By Andrew Hood
Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) remained in charge of the Tour of Trentino after a long break dominated Saturday’s 165km third stage. Elio Aggiano (Pinzolo) won ahead of three other riders that stayed away for most of the stage from Fondo to Levico Terme in northern Italy. Stefano Garzelli (Sidermec) won the bunch sprint at 8 seconds back to take fifth after the lead group couldn’t reel in the break. Simoni finished safely with the peloton to retain the overall lead going into Sunday’s 118km final stag, which shouldn’t present any major problems for Simoni and his motivated Saeco team.
Tour of Trentino (UCI 2.2), stage 3, Fondo to Levico Terme
1. Elio Aggiano (I), Pinzolo Fiave, 165km in 4:08:31
2. Mauro Facci (I), Fassa Bortolo
3. Nicola Loda (I), Fassa Bortolo
4. Mariano Piccoli (I), Lampre – all same time
5. Stefano Garzelli (I), Sidermec, at 8 secondsOverall standings after stage 3
1. Gilberto Simoni (I), Saeco, 13 hours, 48 minutes, 42 seconds
2. Stefano Garzelli (I), Sidermec, at 9 seconds
3. Tadej Valjavec (Slo), Fassa Bortolo, at 24 seconds
4. Leonardo Bertagnolli (I), Saeco, at 1:18
5. Graziano Gasparre (I), De Nardi-Colpack, at 1:50
Jalabert grabs lead in Germany
Nicolas Jalabert (CSC) grabbed the lead away from Gerolsteiner’s Michael Rich in the Tour of Lower Saxony in Saturday’s 188km fourth stage after finishing second as part of a three-man break that tore away 25km into the race.
Tomas Konecny (Ed’ System-ZVVZ) won the stage while Jalabert came across second Rich came across with the lead group at 1:43 in arrears and Laurent’s little brother is just one stage away from winning his first race of the season.
“Gerolsteiner underestimated the seriousness of the attack and the group’s lead grew rapidly,” said “CSC’s sport director Johnny Weltz. “On the final steep climb, they kept the pace up and Nicolas put in a tremendous effort on the final kilometers in order to keep the gap open. He was very strong and he even came close to taking the stage victory.”
If CSC can control the Germans in Sunday’s 143km finale, it looks like the Danish CSC team will score their first stage-race win of the season after coming close with Tyler Hamilton’s second place overall at the Tour of the Basque Country earlier this month.
Tour of Lower Saxony (UCI 2.3), Göttingen to Bückeburg, 188km
1. Tomas Konecny (Cze), Ed’ System-ZVVZ, 4 hours, 34 minutes, 39 seconds
2. Nicolas Jalabert (F), CSC
3. Niels Scheuneman (Ned), Rabobank – all same time
4. Andrus Nandusz (Lat), CCC-Atlas-Polsat, at 1:43
5. Thorsten Wilhelms (G), Coast, s.t.Overall standings after stage 41. Nicolas Jalabert (F), CSC, 16 hours, 53 minutes, 33 seconds
2. Tomas Konecny (Cze), Ed’ System-ZVVZ, at 5 seconds
3. Niels Scheuneman (Ned), Rabobank, at 10 seconds
4. Michael Rich (G), Gerolsteiner, at 18 seconds
5. Danilo Hondo (G), Telekom, at 30 seconds
Edo finally wins
Spanish sprinter Angel Edo finally won at stage after spending much of April stuck in second place. Edo finished two seconds ahead of Milaneza-MSS teammate Pedro Cardoso to score his fourth win of the season while Milaneza’s Francesco Perez continues to control the GP Cortez-Mitsubishi. With Sunday’s 168km finale up next, Milaneza’s dominance will likely continue at the Portuguese stage-race, where the team has won the three opening stages.
GP Cortez-Mitsubishi (UCI 2.3), stage 3
1. Angel Edo (Sp), Milaneza-MSS, 3 hours, 33 minutes, 23 seconds
2. Pedro Cardoso (Por), Milaneza-MSS, at 2 seconds
3. Francisco Perez (Sp), Milaneza-MSS, at 3 seconds
4. Pedro Lopes (Por), LA Pecol
5. Joan Horrach (Sp), Milaneza-MSS – all same timeOverall standings after three stages
1. Francisco Perez (Sp), Milaneza-MSS, 7 hours, 7 minutes, 56 seconds
2. Angel Edo (Sp), Milaneza-MSS, at 14 seconds
3. Juan Gomis (Sp), LA Pecol, at 40 seconds
4. Ezequiel Mosquera (Sp), Cantanhede, at 43 seconds
5. Joan Horrach (Sp), Milaneza-MSS, same time.
Cardenas grabs Rioja lead
Cruz de la Demanda is a hard, punishing climb with ramps as steep as 15 percent in the rugged mountains of northern Spain, and it must have reminded Colombian Felix Rafael Cardenas (Orbitel) of the steep climbs back home. Cardenas shot free from the fractured pack to win the second stage of the Tour of Rioja and grab the overall lead ahead of wily European pros such as Francisco Mancebo (iBanesto.com). Sunday’s 22km individual time trial in Logrono will decide the final winner.
Tour of Rioja (UCI 2.3), Stage 2, Albelda to Cruz de la Demanda, 188km
1. Felix Rafael Cardenas (Col), Orbitel, 5 hours, 11 minutes, 43 seconds
2. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 37 seconds
3. Jose Manuel Maestre (Sp), Relax-Fuenlabrada, at 1:08
4. Josep Jufre (Sp), Relax-Fuenlabrada, at 1:19
5. Jon Odriozola (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 1:46Overall standings after two stages
1. Felix Rafael Cardenas (Col), Orbitel, 7 hours, 55 minutes, 20 seconds
2. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 37 seconds
3. Jose Manuel Maestre (Sp), Relax-Fuenlabrada, at 1:27
4. Josep Jufre (Sp), Relax-Fuenlabrada, at 1:38
5. Constantino Zaballa (Sp), Kelme, at 2:02
Peers takes Belgian race
Belgian Cris Peers (Cofidis) Saturday’s 200km Circuit des Bords de l’Escaut à Kruibeke (say that three times fast), finishing in a solo move more than 1 minute ahead of compatriot Nico Eeckhout (Lotto-Domo) in the one-day Belgian race.
Circuit des Bords de l’Escaut à Kruibeke (UCI 1.3), 200km
1. Chris Peers (B), Cofidis, 4 hours, 28 minutes, 30 seconds
2. Nico Eeckhout (B), Lotto-Domo, at 1:25
3. Stefan Van Dijk (Ned), Lotto-Domo, at 1:27
4. James Vanlandschoot (B), Vlaanderen-T Interim
5. Geert Omloop (B), Palmans-Collstrop – all same time