With Dario Frigo fired for doping, there was nobody else to worry about, and Gilberto Simoni could throw caution to the wind and make an audacious 49km solo to get the stage win he felt had been missing from his Giro victory. After this rainy, 181km stage amid dampened spirits, Simoni now leads second-placed Abraham Olano by 7:31.
The riders ascended twice the first-category Mottarone climb rising above the western shore of Lago Maggiore. The first time up, Matthias Kessler broke away, and Danilo Di Luca caught and dropped him. Giuliano Figueras (Panaria) and Marzio Bruseghin (iBanesto.com)
Ina Teutenberg won the New York City Women's Challenge on Saturday. The race in New York is considered a warm-up event for Sunday’s First Union Liberty Classic, the sixth stop on the Women's World Cup Tour.
Teutenberg got the win by taking the final sprint out of a five-woman break. The small group contained Teutenberg her Saturn teammate Kim Davidge, plus Jenny Eyerman (Jane's Cosmetics), and Intersports teammates Elizabeth Emery’ and Erin Carter. That group escaped half way through the race after a solo break by Saturn’s Anke Erlank was absorbed.
In the final sprint, it was Teutenberg
Defending World Cup dual champions Brian Lopes and Anne-Caroline Chausson picked up where they left off last year, winning the opening round races of the 2001 season in Maribor, Slovenia.
More than 10,000 fans lined the course under the lights in Maribor to cheer on racers in the World Cup season opener for dual downhill. Lopes didn’t put down his customary fastest time in the qualifier, so the Californian had tougher than usual competition, including a hard crash with Mickael Deldycke in the semis, to reach the finals against former Volvo-Cannondale teammate Cedric Gracia.
George Hincapie, teammate of two-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, has signed a contract extension with the U.S. Postal team through the end of the 2004 season, it was announced Saturday.
"George has been our team's leader for the World Cup and classic races for the past two years and this year he proved that he can win a big classic race," said the U.S. Postal team's director, Johan Bruyneel, in a statement. "His physical potential is still improving and he can count on all the support of the team in his attempt to win what we consider his race, Paris-Roubaix."
Cyclists in the Giro d'Italia Friday arrived in Alba for the start of the 19th stage Friday, moving to put behind them the events that had led to the cancellation of Thursday's 18th stage.
The riders arrived for the start just before at 1:00p.m. for the 163km run from Alba to Busto Arsizio with only Italian Marco Pantani, of the Mercatone Uno team, and Belgian Rik Verbrugghe of the Lotto outfit absent.
Both had already indicated they would withdraw for health reasons in decisions that had nothing to do with the events that had briefly put the entire Giro in danger on Wednesday and