By Andrew Hood
Saeco’s Gilberto Simoni won the Tour of Trentino in northern Italy on Sunday in a key warm-up race for the upcoming Giro d’Italia. Simoni, who lives in the Trentino region, won the decisive second stage ahead of the resurgent Stefano Garzelli (Sidermec) and finished safely in the main bunch Sunday to score his first stage-race of the 2003 season.
Italian Michele Gobbi (De Nardi-Colpack) took the stage ahead of compatriot Rinaldo Nocentini (Pinzolo) in the 156km finale from Caldonozza to Arco.
Tour of Trentino (UCI 2.2), stage 4, Caldonozza to Arco, 156km
1.Michele Gobbi (I), De Nardi-Colpack, 4 hours, 2 minutes, 14 seconds
2. Rinaldo Nocentini (I), Pinzolo Fiave
3. Serhly Honchar (Ukr), De Nardi-Colpack
4. Marzio Bruseghin (I), Fassa Bortolo
5. Giuliano Figueras (I), Panaria-Fiordo – all same timeFinal overall standings
1. Gilberto Simoni (I), Saeco, 17 hours, 52 minutes, 43 seconds
2. Stefano Garzelli (I), Sidermec, at 8 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 takes Lower Saxony
Team CSC’s Nicolas Jalabert wrapped up the overall title Sunday in the five-day Tour of Lower Saxony in Germany, scoring an important stage-race victory for the team.
“Gerolsteiner and Telekom were playing this game between themselves so Nicolas came out ahead,” said Team CSC sport director Johnny Weltz. “Neither team wanted the other to win and it looked the race was going to be won in time bonuses. Both teams didn’t want the other to get away, so it worked out well for our team.”
Jalabert finished safely in the main bunch in Friday’s final 143-kilometer stage from Bückeburg to Peine to sew up the final victory behind stage-winner Olaf Pollack (Gerolsteiner).
Tour of Lower Saxony (UCI 2.3), final overall standings
1. 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
Milaneza marches through GP Cortez
All week long the results sheet has read like a team time trial, with Milaneza-MSS finishing with four, five, six riders in the top-10 of each stage of this four-stage race in Portugal. Sunday’s 168km finale was no different, except there were only two Milaneza-MSS riders in the top-5. Angel Edo scoring his second-straight stage-win while Milaneza-MSS teammate Francisco Perez wrapped up the final overall victory.
GP Cortez-Mitsubishi (UCI 2.3), stage 4, Cortez to Agualva, 168km
1. Angel Edo (Sp), Milaneza-MSS, 4 hours, 4 minutes, 35 seconds
2. David Garcia (Sp), Cantanhede, same time
3. Hugo Sabido (Por), Barbot, at 4 seconds
4. Pedro Cardoso (Por), Milaneza-MSS
5. Jacek Morajko (Pol), Antarte – all same timeFinal overall standings
1. Francisco Perez (Sp), Milaneza-MSS, 11 hours, 12 minutes, 31 seconds
2. Angel Edo (Sp), Milaneza-MSS, at 4 seconds
3. Joan Horrach (Sp), Milaneza-MSS, at 42 seconds
4. Hugo Sabido (Por), Barbot, at 42 seconds
5. Pedro Cardoso (Por), Milaneza-MSS, at 46 seconds.
Cardenas hangs on at Rioja
Colombian Felix Cardenas held on in Sunday’s 22km individual time trial to claim the overall victory in the three-day Tour of Rioja in northern Spain. Cardenas won Saturday’s decisive climbing stage to Cruz de la Demanda and had enough left in the gas tank to hang on through the race against the clock against winner Jan Hruska (ONCE).
“My objective is to return to open a door in Europe and motivate Colombian cycling. For this, it’s been a good start,” said Cardenas, who won a stage in the 2001 Tour de France while racing with Kelme. “I realize that time trials are not my specialty, but I thought my advantage after Saturday’s stage would be enough.”
Tour of Rioja (UCI 2.3), stage 3, Logrono-Logrono (ITT), 22km
1. Jan Hruska (Cze), ONCE, 26 minutes, 25 seconds
2. Benjamin Day (Aus), Caravelhelhos, at 17 seconds
3. Jose Maestre (Sp), Relax, at 23 seconds
4. Denis Menchov (Rus), iBanesto.com, at 28 seconds
5. Rene Andrle (Cze), ONCE, at 28 secondsFinal overall standings
1. Felix Rafael Cardenas (Col), Orbitel, 8 hours, 22 minutes, 56 seconds
2. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 13 seconds
3. Jose Manuel Maestre (Sp), Relax-Fuenlabrada, at 39 seconds
4. Josep Jufre (Sp), Relax-Fuenlabrada, at 1:53
5. Constantino Zaballa (Sp), Kelme, at 2:01