Simoni Takes Stage 12 of Giro
Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) has won Stage 13 of the Giro. Simoni dominated the competition to take the mountainous, 185-km stage from San Dona' di Piave to Monte Zoncolan in 5:10:30. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola) finished second at 0:34, and Francesco Casagrande (Lampre) took third at 0:39. Simoni padded his overall lead.
The early pace was fast, and Saeco rode tempo. Early in the second hour of racing, Bo Hamburger and Fortunato Baliani (both from Formaggio Pinzolo Fiave), Sergei Adyeyev (Landbouwkrediet), Constantino Zaballa and Adolfo Garcia Quesada (both from Kelme), and Mauro Zanetti (Tenax) sallied off of the front. The sextet ran up a 3:42 lead by 90 km.
At the base of the Fuessa, a crash took place, and Cristian Moreni (Alessio) and Paolo Tiralongo (Panaria) abandoned. Adolfo Garcia (Kelme), Pietro Caucchioli (Alessio), and Fredy Gonzalez Martinez (Selle Italia) set out after the leaders, and Marzio Bruseghin (Fassa Bortolo) joined the pursuers. The Fassa Bortolo rider dropped the chasers and bridged up to the leaders, eventually dropping them and forging a 0:10 lead.
At the base of the descent, Bruseghin led an 11-man chase group by 2:00 and the maglia rosa group by 3:00. The pursuers rallied and cut Bruseghin's advantage to 1:00 at the base of the Zocolan climb. Belli attacked his companions and set out after Bruseghin.
With eight km left, Belli caught and dropped Bruseghin. The maglia rosa group was at 0:45. Cristian Gasperoni (Mercatone Uno) rode tempo for teammate Marco Pantani. Eventually, Eddy Mazzoleni (Vini Caldirola) took over that duty for Stefano Garzelli.
With three km remaining, Simoni attacked. For a time, Casagrande held on, but he had to let Simoni go. The Saeco rider eliminated the 0:25 gap between himself and Belli and dropped the Lampre rider. Behind Simoni, Pantani, Garzelli, Casagrande, and Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) raced to limit the damage.
In the overall, Simoni leads Garzelli by 0:44 and Andrea Noe (Alessio) by 2:23. Stage 13 will not change this state of affairs. The hilly, 149-km run from Pordenone to Marostica should see the race decided by an individual or by a small group. Who will win? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!
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