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By Fabio
Date: 5/29/2002

Welcome to the Daily Peloton's live ticker of the Giro d'Italia Stage 16.

1719 - Former Pink Jersey HEPPNER gets to the finishing line; he lost more than 7 minutes to the winner

Caucchioli is in fifth place overall, 32" down on Evans, while Savoldelli is sixth at 48". Garate is seventh, followed by Escartin

SECOND IS FRIGO at 16" - third HAMILTON at 18" - GONZALEZ is fourth at 24" in the overall standings.


1712 - SAVOLDELLI takes SECOND AT 52", followed by FRIGO - GARATE - GONZALEZ - HAMILTON - EVANS and CAUCCHIOLI who takes eight



1710 - Perez Cuapio gets into Corvara town, while Savoldelli caught and dropped Caucchioli

1709 - Now the peloton on the final ascent too

1707 - Another sensational action by the Mexican, who is turning into the main protagonist (on the road, if not on the papers) of the 2002 Tour of Italy (along with Cipollini of course)

1706 - Caucchioli now 1'24" down on Perez; Savoldelli is 12" behind, while Frigo, Evans, Garate & Co. are just behind: Evans is Virtual pink jersey now!!

1705 - FRIGO EVANS and HAMILTON dropped Garate and Gonzalez in the meantime, while Savoldelli is about to catch Caucchioli

1705 - Here we go: Perez Cuapio took the last KOM prime, and will be wearing the green Jersey

1704 - Perez Cuapio almost at the top of the last climb of the day

1703 - A little less than 7 km. to go...

1702 - Caucchioli now has a 15" lead on Savoldelli, while the Evans group is just 40" behind. Caucchioli is "virtual maglia rosa" by 8 seconds only

1701 - Perez leading by 2' on the Evans-Frigo-Hamilton-Garate-Gonzalez group

1657 - Hamilton just joined Frigo, Evans and Garate. So did Aitor Gonzalez

1656 - A 4 km. ascent, followed by a 6 km final descent into Corvara

1655 - Perez Cuapio and Caucchioli are in the last ascent (Campolongo. Savoldelli now 30" down on Caucchioli

1654 - 10 km to go - Hamilton and Gonzalez are about to join Evans and Frigo. Cuapio has a 1'25" lead on Caucchioli - PEREZ IS ALREADY SMILING AND "CELEBRATING" HIS VICTORY!!!

1652 - Still Perez Cuapio in the lead, followed by Caucchioli, Savoldelli follows 33" behind, then Evans, Frigo and Garate. Hamilton and Gonzalez are further behind

1651 - Now Hamilton, Garate and Aitor Gonzalez partially bridging the gap to Savoldelli too...

1650 - PORDOI KOM RESULT: 1. PEREZ CUAPIO 2. CAUCCHIOLI 3. FRIGO. Evans just caught Frigo and Hamilton

1649 - Hamilton caught Frigo, but not Savoldelli, who is about 20" ahead. Heppner is 6' down on Perez Cuapio now

1648 - RIK VERBRUGGHE got to the Pordoi top now, some 4'50" behind Perez Cuapio (not a bad performance by the Belgian)

1647 - The "Paolo Savoldelli Show" in the descent has just begun, only Frigo can follow him, while Evans lost contact...

1646 - All main contenders got to the top of the Pordoi, they are some 2'30" down on Perez Cuapio, but gained about 20" on Caucchioli

1645 - GREAT FORCING by FRIGO and downwhill sensation Savoldelli, with Evans staying on their wheels

1643 - Perez Cuapio got to the Cima Coppi, Caucchioli is 1'20" behind him, Hamilton in some trouble; lost 20-30 meters to Evans and Frigo

1641 - Hamilton and Savoldelli responded, not Escartin who got dropped

1640 - Unfortunately Cadel Evans' attack came a bit too late, at the end of the ascent...


1637 - Panaria's Perez Cuapio is getting closer to the Pordoi mountain top

1636 - Perez Cuapio retains a 1-minute advantage on Caucchioli (2 km. to the Pordoi top)

1635 - BUT VERY INTERSTING are both Perez Cuapio's and Caucchioli's actions instead; now Caucchioli has a 1'30" advantage on the Noe-led chasing peloton

1634 - STILL NOTHING interesting coming from the main peloton ...


1630 - Caucchioli just dropped De Paoli, he is 1' down on Perez Cuapio now... 25 km. to go

1629 - De Paoli is doing a great work for Caucchioli (and Noé is doing the same for Evans in the peloton)

1628 - Now Caucchioli seems to be the VIRTUAL PINK JERSEY on the road...

1627 - Caucchioli joined his teammate De Paoli, who will likely help him to gain further seconds on Evans, Frigo, Hamilton (now the lead is 1'10")

1626 - Perez Cuapio leading by 2'15" on the main peloton, where Cadel Evan's Mapei is leading the chase. Heppner just got dropped again

1624 - Surprising - Caucchioli, now 1' down on Perez Cuapio, but 50" ahead of all main contenders, could become a GC threat...

1623 - Popovych and Marin lost contact with the main peloton

1620 - Perez Cuapio now leading by 15" on De Paoli, while Caucchioli put 50" on the main peloton


1616 - CSC-Tiscali now leading the peloton, not to set up a Hamilton's attack, but just to keep an high pace in order to avoid attacks by other contenders

1615 - Seems that the Alessio boys are eager to win this stage...

1614 - De Paoli and Perez Cuapio now on the Pordoi, while Moreni, Caucchioli, Meza, Nardello, Spezialetti and Faresin attacked and put a few metres on the peloton

1613 - The Pordoi is a 12 km climb, with an average gradient of 6% or so, but a max. gradient of about 10%

1612 - 33 km to go, Perez Cuapio and De Paoli are about to tackle the PORDOI climb ("Cima Coppi" - highest mountain of this year's Giro)

1608 - Even HEPPNER regained the chasing group, while Denis Lunghi (stage winner in Chieti a few days ago) got clear of the peloton.

De Paoli and Perez leading by 1'25" on the 23 chasers, while the escapees are approaching the Pordoi.


1603 - Still a wonderful job by Sastre and Rasmussen: Hamilton is about to regain the FRIGO-EVANS group

1602 - Perez and De Paoli now leading by 30" on the FRIGO-EVANS peloton, and 1' on Tyler Hamilton and his teammates

1601 - Good news for Hamilton. Thanks to the efforts by Sastre and Rasmussen, the American gained some 30 seconds on the others

1600 - CORRECTION: Unbelievable but true, but it was PEREZ CUAPIO who joined De Paoli on the descent, and not Moreni that joined the Mexican

1559 - Now both Sastre and Rasmussen are leading the chase for Tyler Hamilton

1557 - Moreni just joined Perez Cuapio on the descent

1556 - HAMILTON IS NOW 2'22" down TO DE PAOLI, but 1'20" behind Frigo and Evans

1554 - The peloton with Frigo, Evans, Savoldelli, Engels, Caucchioli, and Tonkov got to the top of climb 1'06" behind De Paoli, and 45" behind Perez Cuapio

De Paoli got to the top of the Fedaia/Marmolada climb. Evans is now with Frigo and Savoldelli, while Caucchioli and Aitor Gonzalez are just behind them. Hamilton further behind

1550 - HAMILTON is 30' down on Frigo, and 1' behind Perez Cuapio. Perez Cuapio just caught and dropped Engels and Moreni, and is now chasing De Paoli

1549 - Still de Paoli in the lead. Last year he won a Tour of Catalunya stage in a similar fashion, with a long solo break. He was also twice in the GIRO FINAL TOP 10 in the late 90s

1548 - Heppner lost 1'30" to Perez Cuapio in no more than 3 km.

1546 - Hamilton is now helped by Sastre, while Pellizotti is with them. They are at least 100 meters down on the other main contenders

1545 - Perez Cuapio dropped Cadel Evans too, the Aussie is now joined by Savoldelli, while Gonzalez and Frigo are a little behind him

1544 - Now seems only Cadel Evans may follow Perez Cuapio's wheel

Perez was followed by Evans, Frigo and others, including another serious GC threat such as Aitor Gonzalez, but NOT Hamilton tough.

1543 - PEREZ CUAPIO ATTACKS!! And just like on Saturday, Cadel Evans tries to follow him...

1542 - On the opposite, Perez Cuapio looks in perfect form. Expect a wicked attack from him sooner or later. In the meantime the 28-year-old from the Pavia area (Daniele De Paoli) is leading by 22" on Moreni and Engels. Marin and Nardello are 1' down

1540 - Heppner and Popovych now dropped, ALL other main contenders are there, while also Hamilton is struggling to stay on the best climber's wheels.

1539 - De Paoli leading by 2'15" on the pink jersey's peloton, where Heppner is struggling to stay on the best climber's wheels.

1537 - One man in a solo break now: he's Alessio's Daniele de Paoli.

1533 - Three men now in the lead: Daniele de Paoli, Cristian Moreni (both riding for ALESSIO) and Rabobank Addy Engels, they are on the steepest part of the Marmolada, just after the "Malga Ciapela" town, with gradient going up to almost 20% (and no bends for almost 2 kms). Behind them, The peloton with all main favorites is now 20-strong.

1530 - The peloton is about 2'30" behind the escapees, while passing thorugh wonderful natural sceneries. No serious attacks from any possible GC contender (so far of course)

1528 - The leading peloton split as the race hit the first though part of the Marmolada ascent (the second climb out of 4 in today's stage), the three Alessio guys are seeting a (relatively) fast pace, while Colnago's Bileka got dropped

1525 - Other abandons in today's stage. Colombia's Ramirez, Italy's Guladi (crash) and especially an unfit Marco Pantani, who dropped out of competition after losing contact to the peloton at the beginning of the first ascent.

1518 - The current leaders are Igor Astarloa and Oscar Mason (Saeco-Longoni Sport), Sergio Barbero and Milan Kadlec (Lampre-Daikin), Daniele Nardello (Mapei-Quick Step), Matteo Carrara (Team Colpack-Astro), Addy Engels (Rabobank), Vladimir Duma (Panaria-Fiordo), Bert Grabsch (Phonak), Thierry Marichal (Lotto-Adecco), Daniele de Paoli Alessandro Bertolini and Cristian Moreni (Alessio), Francisco Cerezo (CSC-Tiscali), Volodymyr Bileka (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago), Francisco Leon and Jose Cayetano Julia' (Kelme), Ruber Alverio Marin (Colombia-Selle Italia).

After Francesco Casagrande's exclusion from the race, two more riders left the Giro today: Fassa-Bortolo lost Wladimir Belli, who didn't take the start due to bronichitis, while Marco Pantani, already dropped at the beginning of the first climb, just dropped out of competition.

The peloton is tackling the FEDAIA climb (the second most difficult ascent of the Giro) with a break of 16 riders leading, none of them a serious GC threat. The main peloton, including all favorites and the pink jersey, is about 3 minutes behind them.

In the meantime you can read a brief preview of the route, written in November where the parcours was unveiled

STAGE 16: MAY 29 (Wednesday) - Conegliano/Corvara in Val Badia (159 km.): Click here for a More detailed stage profile

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%)

- 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).

All of them offering wonderful natural sceneries, but riders will hardly find the time to have a look at them.

The Pordoi is one of the few legendary climbs in a Giro lacking historical references. And it is also the "Cima Coppi" ("Coppi Summit"), the name always given to the highest pass of the Giro, of course as a tribute the the best Italian rider ever. The first cyclist to cross the line on the top of the Pordoi will get a special prize.

After the Campolongo, the (remained) riders will go all the way down to Corvara (a 6.5 km. descent you may see HERE); the finish is not uphill indeed, but the stage is definitely for the braves. Expect more than one sprinter to abandon today.

Should you go to watch the stage live on the spot, don’t forget your umbrella. Indeed all previous stages ending to Corvara were marked by bad weather and rain. In 1989, when Italy’s Flavio Giupponi dropped Laurent Fignon, in 1992 and 1993, with Indurain twice finishing as stage runner-up, the first time behind Vona, the second behind Chiappucci. El Diablo got one of the best wins of his career, with a spectacular and succcessful solo escape. Time for anybody else to repeat his exploit ? Or will top contenders take it as a rehearsal for what Maurizio Fondriest regards as "the hardest stage of the Giro", e.g. tomorrow’s 222 kilometres to Folgaria ?

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