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Savoldelli's hands on the Tour of Italy
By Podofdonny
Date: 6/1/2002
Savoldelli's hands on the Tour of Italy

STAGE 19: JUNE 1 (Saturday) - Cambiago/Monticello Brianza (ITT - 44,2 km.):

Please remember to hit the F5 button to refresh the page - on what promises to be an afternoon of high drama and excitement.

Finally things should be cleared up today, and the World should know who the Winner of the 85th Giro D’Italia is. However such is the closeness of the leading men it is still possible if the riders all put in their best performance that it could yet be decided tomorrow.

The next hour or so will reveal all. The stage begins in the cycling-loving province of Bergamo, in the hometown of the great bicycle architect Ernesto Colnago (and that’s where Colnago’s Headquarters are located, too), passes through Trezzo D’Adda and gets into Milano’s province, before the finish at Monticello Brianza, the town where Fioornze Magni lives.

The route is not completely flat, as riders will have to climb the "Madonna del Bosco." Not exactly the Fedaia pass, but time-trail specialists aiming for a stage win should be careful, anyway.

General Classification this morning:

1 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Index Alexia

2 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita)Alessio 0.55

3 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC Tiscali 1.28

4 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Lampre-Daikin 1.39

5 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) Lampre-Daikin 3.08

6 Fernando Escartin (Spa) Team Coast

It is just possible that any one of these five men could be triumphant today - although obviously the top three are the big favorites.

For the actual stage winner though, I expect to see Frigo, Verbrugghe or even Totschnig to make an all-out effort.

Time trials are called the race of truth - and so it will be this afternoon. It is beyond training, preparation and even talent now after such a long hard race - it is down to willpower, determination and possibly just a little luck.

16:13 Pavel Tonkov (RUS)

16:16 Fernando Escartín (ESP)

16:19 Juan Manuel Garate (ESP)

16:22 Tyler Hamilton (the USA)

16:25 Pietro Caucchioli (ITA)

16:28 Paolo Savoldelli (ITA)

Is the order the top men will leave - they will have to overcome one other obstacle to win the day: Their nerves - he with nerves of steel and a steady hand has the best chance of victory.

Interesting to note the top ten men will leave at three minute intervals - the rest of the riders set off at two minute times.

Cipollini after yesterday's win said, "Once again for my victory I must thank my teammates. They have controlled perfectly the situation and I only have to put the cherry on the top of the cake which they have made for me."

He, not surprisingly, hopes to win tomorrow and today will not figure in the top places.

Meanwhile it is Britain's Max Sciandri who is leading the race so far with a time of 1.00.19 - a good omen for his Lampre teammates?

Worth having a look at the comparative times in the last time trial:

1 Tyler Hamilton (USA) CSC 41.21 (43.97 km/h)

4 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto 0.52

5 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Kelme 0.55

6 Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi 0.59

8 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Lampre-Daikin 1.07

9 Georg Totschnig (Aut) Gerolsteiner

10 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio 1.15

14 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Index Alexia 1.35

15 Fernando Escartin (Spa) Team Coast

31 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) Lampre-Daikin 2.33

Max's team mates Garate and Tonkov will be seeing this stage as a bonus.

Garate says of his chances of a podium place: "It will be difficult but not impossible."

One thing the riders will be pleased with are the conditions - almost perfect today - sunny with a light breeze - it will be the final climb that separates the men from the boys.

Probably the biggest surprise this year in a Giro full of surprises is the performance of Pietro Caucchioli. He was born on the 28th August 1975 at Bovolone (Vr) Italy - a professional since 1999 - 2000 with Amica Chips-Tacconi Sport then from 2001-2002 with Alessio.

His biggest successes so far have been:

1999: 1 stage Giro della Provincia di Lucca: Lucca

2001: 8th stage Giro Italia Reggio - Emilia

2001: 17th stage Giro Italia; San Remo

2002: 3rd stage Tour of Aragon Estacion de Valdelinares

He finished 9th last year 13’34” in the Giro.

Meanwhile the Phonak rider Bert Grabsch has set the new benchmark and is the first rider to beat the hour mark. He takes the lead with 58.19. The German rider had two victories last year - Stage 5 of the Niedersachsen Rundfahrt and he also won Stage 2 of the Tour de la Région Wallonne 2001.

But he is not noted as a great time trialist so his time and speed (45.50 kph) will be bettered today.

The Phonak team has had a great Giro - although Cipollini yesterday took the points ranking jersey from Massimo Strazzer.

Some team news in today - Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) will leave Kelme at the end of this year and will move to Acqua & Sapone. Presumably the Zebratos fancy contesting stage races too next year.

Honchar is underway - he is a good bet for the stage - turning that huge gear. What a contrast between his style and that of another successful time trialist, Lance Armstrong. Although younger readers should be encouraged to keep the cadence high and the gears low - trust an old man with bad knees on that one.

Hamilton on his web site this morning admitted being very tired after Thursday's stage and found the finale of yesterdays stage "dangerous." He was born on 1st March 1973 at Marblehead, USA, started riding with Montgomery Bell team in 1995, joined the Postal team in 1996 before joining CSC-Tiscali last year.

Worth a quik look at his best results so far:

Biggest successes:

1995 Criterium Westfield

1996: 1 stage Teleflex

1996: Overall Teleflex

1996: 1 stage Longsjo Classic

1996: Overall Longsjo Classic

1997: Classic Sterling Washington Raod Hull

1997: 1 stage Killington

1997: overall Killington

1998: Criterium Lincin (USA)

1999: 1 stage tour of Denmark

1999: Overall tour of Denmark

1999: Criterium Washington

2000: 4 stage Dauphiné Libéré

2000: 5 stage Dauphiné Libéré

2000: Overall Dauphine Libere

Nardello has posted the second fastest time of the day with 59'10 - still the German Grabsch leads the race with a time of 58.19.

Top three are:

B.Grabsch 58'19''

D.Nardello + 51''

Hiekman + 1'07''

Frigo, looking very composed and concerntrated is underway - he will be looking for victory today - but Honchar is flying around the course.

Evans is also on the road - he will have learnt a lot from this race - his first major tour - and will certainly be one to watch for the future.

Sastre has just finished the 44 Km in 1'00'36. He is in 15th place so far - meanwhile the afternoon sun is getting hotter and hotter...

Honchar is over a minute up on Grabsch at the intergiro (32 kilometre mark).

Oscar Pereiro is also placing good times as another favorite for the day. Rik Verbrugghe starts his ride.

At the first intermediate check Frigo is 11 seconds off the time set by Honchar.

Tonkov sets off - what an astonishing race he has had -

Riders to go:

16:16 Fernando Escartín (ESP)

16:19 Juan Manuel Garate (ESP)

16:22 Tyler Hamilton (USA)

16:25 Pietro Caucchioli (ITA)

16:28 Paolo Savoldelli (ITA)

Aitor Gonzalez is doing a good ride - just 9 seconds slower than Honchar at the first check.

Cioni has posted the fourth best time. The leader board now looks like this:

B.Grabsch 58'19''

D.Nardello + 51''

Hiekman + 1'07''

Cioni + 1'30''

Escartin is underway, while Garate gets ready to leave.

Garate, born on 24 April 1976 at Irun, Northern Spain - a professional since 2000 - first came to international prominence after proving to be Simoni’s right hand man in the mountains of the Giro (he finished 20th overall) - and shocked Armstrong on the Gotthard Pass in the Tour of Suisse where his out and out attacking style caused everyone problems.

"I have made good improvement in the race against the clock, but at the moment I am conscious that the American Hamilton is better than I, but Savoldelli and Caucchioli have the advantage of being first and second in the general classification. They are not great specialists, but they will do a good ride," said Garate.

"Juamma" as Garate is nicknamed, sets off - while Hamilton prepares to leave.

Honchar storms home.

S. Honchar 56'49''

B. Grabsch + 1'39''

D. Nardello + 2'30''

Hiekman + 2'42''

Cioni + 3'02''

It's a great time and will take some beating today!

Tonkov is through the first split - 11 seconds down on Honchar - Hamilton has yet to find his full power.

Paolo Savoldelli, the Falcon in the pink jersey, gets ready to be the last man to leave - he wears just a cotton cap unlike most of the other top men.

Savoldelli, born on May 7, 1973 in Clusone (Italy), he has ridden for Roslotto (1996-1997), Saeco (1998-2001), Index-Alexia (2002).

His brief palamares are:

1999: Trofeo Laiguelia

1999: 1 stage Giro del Trentino: Lienz

1999: Overall Giro del Trentino

1999: 14th stage Giro d’Italia, Borgo San Dalmazzo

2000: Prologue and overall of Tour de Romandie

2000: Stage, Giro del Trentino: Malcesin

He is nicknamed the Falcon because of his dramatic descending style. He knows the future of the race is in his own hands - it is a testing time for all the riders.

Aitor Gonalez is putting up an incredible time - 11 seconds faster than Honchar at the last check.

After 8 kms Hamilton has the third best time: 16 seconds slower than Aitor Gonzalez, 5 seconds quicker than Verbrugghe.

Pietro Caucchioli is losing time on Hamilton - he may have lost 29 seconds at the first check!

He lost 29 seconds to Aitor Gonzalez and 9 seconds to Hamilton.

Paolo Savoldelli is the fastest man through the first check point. He has 12 seconds advantage on Hamilton.

But can the flying Falcon keep this sort of speed up over the next 35 kilometres?

After 9 kilometres they stand like this:


Savoldelli + 4''

Honchar + 9''

Hamilton + 16''

Frigo + 20''

R.Verbrugghe + 21''

Hamilton - out of the saddle - resumes his position - well forward on the saddle.

Ah... "Lucky" Perez, the man in the green mountains jersey, finishes in 36th position.

Join other Giro fans now in the Daily Peloton Chatroom!

Mazzoleni has had a good ride - he finishes in 5th position.

S.Honchar 56'41''

B.Grabsch + 1'38''

D.Nardello + 2'29''

Hiekman + 2'45''

Mazzoleni + 2'51''

Evans has done a great ride! 4th best so far - that has surprised me after his pain on Thursday.

S.Honchar 56'41''

B.Grabsch + 1'38''

D.Nardello + 2'29''

C.Evans + 2'38''

Hiekman + 2'45''

Mazzoleni + 2'51''

Hamilton is still posting time checks in third best position - he needs to move up a gear.

Hamilton has just 20k to go, just 9 seconds now between him and Savoldelli - Hamilton is gradually pulling time back from the Falcon.

Pelizotti finishes the 44 Km at 1:00'33''

Gotti arrives in 15th place - good ride for the Allesio team who should win the team competition.

Hamilton now seems in full flight - piling on the pressure on his Look time trial bike.

O. Pereiro has had a great ride; he takes 5th place.

S. Honchar 56'41''

B. Grabsch + 1'38''

D. Nardello + 2'29''

C. Evans + 2'38''

O. Pereiro + 2'41''

Hiekman + 2'45''

But Gonzalez has just taken the lead! An amazing ride from the Kelme boy!

Frigo finishes in 7th place - he will be disappointed with that.

A. Gonzalez 55'56''

S. Honchar + 45''

B. Grabsch + 2'23''

D. Nardello + 3'14''

C. Evans + 3'23''

O. Pereiro + 3'26''

So Gonzalez has set the bench mark - what a great ride - Hamilton is still posting the third best time.

At 32 kms Hamilton is 53 seconds slower than Gonzalez.

Verbrugghe is about to finish - he gets 4th position.

Savoldelli is ten seconds up on Hamilton at the last check.

Great ride by Totschnig - he takes the 4th place from Verbrugghe!

A. Gonzalez 55'56''

S. Honchar + 45''

B. Grabsch + 2'23''

G. Totschnig + 2'38''

R. Verbrugghe + 2'38''

D. Nardello + 3'13''

Totschnig will move up the GC with that ride - while Tonkov finishes out of the top 6.

Caucchioli will lose his second place to Hamilton if it stays the same, while Savoldelli is looking cool - throws away his sunglasses as he powers on.

Savoldelli is looking very smooth and compact - Escartin come in at 37th place - he may slip a couple of places on the general classification.

Garate finishes in 6th position - Hamilton is on the final slopes.

A. Gonzalez 55'56''

S. Honchar + 45''

B. Grabsch + 2'23''

G. Totschnig + 2'38''

R. Verbrugghe + 2'38''

J.M. Garate + 2'43''

Hamilton - out of the saddle again, rocking and swaying - he finishes in third spot and looks exhausted and disappointed.

Technical difficulties, please bear with us.

Sorry for the interruption.

Spain's Aitor Gonzalez (Kelme) has won the time trial.

A. Gonzalez 55'56''

S. Honchar + 45''

P. Savoldelli + 1'18''

T. Hamilton + 1'27''

B. Grabsch + 2'23''

P. Caucchioli + 2'35''

G. Totschnig + 2'38''

R. Verbrugghe + 2'38''

Savoldelli will keep the pink.

GC will be:

1 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) 85.46.09

2 Tyler Hamilton (USA) 1.41

3 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) 2.12

4 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) 3.14

5 Pavel Tonkov (Rus)

6 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa)

7 Georg Totschnig (Aut)

So Italy delights fans yet again! Check back for full results as we approach the conclusion of this most exciting 85th Giro d'Italia.

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