The Giro is continuing as scheduled today, although the atmosphere is almost surreal. At the start, it was if nothing had happened, yet everything had.
There were crowds there as usual, the sign-in happened as usual, and riders hung out in the tent city next to the sign-in booth... all just as usual.
What was different was the subject of every conversation going on, whether it was among the riders in the start village or among people in the cafés.
Nobody was talking about whether Simoni would win the Giro or who would win this stage. Everyone was talking about the drug scandal. Even
After a gut-wrenching break from it, the riders got back to business today, and if anything is business as usual at the Giro, it is Mario Cipollini crossing the line with his arms upraised after a beautifully executed sprint. Marco Zanotti and Danilo Hondo followed the Lion King in after the 163km stage to Busto Arsizio.
Marco Pantani had gone home the night before complaining of the flu, and Rik Verbrugghe also did not show up at sign-in. Otherwise, the setting was normal, but at the start in Alba the subject of every conversation among riders, fans, journalists and officials was the same,
Here in Vinadio, where the most difficult and perhaps most beautiful stage of the Giro was to finish, the mood is somber.
The little girls proudly dressed in their bright course marshal’s vests are walking around perplexed, not understanding the explanation of why the riders won’t be coming through and everyone is leaving.
People are descending from the mountain in droves – the sheer number of them that had made the trip up this remote, high and narrow road is mind-boggling – and without getting to see any of what they came for.
It was heart-wrenching to see the effort that this small
Dinner started normally enough for me and my family in the San Remo Panrama Hotel. Across the dining room sat the iBanesto.com team, eating huge dinners of pasta, tortillas and steaks. The waiter asked the riders to sign a team photo for his daughter. After obliging, the riders slowly filtered off to bed before the toughest stage of the Giro. The team managers, soigneurs and drivers continued to relax around the dinner table, having dessert and talking, when a guy in normal street clothes came in.
My wife poked me and said, "That guy is flashing his police badge at those Banesto guys." Other
5:41 Caucchioli wins his second stage of this Giro d'Italia. Azevado takes second and Telekom's Jan Ullrich leads the chase group by taking third, 27 seconds later. There will be no change in the overall standings, as both race leader Gilberto Simoni (Lampre) and his nearest challenger, Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo) finished in the main group at 39 seconds. Stay tuned for a complete race report, coming up.
5:40p.m. Nearing the finish, the two are being chased by a trio including Jan Ullrich.
5:39 p.m. The two leaders are in San Remo and heading to the finish. While Azevado has been
Pietro Caucchioli (Alessio) earned his second stage win of this Giro d'Italia on Wednesday. Caucchioli, previously thought to be a slow finisher, has joined sprinters Ivan Quaranta, Danilo Hondo and Mario Cipollini with two Giro stage victories apiece by outsprinting fellow breakaway José Azevedo (ONCE) in the Circuit of Flowers.
Jan Ullrich, healthier after a day of rest, nabbed his second third place of the Giro, outsprinting Gianni Faresin (Liquigas), who was 27 seconds back. Ullrich’s teammate, Matthias Kessler, was dropped in the sprint for third and finished nine seconds behind Faresin
Riva del Garda, a small town at the northern tip of Lake Garda, has become one of Europe’s major mountain-bike Meccas over the past decade, largely due to the spectacular trails coming down the mountains overlooking the dark waters of the deep, narrow Alpine lake nestled in Italy’s northern border. For the last eight years, Riva has hosted a springtime mountain-bike festival and manufacturer show that this year attracted around 10,000 visitors, mostly from Germany. Mountain bikers filled the town for five days and tried their legs en masse on the second day of the festival in an off-road
Salient features: The Deda Magic bar has a 31.8mm clamping area (rather than the standard 26.0mm) and comes in a medium-depth ergo bend or a deep-drop round bend. The bar has a "K.E.T." (Kinetic Energy Treatment) that hardens the metal by "bomb-peening" it with heavy shot. The Magic stem is cold-forged in three dimensions, a process that allows Deda to create unique shapes without compromising the strength-to-weight ratio.
Likes: The stiffness of this stem and bar combination is immediately noticeable, especially in long sizes. When sprinting or climbing out the saddle there is no noticeable
Ivan Quaranta joined Danilo Hondo and Mario Cipollini with two Giro stage victories by winning the field sprint at the end of this 142km stage finishing in Parma, the birthplace of Giuseppe Verdi, to whom this Giro is dedicated in the 100th anniversary of his death. Endrio Leoni (Alessio), Cipollini, and Hondo followed Quaranta in at the finish.
This 16th stage from Erbusco had one small climb with a KOM at km 4.7, won again by green jersey Fredy Gonzalez (Selle Italia), and it was flat the rest of the way. The first hour was traversed at a crawl — 30 kph — and it did not pick up a lot after
Gilberto Simoni has been saying for two days, ever since he took over the pink jersey, that he would not lose much time in the time trial. He was good on his word, crushing former world time trial champions Abraham Olano and Sergei Gontchar and losing only 29 seconds to specialist and second-placed Dario Frigo in a 55.5km time trial on the southwestern shore of Lake Garda. If it was not already apparent, especially after the disqualification of third-placed Wladimir Belli yesterday, this has become a two-man race. Frigo’s best hand to play was the time trial, so Simoni might very well have