This story appears in the current issue of VeloNews
MARIO CIPOLLINI AND ALESSANDRO PETACCHI are a study in contrasts.
Cipollini is the flamboyant showman who brings kitschy glam to cycling,while Petacchi is the hardworking pupil, anxious to fulfill his potential.Super Mario is cycling’s extroverted showman, the man who showed up atthe start of a stage in the 1999 Tour de France dressed in a toga and waspulled around by his similarly clad teammates in a rigged-up chariot. “Veni,vidi, vici [I came, I saw, I conquered],” Cipollini boasted after scoringfour stage wins, then promptly abandoning
Alessandro Petacchi and Mario Cipollini aren’t the first to spar in the Giro d’Italia. The first great Giro rivalry was between Constante Giradengo, a Giro winner in 1919 and 1923, and Alfredo Binda, Italy’s first cycling superstar.
In Thursday night’s unseasonably chilly night air at Porto Antico, Genoa, 189 cyclists shivered through the official presentation of the 19-team lineup for the 87th Giro d’Italia.
Waiting for their stage call, the Lampre team clipped in and out, bounced on their forks, and mused about this year’s Giro, observing that stages 3 and 7 would be key.
Vladimir Miholievic (Alessio-Bianchi) agreed about stage 3, which finishes atop the Corno alle Scale in the Apennines. The final 3.2km of that 12km climb is on a 14-percent grade, and Miholievic noted, “It’s hard to have a big climb so early on,
This story appears in the current issue of VeloNewsAFTER A COUPLE of rough-and-tumble years that included doping scandals, challenges from the Vuelta a España and snubs from Tour de France stars, the Giro d’Italia seems poised toreclaim its rightful position as one of cycling’s legendary events.Following an exciting 2003 edition that saw Gilberto Simoni return todominance over a strong field, the 87th Giro will cover a balanced 20-stage,3435km route that has only three summit finishes during its May 8-30 run,yet contains more climbing than last year’s race (61,000 feet versus 57,000).And with
GILBERTO SIMONI (I)SAECO: WINNER 2001, 2003The two-time Giro champion took his time finding his racing legs goinginto May. Typically firing on all cylinders by early April at the Tourof the Basque Country, “Gibi” was still pack fodder at the Tour of Aragon, just three weeks before the Giro’s start. Simoni blamed rain andcold weather for his sluggish start, but that’s all part of his plan. Afterstorming to victory in the Giro last year, Simoni suffered an equally dramaticmeltdown in the Tour de France, despite his confident declarations thathe would derail Lance Armstrong.
“This year we are
The route of the 87th Giro d’Italia was announced Saturday, with organizers promising a more demanding opening week and a shorter, tougher finish than in this year’s edition.
A nearly all-Italian event comprising a prologue and 20 stages, with one start and finish in Croatia, the 2004 Giro will cover 3435 kilometers, with 12 flat stages, four rolling and three in the high mountains.
Organizers concede that Italy’s grand tour will be “slightly biased towards climbers,” with only a single time trial; there were two races against the clock in both 2003 and ‘02. The longer stages will come
For nearly two weeks now, there has been little doubt who has been in charge of this Giro d’Italia. On Sunday, the man poised to ride into Milan to claim the final maglia rosa of this race would leave no one on the side of the road wondering just who the race leader might be.
Wearing his pink jersey, astride a pink Cannondale, with pink Mavic wheels, Gilberto Simoni had plenty of room to spare as he left the starting gate of Sunday’s 33km time trial through the streets of Milan. By the time he arrived at the finish, the Saeco man had lost a bit of his eight-minute buffer, but easily took the