The Week That Was...

News & Results

05/18/2004| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin
Mario Cipollini after the crash. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Mario Cipollini after the crash. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

The Week That Was...

Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.

After just over a week of racing around <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
Italy
, the Giro d?Italia has already had four riders helping keep the maglia
rosa warm for the final victor in
Milan
on 30th May.  For the first few days Australian Brad McGee and German rider Olaf Pollack fought between themselves for the right before McGee finally surrendered the jersey on stage 3 to Italian and last year?s victor Gilberto Simoni.  Simoni has since passed the jersey to fellow Italian and team mate 22-year-old, Damiano Cunego on stage 7. Cunego has certainly put in some very impressive performances so far in the race but has still been overshadowed by Alessandro Petacchi.  After the first eight stages, Petacchi had already won half of them ­- four stage victories! <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>

 

One rider sadly no longer in the race is Mario Cipollini who after crashing on a wet stage four finale, soldiered on before finally withdrawing 3 days later with fourteen stitches in his elbow and shin. After the crash, Petacchi said, "unfortunately in the finale there was a crash which involved Cipollini and I'm sorry about this. If Mario did not start the Giro tomorrow, we would lose a certain protagonist and the glamour of our duel on the pedals. Therefore I hope with all of my heart that tomorrow he is on the road."   Cipollini, determined as ever to please his adoring fans, confirmed that although he was quite badly injured, his objective was still ?to win at least a stage, it's not possible to abandon without succeeding," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.  Oh, if only Mario? After withdrawing on the road to Montevergine Di Mercogliano, Cipollini explained that, "I tried to keep going on, but after discussing it with the team doctor we decided it would be best for my physical condition if I didn't start today."   Super Mario may not have the speed of previous years but the race will still sadly miss him.

 

 

Everybody who travels to watch one of the major three-week tours takes away a lasting memory.  The speed, the smells, the sounds.  For one less than honest spectator at the Giro, their lasting memory will be about $8000 between their legs..... Petacchi?s Pinarello Dogma training bike with full SRM cranks!  Brought up by his father for the team mechanics to run their eye over, in a momentary lapse of concentration by the team bus, our ?fan? walked away with the bike right under the noses of the mechanics and officials lingering around.

 

While riders like Simoni and Stefano Garzelli continue to duel it out in
Italy
, others are still preparing for things later in the year.  T-Mobile Columbian and ex-world time-trial champion, Santiago Botero, has returned to
Europe from
Columbia
where he has spent the past few months preparing himself for this July and the Tour de France.

 

Another rider returning to
Europe is the winner of the past five editions, Lance Armstrong.  After his extended stay stateside, Armstrong has again set-up shop in
France
for his annual pre-tour training camps. 

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