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Giro del Lazio (1.1)
By Fabio
Date: 9/20/2003
Giro del Lazio (1.1)
Yes, folks. Michele Bartoli is back. The 33-year-old Tuscan has won on Saturday afternoon the 69th edition of the “Giro del Lazio”, the UCI-1.1 sanctioned race that covered 196 km. between Rieti and the town of Nettuno, in the Rome area of Central Italy.

The Fassa-Bortolo rider was the fastest in a two-man sprint, ahead of Saeco’s 29-year-old Mirko Celestino. It started as a three-man sprint though, as the two guys were in a 3-strong breakaway that formed with 57 km. to the line, when the above mentioned duo and iBanesto’s (but moving to Fassa in 2004) Catalan Juan Antonio Flecha attacked on the last climb of the day, Campi d'Annibale ("Hannibal's Fields"), on cobbled, steep (gradient going up to 18%) section.

The Spaniard, very active and combative in this race, crashed in the final straight, with less than 100 m. to go, and the motorbike and the car following the three leaders almost ran over him. But luckily both had excellent brakes and stopped just in time, such that the 2003 TdF stage winner could get on his time and cross the line in third place a few seconds later, unhurt.

This was just the second victory for "the Warrior" in the 2004 season, coming after a stage success at tour de La Region Wallonne in late July, and by far Bartoli’s most significant performance since the man claimed the Tour of Lombardy in October 2002. And it came in great day for Fassa-Bortolo, winning both in Italy and Spain, as Petacchi sprinted to victory for the fourth time in the Iberian race.

Fassa Bortolo’s DS Giancarlo Ferretti. His boys won in Italy and Spain on Saturday.
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Bartoli wrote his name in the Tour of Latium palmares for the first time, and right below Paolo Bettini's, as his fellow Tuscan, and former team-mate took the "Tour of the Latium" in 2002 (while today "The Cricket" took it easy inside the peloton and finished 25th).

And looking at the full winners list down in the page, one may notice how this race has turned into a "hunt-territory" for Tuscan riders, with seven editions out of the past eight (including the Y2K one, won by Max Sciandri, who rides for Britain but is from Tuscany) captured by riders from the central Italian region, and Piedmontese Sergio Barbero as only exception to the rule.

But, statistics aside, what really matters now are the effects of Bartoli's showdown on the Italian team for the Worlds. Will Saturday's display of power by the Fassa rider help him earn a spot in the Squadra Azzurra ? Or is just making things more comlicated for coach Ballerini, that will have to chose among plenty of talented riders and potential winners, but maybe not to eager to work for their teammates ?

Maybe tomorrow's GP Industria Artigianato will help Ballerini clear his doubts. Indeed many big names of the Italian peloton will be back on their bikes in Prato, in the outskirts of florence, for the 58th edition of the local race, the first on a Sunday afternoon since 1993, with Francesco Casagrande looking for his first victory, and other favorites such as Rebellin, Camenzind, Basso and the same Bartoli hoping to give him stiff competition.

69th Giro del Lazio (196 km.) - Top 20 Places:
1. Michele Bartoli (Ita - Fassa Bortolo) - 04h41'47" (41.734 km/h)
2. Mirko Celestino (Ita - Saeco) - s.t.
3. Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa - - at 25"
4. Sergio Barbero (Ita - Lampre) - at 39"
5. Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz - Quick Step-Davitamon) - s.t.
6. Gianni Faresin (Ita - Gerolsteiner) - at 40"
7. Ruggero Borghi (Ita - Mercatone Uno-Scanavino) -s.t.
8. Martin Elmiger (Swi - Phonak Hearing Systems) - at 50"
9. Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita - Saeco) - s.t.
10. Paolo Valoti (Ita - Alessio) - s.t.
11. Paolo Bossoni (Ita - Vini Caldirola-SO.DI) - at 53"
12. Roberto Petito (Ita - Fassa Bortolo) - s.t.
13. Fabio Sacchi (Ita - Saeco Macchine per Caffè) - s.t.
14. Luca Solari (Ita - Mercatone Uno - Scanavino) - at 53"
15. Domenico Passuello (Ita - Quick Step - Davitamon) - s.t.
16. Marcel Strauss (Swi - Gerolsteiner) - s.t.
17. Gabriele Missaglia (Ita - Lampre) - s.t.
18. Massimiliano Mori (Ita - Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavè-Ciarrocchi I.) - s.t.
19. Ruggero Marzoli (Ita - Alessio) - s.t.
20. Mario Scirea (Ita - Domina Vacanze-Elitron) - at 54"
... 25. Paolo Bettini (Ita - Quick Step-Davitamon) - at 04'49"

Giro del Lazio - Palmares:
1933: Giovanni Valetti (Ita)
1934: Renato Scorticato (Ita)
1935: Giuseppe Martano (Ita)
1936: Rinaldo Gerini (Ita)
1937: Gino Bartali (Ita)
1938: Cesare Del Cancia (Ita)
1939: Mario Vicini (Ita)
1940: Gino Bartali (Ita)
1941: Adolfo Leoni (Ita)
1942: Osvaldo Bailo (Ita)
1943: Quirino Toccacelli (Ita)
1945: Gino Bartali (Ita)
1946: Zoarini Guidi (Ita)
1947: Michele Motta (Ita)
1948: Pietro Guidici (Ita)
1949: Virgilio Salimbeni (Ita)
1950: Annibale Brasola (Ita)
1951: Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)
1952: Dante Rivola (Ita)
1953: Giorgio Albani (Ita)
1954: Angelo Conterno (Ita)
1955: Loretto Petrucci (Ita)
1956: Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)
1957: Ercole Baldini (Ita)
1958: Nino Defillipis (Ita)
1959: Diego Ronchini (Ita)
1960: Giuseppe Fallarini (Ita)
1961: Bruno Mealli (Ita)
1962: Nino Defillipis (Ita)
1963: Adriano Durante (Ita)
1964: Bruno Mealli (Ita)
1965: Franco Bitossi (Ita)
1966: Michele Dancelli (Ita)
1967: Felice Gimondi (Ita)
1968: Giancarlo Polidori (Ita)
1969: Flavio Vicentini (Ita)
1970: Michele Dancelli (Ita)
1971: Franco Mori (Ita)
1972: Martin Vandenbossche (Bel)
1973: Giovanni Battaglin (Ita)
1974: Roberto Poggiali (Ita)
1975: Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel)
1976: Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel)
1977: Francesco Moser (Ita)
1978: Francesco Moser (Ita)
1979: Silvano Contini (Ita)
1980: Bernt Johansson (Swe)
1981: Gianbattista Baronchelli (Ita)
1982: Dag-Erik Pedersen (Den)
1983: Silvano Contini (Ita)
1984: Francesco Moser (Ita)
1985: Bruno Leali (Ita)
1986: Urs Zimmermann (Ita)
1987: Roberto Pagnin (Ita)
1988: Charly Mottet (Ita)
1989: Charly Mottet (Ita)
1990: Maurizio Fondriest (Ita)
1991: Andrea Tafi (Ita)
1992: Gianni Bugno (Ita)
1993: Pascal Richard (Swi)
1994: Maurizio Fondriest (Ita)
1995: Pascal Richard (Swi)
1996: Andrea Tafi (Ita)
1997: Alessandro Baronti (Ita)
1998: Andrea Tafi (Ita)
1999: Sergio Barbero (Ita)
2000: Max Sciandri (GBR)
2001: Massimo Donati (Ita)
2002: Paolo Bettini (Ita)
2003: Michele Bartoli (Ita)

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