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GIRO Stage Three - Live Ticker
 
By Jaime Nichols
Date: 5/14/2002
GIRO Stage Three - Live Ticker
 
STAGE 3, Tuesday, MAY 14: Verviers to Esch Sur Alzette 206km

Welcome to the Daily Peloton's live coverage of the Giro D'Italia!

Today's stage goes from Verviers in Belgium to Esch-Sur-Alzette in Luxembourg, which will be the fourth country the Giro has been through in as many days. Today's 206 kilometres should suite the sprinters, though the first part of the stage is hilly. There are two uphill sprints in the first 116 km, and the Intergiro sprint at km 166. On arrival in Esch-Sur-Alzette, the riders will take a 10 km finishing lap before the finish? ...

193 of the original 198 riders take the start in Veviers this morning. Can Mario Cipollini bring his total number of Giro stage wins to 36 today?

As we join the race, Marc Streel of Landbouwkrediet-Colnago is on a breakaway he established after only 30 km. At one point, he had built a lead of over 18 minutes, but it's coming down now as he is pulled back into the peloton slowly, and his lead is now closer to 14 minutes.

Marc Streel's lead is now down to 13'12. Though he is a good individual time-trialist, and is the former national champion of Belgium, it looks like the peloton will reel him in before the finish.

It's been a nervous race so far with so many crashes, and many of the riders are complaining this morning that they are already starting to feel tired. The race is about 30 minutes behind the slowest time, and will finish later than expected today.

Last year's "boxing Italian" Vladimir Belli was fined yesterday for following his team car too closely after a flat... Marc Streel is still on his lone breakaway, with the peloton slowly gaining.

Streel's lead is now down to 10 minutes. Looks like the legs are getting tired!

The first mountain sprint, a Cat 3 climb at km 20, was taken by Lampre's Mariano Piccoli, followed by Freddy Gonzales of Colombia-Selle Italia, and Ruggero Marzoli of Formaggi Trentini in third. It was the same cast of characters at the second sprint as well, also a Cat 3 climb, though by this time, Streel was on his own for the win, and the order was Streel, Marzoli, Piccoli.

The gap is now down to 9'46, and the peloton in closing fast.

It's now about 64 km from the finish, and the gap is down to 8'48. The peloton is stringing out as the come closer to the Inter-giro sprint at 166 km, though Streel should be able to stay away at least that long.

Streel's lead was down to 7'10 at the last time check. It looks like he's cracked and is now just waiting for the Peloton to catch him. He's losing about a minute for every two minutes of riding, and doesn't look comfortable on his bike. The peloton is streaming along on straight, flat roads, and Streel is climbing wearily.

The Inter-giro sprint is just under 10 miles away, and it's looking more possible that the peloton could catch Streel before the sprint.

Streel's teammates on Landbouwkrediet-Colnago are on the back, knowing they are not going to control the peloton as it picks up speed. It's started raining, and the weather is getting heavy fast, bringing with it the danger of slippery roads and dangerous descents down the remaining hills. The last time check had the peloton behind Streel by 5'35, and closing fast.

The peloton is chasing Streel for the Inter-giro, now less than 7 miles away. The last timecheck on Streel's gap is 3'42. The sprinter's teams are starting to get together at the front of the peloton. Marc Streel is clearly suffering, and will most likely be glad to see the peloton for a little shelter when it arrives.

The rain is coming down hard now, and the roads are very slippery. Streel's gap is down to 2'44, with the Inter-giro only 6 km away: the peloton should reach it in about 3 minutes, so it's unlikely that Streel will stay away even that long.

Streel takes the 6 second time bonus at the Inter-giro. Phonak is on the front of the peloton, as the speed toward a sprint finish for second.

10:37AM EST...Hello DP's fans...Manny here, taking over from Jaime who brought you the first hour and a half of coverage. As we see it, Marc Streel is still 1:33 ahead of the peloton, looking tired...but at least the rain has stopped for the moment...

11:01AM EST...Landbouwkrediet's team car comes by Streel to give him some words of advise...maybe to slow down and wait for the peloton?

11:04AM EST....Peloton 2 minutes behind Streel who continues to fight...the sun is out...

11:06AM EST...Aqua e Sapone and Mapei are at the front of the peloton....

11:07AM EST....The peloton can smell the prey....they are 2 minutes behind the long leader...

11:09AM EST...35kms "All Arrivo"....Streel continues to fight, but for how much longer???

11:10AM EST...Time gap is 1:20...Streel's team car comes to encourage him again....

11:11AM EST...Mapei is holding tempo at the front of the chasing peloton....

11:12AM EST...It looks like Mapei and Aqua e Sapone are giving Streel some more time at the front, before setting the race on fire...

11:14AM EST...Got to hand it to Streel for continuing to fight at the front....Coast and Phonak join Mapei and the Zebras at the front...

11:16AM EST...The leads stretches to 1:33....Cipo rides towards the front of the peloton...another stage???

11:17AM EST...Two Zebras, three Coasties, and two more zebras, start to press the pace...

11:19AM EST...The roads look to be drying quite fast...good for the sprint...

11:21AM EST...Streel continues to hover at around 1 minute infront of the peloton...

11:22AM EST...Streel looks tired, but presses on...25km "All Arrivo"...

11:25AM EST...From here on the speed will start to increase. We can see Kelme, Lampre, Phonak, and the ever present Zebras, posting riders at the front...

11:28AM EST...GRANDE!!!GRANDE!!! for Marc Streel, the rider is still at the front, holding 1 minute infront of the peloton...

11:30AM EST...The peloton will do one more local circuit...the lead went down to 54 secs...

11:32AM EST...Landboukrediet's team car comes to give Streel a shout..."Don't look back...put your head down!!"...we can only speculate...

11:33AM EST...The herd of zebras takes control of the front of the peloton...

11:36AM EST...And the catch is made....KUDOS!!!!Marc Streel for a valiant effort today...and guess who's leading the way??....yes, Acqua e Sapone boys..

11:38AM EST...The pace is high and some of the riders at the back are starting to suffer...Paolo Bettini leads the Maglia Rosa...

11:39AM EST...And the attacks have started...this time we have Lotto, Phonak and Selle Italia sending riders off the front...

11:42AM EST...Three Mapeis set a hight tempo...setting it up for Hunter perhaps??..

11:44AM EST...It looks like the Zebras are preparing for another showdown...

11:45AM EST...10Km "All Arrivo" and Mapei continues to lead the ever speeding peloton...

11:46AM EST...Lotto brings McEwen next to Cipollini...is going fast now...

11:48AM EST...7km "All Arrivo"...Kelme, Lotto, Zebras...and of course Mapei setting the tempo...

11:49AM EST...Add Rabobank to the list of teams making an effort to be at the front...

11:50AM EST...The three guys who tried to break away early were caught a while back...

11:51AM EST...They are flying now...a Lampre rider goes off the front..Sciandri...

11:53AM EST...Acqua e Sapone in masse to the front...Colombo, Scirea...the Zebras are going for it...

11:54AM EST...Colombo is done pulling..now is Scirea, Trenti setting it up for Cipo...

11:55AM EST....Hondo grabs Cipo's wheel...Scirea is done..Trenti picks up the speed...

11:56AM EST...Lombardi takes over, Mario sits pretty...

11:57AM EST...And it's Cipo taking his 36th victory in the Giro...he thanks the "squadra" for such a good leadout..

11:58AM EST...Cipo, Strazzer, Hondo...one, two, three..

And there you have it, Cipo takes yet another stage, closing to the record of 41 stage victories set by Alfredo Binda in the giro...

This concludes DP's live ticker for today's stage of the Giro. Check back in a few minutes for complete results and throughout the day for analysis, details and reports from Italy....Ciao...


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