Results tagged “Gilberto Simoni” from spare cycles

It was a great stage for Astana today. Paolo Savoldelli took the victory while teammate Eddy Mazzoleni took second and moved onto the overall podium. Savoldelli had to give up his overall hopes fairly early in this Giro but quickly transitioned into helping Mazzoleni slowly climb up the standings. Today was the culmination of those efforts as Astana will be on the podium in Milan.

Simoni was unable to defend his spot but Di Luca had no problem holding off Schleck. Schleck put in an excellent sixth-place finish, but not even Savoldelli's finishing time would have been enough to bump Di Luca. Di Luca was able to give a celebratory arm pump on the finishing straight, knowing that all the critics who said he would fade in the second half were dead wrong.

David Zabriskie put in a solid third place effort on the day, unable to best Astana's effort. Zabriskie was hampered by rainy conditions on the latter half of his run, but Savoldelli bested all of his intermediate times from start to finish.

Giro Stage 17: Gibo takes Zoncolan

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It was an amazing ride by the trio of Simoni, Schleck, and Piepoli. Piepoli dug deep for Gibo and the two were able to burn Schleck on the final straight. Piepoli got to salute another teammate across the line, showing that he really deserves that green jersey that he's been sporting. Their break was able to get a gap on Di Luca and Cunego, but at the finish it looked like it was only half a minute. The better gap was on Mazzoleni, who lost his podium spot to make room for Simoni. Andy Schleck is now the surprise second place.

Simoni may not with this Giro but he was finally able to take the stage win instead of watching from the two second places he had on Stage 12 and 14. The Saunier Duval trio of Gibo, Piepoli, and Ricco have rocked the climbs with stage wins for all of them.

TiVo screwed up my planned viewing of the Versus recap, so I'm pretty bummed. I got to catch the early coverage of Stage 14 before I headed off to do a TT -- it was already shaping up to be the most exciting stage of the Giro. I was a bit suprised that a breakaway of that caliber (Bettini, Simoni, Savoldelli, Schleck, Parra, Garzelli, Mayo, Mazzoleni, Rubiera, etc...) could not get even a minute on Di Luca at the finish, but I think it's a sign of how dominant Di Luca has been (with help from Cunego/Lampre). Simoni made the most of the break and gained 0:50 on Di Luca, but he didn't get the stage win as Garzelli caught him on the line... with the help of a TV motorcycle draft.

Saunier Duval tried to continue the attack on Di Luca into Stage 15, but their leader Simoni cracked before Di Luca and Simoni was kind enough to tell his strong teammates to go and take the stage instead of limit Simoni's losses in the overall. A 1-2 finish on the hardest stage of the Giro is a quality achievement for Saunier Duval even if Simoni wiped out his time gains from Stage 14.

stage profile

I didn't get to watch this one as my TiVo didn't pick it up, but here's what I gather from the various summaries out there:

  • US Postal put Spanish teammate Manuel Beltran up front in a breakaway. Beltran even got to be the virtual leader of the tour on the stage 14 course that briefly winds into Spain
  • Vinokourov and Mayo took advantage of the Armstrong/Ullrich competition to make big time gains, especially Vinokourov who snagged 43" to move 18" behind Armstrong in the GC. Ullrich and Armstrong worked together on the descent to try and chase the lead group.
  • Big-mouth-no-game rider Simoni got a stage win, which is a small redemption for his pre-tour statements.
  • Virenque rode up front (2nd place finish) and has almost closed up the King of the Mountains competition.

Links

stage profile

lance armstrong photo by graham watsonVirenque gets to finish with two jerseys on his shoulders, which is a nice gift for his countrymen. He gunned through the stage and picked up both the Maillot Jeune (02' 37" in front of Armstrong overall) and the King of the Mountain.

Today was most interesting for me in who didn't finish, namely Petacchi who dropped out very early in the race after winning four of the previous six stages. With Petacchi dropping out so early I wish that they had let Cipo into the race so that the two sprinters could have duked it out. Also interesting was Botero and Simoni being broken on the climb, and Tyler Hamilton (broken collarbone) NOT being broken and gunning through.