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Giro - Evans, Hamilton - Can they win?
By Podofdonny
Date: 5/27/2002
Giro - Evans, Hamilton - Can they win?

Just six stages left in this race which has been a roller coaster ride of excitement, scandal, conspiracy and, let's not forget, some incredible feats of cycling too. The race is still wide open and anyone in the top twelve could still win the race. On the rest day - and if the riders didnít need one I certainly did - we take a look at those still in contention and the future stages they face. Please remember this is only a resume of the great wealth of knowledge held on the Giro d'Italia Main Page.

General Classification after Stage 14:

1. Jens Heppner (Ger) Team Telekom 64.29.54†

2. Cadel Evans (Aus) Mapei-Quick Step 0.48†

3. Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC Tiscali 1.06†

4. Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 1.07†

5. Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi 1.11†

6. Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 1.15†

7. Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio 1.20†

8. Fernando Escartin (Spa) Team Coast 1.40†

9. Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Index Alexia 1.49†

10. Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 2.13†

11. Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Lampre-Daikin 2.17†

12. Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Alessio 2.28

STAGE 15: MAY 28 (Tuesday) - Terme Euganee/Conegliano (158 km.):

Apart from the Castelnuovo climb after only 20 kilometres, as flat as a pancake and one for the sprinters. Most riders, ironically enough, do not like rest days - it tends to upset their rhythm so the main contenders will use the day to ride their way back into the fray while one team will be looking at the stage with a completely different view. Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo (ITA)† will be looking once again to dominate the race in the closing stages and gain yet another victory for one of the true greats of cycling, Mario Cipollini, who is edging ever closer to Bindaís record of 41 stage victories. The team has been the revelation in this race - on days not suited to Super Mario we have seen Lombardi win - and on the climbs once again Roberto Conti has been active - a super performance from a well-drilled team and favourites for victory tomorrow - no change on the Overall though.

STAGE 16: MAY 29 (Wednesday) - Conegliano/Corvara in Val Badia (159 km.):

A hard day and the day Heppner finally says goodbye to the pink jersey - I would guess. A truly outstanding race by Heppner and his Telekom team but this is a day for younger souls.

It is a relatively short stage, but an extremely tough one, featuring more than 40 km. of climbing, divided into 4 ASCENTS: - Forcella Staulanza (altitude: 1773 meters - Km. 12,900 of climbing - average gradient 6,50%) (pictures); - Passo Fedaia, also known as "The Marmolada" (altitude: 2057 meters - Km. 13,700 of climbing - average gradient 7,7% , but the last 6500 metres, starting in Malga Ciapela, feature an average gradient of almost 10 %); - Passo Pordoi from Canazei (Altitude: 2239 meters - Km. 12,100 of climbing - average gradient 6,4%, going from 1465 to 2239 metres); - Passo Campolongo (mt. 1875) from Arabba - Km. 4 of climbing - average gradient 7 %, going from 1602 to 1875 metres).

A tough day - I listed to 12th place on the GC contenders because I feel Garate or Pellizotti could do well on this day - but my guess is Cadel Evans is in pink on Wednesday night.

More about this week's stages is here.†

Learn how you can win a Giro Jersey here, follow the Giro Fantasy Game here, and look at Celine's Giro Prologue photos here.

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