GIRO Finale: Petacchi Again! New Boy Wins Overall
The last day of most stage races can be like the last day of school before the holidays, nobody takes the lessons seriously and the toys come out. The other day all the toys fell out of Simoni’s pram, so I don’t think it’ll be play-time in the Saeco team bus in Milan to day.
As expected Saeco were in control from the start, an early puncture to the young climber Sella was as exciting as it got in the opening kilometers. Podgornik (Tenax) go an 11 second lead with 4 laps to go round the beautiful streets of Milan in front of a fairly big crowd. But he had no chance of staying away, and let’s face it nobody really had a chance once the Fassa Bortolo team train got going for the driver Petacchi.
Three laps (13.4 kms) to the finish and it was all together again. Australian Trent Wilson broke away for about a kilometer and Fassa had 8 riders on the front lining it out as usual. Last kilometer and it was down to 3 lead-out men, Petacchi did it again by a bike length. Saeco looked happy with their win overall, but you have to ask what damage this has done.
Was this a good race? Yes I think every one would say so, new star Cunego will go on to bigger things, according to Armstrong himself, that’s for sure. Will Simoni get over it? We’ll see. Petacchi was brilliant, Cipo wasn’t, it could be the end for the “Lion King”, but the beginning for young climber Sella, and McGee has confirmed his class. My big question is, when will McEwan kill some one in a bunch sprint? So it all looks rosy for the future, roll on the Tour de France to bring us back down to boring French reality!
Stage 20 Results
1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 4.07.01
2 Marco Zanotti (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie
3 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Lotto-Domo
4 Olaf Pollack (Ger) Gerolsteiner
5 Alejandro Albert Borrajo (Arg) Ceramiche Panaria-Margres
6 Alexandre Usov (Blr) Phonak Hearing Systems
7 Marco Velo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
8 Simone Cadamuro (Ita) De Nardi
9 Angelo Furlan (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi
10 Marus Ljungqvist (Swe) Alessio-Bianchi
1st. D.Conego (SAE)
2nd. S.Honchar (DeN) at 2:02.
3rd. G.Simoni (SAE) at 2:05.
4th. D.Cioni (FAS) at 4:44.
5th. Y.Popovytch (LAN) at 5:05.
6th. S.Garzelli (VIN) at 5:31.
7th. W.Belli (LAM) at 6:12.
8th. B.McGee (FdeJ) at 6:15.
9th. T.Valjavec (PHO) at 6:34.
10th. J.Garate (LAM) at 7:47.