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By Lennard Zinn
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 that. Other than non-serious individual attacks to greet family and friends by various riders, there were only two short-lived breakaways in the last 20km.
In the sprint, Telekom once again had Lombardi and Hondo at the front, but as the Italian pulled off and the German took the lead at 200 meters, Cipollini was already coming around the left, and Quaranta on the right. The Alexia sprinter had considerably more speed and towed Leoni past the big Saeco sprinter, while Hondo held on for fourth.
Tuesday is the Giro’s rest day, and most teams will be spending it at the coastal town of San Remo.
84th GIRO D’ITALIA, Stage 16, Erbusco to Parma, June 4.
1. Ivan Quaranta (I), Alexia, 142km in 3:52:55 (36.579kph); 2. Endrio Leoni (I), Alessio; 3. Mario Cipollini (I), Saeco; 4. Danilo Hondo (G), Deutsche Telekom; 5. Marco Zanotti (I), Liquigas-PATA; 6. Massimo Strazzer (I), Mobilvetta-Formaggi Trentini; 7. Stefano Zanini (I), Mapei-Quick Step; 8. Andrej Hauptman (Slo), Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola; 9. Maura Gerosa (I), Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola; 10. Guido Trenti (USA), Cantina Tollo-Acqua&Sapone, all s.t.
Overall: 1. Simoni, 2772km in 73:41:44 (37.615kph); 2. Frigo, at 0:15; 3. Olano, at 4:32; 4. Osa, at 5:22; 5. Gontchar, at 6:10; 6. Azevedo, at 7:14; 7. Noé, at 7:35; 8. Gotti, at 7:39; 9. Buenahora, at 7:40; 10. Contreras, at 8:20; 11. Caucchioli, at 11:01; 12. Figueras, at 11:17; 13. Velo, at 11:19; 14. Luttenberger, at 12:21; 15. Savoldelli, at 12:46; 17. Pantani, at 17:57; 23. Di Luca, at 22:49; 41. Perez, at 45:48; 74. Ullrich, at 1:22:45; 123. Livingston, at 1:54:51.