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By Fabio
Date: 10/18/2003

Full RACE PREVIEW Down in the Page


With additional comments from Podofodonny

The 97th “Giro di Lombardia” got underway in Como around 10:45 AM local time, with two “big” news, a good and a bad one , being among the main discussion topics at the start line.

The good news is the “Peace Treaty” finally signed between Paolo Bettini and Igor Astarloa. The Spaniard and the Italian put an end to all polemics and speculations, related to the “financial incentive” Bettini would have offered to the current World Champion in order to help him (an event later denied by Astarloa himself), with a hug before the start of the race. So it really seems the misunderstanding is cleared, and the case closed at last, such that all trash talking about this unpleasant subject should hopefully be over.

But at the same time more bad news, likely to stir new polemics, came about when Finland-born British Charles Wegelius (De Nardi-Colpack) was declared "inapt" to compete after blood tests were carried out this morning between 06:45 and 07:25 local time. Yes, you may have realized that what we are talking of is too high hematocrit levels. But waiting to know more details about this new, unpleasant case, let’s just stick to the race itself …

… Which is marked by a first breakaway attempt, coming after no more than three kilometres, and courtesy of Italy’s Domenico Gualdi (Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé-Ciarrocchi Immobiliare). But he is reeled in soon, and another seven-man try at the km. 18 mark is quickly nullified. Two km. later, it’s the turn of a big name of the peloton: Igor González de Galdeano. But the Spaniard isn’t more successful than all previous wannabe escapees.

Things take a different turn for two less-known Italians: 26-year-old Matteo Cappé (Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé-C.I.) and 24-year-old Francesco Bellotti (Mercatone Uno-Scanavino). They break away soon after the km. 20 mark, and quickly open a 30-second gap, which goes up to 01’20” by km. 30.

Soon later another young Italian, Daniele Pietropolli of Tenax (23) roars away from the bunch, and starts his solo chase. But the two front-runners continue to put time on both him (03’05” at the km. 36 mark, 03’252 at the km. 50 mark,. More than 04’ by km. 55) and the main peloton (trailing 03’45” down at km. 36, 05’45” at km. 50, and almost seven minutes by km. 55).

On the Ghisallo climb Francesco Bellotti drops his breakaway mate, and is the first one across the top, with a lead of 01'43'' over Cappè. Pietropolli is trailing more than five minutes down, and the bunch is more than 09’00” behind the Mercatone Uno-Scanavino rider.

In the following descent the gap between Bellotti and Cappé remains the same, whereas both Pietropolli and the peloton lose one more minute or so.

But in the next kms. the Mercatone Uno-Scanavino front runner keeps putting time into ALL of his rivals in an impressive way, such that at the km. 100 mark Bellotti is leading Cappé by 05'13" and Pietropolli by 10'50". Six more riders, able to distance themselves from the rest of the field, are trailing 13 minutes behind, but 01'40" ahead of the peloton.

Born in Bussolengo (Verona Province of northern Italy) on the Sixth of August, 1979, Francesco Bellotti turned professional this year with Mercatone Uno-Scanavino. He still has to savor his "first time" at the top of the podium, but already managed to get several Top 10 finishes:

* 3rd place finish at Giro del Medio Brenta
* 6th place finish at Gp di Lugano
* 8th place finish at Giro della Provincia di Reggio Calabria
* 9th place finish in a Peace Race Stage (St. 3: Krnov-Polanica Zdroj)
* 10th place finish at Giro del Friuli

Tuscan Matteo Cappé of Livorno is another neo-pro, even though he also raced as stagiarie for Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo in late 2002. But, unlike Bellotti, the Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé rider never had any significant placings in his first year among the "big guns" of the peloton. So far, at least ...

With the race reaching its halfway point (km. 125), we can finally notice some little signs of reaction from the bunch: Pietropolli as well as the six riders mentioned before have been absorbed. And the gap to Bellotti "brought down" to 13'55". As for Cappé, he's now ten minutes behind the current leader.

It didn't take long for the peloton to swallow Cappé too, and even slightly cut the gap to Bellotti. But with less than 120 km. to go, the Mercatone Uno youngster is still 12'50" clear of the "Gruppo Compatto".

More on Francesco Bellotti: Last year he was racing fo the Veneto-based Amateur team "Velo Club Mantovani", and he got some excellent results too, including a victory at Giro del Cigno. He first raced among the pros in late 2002, as stagiarie for Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola. His excellent performances in the 2003 early season competitions almost earned him a place in the Mercatone Uno line-up for the Giro, but unfortunately his condition and results in the weeks before Italy's GT were not that good, and the man was eventually denied the chance to make his debut in the nation's #1 cycling race.

Less than 100 km. to go, and even if he lost more of his lead Franesco Bellotti, now tackling the Colle del Gallo ascent (763 m asl), still maintains a good advantage over the chasers: at the 150 km. mark check he was 08'15" ahead of Lampre's Wladimir Belli, who earlier managed to ride away from the bunch, and about nine minutes clear of the same peloton.

Bellotti's lead halved on the Colle del Gallo. He got to the top with an advantage of just 04'25" over Belli and ten more secs. on the main bunch, that lost many members on the demanding ascent anyway.

175 km. gone, 74 to go: as predictable, Wladimir Belli has been absorbed by the bunch, while less predictably Francesco Bellotti, whio is starting his ascent of Colle Selvino climb, slightly increased his leadership over the peloton to 04'32".

Francesco Bellotti's fairytale has come to an end on the Selvino climb: also due to several attacks back in the bunch, the man's lead melted like snow in the sun, and the brave rider of Mercatone Uno-Scanavino was caught by the bunch by the km. 184 mark. Kudos to the 24-year-old from Bussoleno, who stayed clear for about 162 kilometres, but now a new decisive phase of Giro di Lombardia is about to start.

A little more than 70 km. to go, and a bunch of some 70 riders in the lead, with the Rabobank guys particularly active up front. Four hours into the race, the average speed is of 38.800 km/h.

On the Selvino descent, a leading group of 16 forms, containing, among others, Bartoli, Frigo, Boogerd and Sastre, and puts a few dozen seconds into the rest.

1605 - Also World Champion Astarloa and Francesco Casagrande, who had a flat earlier, have regained the leading bunch, that now sees Bettini in its bottom places. About 50k to go and Astarloa now looks in trouble on an ascent.

1606 - New attack from Flecha, Spezialetti, Righi, Den Bakker and Peron. Just like Astarloa, Bettini is a bit in trouble now.

1607 - Bettini regained the leading bunch, although he's still struggling. Figueras, Celestino and Camenzind are among those dropped on the current ascent (Bracca, 5 km.) instead.

1609 - The Bracca ascent is over. The five leaders have been caught, while surprisingly Bettini moved up front in order to lead the chase. Is he working for a teammate?

1610 - The peloton is on the Bracca descent, and some riders dropped on the previous climb (like Celestino) are trying to regain the leading bunch. Maybe today The Cricket will repay Luca Paolini. Paolini is in great shape too - he won the Milano - Vignola on 28th of September.

1612 - Rabobank's Beat Zberg goes on the attack on the descent.

1615 - 50k to go. Beat Zberg was joined by two more escapees: Andrea Peron and iBanesto's Juan Antonio Flecha, but their lead is minimal.

In pre-race interviews, Oscar Freire said that "Spaniards are going fast. They proved it at the Worlds. And I think Sevilla and the Banestos may be protagonists today." And Flecha's performance is currently provin' him right.

1620 - Saeco's Team Manager Giuseppe Martinelli just explained Astarloa's poor performance in today's race: "He's not fit: he's been suffering stomach problems (dysentery) throughout the past hours."

Of course, this will be one of the last ever appearances of the great Banesto team that is forever associated with Miguel Indurain - the team will cease to exist at the end of the season. The "Arrow" Flecha however - famous for his winning signal that tour fans will remember on stage 11 of this year's Tour - will be joining the Fassa Bortolo team for 2004.

1625 - Three riders (B. Zberg, Peron, Flecha) still in the lead, with eight chasers trying to bridge a small gap.

1626 - The three leaders are now 25" ahead of an 8-strong chasing group. The peloton is 50" behind.

Beat Zberg has won one race this season - stage 2 of the Setmana Catalana - where he finished just ahead of...Flecha!

1630 - Less than 40k to go: Beat Zberg, Flecha and CSC's "cycling Globe-Trotter" Andrea Peron are leading the main bunch by 01'20", with 8 other chasers still in between. Peron is one of the most experienced riders in the peloton - turning pro in 1993 with Gatorade - he has ridden for Motorola, FdJ, ONCE, Polti, Fassa and CSC - who he will ride for next season?

1632 - Among the eight chasers, currently trailing 35" behind the front runners, is also German Patrick Sinkewitz of Mapei-Quick Step.

1633 - Paolo Bettini lost the wheels of the main bunch too, while Casagrande and Celestino are struggling, and both Di Luca and Rebellin are in the middle of the main peloton.

1634 - Nothing new in the lead though, with Flecha, Peron and Beat Zberg still rocking.

1635 - Michele Bartoli now forcing the pace at the front of the bunch, which is taking time out of the leaders (just 55" the gap now on the Berbenno climb). Freire and Casagrande got dropped instead.

1636 - Bartoli is still pushing on the gas pedal, and more (former) members of the eight-strong chasing bunch are being swallowed. Zimbabwe's Timothy Jones is seen up front now. Beat Zberg, from Altdorf Switzerland, like Peron, is one of the more experienced members of the peloton; turned pro in 1991 with the Swiss Helvetia team, he has since rode with Carrera, Mercatone Uno and since 1998 with the Rabobank boys.

1637 - Casagrande, Freire, Belli, Sevilla and others, all of them dropped, are now trailing some 50 metres behind the Bartoli's bunch.

1639 - The three leaders have been joined by QSD's Patrick Sinkewitz and Italy's Masciarelli. It's five men in the lead now...

1640 - But the chasing bunch, with Frigo and Bartoli pulling hard, and Boogerd too, is coming; Rebellin, Di Luca and "the other" Zberg (Markus) are a bit behind. Patrick Sinkewitz's biggest success was in 2002 when he won the GP Winterthur - which was won in 2001 by...Beat Zberg!

1644 - With the Berbenno ascent over, the "Rebellin bunch" is 30" down to the Bartoli group, while the Di Luca one is 20" further down.

1648 - 23k to go, the 5 leaders are heading towards the end of the descent, but their lead over the Bartoli-led, 15-strong chasing group has gone down to less than 20". And behind them, Di Luca, Casagrande and others joined the Rebellin bunch.

1650 - The Bartoli & Frigo group just caught the five leaders: it's 20 men up front (among them Sastre, Boogerd, Vicioso, Moncoutié, Kessler). And the next group, featuring Di Luca, Rebellin and Casagrande, is chasing...

1652 - While latest reports say Paolo Bettini just pulled out of the race. Surprise attack from Michele Bartoli on the descent!!! Only Cofidis' Angelo Lopeboselli counters!

1654 - Bartoli and "Lope" area leading by 10", while the Di Luca-Rebellin-Casagrande-Freire crew is trailing, more than a minute down.

1657 - 15k to go: Bartoli, doing the lion's share of the work, and Lopeboselli put more time into the first chasing group: 25" is the gap now.

1658 - But Lopeboselli is not saving his legs. He's actually taking turns and helping the reigning champion of this race. Angelo Lopeboselli, born 1977 in Gavardo, Italy, has been a pro since 2000 - somewhat surprisingly, he has only ridden for the French team in his career - though he leaves the Cofidis ranks at the end of the season to join Maserati LPR team.

1659 - Some words from Bettini after he pulled out of the race: "I tried, but this week was hard. The comeback, the trip, and I had so many things to do at home... But today it's time to celebrate my second World cup win anyway. As for next year, my main targets will be the Olympic and the Verona Worlds."

1702 - Despite his abandon of today's race, Bettini sounded very happy today.

1703 - Due to the lack of cooperation in the first chasing group, Bartoli and Lopeboselli are gaining more time...

1704 - 10k to go. And the lead is up to 01'10". Victory is becoming matter of two (Lopeboselli and Bartoli).

1705 - Franck Schleck and his CSC teammates are trying to set up a kind of chase, but it could be too late for them...

1708 - 5k to go, the two leaders are entering Bergamo. And getting close to the last ascent of the race, in the upper part of the city (Bergamo Alta). Bartoli, "The Warrior" from Pisa, turned pro in 1992 with the Mercatone Uno team; he has has a distinguished career - which may have been even better but for some bad accidents and injuries - clearly on top form after winning the recent "hell of the South."

1709 - The leaders just tackled the brief but gruelling ascent, including a cobbled section. And the gap is up to more than 01'30".

1710 - Bartoli and Lopeboselli are now on the cobbled section of the 1.4-km climb, but neither of them has tried to attack so far. Now Bartoli attacks, Lope struggling not to lose his wheels.

1712 - Bartoli put a few metres on Lopeboselli, but didn't really put on the gas pedal, such that the Cofidis rider managed to regain his wheels. Obviously, Michele Bartoli is the Red Hot Favourite to take the race (and it would be the second straight win for him).

1714 - Attack from Dario Frigo, back in the chasing bunch. The Fassa rider is now flying towards a spot in the final podium.

1715 - Bartoli and Lopeboselli ready for the final sprint, although there are very few doubts about the final outcome...200m to go...EASY WIN FOR MICHELE BARTOLI!!!

1. Bartoli 2. Lopeboselli. Another Italian, Dario Frigo, takes third place. Beat Zberg leads the bunch home and snatches fourth, with the always excellent Miguel Angel Martín Perdiguero of Spain taking fifth ahead of France's Cedric Vasseur.

First words from Michele Bartoli after his second straight victory: "This win is just a further proof of the fact that, when things go fine, I can do very well. I really wanted to get it in my last race with the Fassa Bortolo outfit, also as a way to thank my Team, Managers and Sponsors. As a gift for them."

97th Giro della Lombardia - FULL RESULTS

1. Michele Bartoli (Ita - Fassa Bartolo) - 06h 29' 41"
2. Angelo Lopeboselli (Ita - Cofidis) - s.t.
3. Dario Frigo (Ita - Fassa Bortolo) - at 01'31"
4. Beat Zberg (Swii - Rabobank) - at 01'47"
5. Miguel Angel Martín Perdiguero (Spa - Domina Vacanze-Elitron) - s.t.
6. Cèdric Vasseur (Fra - Cofidis) - s.t.
7. Sergiy Gonchar (Ukr - De Nardi-Colpack) - s.t.
8. Patrick Sinkewitz (Ger - Quick Step-Davitamon) - s.t.
9. Guido Trentin (Ita - Cofidis) - s.t.
10. Michael Boogerd (Hol - Rabobank) - s.t.
11. Peter Luttenberger (Aut - Team CSC) - s.t.
12. Aitor Garmendia Arbilla (Spa - Team Bianchi) - s.t.
13. Leonardo Piepoli (Ita - - s.t.
14. Félix Garcia Casas (Spa - Team Bianchi) - s.t.
15. Matthias Kessler (Ger - Team Telekom) - at 01'58"
16. Angel Vicioso (Spa - O.N.C.E.-Eroski) - s.t.
17. Frank Schleck (Lux - Team CSC) - s.t.
18. Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa - - s.t.
19. David Moncoutie (Fra - Cofidis) - s.t.
20. Andrea Peron (Ita - Team CSC) - s.t.
21. Marcos Serrano (Spa - O.N.C.E.-Eroski) - s.t.
22. Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa - Team CSC) - s.t.
23. Alessandro Bertolini (Ita - Alessio) - at 03'08"
24. Marcus Zberg (Swi - Gerolsteiner) - s.t.
25. Gerrit Glomser (Aut - Team Saeco) - s.t.
26. Maarten Den Bakker (Hol - Rabobank) - at 03'12"
27. Massimo Giunti (Ita - Domina Vacanze-Elitron) - s.t.
28. Mario Aerts (Bel - Team Telekom) - s.t.
29. Isidro Nozal (Spa - O.N.C.E.-Eroski) - s.t.
30. Michael Rasmussen (Den - Rabobank) - at 03'35"
31. Simone Masciarelli (Ita - Vini Caldirola-SO.DI) - at 04'35"
32. Joaquín Rodríguez (Spa - O.N.C.E.-Eroski) - at 05'00"
33. Christophe Brandt (Bel - Lotto-Domo) - s.t.
34. Kim Kirchen (Lux - Fassa Bortolo) - s.t.
35. Filippo Simeoni (Ita - Domina Vacanze-Elitron) - s.t.
36. Santiago Perez Fernandez (Spa - Phonak Hearing Systems) - s.t.
37. Mirko Celestino (Ita - Team Saeco) - s.t.
38. Daniele Righi (Ita - Lampre) - s.t.
39. Alejandro Valverde (Spa - Kelme-Costa Blanca) - s.t.
40. Oscar Sevilla Ribera (Spa - Kelme-Costa Blanca) - s.t.
41. Danilo Di Luca (Ita - Team Saeco) - s.t.
42. Wladimir Belli (Ita - Lampre) - s.t.
43. Marco Fertonani (Ita - Phonak Hearing Systems) - s.t.
44. Daniel Atienza (Spa - Cofidis) - s.t.
45. Davide Rebellin (Ita - Gerolsteiner) - s.t.
46. Francesco Casagrande (Ita - Lampre) - s.t.
47. Axel Merckx (Bel - Lotto-Domo) - s.t.
48. Cristian Moreni (Ita - Alessio) - s.t.
49. Oscar Freire Gómez (Spa - Rabobank) - s.t.
50. José Iván Gutiérrez Palacios (Spa - - at 09'31"
51. Francisco Vila (Spa - Lampre) - s.t.
52. Alexandre Moos (Swi - Phonak Hearing Systems) - s.t.
53. Tadej Valjavec (Slo - Fassa Bortolo) - s.t.
54. Giuliano Figueras (Ita - Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo) - s.t.
55. Dmitri Fofonov (Kaz - Cofidis) - s.t.
56. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus - Domina Vacanze-Elitron) - at 10'44"
57. Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita - Team Saeco) - at 11'28"
58. Leonardo Zanotti (Ita - De Nardi-Colpack) - at 13'29"
59. Daniel Schnider (Swi - Phonak Hearing Systems) - s.t.
60. Leonardo Giordani (Ita - De Nardi-Colpack) - s.t.
61. Gianni Faresin (Ita - Gerolsteiner) - s.t.
62. Igor Pugaci (Mol - Team Saeco) - s.t.
63. Piotr Przydzial (Pol - CCC-Polsat) - s.t.
64. Domenico Passuello (Ita - Quick.Step-Davitamon) - s.t.
65. Massimo Codol (Ita - Mercatone Uno - Scanavino) - s.t.
66. Martin Elmiger (Swi - Phonak Hearing Systems) - s.t.
67. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol - Mercatone Uno - Scanavino) - s.t.
68. Pietro Caucchioli (Ita - Alessio) - s.t.
69. Luca Mazzanti (Ita - Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo) - s.t.
70. Paolo Valoti (Ita - Domina Vacanze-Elitron) - s.t.
71. Sergiy Avdyeyev (Ukr - Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) - s.t.
72. Volodymyr Bileka (Ukr - Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) - s.t.
73. Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita - Team Saeco) - s.t.
74. Gianluca Tonetti (Ita - Tenax) - s.t.
75. Michele Gobbi (Ita - De Nardi-Colpack) - s.t.
76. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr - Fassa Bortolo) - s.t.
77. Vladimir Duma (Ukr - Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) - s.t.

UCI World Cup 2003 - Final Standings: Top 20 Places

1. Paolo Bettini (Ita - Quick Step-Davitamon) - 365 points
2. Michael Boogerd (Hol - Rabobank) - 220 points
3. Peter Van Petegem (Bel - Lotto-Domo) - 219 points
4. Davide Rebellin (Ita - Gerolsteiner) - 187 points
5. Erik Zabel (Ger - Team Telekom) - 186 points
6. Danilo Di Luca (Ita - Team Saeco) - 140 points
7. Mirko Celestino (Ita - Team Saeco) - 139 points
8. Daniele Nardello (Ita - Team Telekom) - 124 points
9. Michele Bartoli (Ita - Fassa Bortolo) - 124 points
10. Francesco Casagrande (Ita - Lampre) - 123 points
11. Luca Paolini (Ita - Quick Step-Davitamon) - 106 points
12. Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel - Quick Step-Davitamon) - 92 points
13. Michele Scarponi (Ita - Domina Vacanze-Elitron) - 88 points
14. Serguei Ivanov (Rus - Fassa Bortolo) - 79 points
15. Vjatcheslav Ekimov (Rus - US Postal-Berry Floor) - 74 points
16. Igor Astarloa (Spa - Team Saeco 71) - points
17 Javier Pascual Rodríguez (Spa - - 68 points
18. Beat Zberg (Swi - Rabobank) - 62 points
19. Stefano Zanini (Ita - Team Saeco) - 54 points
20. Andrea Noé (Ita – Alessio) - 46 points

UCI World Cup 2003 - Trade Teams: Final Standings

1. Team Saeco - 79 points
2. Quick Step-Davitamon - 72 points
3. Alessio - 47 points
4. Rabobank - 47 points
5. Fassa Bortolo - 45 points
6. Team Telekom - 30 points
7. Lotto-Domo - 26 points
8. Cofidis - 23 points
9. Gerolsteiner - 21 points
10. Lampre - 19 points
11. Domina Vacanze-Elitron - 16 points
12. - 14 points
13. Phonak Hearing Sytems- 12 points
14. Team CSC - 12 points
15. AG2R-Prévoyance - 9 points
16. Vini Caldirola-SO.DI. - 8 points
17. O.N.C.E.-Eroski - 8 points
18. U.S Postal-Berry Floor - 6 points
19. Crédit Agricole - 4 points


97th Giro della Lombardia - Race Preview

From Shore to Shore. From Lake to Lake. Six days ago the big names of the peloton were seen along the shores of Lake Ontario, in the Canadian city of Hamilton, home to the 2003 Road World Championships. On Saturday they can be found along the shores of Italy’s Lago di Como, on the town bearing the same name - and being Lance Armstrong’s HQ when he was based in Italy in his early years as professional rider, including when he took the World Title in 1993.

And Como is also the city hosting the start of the Giro di Lombardia, the ultimate race of the 2003 World Cup, and the last "big" one of the current season on European soil, a race that kicks off there just to meet the finish line 249 kilometres, and a lot of hills, later in Bergamo.

Names of lakes may change, but those of race protagonists may not. Two of which in particular: Igor Astarloa and Paolo Bettini. The Spaniard and the Italian stole the show this past Sunday at the Worlds, and so they did (although for not such pleasant reasons) throughout the week. And they have the chance to do it again in Lombardy, where a new chapter of their “saga” is going on stage. This time with a brand new title: the “Battle of the Rainbows”.

Indeed, while Bettini will show his vertically-stripped rainbow jersey, reserved to the World Cup overall leader (or in this case even winner, a status he gained for the second straight year, this time without the need to wait for the last leg), the “Giro di Lombardia” also gives “Asta” the chance to wear, for the first time in an official competition, the horizontally-stripped rainbow jersey he deservedly conquered last Sunday in Hamilton.

And with the “bribery farce” misunderstanding hopefully cleared, and the case closed at last - despite some excessive trash talking and many superficial judgements we unfortunately heard in recent days - the two guys could stage another great fight over the hills of Lombardia, to start from the well-known “Madonna del Ghisallo”, a climb dedicated to the … Saint Patroness of Cycling, and featuring a “Sanctuary-Cycling Museum” right at the top of the ascent.

Of course Bettini and Astarloa are not the only two favourites to take the win in Bergamo. Many other top riders are going for the glory, from reigining champion Michele Bartoli, hoping to show National Team Coach Franco Ballerini that he was wrong in not including “The Warrior” in the Squadra Azzurra roster for the Worlds, to Gerolsteiner’s Davide Rebellin, himself excluded from Italy’s National squad, and aiming for something better than his decent placings we got accustomed to.

Other riders to watch may be the Lampre duo Barbero-Casagrande, Spanish sensation Alejandro Valverde (after a helluva Vuelta and a great Silver medal at the World Championships, a win at Lombardia would just be the icing on the cake) and Switzerland’s Oscar Camenzind (sure Phonak is gonna get better with the arrivals of Hamilton and Sevilla, but they ALREADY have strong guys in the roster, and the 1998 Road World Champion is one of them). And Saeco’s Mirko Celestino, recent winner of Milano-Torino. And the Alessio boys: Pietro Caucchioli, Cristian Moreni, Andrea Noé and Thursday’s Tour of Piedmont champion Alessandro Bertolini.

Ah, don’t write off Fassa’s Ivan Basso (moving to CSC, just like Bartoli, at the end of the season) and Dario Frigo, as well as Rabo-cops Oscar Freire (looking for redemption after other Spaniards stole the show in Hamilton) and Michael Boogerd either! And if you take into account even the likes of Di Luca, Figueras and Yaroslav Popovych (and there’s even Julio Alberto Pérez Cuapio!) you may easily realize why you shouldn’t miss the last get-together of "big guns" in the current season.

More stuff concerning Giro di Lombardia, historical tidbits included, can be found in Podofdonny’s News Round-Up, while the race Startlist (PDF File) is available HERE, and you may have a look at the Parcours by clicking on this link.


Giro della Lombardia - Full Palmares

1905: Giovanni Gerbi (Ita)
1906: Giuseppe Brambilla (Ita)
1907: Gustave Garrigou (Fra)
1908: François Faber (Lux)
1909: Giovanni Cuniolo (Ita)
1910: Giovanni Michelotto (Ita)
1911: Henri Pélissier (Fra)
1912: Carlo Oriani (Ita)
1913: Henri Pélissier (Fra)
1914: Lauro Bordin (Ita)
1915: Gaetamo Belloni (Ita)
1916: Leopoldo Torricelli (Ita)
1917: Philippe Thys (Bel)
1918: Gaetamo Belloni (Ita)
1919: Costante Girardengo (Ita)
1920: Henri Pélissier (Fra)
1921: Costante Girardengo (Ita)
1922: Costante Girardengo (Ita)
1923: Giovanni Brunero (Ita)
1924: Giovanni Brunero (Ita)
1925: Alfredo Binda (Ita)
1926: Alfredo Binda (Ita)
1927: Alfredo Binda (Ita)
1928: Gaetano Belloni (Ita)
1929: Pietro Fossati (Ita)
1930: Michele Mara (Ita)
1931: Alfredo Binda (Ita)
1932: Antonio Negrini (Ita)
1933: Domenico Piemontesi (Ita)
1934: Learco Guerra (Ita)
1935: Enrico Mollo (Ita)
1936: Gino Bartali (Ita)
1937: Aldo Bini (Ita)
1938: Cino Cinelli (Ita)
1939: Gino Bartali (Ita)
1940: Gino Bartali (Ita)
1941: Mario Ricci (Ita)
1942: Aldo Bini (Ita)
1945: Mario Ricci (Ita)
1946: Fausto Coppi (Ita)
1947: Fausto Coppi (Ita)
1948: Fausto Coppi (Ita)
1949: Fausto Coppi (Ita)
1950: Renzo Soldani (Ita)
1951: Louison Bobet (Fra)
1952: Giuseppe Minardi (Ita)
1953: Bruno Landi (Ita)
1954: Fausto Coppi (Ita)
1955: Cleto Maule (Ita)
1956: André Darrigade (Fra)
1957: Diego Ronchini (Ita)
1958: Nino Defilippis (Ita)
1959: Rik Van Looy (Bel)
1960: Emile Daems (Bel)
1961: Vito Taccone (Ita)
1962: Joo De Roo (Hol)
1963: Joo De Roo (Hol)
1964: Gianni Motta (Ita)
1965: Tommy Simpson (GBR)
1966: Felice Gimondi (Ita)
1967: Franco Bitossi (Ita)
1968: Herman Van Springel (Bel)
1969: Jean-Pierre Monséré (Fra) *
1970: Franco Bitossi (Ita)
1971: Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1972: Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1973: Felice Gimondi (Ita) **
1974: Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel)
1975: Francesco Moser (Ita)
1976: Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel)
1977: Giovan Battista Baronchelli (Ita)
1978: Francesco Moser (Ita)
1979: Bernard Hinault (Fra)
1980: Alfons De Wolf (Bel)
1981: Hennie Kuiper (Hol)
1982: Giuseppe Saronni (Ita)
1983: Sean Kelly (Ire)
1984: Bernard Hinault (Fra)
1985: Sean Kelly (Ire)
1986: Giovan Battista Baronchelli (Ita)
1987: Moreno Argentin (Ita)
1988: Charly Mottet (Fra)
1989: Toni Rominger (Swi)
1990: Gilles Delion (Fra)
1991: Sean Kelly (Ire)
1992: Toni Rominger (Swi)
1993: Pascal Richard (Swi)
1994: Vladislav Bobrik (Rus)
1995: Gianni Faresin (Ita)
1996: Andrea Tafi (Ita)
1997: Laurent Jalabert (Fra)
1998: Oskar Camenzind (Swi)
1999: Mirko Celestino (Ita)
2000: Raimondas Rumsas (Lit)
2001: Danilo De Luca (Ita)
2002: Michele Bartoli (Ita)
2003: Michele Bartoli (Ita)

* = Gerben Karsten (Hol), the first rider across the line, was relegated, and victory awarded to Monseré

** = Eddy Merckx (Bel), the first rider across the line, was disqualified, and victory awarded to Gimondi

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