21-year-old Antonio Quadranti soloed in for the win in the opening leg of the 27th "Giro delle Regioni" ("Tour of the Regions"), the second most important stage race reserved to U23 and Elite 2 Riders in Italy. The Sintofarm-Feralpi cyclist captured the 155-km. stage 1 of the competition, from San Ginesio to Camerino, ahead of Rumania's Norge, while Italy's Sergio Marinangeli took third. Quadranti also gained a 10" time bonus, and took the Overall Leader's yellow and red jersey.
Quadranti's decisive attack put an end to a brave attempt by Neapolitan rider Pasquale Muto, who got caught right after the last km. red triangle. Muto was the last "survivor" of a 30-strong break which formed after some thirty kilometres of racing on an undulated parcours, and gained 2' on the chasing bunch. The leading group was later reduced to three members only, and at last it was Muto who initiated a solo breakaway, but unfortunately for the Neapolitan, mr. Quadranti chased him down and Muto lost also the remaining podium places.
This year's edition of "Giro delle Regioni" saw 199 participants, belonging to 20 different nations (Australia included) at the startline. The races passes through Marche, Tuscany, Piedmont, and finishes in in the Town of San Giuliano Milanese (Lombardy) on Wednesday, May the 1st.
The stages are as follows:
* Stage 1 (Friday, April 26): San Ginesio - Camerino, 155.1 km.
* Stage 2 (Saturday, April 27): Santa Maria - Morrovalle, 23.8 km.
* Stage 3 (Sunday, April 28): Fabriano - Loro Ciuffenna, 179.7 km.
* Stage 4 (Monday, April 29): Montevarchi - Bientina, 139.8 km.
* Stage 5 (Tuesday, April 30): Buti - Passo Due Santi, 160.4 km.
* Stage 6 (Wednesday, May the 1st): Valenza Po - San Giuliano Milanese, 122 km.
Born in 1976, the "Giro delle Regioni" Palmares features many a rider that later had their say in the pro peloton too, including recent winners Giuliano Figueras, Fabio Malberti, Leonardo Giordani, Antonio Gasparre. Last year the contest was won by no less than the "Merckx of the Amateurs", Ukraine's Yaroslavl Popovych, then an U23 rider in the mighty Zoccorinese-Vellutex squad, now a pro set to make his debut in the WC Classics in Sunday's Amstel Gold race, with the Landbouwkrediet-Colnago outfit. The other podium places in 2001 were taken by two more riders now part of the pro cycling world: Italian Michele Scarponi (the Acqua e Sapone rookie who "broke the ice" some days ago by winning a Lombard Week stage), and current Saeco's "newbie" Damiano Cunego.
Among this year's main favorites is another Ukrainian guy, whom some regard as Popovych's "heir", namely Roman Luhovyy (San Paolo-Saeco), that could continue the tradition started by his fellow countryman. Other East-European riders (like Russia's Soukourchenko and Czech Skoda) picked up more than one success in this race.
U23: 56th "Coppa Caduti Nervianesi" - GP T.T.N. (149 KM.)
- Nerviano (Milan) - April the 25th, 2002 - RESULTS (TOP 10 PLACES)
1. Simone Fadini (Ita - L'Edile Rosa Carne Gaverina) - 3h32' (44,257 km/h)
2. Maksyim Rudenko (Ukr - GS Juvenes Sterliton)
3. Gaiacomo Montanari (Ita - Edile Rosa Carne Gaverina)
4. Daniele Della Tommasina (Ita - GS Promociclo)
5. Alesandro Maserati (Ita - GS Luigi Maserati)
6. Iouri Akoultnichev (Rus - GS Sanpellegrino Bottoli Artoni)
7. Matteo Nervi (Ita - GSC Iris Vigevano)
8. Aleksei Lanbin (Rus ? UC Pregnana-Cer. Ragazzetti)
9. Valeri Dimitriev (Rus - Edile Rosa Carne Gaverina)
10. Massimiliano Grazia (Ita - GS Sanpellegrino Bottoli Artoni)
6th "Giro della provincia di Biella": LUCA SOLARI, riding for Marchiol Hit Casino's-Site Frezza , has taken the race held on Wedneday in northern Piedmont, with a 5" winning margin over Ezio Casagrande (no relation with Fassa's Francesco and Filippo) and 36" on the next bunch, led home by Podgornik.