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Giro d'Italia - Live Ticker - The Final Ride!
 
By Podofdonny
Date: 6/2/2002
Giro d'Italia - Live Ticker - The Final Ride!
 

Good afternoon and welcome to the live coverage of the Final Stage of this year's Giro d'Italia - please remember to hit the F5 button to refresh the page for the latest updates.

Todays stage is from - Cantu’ to Milan (142 km.).

A likely triumphal ride by Paolo Savoldelli, with the usual parade in Milan’s city center, the circuit and the finish in Corso Sempione, usually ending in a bunch sprint.

This time the last stage, starting from Cantu’ in the Brianza area of Lombardy, will touch the shores of the nice Lake of Como, in the city where Lance Armstrong used to live at the period of his World Title in 1993, and finally get to Milano.

After the last survivor crosses the finish line, time for the same old story: the last kiss from the misses on the podium, the crowd cheering the winner, the organizers saying "Goodbye, see you next year," and the 2002 edition is finally over.

There is just one competion to be decided today - the points competition between Cipollini and Strazzer.

This morning the competition stood like this:

Points classification:

1 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo 159 pts

2 Massimo Strazzer (Ita) Phonak Hearing Systems 158

3 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 106

4 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC Tiscali 86

5 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 81

So just one point dividing the top two men.

Cipollini captured the points jersey from his fellow Italian on Friday's stage - and there will be a lot of pride and passion at stake between the two Italians.

Cipollini and his Acqua & Sapone team have been quite magnificent - although we won’t be seeing them in this year's Tour de France - indeed Super Mario was quite dismissive of the Tour at a recent interview he said, "At the Giro, one can speak with the organizers. At the Tour de France there is a dictatorship. I've accepted it until now, but now, with my experience I will not accept it."

Yesterday's winner of the TT, Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa), will leave Kelme at the end of this year and will move to Acqua & Sapone so the Zebrato men will be looking to expand their ambitions next year.

Cipollini will be aiming to day to get closer to Binda’s record number of stage wins - Binda was born 100 years ago this year and will soon have a postage stamp released by the Italian post office in his honour.

Some other news now - Stefan Rütimann (Swi) has been found positive for the 2nd time in 2 years and has been fired by his team Tacconi Sport.

Meanwhile one person who cannot lose his jersey today is Julio Perez Cuapio - the magnificent Mexican climber who has thrilled us all once again with his climbing exploits.

The classification for the mountains is as follows.

Mountains classification:

1 Julio Perez Cuapio (Mex) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo 69 pts

2 Joaquim Castelblanco (Col) Colombia-Selle Italia 33

3 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) Lampre-Daikin 25

4 Daniele De Paoli (Ita) Alessio 22

5 Sergio Barbero (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 20

6 Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi 20

Maglia Verde Winners - king of the mountain winners in the past five years have been:

1995 PICCOLI Mariano

1996 PICCOLI Mariano

1997 GONZALES P. Jose' Jaime "Chepe"(Colombia)

1998 PANTANI Marco

1999 GONZALES P. Jose' Jaime "Chepe" (Colombia)

2000 CASAGRANDE Francesco

2001 GONZALEZ MARTINEZ Fredy (Colombia)

CHIAPPUCCI Claudio and Andy Hampsten have won the competition in the past, as well as Van Impe, the Ladybird, and of course Eddy Merckx, so Julio "Lucky" Perez Cuapio is in good company.

140 riders started out this morning in hot and humid conditions - and the peloton is heading towards Milan in a holiday mood.

The climb (cat 3) out of Cantu after 22 kilometres was won by Frigo's team mate Mauro Gerosa.

So the green mountain jersey is won by the man from Tlaxcala (where he was born on July the 30th, 1977). Perez has shown great loyalty to his team Panaria - who have had their share of troubles.

After his second great victory in the race he said, "I want to dedicate this victory to the Mussini family, the Panaria and Fiordo sponsors, as all of them who stood beside us in the bad times we had recently. And they are intentioned to continue this way."

So we know that he started as an amateur rider in Mexico in 1996. Then former pro rider Miguel Arroyo, who lives in the same area as Pèrez Cuapio, noticed and "introduced" him to the Italian cycling scene. He came to Italy for the first time in 1997.

He has long term ambitions though - "...but maybe in a couple of years I could go for the Overall."

Tonkov had a great tale about the Mexican - on Thursday's dramatic stage he told reporters, "It was not me who attacked but Perez. We talked to each other in Spanish. He felt he was giving up, so he smiled to me and said goodbye - from that moment on I was on my own and thinking of victory."

Surprisingly, Cipollini has not contested the inter-giro sprint - which was won by arch-rival Strazzer. That means Strazzer has won the Inergiro competition and now leads the points competition by 7 points ahead of Cipollini.

Massimo Strazzer has won the inter giro (the race within a race) competition.

The competition for the "Maglia Azzurra," the blue inter-giro competition, was like this this morning:

Intergiro classification:

1 Massimo Strazzer (Ita) Phonak Hearing Systems 53.14.53

2 Serguei Gontchar (Ukr) Fassa Bortolo 3.56

3 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 4.11

4 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC Tiscali 4.16

5 Mykhaylo Khalilov (Ukr) Colombia-Selle Italia 4.48

Strazzer was born on 17 August 1969 at Zevio, Italy and has been a professional since 1991.

He has been a bit of a wanderer with 9 teams in his 11 year career:

1991-1993 Jolly Club 88

1994-1995 Navigare - Blue Storm

1996 Brescialat

1997 Roslotto - Z.G.

1998 Cantina Tollo

1999 Mobilvetta

2000 Alessio

2001 Mobilvetta Design - Formaggi Trentini

2002: Phönak

But he has been a consistent winner - particularly this season when he has won 5 races already:

1992 1 stage Settimana Siciliana

1993 1 stage Tireno - Adriatico

1994 3 stages Ronde van Portugal

1995 1 stage Tour de Vaucluse

1995 1 stage Ronde van Portugal

1996 1 stage 3-daagse van De Panne

1996 Mile Metri del Corso Mestre

1997 1 stage Ronde van de Middellandse Zee

1997 Classica Almeria

1997 2 stages Vuelta a Murcia

1997 Mile Metri del Corso Mestre

1998 1 stage Vuelta Valenciana: Valencia

1998 Prologue Ronde van Zwitserland

1998 1 stage Ronde van Zwitserland

1999 Mile Metri del Corso Mestre

1999 1 stage Tirreno - Adriatico

1999 1 stage Ronde van Polen

2000 1 stage Bayern Rundfahrt

2002 Clasica de Almeria

2002 Stausse -Rundfahrt

2002 3 stages circuit Cycliste de la Sarthe

Strazzer, of course, won the competition last year as well - previous winners have been:

Blue Jersey Winners: ("Maglia Azzurra") - Intermediate Sprints

1989 PAVLIC Jure (Yugoslavia)

1990 ANDERSON Phil (Australia)

1991 LEANIZBARRUTIA Alberto (Spain)

1992 INDURAIN Miguel (Spain)

1993 SVORADA Jan (Slovakia)

1994 ABDOUJAPAROV Djamolidine Uzbekistan)

1995 ROMINGER Tony (Switzerland)

1996 GUIDI Fabrizio

1997 KONYSHEV Dmitri (Russia)

1998 FAGNINI Gianmatteo

1999 GUIDI Fabrizio

2000 GUIDI Fabrizio

2001 STRAZZER Massimo

So the peloton finally reaches the 12 final laps of this year's great race - everyone is still relaxed and in a holiday mood - the points competition has yet to be decided - the final duel between Cipo and Strazzer.

Cyclamen Jersey Winners: ("Maglia Ciclamino") - Points Competition:

Winners in the past have been:

1995 ROMINGER Tony (Switzerland)

1996 GUIDI Fabrizio

1997 CIPOLLINI Mario

1998 PICCOLI Mariano

1999 JALABERT Laurent (France)

2000 KONYSHEV Dmitri (Russia)

2001 STRAZZER Massimo

The competition was started in 1966 and was first won by Gianni Motta. Guiseppe Saronni has won the jersey the most times with 4 victories. Other winners include Bugno, Chappucci, Merckx (of course), and De Vlaeminck - who won it three times.

Eddy Serri (Ita) Index Alexia is the last man in the race. He was born on 23 November 1974 in Faenza Italy and leads the "competition" for the the "Maglia Nera."

The jersey (the equivalent of the Tour de France "Lanterne Rouge") was actually awarded at one stage. It was introduced just after the Second World War - presumably a snide reference to the defeated blackshirts of the Fascist era. However it became counter-productive - because many riders started to compete to be last for the prestige it gave.

More than one "specialist" resorted to trickeries - like hiding behind bushes or in coffee shops to wait for the rest of the peloton to pass by, or simulating punctures and tech diffs - to get the coveted "status-symbol."

Giovanni "Nane" Pinarello went from Maglia Nera (last place finisher) in the Giro to internationally famous entrepreneur. He still rides, and can usually be found in his store in Treviso, selling bikes to both racers and little old ladies.

10 laps to go in Milan, where the Daily Peloton's Fabio will be enjoying the sunshine and the atmosphere.

Eddy Serri, the last man, is just "ahead" of the only Japanese rider in the race, Hidenori Nodera.

Eddy Serri was born on 23 November 1974 in Faenza, Italy. He has yet to win any race - but of course the crowds will cheer on the last man as much as the first - and he is obviously the race leader's team mate.

Paolo Savoldelli, by the way, is looking cool and comfortable as the peloton heads for the finale of this great race.

Paolo Savoldelli will of course become part of cycling history with many other legendary names.

Recent past winners are:

1992 INDURAIN Miguel (Spain)

1993 INDURAIN Miguel (Spain)

1994 BERZIN Eugeni (Russia)

1995 ROMINGER Tony (Switzerland)

1996 TONKOV Pavel (Russia)

1997 GOTTI Ivan

1998 PANTANI Marco

1999 GOTTI Ivan

2000 GARZELLI Stefano

2001 SIMONI Gilberto

The first ever winner in 1909 was Luigi Ganna - the race started at 2:53 pm on the 13th of May 1909 from Piazza Loreto in Milan - not far from the finish today.

The total distance of the first race was 2448km (the shortest ever) and just 49 of the 127 riders finished that year.

The ultimate stage race "double" is to win the Giro and the Tour in the same year - 6 riders have achieved this feat a total of 11 times. Only Eddy Merckx has won both tours three times, although Indurain came very close.

The double winners are:

Fausto Coppi 1949 and 1952;

Jacques Anquetil 1964;

Eddy Merckx 1970, 1972 and 1974;

Bernard Hinault 1982 and 1985;

Stephen Roche 1987;

and Indurain 1992 and 1993.

The Maglia Rosa, which of course matches the pink of La Gazzetta dello Sport, was introduced in 1931 and the first man to wear it was Learco Guerra of Italy.

Lotz and Veneberg have made an attack and now lead the peloton for the Rabobank team.

Thorwald Veneberg was born on 16th October 1977 - and has yet to win a race.

Marc Lotz has won several criteriums - he was born on 19 October 1973 at Valkenburg, Nederland.

The two Rabobank men are working well together - but will have their work cut out to stay ahead of the peloton when it gets into full flow.

Just to remind ourselves on the overall classification as it was this morning...

General classification after Stage 19:

1 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Index Alexia 85.47.09

2 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC Tiscali 1.41

3 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio 2.12

4 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Lampre-Daikin 3.14

On his web site, Tyler Hamilton talked about Thursday's stage: "Looking back on yesterday's stage, I realize I made my fair share of mistakes. Things seem so much clearer after the fact. But during the heat of battle things aren't always so obvious. But the learning process is all part of the sport of racing. I guess you could say I'm still working my way into my role as a leader."

No doubt he will not be happy with second place - but it is still a great ride and an excellent team performance by the CSC boys - with maybe Sastre being man of the team.

The two escapees are brought back into the peloton so everyone is back together again.

Saeco now leads the peloton - with Sastre of CSC also at the front of the bunch.

The peloton is now strung out, and believe it or not, so is Eddy Serri - the last man in the race now leads the peloton.

4 laps to go - as the colourful peloton streams across the finish line.

Worth taking a look at the pink jersey's team.

INDEX-ALEXIA (ITA)

Dario Andriotto (Ita)

Mario Manzoni (Ita)

Bo Hamburger (Den)

Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita)

Paolo Savoldelli (Ita)

Eddi Serri (Ita)

Ivan Quaranta (Ita)

Daniele Righi (Ita)

Mauro Zinetti (Ita)

Lanfranchi won the Tour of Langkawi last year while riding for the Mapei team, a team he rode with for a number of seasons.

The speed of the peloton is getting faster now lap by lap - the last lap was ridden at just under 49 k/p/h.

Just 20 kilometres to go - of a race that has seen:

20 Stages and 3,344 km. (30km less than 2001)

2 Individual time trials (total=80 km, 18 more)

3 Mid-Mountain stages (1 less than in 2001)

3 Mountain Top finishes (as 2001 on stages 11,13,17)

18,200 meters of climbing (2001 only 17,223)

Just three laps to go as the Zebra men try to control the race - in an attempt to get Cipollini's 39th stage victory.

Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) has been the best young rider, ahead of Evans and Franco Pellizzotti, so the future looks bright - and we will be able to enjoy watching these boys for a long time to come.

Paolo Savoldelli has risen up the General Classification as fast as he can descend down the mountains. On stage 15 he was 8th and was not really being mentioned as a potential winner, but on the last few days he has got better and better.

2 laps to go, 12 kilometres before the finish. The Acqua boys still in control for Super Mario.

M. Piccoli has won the Most Aggressive Rider Award for lone breakaways - he wins a scooter!

Acqua - still at the front of the peloton with Michele Scarponi at the front.

Now Bo Hamburger for Index Alexia takes the lead.

And now the CSC boys take the front - but the Zebra men are keeping close watch.

Last lap - the peloton one long string. Acqua now at the front, Martin Derganc, the Slovenian champion, doing his normal huge turn at the front.

A Kelme rider takes the lead - as the speed picks up. Leon Mane for Kelme is leading the peloton - while Fassa are moving up.

Leon peels off, it is Derganc again at the front.

The Acqua team are well drilled and rehearsed at controlling the race - 5 Zebras lead the race.

Mario Scirea now leading for the Acqua boys - 37 years old - it is not a young team but it is very experienced.

Scirea peels off - last Kilometre - the Acqua boys still at the front. Pettachi has got in the line ahead of Cipo.

But Cipo bursts out of the pack - and once again the Lion King roars!

His 6th victory in this year's tour of Italy. Not only has he won the stage but also the Cyclamen Jersey.

Winners: ("Maglia Ciclamino") - Points Competition:

Petacchi was second and the Gerolsteiner rider René Haselbacher was third.

Petacchi pushed Cipollini hard for the last sprint - but Super Mario is - er...Super!

So Paolo Savoldelli has won the 2002 Giro d'Italia!

Thank you for reading today's last ticker - we will be updating all the final stories from the race throughout the day so stay tuned!


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