Garzelli The Boss – Giro Stage 5 Report
Mapei’s pink jersey Stefano Garzelli stamped his early authority on the Giro today by winning the first mountain top finish to Limone Piemonte. The pink caravan returned to it’s rightful home today after 5 stages in northen Europe.
Garzelli won the 143 km stage in a tight sprint at the top of the final climb convincingly beating Kelme’s Santiago Perez Fernandez (2nd) and Gilberto Simoni (3rd), Francesco Casagrande in 4th and Wladimir Belli in 5th.
Today was expected to shake up gc as the race finished with a 10km climb to a finish at over 1000m, but after a few early breaks, the race was back together to start the final climb. Garzelli sent 4 of his Mapei men to the front to set a high pace, led by Paolo Bettini and Cadel Evans. At 5km to go, Bettini blew and settled out the back.
Inside 3km to go, Juan de Los Angeles of Kelme followed Alexia’s Jiminez up the road in a short lived bid for glory. But when the roads got steep inside 2 km, it was all Garzelli – towing the group past the 2 breakaways and never relinquishing his lead.
CSC-Tiscali’s Tyler Hamilton suffered what appeared to be a self-inflicted crash after accelerating out of a turn and swapping ends with his bike, but managed to recover, and nab 9th today.
Marco Pantani lost over 6 minutes today, and never looked like he was on anything more than a training ride – nevertheless, Italian tv still gave him tons of coverage plodding along.
1. Stefano Garzelli (Ita-Map) 3.46.45
2. Santiago Perez Fernandez (Spa-Kel) – st
3. Gilberto Simoni (Ita-Sae) – st
4. Francesco Casagrande (Ita-Fas) – st
5. Wladimir Belli (Ita-Fas) – 0.07
6. Fernando Escartin Coti (Spa-Coa) – st
7. Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa-Kel) – st
8. Ivan Gotti (Ita-Als) – st
9. Tyler Hamilton (Usa-Cst) – 0.09
10. Michele Scarponi (Ita-Acq) – 0.14
Overall after 5th Stage
1. Stefano Garzelli (Ita-Map) 26.21.28
2. Francesco Casagrande (Ita-Fas) – 0.43
3. Gilberto Simoni (Ita-Sae) – 1.00
4. Santiago Perez Fernandez (Spa-Kel) – 1.03
5. Wladimir Belli (Ita-Fas) – 1.06
6. Juan C.Dominguez (Spa-Pho) – 1.10
7. Fernando Escartin Coti (Spa-Coa) – 1.11
8. Tyler Hamilton (Usa-Cst) – 1.13
9. Cadel Evans (Aus-Map)
10. Davide Rebellin (Ita-Gst)