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Young Guns: Giro Friuli Venezia Giulia Stage 5
By Fabio
Date: 5/12/2008
Young Guns: Giro Friuli Venezia Giulia Stage 5

Nope, nobody did: Croatia's Hrvoje Miholjevic is the winner of the 46th Giro Ciclistico del Friuli Venezia Giulia. The 29-year-old of team Loborika managed to maintain his hold on the white jersey also in the fifth and closing leg, which finished into Pontebba with the Italian Alan Marangoni (Fausto Coppi Gazzera) as stage winner. His northern neighbour Robert Vrecer of Slovenia as well as Italy's Luca Gasparini (Pagnoncelli-Ngc-Perrel) of Verona stood alongside him on the eventual podium.

A wild bunch of 171 riders rolled out of Alesso town Sunday morning for the last effort, covering nearly under 150 kilometres. The group stayed as one in the opening portion, with Miholjevic's Loborika and the "orange warriors" of Pagnoncelli dictating the pace. A man from another team based near Milan, Palazzago's Alessandro Bisolti, looked after starting the fireworks on the first climb, Sella Cereschiatis (max. altitude: 1006 m asl). He held a solo lead for some time before he was joined by some thirty more riders, all top GC contenders included. Bostjan Reznan (Slo - Radenska) took the points at the KOM sprint from Marco Stefani (Danton) and his fellow Italian Luca Gasparini (Pagnoncelli). The "front group" increased to about sixty guys on the descent.

But Bisolti threw down the gauntlet again, this time alongside David Tratnik (Slo - Radenska) and former GC leader Federico Vitali (Ita - Breganze). The move was quickly covered, nevertheless the Palazzago attacking machine didn't give up his fighting attitude and tried for the third time as the road kept tiliting upwards once more. Was the man allowed to fulfil his solo breakaway ambitions at last? Noooooo way! He had to enjoy the company of 15 fellow frontrunners, amongst whom Bostjan Reznan, that came first over the top of the climb and won the points he needed in order to be officially crowned King of the Mountains.

The breakaway group split on the next downhill section, with Alex Bisolti, Marco Stefani (Ita - Danton-Caparrini), Péter Kusztor (Hun - P-Nivo), Alessandro De Marchi (Ita - Bibanese) and future stage winner Alan Marangoni remaining in the lead. Despite efforts from the Radenska team, the quintet managed to hold off all chasers and make it to the line. The five-man sprint was launched by Marangoni about 200 metres from the finish: a timely move that won him the stage honours, with De Marchi and Stefani making Sunday's all-Italian top three complete.

"I tried to stay with the best riders on the climbs" Alan Marangoni explained, "as I knew the stage parcours didn't suit my characteristics. I've been aiming at a stage victory all week-long, and regretting not getting it earlier, the second day in particular: I was on a breakaway with Capponcelli, and we could have done better. Anyway, it doesn't matter any longer, now I have taken my revenge. I want to dedicate this victory to the team and the directors, ours is a great team, a very united team, and this success belongs to all of my teammates too".

Hrvoje Miholjevic narrowly missed victory in the 2004 edition of the race, but this time nobody could stop him from claiming the overall title and adding his name to a list that features also the likes of Felice Gimondi and Danilo Di Luca. He got such also thanks to the excellent job done by his domestiques, who were good enough at keeping him on the front of the pack all the time Sunday "that is exactly the way it had to go" Hrvoje told about the stage, "The team did a great work". And now on to his next challenges, the Dirka Po Slovenij (aka Tour of Slovenia) and the Tour of Serbia.

Stage 5: (Alesso to Pontebba, 148.9 km) - Top 10 Results
1. MARANGONI Alan (Ita - Fausto Coppi-Gazzera) - 03h33'22" (40.128 kph)
2. DE MARCHI Alessandro (Ita - Brisont-Bibanese) - s.t.
3. STEFANI Marco (Ita - Danton-Caparrini) - s.t.
4. KUSZTOR Peter (Hun - P-Nivo Beton) - s.t.
5. BISOLTI Alessandro (Ita - Palazzago-Elledent) - s.t.
6. MARZOLI Samuele (Ita - Pagnoncelli-NGC-Perrel) - at 23"
7. D'ANGELO Davide (Ita - P-Nivo Beton) - s.t.
8. PIECHELE Andrea (Ita - UC Trevigiani) - s.t.
9. BERDOS Oleg (Mol - Brisont-Bibanese) - s.t.
10. GNEZDA Matej (Slo - Radenska) - s.t.

... 41. MIHOLJEVIC Hrvoje (Cro - BK Loborika) - s.t.

Complete Stage Results HERE (pdf file)

Final GC - Top 10 Spots
1. MIHOLJEVIC Hrvoje (Cro - BK Loborika) - 17h36'01"
2. VRECER Robert (Slo - Radenska) - at 38"
3. GASPARINI Luca (Ita - Pagnoncelli-NGC-Perrel) - at 48"
4. COLO' Alessandro (Ita - Brunero-Promociclo) - at 01'40"
5. DENIFL Stefan (Aut - Austrian NT) - at 01'46"
6. REZMAN Bostjan (Slo - Radenska) - at 01’49"
7. IANNIELLO Vincenzo (Ita - Caneva-San Marco) - at 01'52"
8. FRITSCH Nicolas (Fra - AVC Aix en Provence) - at 01'52"
9. COLOMBO Cristiano (Ita - Palazzago-Elledent) - at 02'01"
10. DE MARCHI Alessandro (Ita - Brisont-Bibanese) - at 02'09"

Full final overall standings HERE (pdf file)

Points: Final Standings
1. PIECHELE Andrea (Ita - UC Trevigiani) - 47 p.
2. BERDOS Oleg (Mol - Brisont-Bibanese) - 32 p.
3. DE MARCHI Alessandro (Ita - Brisont-Bibanese) - 28 p.

Full final standings HERE (pdf file)

Hot Spot Sprints: Final Standings
1. BENFATTO Marco (Ita - Zalf Desiree Fior) - 20 p.
2. CANZIANI Daniele (Ita - Pagnoncelli-NGC-Perrel) - 12 p.
3. NEGRI Fabio (Ita - Team Aurora) - 8 p.

Full final standings HERE (pdf file)

Mountains: Final Standings
1. REZMAN Bostjan (Slo - Radenska) - 17 p.
2. GASPARINI Luca (Ita - Pagnoncelli-NGC-Perrel) - 12 p.
3. MIHOLJEVIC Hrvoje (Cro - Loborika) - 10 p.

Full final standings HERE (pdf file)

Young Riders: Final Standings
1. COLO' Alessandro (Ita - Brunero-Promociclo) - 17h37'41"
2. DENIFL Stefan (Aut - Austrian NT) - at 06"
3. IANNIELLO Vincenzo (Ita - Caneva-San Marco) - at 12"

Full final standings HERE (pdf file)

Teams: Final GC
3. BK LOBORIKA - at 05'01"

Full final standings HERE (pdf file)

Giro del Friuli Venezia Giulia: Winners
1962: Giovanni De Franceschi (Ita)
1963: Felice Gimondi (Ita)
1964: Giovanni De Franceschi (Ita)
1965: Marino Basso (Ita)
1966: Giuseppe Bolzan (Ita)
1967: Emilio Santantonio (Ita)
1968: Giorgio Mantovani (Ita)
1969: Alessio Peccolo (Ita)
1970: Tommaso Giroli (Ita)
1971: Giovanni Dalla Bona (Ita)
1972: Alessio Peccolo (Ita)
1973: Alfredo Chinetti (Ita)
1974: Mario Gualdi (Ita)
1975: Philip Edwards (GBR)
1977: Claudio Corti (Ita)
1978: Tullio Bertacco (Ita)
1979: Claudio Gosetto (Ita)
1980: Maurizio Piovani (Ita)
1981: Claudio Argentin (Ita)
1982: Massimo Saccani (Ita)
1983: Maurizio Bonizzatto (Ita)
1984: Claudio Chiappucci (Ita)
1985: Bruno Bulic (Yug)
1986: Federico Longo (Ita)
1987: Ivan Parolin (Ita)
1988: Gianluca Zanini (Ita)
1989: Carlo Benigni (Ita)
1990: Vincenzo Galati (Ita)
1991: Gilberto Simoni (Ita)
1992: Cristian Zanolini (Ita)
1993: Gilberto Simoni (Ita)
1994: Rudy Mosole (Ita)
1995: Marco Fincato (Ita)
1996: Rodolfo Ongarato (Ita)
1997: Rodolfo Ongarato (Ita)
1998: Danilo Di Luca (Ita)
1999: Aleksander Nikacevic (Yug)
2000: Raffaele Ferrara (Ita)
2001: Ruslan Pidgornyy (Ukr)
2002: Luca Solari (Ita)
2003: Ruslan Pidgornyy (Ukr)
2004: Matej Mugerlj (Slo)
2006: Boris Shpilevski (Rus)
2007: Alexander Filippv (Rus)
2008: Hrvoje Miholjevic (Cro)

* 46th Giro Ciclistico del Friuli-Venezia Giulia - Stage One
* 46th Giro Ciclistico del Friuli-Venezia Giulia - Stage Two
* 46th Giro Ciclistico del Friuli-Venezia Giulia - Stage Three
* 46th Giro Ciclistico del Friuli-Venezia Giulia - Stage Four

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