (Ita) Alessio
58 Massimo Codol (Ita) Team Scanavino
59 Igor Pugaci (Mda) Team Saeco
60 Ondrej Fadrny (Cze) De Nardi-Colpack
61 Volodymyr Bileka (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
62 Mauro Facci (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
63 Andrea Moletta (Ita) Team Scanavino
64 Sergei Lelekin (Rus) Tenax
65 Marco Serpellini (Ita) Lampre
66 Cristiano Frattini (Ita) Tenax
67 Mirko Marini (Ita) Tenax
68 Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave'
69 Marcus Knopfle (Ger) Tenax                                12.00
70 Mikhail Timochine (Rus) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
71 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Lampre
72 Przemyslaw Niemec (Pol) Amore & Vita-Beretta
73 Leonardo Giordani (Ita) De Nardi-Colpack
74 Mauro Gerosa (Ita) Sidermec
75 Andrea Brognara (Ita) Alessio
76 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Fassa Bortolo
77 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Fassa Bortolo
78 Ruslan Gryschenko (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
79 Mauro Zanetti (Ita) Tenax
80 Luca De Angeli (Ita) Colombia-Selle Italia
81 Claudio Bartoli (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
82 Jose Rujano (Ven) Colombia-Selle Italia
83 Vincenzo Di Falco (Ita) Team Scanavino
84 Devis Miorin (Ita) De Nardi-Colpack
85 Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita) Team Saeco
86 Michele Gobbi (Ita) De Nardi-Colpack
87 Giacomo Battistel (Ita) Amore & Vita-Beretta
88 Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Alessio
89 Eddy Serri (Ita) Team Scanavino
90 Santo Anza (Ita) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
91 Eddy Ratti (Ita) Lampre
92 Charles Wegelius (GBr) De Nardi-Colpack
93 Nicola Gavazzi (Ita) Team Saeco

Starters: 125
Classified: 93

Past winners

1998 (2) Michele Bartoli (Ita)
1996 Michele Bartoli (Ita)
1993 (2) Andrea Ferrigato (Ita)
1992 Davide Cassani (Ita)
1991 Andrea Ferrigato (Ita)
1990 Giuseppe Saronni (Ita)
1989 Adriano Baffi (Ita)
1988 Moreno Argentin (Ita)
1987 Tony Rominger (Swi)
1986 Guido Bontempi (Ita)
1985 Silvano Ricco (Ita)
1984 Alfredo Chinetti (Ita)
1983 Pierino Gavazzi (Ita)
1982 Ricardo Magrini (Ita)
1981 Alfio Vandi (Ita)
1980 Gianbattista Baronchelli (Ita)
1979 Giovanni Battaglin (Ita)
1978 Knut Knudsen (Nor)
1977 Costante Conti (Ita)
1976 Enrico Paolini (Ita)
1975 Giuseppe Perletto (Ita)
1974 Francesco Moser (Ita)
1973 Wladimiro Panizza (Ita)
1972 Franco Bitossi (Ita)
1971 Gianni Motta (Ita)
1970 Walter Godefroot (Bel)
1969 Vittorio Adorni (Ita)
1968 (3) Michele Dancelli (Ita)
1967 (2) Michele Dancelli (Ita)
1966 Michele Dancelli (Ita)
1965 Adriano Durante (Ita)
1964 Diego Ronchini (Ita)
1963 Ercole Baldini (Ita)
1962 Luigi Sarti (Ita)
1961 Dino Bruni (Ita)
1960 Guido Carlesi (Ita)
1959 Waldemaro Bartolozzi (Ita)
1958 Angelo Conterno (Ita)
1957 Gastone Nencini (Ita)
1956 (2) Giuseppe Minardi (Ita)
1955 Rino Benedetti (Ita)
1954 Giuseppe Minardi (Ita)
1953 (2) Luciano Maggini (Ita)
1952 Gino Bartali (Ita)
1951 Luciano Maggini (Ita)
1950 Fausto Coppi (Ita)
1949 Sergio Pagliazzi (Ita)
1945 Giovanni Corrieri (Ita)
1931 Learco Guerra (Ita)
1930 Luidi Marchisio (Ita)
1929 (2) Felice Gremo (Ita)
1928 Felice Gremo (Ita)
1926 (2) Nello Ciaccheri (Ita)
1923 Nello Ciaccheri (Ita)
1922 Angelo De Francesco (Ita)
1920 Mario Giorgianni (Ita)
Past winners by Mario Stiehl,