STAGE 13: MAY 25 (Saturday) - Chieti/San Giacomo (188 km.):
Held in the Abruzzo region, home of Danilo Di Luca and climber Vito "the chamois" Taccone, multiple stage winner in the 60s.
1551- One man in a solo break. It's Rabobank's Mark Lotz,
who is on the Ceppo descent now. He attacked at Km. 44 and gained up to more than 9 minutes on
the pack. Now it has a 4'18" lead on 4 chasers and 4'28" on the peloton ...
The 4 chasers are Dario David Cioni (Mapei) DANIELE DE
PAOLI (Alessio) Luis Laverde (Formaggi Trentini) and Eddy Mazzoleni (Tacconi) who is a serious GG threat. The CSC-Tiscali lead peloton is just behind them.
The main peloton is some 40-strong, and includes all main
overall contenders, Hamilton, Casagrande and Evans included.
The fact that CSC-Tiscali is leading the chase is a good
sign for Tyler Hamilton's fans. Seems that the American is well, and ready to make something good
in the stage.
Another favorite (for today's tstage at least) is
Mexican Julio Albeto Pérez Cuapio, another man in the top places of the second chasing bunch.
The main peloton is now some 15" down on the first
chasing bunch. Sastre and Rasmussen are working particularly hard.
Again - the first chasing bunch is made up of 3 Italians
(Cioni, De Paoli, E. Mazzoleni) and a Colombian Neo-pro (Luis Felipe Laverde).
1606 - Marc Lotz's lead is now reduced to 3'20" only. He
looks quite exhausted now.
1608 - 39 km. to go - Lotz has spent 139 km in a solo
break (so far) and is approaching the Ceppo KOM prime, Pantani is not part of the main bunch, but all main contenders are.
1609 - Lotz is at the top of the Ceppo climb now.
1611 - Colombian Castelblanco attacked and put some
metres on the main bunch - he just aims at strengthening his position atop the KOM ranking.
Castelblanco now at the KOM prime - 2'17" behind the
leader, the peloton is 10" down, led by Casagrande, with the CSC-Tiscali riders right behind him...
Castelblanco brought back by the peloton, they are on an
easy and long descent now ...
KOM Prime Results - 1. Lotz 2. Casteblanco 3. Casagrande.
Castelblanco strengthens his lead in the KOM competition, now ahead of Casagrande and Marzoli.
1615- Not a good sign for Frigo: the Italian got slightly
dropped on the last part of the Ceppo ascent (although he regained the peloton)
1616 - Bad crash for Lampre's Massimo Codol in the
Codol not yet on his back. Some bruises on his left arm...
1618 - Codol now back on his bike...
Both the leader (Marc Lotz) the 4-strong chasing bunch
(2'35" Down) and the main peloton (2'50") still on the long descent.
1621 - 25 km to go for the leader - now the chasing bunch
is made up of just 2 men: CSC-Tiscali's Rasmussen and Telekom's Matthias Kessler
1623 - Obviously Rasmussen is not helping Kessler...
1624 - 28-year-old Marc Lotz from Valkenburg, Holland,
riding for Rabobank, is still in the lead.
1626 - Lotz is now leading by a little more than 2
minutes, a correction to what I previoulsy said. The Tacconi Sport rider dropped on the ascent
was Poland's Sylvester Szmyd and NOT Dario Frigo, who didn't have any probs...
1627 - More riders regained the main peloton in the
1628 - Lotz has now 2'33" lead on the two chasers
(Kessler and Rasmussen)
1629 - The main peloton is far behind, the gap is 3'35"
1630 - Just to remind you, today's stage features an
uphill finish, with a 11-km long final ascent, the hardest part is only in the last 4-5 km. anyway (gradient going up to some 10% there)
1631 - More and more riders back in the main peloton,
which is about 70-strong now, Pantani not there though
1632 - The new Mercatone Uno leader (at least in this
stage) is Kazkahstan's Mizourov
1633 - Two more chasers got clear of the Peloton:
Lampre's Piccoli and Spain's Pereiro
1634 - Kessler and Rasmussen now 2'34" behind race leader
1635 - Piccoli and Pereiro are now 3"10" behind Lotz, the
peloton is some 40 seconds behind them
1637 - Lotz gained more than one minute on the peloton in
the flat part, but few doubts that he'll be caught in the final ascent.
1638 - The situation again - Rabobank's Marc Lotz in a
solo break, followed by CSC's Rasmussen and Telejom's Kessler (about 2'30" behind). Piccoli and Pereiro are some 3'10" down, the peloton encompassing all main favorites is some 3'55" behind.
1642 - Rasmussen and Kessler are now 2'24" down, Piccoli
and Pereiro at 2'50", the Acqua e Sapone-led main bunch is 3'48" down
Veteran Roberto Conti is now up front setting the pace in
order to help Acqua e Sapone's best climber, neo-pro Michele Scarponi.
1644- But again - nothing in particular happening in the
"Gruppo Maglia Rosa"
1645 - 12 km to go now - the peloton tackled the final
climb, with Marc Lotz still in the lead.
1646 - Conti still leading the main peloton, but 3
CSC-Tiscali riders are now behind him
1647 - 10 KM to go for Lotz, his lead on the chasers and the peloton is narrowing...
1648 - Pereiro dropped Piccoli
1649 - Lotz has 1'30" lead on Kessler, Rasmussen stopped
due to cramps - Rasmussen's chances for this stage are over
So are his chances to help Hamilton in the final part of
1651 - Lotz has a 2' lead on the main peloton including
the pink jersey and all main favorites, the peloton caught Rasmussen
1652 - Poor Rasmussen simply can't go ahead now, he's
climbing at 10 km/h or so. Kessler is 1'13" down on Lotz
1653 - 2 other CSC-TISCALI riders setting the pace up
front, Wladimir Belli just behind them
1654 -Lotz leading by 52" on Kessler and 1'20" on Pereiro
Lotz looks exhausted - he's going to be caught and
dropped by Kessler very soon. Pereiro caught by the peloton
1656 - But Kessler is about to be caught by the peloton
too - 7 km. to go - next km. is going downhill
Heppner doesn't look like he's having any prob (so far). Let's wait and see what the pink jersey wearer will be able to do in the last 5 gruelling kms. of the stage...
1658 - Cioni tries again: he put some meters on the
1659 - 5 to go - Cioni caught and dropped Kessler, the
peloton (with Perez Cuapio looking eager to attack) right behind them, with TONKOV ATTACKING!!
1700 - Just while the REAL ascent is about to start, the
main peloton is about 15-strong...
1701- Riders are on the steepest part of the ascent now,
gradient is about 12%
1702 - Cioni now in the lead. He just caught and dropped
Lotz. Tonkov is chasing him
1702 - 4.5 to go - Cioni is on a a veryt steep part -
Heppner lost contact to the main peloton
1703 - Casagrande made his first acceleration - Perez
Evans Pellizotti and Frigo followed him
1704- 3.5 to go - Tonkov caught and dropped Cioni - Perez
1705 - Tonkov caught by Perez and Evans!!! Pellizotti,
Casagrande and Frigo follow
1706 - 3 to go - Gotti attacks...
1707- Gotti caught Tonkov, Perez Cuapio and Cadel Evans
still in the lead!!! Casagrande attacks
1707 - Pellizzotti follows Casagrande - so does Frigo -
not Hamilton though - still Perez and Evans in the lead (12" the gap)
1708 - Powerful attack by Kelme's Aitor Gonzalez - we are
in a very steep part (10-12% the gradient)
Casagrande and Cuapio brought back by the peloton - still
leading are Perez and Evans
1709 - PEREZ ATTACKS AND SAYS GOOD BYE TO CADEL EVANS !!!
Pellizotti attacks and drops Casagrande and Cuapio.
1.2 to go - Perez Cuapio has a 150 mt lead on Evans last km - PEREZ CUAPIO IS GOING TO WIN !!!!! Gotti attacks behind - Tonkov dropped, Gonzalez caught by the peloton
PEREZ has a 22" lead over the chasers - PEREZ CUAPIO FOR
Hamilton slightly dropped, Heppner losing 1'15" to
PEREZ CUAPIO WINS !!!! 5h04'02"
EVANS SECOND - 14" BEHIND
THIRD FRIGO FOLLOWED BY CASGRANDE, ESCARTIN AND PELLIZZOTTI
HAMILTON lost 42" to PEREZ CUAPIO and some 20" to the other main favorites...Heppner got to the finish line, now lost 1'10" to Casagrande
1. PEREZ CUAPIO
2. EVANS AT 13"
3. FRIGO AT 17"
4. FRANCESCO CASAGRANDE AT 19"
5. FERNANDO ESCARTIN
6. FRANCO PELLIZOTTI
7. MICHAEL BOOGERD AT 22"
8. PIETRO CAUCCHIOLI
9. IVAN GOTTI
10. AITOR GONZALEZ JIMENEZ
Tyler Hamilton lost some 24" to Dario Frigo and 22" to
Casagrande. Heppner kept the pink jersey.
Noé quite disappointing, so Cadel Evans now officially is
Mapei's new GC man
NEW OVERALL RANKING
1. JENS HEPPNER
2. FRANCESCO CASAGRANDE AT 1' 48"
3. FERNANDO ESCARTIN AT 2'36"
4. PIETRO CAUCCHIOLI AT 2'37"
5. CADEL EVANS AT 2'369"
6. DARIO FRIGO
7. PAOLO SAVOLDELLI
Tyler Hamilton is now 1'50" down on Francesco Casagrande
in the Overall Ranking
This ends the Stage 13 Ticker. Stay tuned for full results here on the Daily Peloton. Thanks for tuning in!