Giro d’Italia: Page 215

Giro d’Italia news, results, commentary, and photos from Italy’s grand tour.

Cipollini hits 3 and 33 in fast return to Giro racing

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,

Frigo survives another close call at the Giro; Fassa Bortolo comes away with a double victory

Gilberto Simoni once again showed attentiveness, sharp wits, courage and great descending skills to turn a sudden rainstorm to his advantage on final descent of the May 31 stage. The Lampre-Daikin team captain came up one second short of taking Frigo’s shirt from him, but he is poised ideally to take it tomorrow on the tough, long stage tomorrow in the high Dolomites. The 139km 12th stage was won by Frigo’s teammate Matteo Tosatto in a three-up sprint from Slovenian Zoran Klemencic and Simoni. The stage was animated by the other Verbrugghe, Ief, who made two long solo breakaways today, the

Lastras wins Giro d’Italia 11th stage

Pablo Lastras escaped a 10-man breakaway group with four kilometers to go and held a solo advantage of a handful of seconds to win this 187km stage that crossed the Slovenian-Italian border seven times. Giovanni Lombardi won the sprint from Uros Murn and the rest of the nine pursuers. The stage rolled east through hilly and beautiful forested country along the Austrian border north of Slovenia’s Triglavski national park and crossed into Italy before heading south up a large first-category climb of the Passo del Predil at 63km. At the top of the pass, it crossed back into Slovenia and

Frigo takes over Giro lead

In the first mountaintop finish of the Giro, Rik Verbrugghe lost almost five minutes and Dario Frigo overcame a crash just before the base of the 17km climb to the Santuario di Montevergine to take the pink jersey. Danilo DiLuca won the sprint finish to the stage after Mexican Julio Perez (Panaria), who had broken away at the beginning of the climb, broke his chain with only four kilometers to go while holding an 18-second lead. Coming through Avellino with 20km to go, riders encountered a long stretch of rough and wet cobblestones. The pavé was rough and uneven to just drive over, and,

Giro d’Italia: Hondo makes it two in a row

After winning stage two, Danilo Hondo said he hoped to soon repay Giovanni Lombardi for putting him in perfect position for the sprint. Well, after the leadout Lombardi gave him again today, Hondo is going to have to come up with a really nice gift for his Deutsche Telekom teammate. With 500 meters to go, it appeared that Hondo was leading Lombardi out and evening the score. The two were in third and fourth positions when the Italian suddenly came around to give the German his wheel. Hondo didn’t realize it was Lombardi and bumped him, thinking it was somebody else trying to take his

Giro d’Italia: Hondo wins tough uphill sprint

Jan Ullrich may not be looking so good, but Deutsche Telekom still has plenty of firepower to call upon. In the uphill switchback sprint at the end of this 167km flat stage, Danilo Hondo, a German with an Italian name, got past Rafael Mateos in time to raise his forefinger in triumph. Mateos looked to be pulling off a surprise win for his small team sponsored by a company that makes plastic bags for collection and recycling of various materials. The Spanish Colpack-Astro rider had a gap of several bike lengths with 200 meters to go, but Hondo shot out of the group and passed him.

Giro riders to watch: Others who could shine

Hernan Buonahora (Col), Selle Italia-Pacific, 34This Colombian veteran likes long, hard, hilly races. He hasn't won many races in Europe, but his sixth place overall at the 2000 Giro is testimony to his endurance. Giuseppe Di Grande (I), Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola, 27When Di Grande had four victories in 1997, including a stage win at the Giro, his Mapei team expected much more. But it didn't happen, and in 2000 he had another mediocre season with Festina. It's time for things to pick up again. Danilo Di Luca (I), Cantina Tollo-Acqua & Sapone, 25Di Luca showed promise in his Giro debut as a

Giro riders to watch: The climbers are waiting in the wings

Besides overall contenders Casagrande, Garzelli. Gotti, Pantani and Simoni, these are the climbers who could win a stage or shoot for the best climber's jersey. Wladimir Belli (I), Fassa Bortolo, 30After a year with Festina, Belli returned to an Italian squad last year, and posted his best Giro finish, seventh overall. His main task will be to keep team leader Casagrande at the front in the high mountains, and to mark other race contenders -- work that could also enable Belli to win a stage. "Chepe" Gonzalez (Col), Mobilvetta-Trentini, 32Two King of the Mountain titles and two mountain

Giro riders to watch: The sprinters

Jeroen Blijlevens (Nl), Lotto-Adecco, 29On his day, Blijlevens is one of the fastest sprinters in the peloton -- and also one of the most unpredictable. With Lotto having no true G.C. candidates, the Dutchman could get the support he needs for a stage win. Mario Cipollini (I), Saeco, 34The flamboyant Cipollini has been around the pro ranks since 1989, but he really caught fire in the late 1990s. In1999, he captured a staggering five Giro and four Tour de France stage wins. A drop-off in production last year

Giro riders to watch: The overall contenders

Francesco Casagrande (I), Fassa Bortolo, 30 By most standards, Francesco Casagrande's 2000 season was a hit. He won the prestigious Flèche Wallonne classic, finished the season ranked No. 1 in the world, and took second in the Giro But when your main objective of the season is to win the Giro and that goal slips through your figers on the second-to-last day, it can only be called a disappointment. Pain from a sciatic nerve in the stage-20 time trial cost Casagrande the race in 2000; but with climbers like Belli and Frigo to back him up this year, he'll be out for redemption. Stefano Garzelli