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87th Giro d'Italia Stage 16 Live Coverage
By Staff
Date: 5/25/2004
87th Giro d'Italia Stage 16 Live Coverage

Welcome to the Daily Peloton's live coverage of Stage 16 of the 87th Giro d'Italia. After having a little taste of Italian climbs at Corno alle Scale and Montevergine di Mercogliano in the first week of racing, the peloton finally meets the "real" mountains, with four gruelling stages that will determine the final outcome of the first Grand Tour of the season. Tuesday's Stage 16 covers 215 kms between San Vendemiano and Falzes, and was introduced, in our Giro 2004 preview dating back to the last month of November, when the route was officially unveiled, with the following words:

Stage 16 - Preview: Ladies and gentlemen, here come the mountains! Not that the previous stages were just a party for flatlanders, but what looms ahead in the next four days (the last two in particular) is a kind of torture for any five-percent-gradient-climb-fearing rider wishing to make it to Milan. Let the numbers do the talking: on Stage 16, 18 and 19, riders have to cover a total distance of 143.9 km. over uphill roads, much more than in the rest of the Giro (129.5 km.).

A torture for them, a long-awaited chance to show their skills for others, Stage 16 kicks off in San Vendemiano to land into Falzes (Trentino region) 215 km. and four mountains later. There’s no mountain top finish (only Stage 18 into Bormio 2000 has got an uphill finish) here, but if we let the numbers do the talking again, and have a glance at the following climbs …

Forcella Staulanza (m. 1.773) - km. 12.4 - Gradient: 6.8%
Valparola (m. 2.200) - km. 15.4 - Gradient: 5.8%
Passo Furcia (m. 1.759) - km. 12 - Gradient: 6.2%
Terento (m. 1.252) - km. 7 - Gradient: 7.1%

… we may get to know what to expect on Tuesday, May 25.

The two opening ascents (with another climb not mentioned before, Colle di Santa Lucia, in between), come in the first half of the stage. Furcia Pass peaks with a little more than 50 km. to go, And when riders get to the top of the Terento ascent, they’ll have less than 10k (mostly downhill) to cover in order to get to the line.

There’s a chance that overall contenders may make their form and/or intentions clear right today, but it’s also possible that they save their legs for the next challenges, and let any breakaway containing excellent climbers not going for the overall (maybe a tiny Colombian taken out of contention for victory by a combination of Apulian echelons and Trieste ITT) have his day of glory.

* Forcella Staulanza. Climb Profile: click here
* Profiles of the three other climbs can be found in this link


Today's commentary by Fabio. Please refresh this page (F5) to view the latest information.

KM. 0 The stage got underway at 10:49 AM local time, under mild temperatures and blue skies. 147 riders were at the startline, but among them wasn't Robbie McEwen.

The Lotto-Domo Australian opted for pulling out of the race and start his Tour de France build-up. The man drops out with a mixed balance: he got several placings, but just one stage victory. He clearly lost the duel to Alessandro Petacchi, but didn't waste the opportunity to add a new jewel to his excellent palmares when his chief rival got boxed (courtesy of Petacchi's own train, making things wrong for once) in Stage 5 at Spoleto, and could raise his hands in (a well-deserved) triumph. We'll see him back against the same Petacchi and Cipollini, plus the likes of Zabel, Kirsipuu, Nazon etc. on French roads come July.

But this is still May, and time for the Giro overall contenders to steal the show. So let's move back to the actual stage, that got off to one hectic start, with several attacks and counter-attacks, mainly from riders of the Tenax, Lampre, Alessio, and Panaria teams as protagonists, and a bunch of 17 finally able to make the break around the km. 21 mark, and quickly opening a 48" gap over the main peloton.

1135 CEST: Acqua & Sapone's Ruggero Marzoli embarked on solo chase of the 17-strong leading group, while the peloton is further behind.

1155 CEST: This stage should be the first test for the mountain goats, but namely the first real test for Yaroslav Popovych. The young Ukrainian had some good performances in his first Tour of Italy, two years ago, and even hit the final podium in the 2003 edition. But this time the man managed to make it the top of he ranking. Now the big question is: will he hold on and wear the rosa jersey also in Milan? Well, according to what "Popo" himself told the press before the stage start, he thinks that he is going to hand over the jersey to someone else (arguably Gilberto Simoni) at the end of this stage, but promised that he won't give up the fight anyway "If I'm strong enough, I'll try and counter all attacks. But if thing should take different turn, no matter, I'll try to recapture it in the next stages".

Sure Popvych is well aware of the fact that he's up against a strong team like Saeco's "Red Army", featuring Gibo but also dual stage winner Damiano Cunego as well as Eddy "Super-Domestique" Mazzoleni and more excellent riders.

1205 CEST: A&S's Ruggero Marzoli was joined by fellow Italians Mariano Piccoli (Lampre), Alberto Loddo (Saunier Duval), Renzo Mazzoleni (Tenax) and Oscar Pozzi (Tenax). Their gap to the 17 front runners is now a good 48".

1210 CEST: Besides the Saecos and Popovych, Tuesday's stage may have more protagonists, to start with Stefano Garzelli. Despite being picked by many as red hot favourite to win the race, the man from Varese wasn't up to the task in the first two weeks of racing, proving unable to counter attacks from Simoni and Cunego at Corno alle Scale, and not being a real factor in the second mountain top finish (Montevergine di Mercogliano) either. Besides this, he lost some precious time in both the Prologue and the Trieste ITT. So, if the Vini Caldirola team leader still thinks he can be at the top of he podium on Sunday and repeat the GC win he got four years ago, it must be time for him to come out and show off his skills.

1215 CEST: The stage hit the Intergiro at Longarone (km.49), with the following results:

1. Raffaele Illiano (Ita - Colombia-Selle Italia)
2. Rubens Bertogliati (Swi - Saunier Duval-Prodir)
3. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita - Acqua & Sapone-Caffé Mokambo)

... and with the 17 riders in the break averaging a speed of 42.110 kph (it was 41.600 at the end of the first hour of pedalling), and leading the five chasers by a good 03'58", while their advantage over the main peloton quickly increased to an impressive 15'32".

1230 CEST: Here are the names of the 17 escapees at last! They are Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita - Saeco), Andrea Tonti (Ita - Saeco), Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita - Acqua & Sapone-Caffé Mokambo), Alessandro Bertolini (Ita - Alessio-Bianchi), Julio Alberto Pérez Cuapio (Mex - Panaria-Margres), Fortunato Baliani (Ita - Panaria-Margres), Raffaele Illiano (Ita - Colombia-Selle Italia), Michele Gobbi (Ita - De Nardi), Charles Wegelius (GBR - De Nardi), Giuseppe Di Grande (Ita - Formaggi Pinzolo-Fiavé), Luis Felipe Laverde Jiménez (Col - Formaggi Pinzolo-Fiavé), Fabian Wegmann (Ger - Gerolsteiner), Christophe Brandt (Bel - LottoDomo), Nicki Aebersold (Swi - Phonak Hearing Systems), Alexandre Moos (Swi - Phonak Hearing Systems), Rubens Bertogliati (Swi - Saunier Duval-Prodir) and Oscar Mason (Ita - Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie).

1235 CEST After about 60 kms. the 17-strong break is leading the five chasers (Marzoli, Piccoli, Loddo, Renzo Mazzoleni and Pozzi) by 03'45", with the Saeco-led peloton trailing by 15'40".

1240 CEST Question: how can the Saecos have two men in the break, and leading the chase at the same time? The answer is ... Christophe Brandt. Despite not being much in the spotlight before, the Lotto-Domo Belgian, free to ride for himself after McEwen pulled out, was 19th on GC at the stage start, 06'14" down to Popovych. So the man is now virtual overall leader on the road, and forcing the Saecos not to let the front runners take an excessive advantage. And it seems Saeco's reaction got a first result, as the gap didn not increase in the last kilometres, and it's still hovering around 15'30" after about 70 kms of pedalling on the routes of north-eastern Italy.

The same routes that saw "Chechu" Rubiera, then riding with the Kelme outfit, take the leg finishing into Falzes (the only time the town hosted a stage finish before) seven years ago.

1255 CEST While the peloton hit the first climb of the day (Forcella Staulanza), and the main bunch brought the gap down to "only" 15'05", with the average speed down two less than 39 kph after two hours, worthy of mention are also the presence in the break of the only British rider at the Giro, De Nardi's Charles Wegelius, plus another display of combative attitude from Fabian Wegmann and Alexander Moos. While the fact Julio Alberto Pérez Cuapio attacked so early is another proof of the fact his condition is far from as good as it was 2001 and 2002. At the time, he used to make his moves late in stage. And when he did, it was hard to follow him. Many cycling fans are still hungry to see him back to that level.

1300 CEST: Last update from the road, with 3k to go to the top of the Forcella Staulanza climb, the 17 leaders have an advantage of 04'20" over the five chasers, with the Saaco-led peloton 15'30" down.

1305 CEST While the likes of Tonti, Mazzoleni and Mason are in the break but working for their team leaders, there's more than one man in the break that could have something to say when it comes to stage victory: Moos, Di Grande, Wegmann, Laverde Jiménez and -of course- Pérez Cuapio have proven climbing skills, and even if it's not that easy, we'd better not rule out the possibility of watching one of them raise his arms in triumph today.

1315 Fabian Wegmann and Alexandre Moos battled it out for the points at the Forcella Staulanza KOM Prime, with the German outsprinting his southern neighbour, and Colombia's Laverde Jiménez taking third.

1. Fabian Wegmann (Ger - Gerolsteiner)
2. Alexandre Moos (Swi - Phonak Hearing Systems)
3. Luis Felipe Laverde Jiménez (Col - Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé)

In the meantime, the Lotto-Domo team lost another member, as Belgium's Christophe Detilloux just pulled out of the race.

1320 CEST The four chasers (Pozzi, Marzoli, Piccoli, and Renzo Mazzoleni, Loddo is no longer with them) got to the top of the climb too, but are more than five minutes down to the front runners. Their chances to bridge the gap are getting slimmer and slimmer, and they'll likely give up the chase soon.

1330 CEST After his winning sprint at Forcella Staulanza, Fabian Wegmann strengthened his grip on the Maglia Verde (Green Jersey), as he's now leading Damiano Cunego by 5 points (33-28) in the KOM Standings. Moos follows at 18 points, while Gilberto Simoni's score is 17.

1335 CEST Also the main peloton reached the top of the Forcella Staulanza ascent (km. 83.4), about 15'25" behind the 17 leaders, that are now tackling the Colle Santa Lucia uncategorized climb. At Selva di Cadore, the four chasers were 04'25" adrift, with Alberto Loddo a further 01'25" behind. A few kms. later, the gaps were 04'20" and 05'35" respectively.

1340 CEST A first attack in the leading peloton, courtesy of Alessio-Bianchi's Italian Alessandro Bertolini, that took a few dozen meters out of the other escapees. Bertolini is now leading the remainder of the break by 10".

1345 CEST Alessandro Bertolini has been reeled in by the rest of the break. The 33-year-old Italian, stage and overall winner at Giro della Provincia di Lucca in late February (in a stage that "made history" as more than 140 riders out of 160 were declared "outside time limit" by the jury, and excluded from the race - all the details HERE), was allowed to stay clear for a couple mins only.

1350 CEST The 17 escapees reached the feeding zone at Rucavá (km. 99.4/117.6 km. to go) Again - the seventeen frontrunners are: Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita - Saeco), Andrea Tonti (Ita - Saeco), Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita - Acqua & Sapone-Caffé Mokambo), Alessandro Bertolini (Ita - Alessio-Bianchi), Julio Alberto Pérez Cuapio (Mex - Panaria-Margres), Fortunato Baliani (Ita - Panaria-Margres), Raffaele Illiano (Ita - Colombia-Selle Italia), Michele Gobbi (Ita - De Nardi), Charles Wegelius (GBR - De Nardi), Giuseppe Di Grande (Ita - Formaggi Pinzolo-Fiavé), Luis Felipe Laverde Jiménez (Col - Formaggi Pinzolo-Fiavé), Fabian Wegmann (Ger - Gerolsteiner), Christophe Brandt (Bel - Lotto-Domo), Nicki Aebersold (Swi - Phonak Hearing Systems), Alexandre Moos (Swi - Phonak Hearing Systems), Rubens Bertogliati (Swi - Saunier Duval-Prodir) and Oscar Mason (Ita - Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie).

1352 CEST The main peloton containing Simoni, Popovych, Garzelli and all main GC threats is about 14'20" down on the leaders, while after three hours the average speed is down to 34.350 kph. Belgium's Christophe Brandt may not be a serious candidate to wear the Maglia Rosa in Milano, but remains virtual GC leader on the road.

1400 CEST Also the peloton achieved the feeding area, after the gap shrinked to "just" 13'35". In the meantime, the 17 leaders kept climbing the Passo di Valparola ascent (km. 15.4 - Av. Gradient: 5.8%), with Pozzi, (Renzo) Mazzoleni, Piccoli and Marzoli 04'32" adrift, and Sardinian Alberto Loddo trailing by 06'32" (that will go up to 08'00" a few kms later).

1415 CEST Speaking of possible protagonists of the stage, why not mentioning the Panarias? We alreday mentioned Pérez Cuapio, but the team has got Fortunato Baliani in the break too. And two men that recently showed a more than excellent condition: Emanuele Sella and Giuliano Figueras. The neoprofessional rider from Veneto, a teammate of Damiano Cunego in the Zalf-Desirèe Fior ranks three years ago, burst into spotlight thanks to his great solo win at Cesena, but did well also in the previous hilly stage at Montevergine di Mercogliano, where he was seen more than once up front doing his job Figueras.

And even if he hit the ground yesterday, and could still suffer the consequences today, Emanuele Sella (whose last name is the Italian word for "saddle"), the thinnest guy in the giro Peloton, said that his morale is still high, and expressed the hope that he can get a top place finish at Falzes. A hope shared by teammate Figueras, whose good performances on "home soil" at Montevergine (and previously at Corno alle Scale) may be a moral boost for him, although the Neapolitan is well aware that the upcoming climbs are well different, and that he has never stayed with the best mountain goats on the Dolomites and Alps before. But this could really be the first time ...

1435 CEST Back to the race now, with the Cat. 1 Passo di Valparola that saw none else but the aforementioned Fortunato Baliani of Panaria-Margres, as well as Caldirola's Oscar Mason, on the attack. But the Italians weren't first across the top of the ascent anyway, as one more time it was Fabian Wegmann that took the sprint, in front of Colombia's Laverde and the same Baliani.

1. Fabian Wegmann (Ger - Gerolsteiner)
2. Luis Felipe Laverde Jiménez (Col - Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé)
3. Fortunato Baliani (Ita - Panaria-Margres)
4. Alexandre Moos (Swi - Phonak Hearing Systems)
5. Guusepe Di Grande (Ita - Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé)

The man peloton is about 12'00" back, with Alessandro Petacchi struggling to stay in the pack, and showing how different from the past days the "landscape" is.

1445 CEST Alessio's Alessandro Bertolini and Tenax's Renzo Mazzoleni launched two attacks on the Passo di Valparola descent, but neither attempts succeeded; in the meantime, Saunier Duval's Alberto Loddo was swallowed by the main peloton, that also cut the gap to the 17 leaders down to ten minutes at the top of the ascent.

1450 CEST Km. 129/78k to go: Eddy Mazzoleni, Tonti, Nocentini, Bertolini, Pérez Cuapio, Baliani, IIliano, Gobbi, Wegelius, Di Grande, Laverde Jiménez, Wegmann, Brandt, Aebersold, Moos, Bertogliati and Mason are out of the hamlet of La Villa, and lead the four chasers (Renzo Mazzoleni, Pozzi, Marzoli and Piccoli) by 04'43".

1455 CEST While the peloton is approaching the third ascent of the stage, the gruelling Passo Furcia (12 km.; av. gradient 6.2%), the chasers are still trailing by about 04'30", the peloton (that gained some five mins over the frontrunners in the previous ascent) follows at 10'30". Belgium's Christophe Brandt remains in the virtual Maglia Rosa. How long will the Lottoman keep this "status"? Time, and the road, will tell.

1500 CEST Strange move by Jan Svorada, that attacked the peloton on the Passo Valparola descent. And put more than a minute into the main bunch, such that the Czech sprinter is now 09'20" behind the leaders.

1505 CEST The 17 guys in the break (with Saeco's Tonti and Mazzoleni not suprisingly sucking wheels since they got into the break) slightly increased the gap over the peloton to 10'43", while the race finally hit Passo Furcia. With 75k to go, Svorada's gap to the leaders is 09'12".

1510 CEST Latest update with about 70k to go: the break is leading the four chasers by 04'37", with Svorada at 09'00" behind, and the Simoni/Popovych/Garzelli/Honchar/McGee 80-strong bunch (with many sprinters still inside too) at 09'45".

1516 CEST The front runners are still in the first, easier part of the Furcia Pass, but the going is getting tougher in a km. or two; while the Saeco-led peloton slightly quickened the pace, although not enough to drop most sprinters. So far at least.

1524 CEST: Nicki Aebersold on the attack in the front bunch, while things are getting tougher in the main bunch too, with the Saecos forcing the pace, and some riders starting to get dropped.

Among the dropped riders is also LBK's Jacky Durand, such that Maglia Rosa holder Popovych lost one precious teammate at this point of the stage.

1528 CEST: 60k to go. Swissman Nicki Aebersold quickly put 40" into the rest of the break, with the four chasers at 04'13", Svorada 08'20" behind, and the main peloton (with the Saecos riding quite hard now) a further thirty secs back.

1530 CEST: SURPRISE ATTACK BY GILBERTO SIMONI! As soon as the peloton hit the steepest part of the ascent, Gibo decided to gauge his legs, and namely those of Yaroslav Popovych.

1531 CEST: The Ukrainian immediately countered, while Garzelli is having a hard time following Gibo and Popo, and Brad McGee got dropped.

1532 CEST: After a first attack, Simoni slowed down the pace and more riders regained his wheels; now it's Saeco's Spezialetti riding hard for him at the front of the main bunch.

1533 CEST: Figueras, Sella, Garzelli (who is still struggling anyway), Honchar, Cunego, Moreni, Noé, Pellizotti and others are still with Simoni and Popovych, while McGee isn't. The Aussie is the only man in the Top 10 overall that lost the wheels of Gibo and Popo after the first attack.

1535 CEST: Aebersold is still on a solo escape, while fellow Swiss Rubens Bertogliati also attacked and tried to bridge the gap to his compatriot. Back in the bunch, Popovych still firmly on Simoni's wheels.

1537 CEST: 3k to the top of the ascent, and CUNEGO ATTACKS!

1538 CEST: Smart tactics by Saeco, with Cunego on the move, while Eddy Mazzoleni slowed down the pace and will likely wait for him. In the meantime Garzelli got dropped again!

1539 CEST: Popovych didn't counter the attack from Cunego, and remains on Simoni's wheels, but he has no teammates around to help him. Also Fassa's Dario David Cioni is with them.

1540 CEST: Damiano Cunego quickly put half a minute into the Popovych/Simoni/Figueras bunch in about 1 km.

1541 CEST: Cunego is flying on the steepest part of the ascent, the gap to Popovych is up to 33".

1542 CEST: Cunego just caught Renzo Mazzoleni, Pozzi, Piccoli and Marzoli, while Eddy Mazzoleni literally stopped and is waiting for him. Bad news for Pellizotti that lost the wheels of Simoni/Popovych group; the same for Sella.

1544 CEST: Cunego just got to the top of the climb, with Marzoli on his wheels; he's 06' 22" down to solo leader Aebersold (who took the KOM Points from Laverde and Moos), but leads the Simoni/Popovych bunch by no less than than 01'17"!!

1547 CEST: Eddy Mazzoleni was waiting for Cunego to come. Cunego came. And Mazzoleni is now riding hard for his young teammate with A&S's Marzoli still following the two Saecomen on the descent.

1549 CEST: Less than 50k to go for solo leader Nicki Aebersold (Swi-Phonak HS), while Popovych is still on Simoni's wheels.

1552 CEST: The riders with Simoni and Popovych are: Tonkov, Figueras, Belli, Garzelli (he holds on!), Valjavec, Cioni, Honchar, Mazzoleni (Renzo) and Spain's Ruben Elvira Lobato, while Emanuele Sella is about 30" behind, and Franco Pellizotti further back.

1554 CEST: Just like Eddy Mazzoleni did before, Saeco's Andrea Tonti stopped, and is now waiting for Cunego (and Mazzoleni).

1555 CEST: Switzerland's Nicki Aebersold is still in the lead, his advantage is well above a minute.

...and more exactly, 01'40" over the Perez Cuapio/Brandt/Moos/Wegmann/Laverde/etc. bunch (with 37km. to go).

1558 CEST: Just about 10 riders in the Simoni-Popovych peloton (marked by the uncooperative attitude of its members), while Mazzoleni and Cunego (and Marzoli) have joined Tonti (and Bertolini).

1600 CEST: The Simoni-Popovych bunch is taking it easy, such that also Sella, Pellizotti and even McGee could regain their wheels.

1601 CEST: ...and such that Cunego is leading them by 02'19"!! And as Damiano was 01'40" behind Popo on GC at the stage start, the virtual maglia rosa will be soon on his shoulders (so far it's still on Brandt's).

1604 CEST: What a stage! With Simoni playing the part of a domestique, Cunego is flying towards the overall lead (and the overall win?), while Popovych (now some 3 mins down) is paying the price for the lack of teammates around him.

1607 CEST: 35k to go. Aebersold still in the lead, two small groups follow, then there's Cunego with Tonti and Mazzoleni riding hard for him, followed by a trio with Pozzi, Garate and Piccoli, while it's not Popovych, but Tonkov and...Miholjevic leading the chase in the Simoni-Popovych group.

1610 CEST: 30k to go - All groups are riding on the flats, with Nicki Aebersold still firmly in the lead.

1611 CEST: The next chasing bunch, containing also Britain's Charly Wegelius (as well as Bertogliati and others), is about 01'40" adrift.

1614 CEST: 30k to go for the six-strong Cunego bunch, that are 03'48" down to Aebersold.

1616 CEST: De Nardi's Michele Gobbi is now riding tempo at the front of the Popovych group (03'30" down to Cunego with 35k to go). A sign that Honchar is having good legs and wants to try something today?

1618 CEST: With more riders setting the pace in the Popovych group, Cunego's lead has shrunk to 03'10". The virtual maglia rosa is on his shoulder now anyway!

1619 CEST: Alessandro Bertolini was swallowed by the Simoni-Popovych group...which is also the group of his teammates Pellizzotti and Noè, whom he'll certainly be working for from now on.

1620 CEST: Juan Manuel Garate, Piccoli and Pozzi were reeled in by the same bunch. A sign that they are speeding up the pace at last, and curiously, mainly due to efforts from teammates of lesser GC contenders.

1625 CEST: While solo escapee Nicki Aebersold, who is more than 40 minutes down in the GC, is leading the closest chasers by 01'20".

1628 CEST: Alessio's Moreni and Bertolini are setting the pace at the front of the 24-strong Popovych group.

1631 CEST: Andrea Tonti had his job for Cunego done, and will soon be swallowed by the Popovych-Simoni group. Same for Eddy Mazzoleni!

1633 CEST: As the race hits the last climb of the day (Terento), only A&S's Ruggero Marzoli stays on Cunegos' wheels now.

1635 CEST: But as the road tilts upward, Cunego attacks again, drops Marzoli and keeps catching one member of the (former) break after another.

1637 CEST: Bad news for Nicki Aebersold, who bonked on the ascent and quickly lost all of his his lead. He was caught and dropped by the first chasing group.

1638 CEST: Also the main bunch hit the Terento ascent (the most difficult part is the first one), with Figueras attacking, Sella struggling, and poor Garzelli dropped again.

1639 CEST: But Damiano Cunego has caught ALL MEN in the break, and is in the lead now!!!

1640 CEST: Gilberto Simoni didn't counter Figueras' move, whereas Yaroslav Popovych did.

1641 CEST: Damiano Cunego on solo lead now. Figueras is 03'05" back, while Popovych is a further 10 secs behind, and Garzelli rejoined the "Gruppo Maglia Rosa". McGee got dropped again instead.

1642 CEST: Simoni attacks, Belli and Honchar follow, while Popovych can't!!

1644 CEST: Damiano Cunego in the lead, the remainder of the break between him and Figueras (who's 02'50" behind), then Simoni and a couple more riders, and Popovych further behind!

1645 CEST: Cunego is approaching the top of climb. He leads Rinaldo Nocentini by 20".

1647 CEST: Popovych is struggling, grinding his teeth, and trying to regain the wheels of Simoni, Honchar and Belli.

1648 CEST: But the real hero of the day is DAMIANO CUNEGO; he completely stole the show today.

1649 CEST: About 12k to go, and Popovych regained a small bunch containing - among others - Dario David Cioni - but Simoni is still some 20" in front of him. The route is less steep now.

1651 CEST: 8.5K to go for Cunego, who just got to the top of the ascent. Nocentini is one minute back. Simoni is about 03'15" behind, while Popovych is at 03'35" behind.

1652 CEST: The Pérez Cuapio group is at the top of the climb too, 01'33" behind Cunego.

1654 CEST: Simoni took 20 more secs out of Popovych (and Tonkov) in the last part of the ascent, while also Garzelli dropped the Ukrainian.

1655: 8.5k to go for Popovych who is 03'52" down on Cunego, and 39" down on Simoni.

1657 CEST: Less than 3 KM to go for Cunego, flying towards stage victory and overall leadership.

1658 CEST: 1500m to go for a big fan of Jim Morrison (yes, it's Damiano Cunego we are talking of!).

1659 CEST: 600m to go for the Jim Morrison fan... 100m to go ...20m...10m...DAMIANO CUNEGO HAS WON!!!!! in a time of 06h11'23".

He didn't even raise his arms in triumph, in order to gain more time!!

1702 CEST: Rinaldo Nocentini came in second at about 01'20".

1703 CEST: Alex Moos wins the sprint for third place in front of Raffeale Illiano. Figueras finished at 02'34" behind. Then came Simoni, who looked very happy at Cunego's victory.

1705 CEST: Popovych just crossed the line, 03'49" behind Cunego.

Add the 20-second time bonus, and you'll see how the Ukrainian lost 04'10" to the new GC leader.

1707 CEST: The new overall general classification should see Cunego 01'14" ahead of Honchar, with Popovych following at 02'22", then Simoni, Figueras and McGee in sixth place.

1707 CEST: Saeco's Mazzoleni and Tonti just crossed the line and celebrated what can be considered as their own triumph too.

The whole Saeco team rocked today, and no other squad proved able to match their power.

And both Cunego and Simoni, after crossing the line, admitted that this was a team victory. Cunego had kind words for Eddy Mazzoleni and Andrea Tonti in particular, but the whole team got his praise.

And Simoni's joy after he crossed the line tells a lot about the "climate" inside Saeco.

The sprinters' "gruppetto" just cross the line, about 22 mins behind.

Brief Results - Top 10 Places
1. Damiano Cunego (Ita - Saeco) - 06h10'12"
2. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita - Acqua & Sapone-Caffé Mokambo) - at 01'16"
3. Alexandre Moos (Swi - Phonak Hearing Systems) - at 01'38"
4. Raffaele Illiano (Ita - Colombia-Selle Italia) - s.t.
5. Giuseppe Di Grande (Ita - Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé) - s.t.
6. Julio Alberto Pérez Cuapio (Mex - Panaria-Margres) - s.t.
7. Christophe Brandt (Bel - Lotto-Domo) - s.t.
8. Luis Filipe Laverde Jimenez (Col - Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé) - at 01'58"
9. Ruggero Marzoli (Ita - Acqua & Sapone-Caffé Mokambo) - at 02'29"
10. Giuliano Figueras (Ita - Panaria-Margres) - s.t.


1 Cunego Damiano Ita Sae 6:11:23
2 Nocentini Rinaldo Ita a&S 1:16
3 Moos Alexandre Sui Pho 1:38
4 Illiano Raffaele Ita Clm m.t.
5 Di Grande Giuseppe Ita Fpf m.t.
6 Perez Cuapio Julio a. Mex  Pan m.t.
7 Brandt Christophe Bel Lot m.t.
8 Laverde Jimenez Luis Fil Col Fpf 1:58
9 Marzoli Ruggero Ita a&S 2:29
10 Figueras Giuliano Ita Pan m.t.
11 Bertogliati Rubens Sui Sdv m.t.
12 Honchar Serhiy Ukr Den 2:39
13 Belli Wladimir Ita Lam m.t.
14 Simoni Gilberto Ita Sae m.t.
15 Baliani Fortunato Ita Pan m.t.
16 Valjavec Tadej Slo Pho m.t.
17 Noe' Andrea Ita Alb 3:23
18 Garate Cepa Juan Manuel Esp Lam m.t.
19 Cioni Dario David Ita Fas m.t.
20 Garzelli Stefano Ita Vin m.t.
21 Tonkov Pavel Rus Vin 3:50
22 Popovych Yaroslav Ukr Lan m.t.
23 Mason Oscar Ita Vin m.t.
24 Mc Gee Bradley Aus Fdj 4:18
25 Lobato Elvira Ruben Esp Sdv m.t.
26 Wegelius Charly Gbr Den m.t.
27 Canada Gracia David Esp Sdv 5:27
28 Zampieri Steve Sui Vin m.t.
29 Pellizotti Franco Ita Alb m.t.
30 Sella Emanuele Ita Pan m.t.
31 Aebersold Niki Sui Pho m.t.
32 Tonti Andrea Ita Sae 7:36
33 Mazzoleni Eddy Ita Sae m.t.
34 Moreni Cristian Ita Alb m.t.
35 Miholyevic Vladimir Cro Alb 11:24
36 Bertolini Alessandro Ita Alb m.t.
37 Spezialetti Alessandro Ita Sae m.t.
38 Trampusch Gerhard Aut a&S 12:15
39 Piccoli Mariano Ita Lam m.t.
40 Wegmann Fabian Ger Gst m.t.
41 Vila Errandonea Franc Esp Lam m.t.
42 Zaugg Oliver Sui Sdv m.t.
43 Mazzoleni Renzo Ita Ten m.t.
44 Verheyen Geert Bel Cho m.t.
45 Hamburger Bo Den a&S m.t.
46 Borghi Ruggero Ita Den m.t.
47 Ardila Cano Mauricio Al Col Cho m.t.
48 Pozzi Oscar Ita Ten m.t.
49 Gobbi Michele Ita Den m.t.
50 Hauptman Andrej Slo Lam 21:50
51 Loda Nicola Ita Ten m.t.
52 Marin Ruber Alverio Col Clm m.t.
53 Gerosa Mauro Ita Vin m.t.
54 Pugaci Igor Mda  Den m.t.
55 Svorada Jan Cze Lam m.t.
56 Albasini Michael Sui Pho m.t.
57 Forster Robert Ger Gst m.t.
58 Pietropolli Daniele Ita Ten m.t.
59 Gilbert Philippe Bel Fdj m.t.
60 Verbrugghe Ief Bel Lot m.t.
61 Serpellini Marco Ita Gst m.t.
62 Sironi Gianluca Ita Vin m.t.
63 Strauss Marcel Sui Gst m.t.
64 Schnider Daniel Sui Pho m.t.
65 Mazzanti Luca Ita Pan m.t.
66 Fornaciari Paolo Ita Sae m.t.
67 Avdyeyev Sergey Ukr Lan m.t.
68 Bertagnolli Leonardo Ita Sae m.t.
69 Lanfranchi Paolo Ita Pan m.t.
70 Vanotti Alessandro Ita Den m.t.
71 Perez Arango Marlon Al Col Clm m.t.
72 Derepas David Fra Fdj m.t.
73 Fritsch Nicolas Fra Fdj m.t.
74 Pospyeyev Kyrylo Ukr a&S m.t.
75 Verstrepen Johan Bel Lan m.t.
76 Van Velzen Jan Ned Cho m.t.
77 Mori Manuele Ita Sdv m.t.
78 Szmyd Sylvester Pol Sae m.t.
79 Ziegler Thomas Ger Gst m.t.
80 Astarloa Igor Esp Lam m.t.
81 Gomis Lopez Juan Esp Sdv m.t.
82 Gates Nick Aus Lot m.t.
83 Davis Scott Aus Pan m.t.
84 Wilson Trent Aus Clm m.t.
85 Rogina Radoslav Cro Ten m.t.
86 Andriotto Dario Ita Vin m.t.
87 Bileka Volodymyr Ukr Lan m.t.
88 Righi Daniele Ita Lam m.t.
89 Duma Volodimyr Ukr Lan m.t.
90 Siymens Nico Bel Lan m.t.
91 Vogondy Nicolas Fra Fdj m.t.
92 Sacchi Fabio Ita Fas 25:09
93 Ongarato Alberto Ita Fas m.t.
94 Codol Massimo Ita Fas m.t.
95 Tosatto Matteo Ita Fas m.t.
96 Velo Marco Ita Fas m.t.
97 Bruseghin Marzio Ita Fas m.t.
98 Manzoni Mario Ita Fpf m.t.
99 Loddo Alberto Ita Sdv m.t.
100 Gustov Volodymir Ukr Fas m.t.
101 Lombardi Giovanni Ita Dve m.t.
102 Petacchi Alessandro Ita Fas m.t.
103 Vierhouten Aart Ned Lot m.t.
104 Galletti Alessio Ita Dve m.t.
105 Gardeyn Gorik Bel Lot m.t.
106 Ljungqvist Marcus Swe Alb m.t.
107 Giordani Leonardo Ita Den m.t.
108 Murn Uros Slo Pho m.t.
109 Ferrigato Andrea Ita a&S m.t.
110 Stangelj Gorazd Slo Sae m.t.
111 Borrajo Alejandro Albert Arg Pan m.t.
112 Podgornik Dean Slo Ten m.t.
113 Pollack Olaf Ger Gst m.t.
114 Ginestri Giancarlo Ita Ten m.t.
115 Colombo Gabriele Ita Dve m.t.
116 Nauduzs Andris Lat Dve m.t.
117 Usov Alexandre Blr  Pho m.t.
118 Lancaster Brett Aus Pan m.t.
119 Wilson Matthew Aus Fdj m.t.
120 Gasparre Graziano Ita Den m.t.
121 Furlan Angelo Ita Alb m.t.
122 Steegmans Gert Bel Lot m.t.
123 Kostuk Denys Ukr Cho m.t.
124 Rastelli Ellis Ita Alb m.t.
125 Mourey Francis Fra Fdj m.t.
126 Brard Florent Fra Cho m.t.
127 D'amore Crescenzo Ita a&S m.t.
128 Derganc Martin Slo Dve 27:31
129 Scirea Mario Ita Dve m.t.
130 Fertonani Marco Ita Pho m.t.
131 Pagliarini Mendonca Luciano Bra  Lam m.t.
132 Mervar Bostjan Slo Fpf m.t.
133 Rudenko Maxim Ukr Cho m.t.
134 Muraglia Giuseppe Ita Fpf 27:34
135 Zanotti Marco Ita Vin m.t.
136 Vaugrenard Benoit Fra Fdj m.t.
137 Rodriguez Fred Usa a&S m.t.
138 Serina Corrado Ita Fpf 28:01
139 Schnyder Philippe Sui Clm m.t.
140 Bosisio Gabriele Ita Ten m.t.
141 Gualdi Domenico Ita Fpf m.t.
142 Cadamuro Simone Ita Den m.t.
143 Masciarelli Simone Ita Vin m.t.
144 Van Hout Russell Aus Clm m.t.
145 Durand Jacky Fra Lan m.t.

General Classification after Stage 16

1 Cunego Damiano Ita Sae 73:01:21
2 Honchar Serhiy Ukr Den 1:14
3 Popovych Yaroslav Ukr Lan 2:22
4 Simoni Gilberto Ita Sae 2:38
5 Figueras Giuliano Ita Pan 3:31
6 Mc Gee Bradley Aus Fdj 4:12
7 Belli Wladimir Ita Lam 4:20
8 Garzelli Stefano Ita Vin 4:26
9 Cioni Dario David Ita Fas 4:31
10 Pellizotti Franco Ita Alb 5:31
11 Valjavec Tadej Slo Pho 5:40
12 Noe' Andrea Ita Alb 5:55
13 Garate Cepa Juan Manuel Esp Lam 6:01
14 Brandt Christophe Bel Lot 6:24
15 Sella Emanuele Ita Pan 7:45
16 Canada Gracia David Esp Sdv 9:27
17 Moreni Cristian Ita Alb 9:32
18 Laverde Jimenez Luis Fil Col Fpf 9:36
19 Tonkov Pavel Rus Vin 9:53
20 Di Grande Giuseppe Ita Fpf 11:28
21 Lobato Elvira Ruben Esp Sdv 11:41
22 Marzoli Ruggero Ita a&S 15:20
23 Trampusch Gerhard Aut a&S 15:26
24 Tonti Andrea Ita Sae 16:08
25 Vila Errandonea Franc Esp Lam 16:17
26 Zampieri Steve Sui Vin 17:48
27 Miholyevic Vladimir Cro Alb 19:01
28 Moos Alexandre Sui Pho 19:47
29 Borghi Ruggero Ita Den 20:13
30 Mason Oscar Ita Vin 22:12
31 Hamburger Bo Den a&S 23:09
32 Ardila Cano Mauricio Al Col Cho 25:44
33 Mazzoleni Eddy Ita Sae 26:18
34 Gilbert Philippe Bel Fdj 27:16
35 Perez Arango Marlon Al Col Clm 27:49
36 Bertagnolli Leonardo Ita Sae 28:58
37 Baliani Fortunato Ita Pan 32:43
38 Wegmann Fabian Ger Gst 33:09
39 Verheyen Geert Bel Cho 33:45
40 Lanfranchi Paolo Ita Pan 36:01
41 Fritsch Nicolas Fra Fdj 37:31
42 Nocentini Rinaldo Ita a&S 38:23
43 Pospyeyev Kyrylo Ukr a&S 38:35
44 Illiano Raffaele Ita Clm 39:00
45 Kostuk Denys Ukr Cho 39:30
46 Wegelius Charly Gbr Den 39:57
47 Astarloa Igor Esp Lam 41:31
48 Schnider Daniel Sui Pho 42:51
49 Perez Cuapio Julio a. Mex  Pan 44:31
50 Vanotti Alessandro Ita Den 45:02
52 Aebersold Niki Sui Pho 45:48
69 Bertolini Alessandro Ita Alb 1:06:45
90 Gobbi Michele Ita Den 1:19:20
96 Pozzi Oscar Ita Ten 1:21:12
120 Mazzoleni Renzo Ita Ten 1:35:41
145 Serina Corrado Ita Fpf 2:46:43 (Maglia Nera)

Points Classification after Stage 16 (Maglia Ciclamino)

1 Petacchi Alessandro Ita Fas 225
2 Pollack Olaf Ger Gst 134
3 Cunego Damiano Ita Sae 102
4 Usov Alexandre Blr  Pho 101
5 Rodriguez Fred Usa a&S 96
6 Zanotti Marco Ita Vin 87
7 Svorada Jan Cze Lam 69
8 Nauduzs Andris Lat Dve 68
9 D'Amore Crescenzo Ita a&S 65
10 Mc Gee Bradley Aus Fdj 60
11 Borrajo Alejandro Albert Arg Pan 60
12 Popovych Yaroslav Ukr Lan 57
13 Cadamuro Simone Ita Den 53
14 Mazzoleni Eddy Ita Sae 51
15 Honchar Serhiy Ukr Den 49
16 Pellizotti Franco Ita Alb 42
17 Moreni Cristian Ita Alb 42
18 Simoni Gilberto Ita Sae 41
19 Figueras Giuliano Ita Pan 39
20 Furlan Angelo Ita Alb 38

Mountains Classification after Stage 16 (Maglia Verde)

1 Wegmann Fabian Ger Gst 45
2 Cunego Damiano Ita Sae 38
3 Moos Alexandre Sui Pho 27
4 Simoni Gilberto Ita Sae 16
5 Aebersold Niki Sui Pho 15
6 Laverde Jimenez Luis Fil Col Fpf 14
7 Mc Gee Bradley Aus Fdj 13
8 Pellizotti Franco Ita Alb 12
9 Mazzoleni Renzo Ita Ten 9
10 Sella Emanuele Ita Pan 8
11 Figueras Giuliano Ita Pan 8
12 Baliani Fortunato Ita Pan 8
13 Illiano Raffaele Ita Clm 6
14 Zampieri Steve Sui Vin 6
15 Nocentini Rinaldo Ita a&S 6
16 Vanotti Alessandro Ita Den 5
17 Perez Cuapio Julio A. Mex  Pan 3
18 Tonkov Pavel Rus Vin 3
19 Di Grande Giuseppe Ita Fpf 3
20 Mazzanti Luca Ita Pan 3

Intergiro Classification after Stage 16 (Maglia Azzurra)

1 D'Amore Crescenzo Ita a&S 40:10:54
2 Perez Arango Marlon Al Col Clm 0:09
3 Forster Robert Ger Gst 0:26
4 Vierhouten Aart Ned Lot 0:26
5 Righi Daniele Ita Lam 0:31
6 Illiano Raffaele Ita Clm 0:35
7 Piccoli Mariano Ita Lam 0:36
8 Vanotti Alessandro Ita Den 0:47
9 Popovych Yaroslav Ukr Lan 0:52
10 Marzoli Ruggero Ita a&S 0:55
11 Honchar Serhiy Ukr Den 0:55
12 Muraglia Giuseppe Ita Fpf 0:58
13 Bruseghin Marzio Ita Fas 1:04
14 Mc Gee Bradley Aus Fdj 1:07
15 Bertogliati Rubens Sui Sdv 1:13
16 Hamburger Bo Den a&S 1:13
17 Furlan Angelo Ita Alb 1:17
18 Mazzoleni Renzo Ita Ten 1:19
19 Strauss Marcel Sui Gst 1:19
20 Rogina Radoslav Cro Ten 1:19

Trofeo Fast Team after Stage 16 (Teams Classification)

1 Saeco 218:52:34
2 Ceramiche Panaria-Margres 1:10
3 Alessio-Bianchi 3:20
4 Saunier Duval-Prodir 9:20
5 Lampre  9:36
6 Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie 10:23
7 Acqua&Sapone-Caffe' Mokambo 10:27
8 Phonak-Hearing Systems 11:02
9 De Nardi 19:14
10 Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave'  47:10
11 Fdjeux.Com 57:57
12 Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 1:08:57
13 Gerolsteiner 1:09:58
14 Chocolade Jacques Wincor-Nixdorf 1:13:47
15 Colombia-Selle Italia 1:25:21
16 Lotto - Domo 1:37:29
17 Fassa Bortolo 1:50:07
18 Tenax 2:10:07
19 Domina Vacanze  2:51:28

Trofeo Super Team after Stage 16

1 Acqua&Sapone-Caffe' Mokambo 290
2 Alessio-Bianchi 289
3 Lampre  267
4 Fassa Bortolo 261
5 Saeco 234
6 Gerolsteiner 233
7 Phonak-Hearing Systems 211
8 Ceramiche Panaria-Margres 206
9 Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie 190
10 Lotto - Domo 174
11 De Nardi 168
12 Fdjeux.Com 154
13 Saunier Duval-Prodir 134
14 Domina Vacanze  132
15 Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 120
16 Formaggi Pinzolo Fiave'  82
17 Tenax 82
18 Colombia-Selle Italia 67
19 Chocolade Jacques Wincor-Nixdorf 66

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