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86th Giro d'Italia Stage 21 Time Trial Live Coverage
By Podofdonny
Date: 6/1/2003
86th Giro d'Italia Stage 21 Time Trial Live Coverage

Good afternoon and welcome to the finale of the Giro d'Italia. Today is the final stage, the Individual Time Trial.

It has been a fabulous race and Simoni has undoubtedly been the true "Lord of the Giro" - however today is about two different riders.

Garzelli and Popovych are pictured on this morning's Gazetta della Sport, the famous Italian pink newspaper which sponsors this race, shaking hands before the final battle between the two riders for second place.

The psychological advantage is with the young Ukrainian who beat Garzelli by 43 seconds in the first time trial - but Garzelli has the advantage of starting behind Popovych and will benefit from his time checks.

So it will be Battle Royale for the second step on the podium. Either way, all the podium places have been hotly contested and the race has done a lot to restore the reputation of cycling in Italy.

Here are the present standings:

1 BACKSTEDT Magnus SWE FAK 39:28 0:00 50,168 Km/h
2 EISEL Bernhard AUT FDJ 39:32 0:04
3 DACRUZ Carlos FRA FDJ 40:34 1:06
4 QUINZIATO Manuel ITA LAM 40:35 1:07
5 SVORADA Jan CZE LAM 40:48 1:20
6 MOERENHOUT Koos NED LOT 40:51 1:23
7 ADYEYEV Sergiy UKR LAN 40:54 1:26
8 GOBBI Michele ITA DNC 41:04 1:36

So once again Magnus Backstedt has had a marvellous day in the saddle and his good ride, though it may not last all day, is a fitting end to what has been a great race by the Danish Fakta team.

If you fancy sending Backstedt congratulations on his victory in the Intergiro - why not visit his web site:

The small Danish outfit have put up a great battling display throughout the race which will have pleased their many fans and sponsors.

It would appear that Marco Pantani's dream of riding in the Tour is over. Felice Gimondi, once a rider for the team and now a partner, indicated this morning that the Bianchi team could not really accomodate him in their plans - Jan Ullrich of course, made his debut for the team yesterday in the Teag Hainleite-Erfurt - he was 16th.

Meanwhile - speaking at a book signing in Belgium yesterday, Mr. LeBlanc said, "Cipollini has sent me a nice letter. There are new factors to consider. He did not finish the Giro but the UCI and all Italy are behind him. On Monday I will give a definite decision."

So Cipo must wait until Monday to see if he will, in fact, ride the Tour.

Cipo may not have finished the Giro, but he did of course make history by finally defeating Binda's record number of stage wins.

However, the real Sprinter of this great race has been Petacchi, whose heroic exploits have thrilled fans world wide.

Meanwhile, things at the start of the race have been a little disrupted by a fire in a nearby building - although every thing seems under control at the minute.

Fabio, the DP man in Milan this afternoon, will bring us full details on that story later, no doubt.

[Editor's Note: Unfortunately, the mishap referred to here was in fact the crash of a small aircraft shortly after takeoff from the nearby Linate airport. The plane crashed into an empty factory some 100 meters from the Giro route. The building was unoccupied today, Sunday, and no Giro spectators were involved, but very unfortunately the two occupants of the aircraft did not survive. This information was not known at the time of the ticker.]

The race continues, and one of yesterday's heroes, Eddy Mazzoleni, takes to the starting ramp.

So just 10 men left to start and the tension for the Garzelli and Popovych fans starts to mount.

Kirchen (Fassa) has just posted the third best time of the day.

Backstedt still leads the race, young Austrian Eisel in second spot and Kirchen in third.

Kirchen, lying 29th overall, may move up a few spaces on the GC after that great ride.

WOW! Leonardo Bertagnolli posts the best time!

The young Saeco rider from Trento, Italy, now leads the race so far - and what a great race this youngster has had!

Sorry - Kirchen in 4th place - the top men are like this:

1 BERTAGNOLLI Leonardo ITA SAE 39:22 0:00 50,296 Km/h
2 BACKSTEDT Magnus SWE FAK 39:28 0:06
3 EISEL Bernhard AUT FDJ 39:32 0:10
4 KIRCHEN Kim LUX FAS 39:43 0:21
5 DACRUZ Carlos FRA FDJ 40:34 1:12

Frigo on the starting ramp - huge Briko TT helmet - he looks tense and nervous as he prepares to set off.

Frigo, 7th overall, has had an erractic race; he has gradually improved and must be considered a big favourite to take the stage.

However that great TT man, Serguei Gontchar, is out on the course so the big guns are beginning to fire.

Pietro Caucchioli (Alessio) finishes - he is in 13th place.

Meanwhile Belli, who has also had a great race, as always he races with passion and emotion and has done great work for his two Captains Rumsas and Casagrande - speaking of Rumsas - he is now on the starting ramp ready to go.

The sound of fire engines still in the distance after that small drama earlier.

Mario Bruseghin (Fassa) puts nearly a minute into the best time and takes the lead!

A great ride from the man from Conegliano, Italy, who has been a hard working pro since 1997.

The crowds, as throughout this race, are absolutely massive; the organisers must be very pleased with the response from the public. As must pink T shirt manufacturers!

The Terminaitor is on the final stretch; it will be close.

NO - he is just outside the best time and takes second place.

The Fassa squad have some great men against the clock, Frigo is still on the road, Bruseghin leads and Gonzalez is second at the minute.

So the leader board is like this:
1 BRUSEGHIN Marzio ITA FAS 38:23 0:00 51,584 Km/h
3 BERTAGNOLLI Leonardo ITA SAE 39:22 0:59
4 BACKSTEDT Magnus SWE FAK 39:28 1:05
5 EISEL Bernhard AUT FDJ 39:32 1:09

An average time of 51.584 km/h for Bruseghin - great stuff.

Now Garzelli on the starting ramp. Popovych on the road - there is nowhere to hide in the race of truth - while Frigo posts the second best time at the 11 kilometre mark.

Behind him Garzelli, Simoni stretches and waits patiently - Garzelli is off!

Carlos Garcia Quesada (Kelme) finishes - he will not bother the leaders.

Popovych, the spiritual son of Ernesto Colnago, on the road - leg steam pistons, can he do it?

Simoni, a true champion, a vision in Pink, breathing deeply and calmly - what a demonstration of climbing he has given fans worldwide.

He sets off - surely little more than a victory parade for Simoni? But the roadside fans are giving him a tremendous ovation...

Popovych - what talent from this young man. Stage racing is all about recovery, and for a twenty three year old to maintain such standards throughout three weeks is an incredible achievement.

Casar now is doing a great ride and finishes in third spot. Sandy Casar - great ride for the youngster!

39.09 his time and the great French hope for stage racing continues to impress after a poor spell.

Frigo second best man through the 20 kilometre spot.

The Cannondale boys have done an immense job on Simoni's bike! It is completely PINK!

Pantani, he will miss the Tour, but has entertained us in Italy and he is not doing a bad ride either - 16th place for the Pirate.

Popovych through the 11 kilometre spot in 7th place.

Baranowski - the former Motorola man - nearly comes off on the last corner and finishes in 11th spot.

The top 5:
1 BRUSEGHIN Marzio ITA FAS 38:23 0:00 51,584 Km/h
3 CASAR Sandy FRA FDJ 39:09 0:46
4 BERTAGNOLLI Leonardo ITA SAE 39:22 0:59
5 BACKSTEDT Magnus SWE FAK 39:28 1:05

Mazzoleni - great ride - provisional 9th place.

Honchar now - the time trial engine from Ukraine - bad mistake on the last corner - but he has posted a great time!!! He takes provisional first spot!

38.04 the time that will be difficult to beat - but Frigo is still on the road. Simoni, interestingly, is number 151 - 51 has always been a favoured number. Still he powers along on his pink bike...

He clearly is not taking any risks, just riding smoothly and safely in order to seal his awesome victory.

Popovych through the 20 k mark in 7th spot - it will be a close battle between Garzelli and him.

Frigo will not beat Honchar.

4th spot for Frigo.

Garzelli is marginally slower than Popovych at the 20 km mark.

Just one second between the Italian and Ukrainian - how close can you get!

3,449 kilometres of racing, 21 stages, 5 uphill finishes, 17,300 metres of climbing and the two men are fighting over seconds in the last 13 kilometres!

Both men seem to be going well, too - it is a battle of will, spirit and determination that neither wants to lose.

Popovych now, head down, digging deep, black Colnago bike; he is giving it everything that is left from his young tank.

Top 5 so far:
1 HONCHAR Serhiy UKR DNC 38:04 0:00 52,014 Km/h
2 BRUSEGHIN Marzio ITA FAS 38:23 0:19
4 FRIGO Dario ITA FAS 38:30 0:26
5 CASAR Sandy FRA FDJ 39:09 1:05

Meanwhile Rumsas may have done enough to overtake Noe - but the real race is still unfolding before our eyes.

Garzelli and Popovych - who will prove the strongest - Garzelli now has just one second lead.

Is Garzelli beginning to feel the heat from the Ukranian's pace? Or is he just putting more effort into each pedal stroke than normal?

He does not look as smooth or controlled as Popovych who is now on the finishing straight.

Popo - 8th place - 39.33 - his sprint was determined and straight.

Now Garzelli - mouth open gasping for air. The clock is ticking by...

His too is an heroic effort - but time is slip slip slipping away. He is on the final straight...

He digs deep - 7th Place!

He has kept his second spot on the podium after a truly titanic struggle!

The two riders sportingly shake hands - a nice gesture in what has been a sporting race.

Now just one man to finish.

And the man of the Giro - his infamous fan club in pink, singing the crowd, in general giving Simoni a true heroe's welcome home. And here he comes - Pink bike...

Simoni kisses his pink jersey, waves to the crowd and crosses the line, the Victor of the 2003 Giro.

His fan club lift him on their shoulders, his smile is as broad as the Italian Sun!

A great triumph - his Saeco team and his Cannondale bike builders know they have a true great champion - he is being carried on the tifosi shoulders as he makes his way vaguely to the podium.

Time Trial Results
1 HONCHAR Serhiy UKR DNC 38:04 0:00 52,014 Km/h
2 BRUSEGHIN Marzio ITA FAS 38:23 0:19
4 FRIGO Dario ITA FAS 38:30 0:26
5 RUMSAS Raimondas LTU LAM 39:07 1:03
6 CASAR Sandy FRA FDJ 39:09 1:05
7 GARZELLI Stefano ITA VIN 39:20 1:16
8 BERTAGNOLLI Leonardo ITA SAE 39:22 1:18
9 POPOVYCH Yaroslav UKR LAN 39:23 1:19
10 TOTSCHNIG Georg AUT GST 39:25

Top 5 Final GC
1 Simoni 89h32'04"
2 Garzelli a 7'06"
3 Popovych a 7'11"
4 Noč a 9'24"
5 Totschnig a 9'42"

So the streets of Milan throng with cycling fans - Simoni has proven to be a true champion. He has acted with honour and dignity throughout the race. Garzelli proved to have just a little too much experience for Popovych - but in 2004 the Ukranian will be one to watch!

Thanks for reading and following the Giro on the Daily Peloton - full results, and interviews later - don't touch that - er - pink dial!

Stage 21 Results (Individual Time Trial)

1 Honchar Serhiy Ukr Dnc 38:04  (52,014 Km/H)
2 Bruseghin Marzio Ita Fas 0:19
3 Gonzalez Jimenez Aitor Esp Fas 0:20
4 Frigo Dario Ita Fas 0:26
5 Rumsas Raimondas Ltu Lam 1:03
6 Casar Sandy Fra Fdj 1:05
7 Garzelli Stefano Ita Vin 1:16
8 Bertagnolli Leonardo Ita Sae 1:18
9 Popovych Yaroslav Ukr Lan 1:19
10 Totschnig Georg Aut Gst 1:21
11 Backstedt Magnus Swe Fak 1:24
12 Eisel Bernhard Aut Fdj 1:28
13 Belli Wladimir Ita Lam 1:38
14 Kirchen Kim Lux Fas 1:39
15 Noe' Andrea Ita Als 1:49
16 Mazzoleni Eddy Ita Vin 1:50
17 Codol Massimo Ita Mer 2:08
18 Simoni Gilberto Ita Sae 2:14
19 Pellizotti Franco Ita Als 2:19
20 Dacruz Carlos Fra Fdj 2:30
21 Quinziato Manuel Ita Lam 2:31
22 Baranowski Dariusz Pol Ccc 2:37
23 Laverde Jimenez Luis F Col Fpf 2:41
24 Svorada Jan Cze Lam 2:44
25 Velo Marco Ita Fas 2:45
26 Moerenhout Koos Ned Lot 2:47
27 Adyeyev Sergiy Ukr Lan 2:50
28 Pantani Marco Ita Mer 2:51
29 Brozyna Thomas Pol Ccc 2:57
30 Scarponi Michele Ita Dve 2:57
31 Gobbi Michele Ita Dnc 3:00
32 Caucchioli Pietro Ita Als 3:01
33 Faresin Gianni Ita Gst 3:02
34 Chmielewski Piotr Pol Ccc 3:05
35 Romanik Radoslaw Pol Ccc 3:05
36 Miholievic Vladimir Cro Als 3:08
37 Baldato Fabio Ita Als 3:11
38 Szmyd Sylvester Pol Mer 3:20
39 Duma Vladimir Ukr Lan 3:23
40 Verstrepen Johan Bel Lan 3:24
41 Bileka Volodimir Ukr Lan 3:24
42 Andriotto Dario Ita Vin 3:25
43 Trampusch Gerhard Aut Gst 3:28
44 Scamardella Salvatore Ita Lan 3:29
45 Zanotti Leonardo Ita Dnc 3:30
46 Figueras Giuliano Ita Pan 3:30
47 Cunego Damiano Ita Sae 3:32
48 Gutierrez Cataluna Ignacio Esp Kel 3:36
49 Zaballa Gutierez Constan Esp Kel 3:37
50 Wegelius Charles Gbr Dnc 3:38
51 Hamburger Bo Den Fpf 3:38
52 Bertoletti Simone Ita Lam 3:38
53 Lunghi Denis Ita Als 3:40
54 Garcia Quesada Adolfo Esp Kel 3:44
55 Sunderland Scott Aus Fak 3:45
56 Gasparre Graziano Ita Dnc 3:45
57 Tonti Andrea Ita Sae 3:51
58 Nocentini Rinaldo Ita Fpf 3:57
59 Bernucci Lorenzo Ita Lan 3:58
60 Sabaliauskas Marius Ltu Sae 4:05
61 Gerosa Mauro Ita Vin 4:14
62 Baliani Fortunato Ita Fpf 4:14
63 Vila Errandonea Franc Esp Lam 4:16
64 Pozzi Oscar Ita Ten 4:17
65 Scirea Mario Ita Dve 4:19
66 Secchiari Francesco Ita Dve 4:20
67 Stremersch Tom Bel Lan 4:28
68 Lanfranchi Paolo Ita Pan 4:29
69 Munoz Hernan D Col Clm 4:33
70 Clavero Daniel Esp Mer 4:33
71 Frattini Cristiano Ita Ten 4:41
72 Barbero Sergio Ita Lam 4:44
73 Gasperoni Cristian Ita Mer 4:47
74 Pietropolli Daniele Ita Ten 4:52
75 Zampieri Steve Sui Vin 4:53
76 Spezialetti Alessandro Ita Sae 5:01
77 Castelblanco Joaquim Col Clm 5:04
78 Conti Roberto Ita Mer 5:06
79 Lombardi Giovanni Ita Dve 5:07
80 Mesa Mesa Hector O Col Fpf 5:11
81 Tonetti Gianluca Ita Ten 5:12
82 Giordani Leonardo Ita Dnc 5:18
83 Riera Valls Jordi Esp Kel 5:18
84 Manzoni Mario Ita Mer 5:24
85 Winn Juilian Gbr Fak 5:28
86 Cheula Gian Paolo Ita Vin 5:31
87 Colombo Gabriele Ita Dve 5:35
88 De Angeli Luca Ita Clm 5:38
89 Hardter Uwe Ger Gst 5:45
90 Gonzalez Martinez Fredy Col Clm 5:46
91 Joergensen Rene' Den Fak 5:48
92 Usano Martinez Julian Esp Kel 5:50
93 Illiano Raffaele Ita Clm 5:50
94 Fornaciari Paolo Ita Sae 6:14
95 Fontanelli Fabiano Ita Mer 6:38
96 Marin Ruber Alverio Col Clm 7:07
97 Massi Rodolfo Ita Clm 8:36

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