Simoni Wins at Alpe di Pampeago
Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) has won Stage 14 of the Giro.
Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) has won Stage 14 of the Giro. Simoni soloed home to take the mountainous, 162-km stage from Marostica to Alpe di Pampeago in 4:46:43. Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola) finished second at 0:35, and Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) took third at 0:36. Simoni remains the maglia rosa.
A 15-man break escaped early. John Fredy Gonzalez (Selle Italia) attacked his companions during the climb to Passo di Rolle. The Colombian breasted the climb 0:35 ahead of the remains of the break and 4:00 ahead of the Saeco-led peloton. When Gonzalez reached the top of the Passo di Valles, he led the break by 1:30 and the maglia rosa group by 5:00.
Pavel Tonkov (CCC) attacked from the maglia rosa group, but the group kept him close. When Gonzalez breasted the Passo di San Pellegrino, he led his six pursuers by 1:00. Tonkov was at 4:00, and the maglia rosa group was at 4:30.
During the descent from the Passo di San Pellegrino, the chase group overtook Gonzalez. The break led Tonkov by 2:45 and the maglia rosa group by 3:15. The maglia rosa group reeled in Tonkov as the Alpe di Pampeago, the day's finishing ascent, approached.
With 15 km remaining, Constantino Zaballa (Kelme) attacked his break companions. Wladimir Belli (Lampre) joined him. Behind, the Saeco-led maglia rosa group picked up the pace.
Belli dropped Zaballa. With five km remaining, Simoni attacked. He caught and dropped Belli while Garzelli, Rumsas, and Julio Perez (Panaria) pursued. Simoni suffered but padded his lead over Garzelli.
In the overall, Simoni leads Garzelli by 1:19 and Andrea Noe (Alessio) by 3:39. Stage 15, a 42.5-km individual time trial from Merano to Bolzano, will be a challenge for Simoni, who is an indifferent racer against the clock. Much of the competition will gain time on him. Who will win? Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo)? Sergei Gontchar (De Nardi)? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!
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