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1999 Giro
The Official Giro Site  

Top Three:
Final Standings

1. Stefano Garzelli
2. Francesco Casagrande
Gilberto Simoni

VeloNews Coverage of the '99 Giro

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'99 Giro


By Mike Price 

MILAN, Italy, June 4 (Reuters) - The Giro d'Italia wheel of fortune has turned full circle. 

Garzelli Wins The Giro On Sunday Stefano Garzelli stood in triumph on the Milan podium, resplendent in the pink of victory. Yet a year ago he and his team mates shunned the final stage to this city in protest at the Giro expulsion of Marco Pantani. 

That was the misery that followed Pantani's positive blood test, 48 hours before he was due to mount the podium for his second Giro triumph. 

A year later the supermarket-sponsored squad have plenty to celebrate. 

Not just Garzelli's overall win by one minute and 27 seconds from fellow Italian Francesco Casagrande, but a strong signal that Pantani's comeback is finally on course. 

After 3,698 kilometres the Giro curtain came down with Mariano Piccoli scoring a 13th stage win for Italy after the final 189 kilometres from Turin, but the day belonged to Garzelli, and Pantani. 

When Pantani arrived in Rome 22 days ago to start the Giro it was his first encounter with racing for almost a year. It soon showed as he lost time even on the climbs where he normally rules. 

Then on Friday he had the fans celebrating his second placing at Briancon. In a sense it was victory for a man fighting his way back to the form of 1998 when he won the Giro and the Tour de France. 

On Sunday the banners were out, saluting Garzelli's victory, and declaring Pantani as favourite for next month's Tour de France. 

After days of stalemate among the contenders in the mountains Garzelli broke Casagrande's 11-day grip on the leader's jersey. 

His aim was to start strongly in Saturday's mountain time trial to Sestriere to ``psyche out'' the solemn Tuscan, but Garzelli did not realise that Casagrande had a handicap. 

During the mountain stages he had trouble with his sciatic nerve, which numbed his left leg, and in the time trial Casagrande struggled through the first 10 kilometres, able to use only his right leg strongly. 

This revelation answered those who criticised his failure to attack. Casagrande said: ``If I could have given more to gain time I would have.  

``I am sorry to lose the Giro like this, but I have no regrets. I still have two or three years in which to try again.'' 

One consolation for Casagrande was that his Giro successes have raised him to number one in the world rankings. 

SESTRIERE, Italy, June 3 (Reuters) - Stefano Garzelli snatched the Giro d'Italia lead from fellow Italian Francesco Casagrande on Saturday's penultimate stage. 

He finished one minute 52 seconds faster than Casagrande in a 34 km time trial. 

Casagrande, first overall for 11 days, had his 25-second advantage turned into a 1:25 deficit. 

Garzelli was third on the stage behind Czech winner Jan Hruska. Casagrande struggled home ninth. 

Casagrande hit trouble on the climb to the summit of Montginevro, which he reached 1:45 slower than Garzelli and almost a minute behind Italian Gilberto Simoni, who started third overall. 

But Casagrande fought back to stay second overall by the narrow margin of six seconds. 

Stage    Winner
May 13 - Prologue time trial, Rome, 6 kms  Jan Hruska
May 14 - Rome to Terracina, 125 kms   Ivan Quaranta
May 15 - Terracina-Maddaloni, 225 kms   Cristian Moreni 
May 16 - Paestum-Scalea, 177 kms   Jan Svorada
May 17 - Scalea-Matera, 233 kms   Mario Cipollini 
May 18 - Matera-Peschici, 232 kms   Danilo Di Luca
May 19 - Peschici-Vasto, 170 kms   Dmitri Konyshev
May 20 - Vasto-Teramo, 171 kms   David McKenzie
May 21 - Corinaldo-Prato, 255 kms   Axel Merckx
May 22 - Prato-Abetone, 140 kms   Francesco Casagrande
May 23 - San Marcello Pistoiese-Padova, 257 kms   Ivan Quaranta
May 24 - Lignano-Bibione time trial, 45 kms   Victor Pena
May 25 - Rest day   
May 26 - Bibione-Feltre, 191 kms   Enrico Cassani 
May 27 - Feltre-Selva Gardena, 195 kms   Jose Luis Rubiera 
May 28 - Selva Vardena-Bormio, 205 kms   Gilberto Simoni
May 29 - Bormio-Brescia, 171 kms   Biagio Conte
May 30 - Brescia-Meda, 102 kms   Fabrizio Guidi
May 31 - Meda-Genoa, 224 kms   Alvaro Gonzalez
June 1 - Genoa-Pratonevoso, 176 kms   Stefano Garzelli
June 2 - Saluzzo-Briancon, 177 kms.   Paolo Lanfranchi
June 3 - Briancon-Sestriere time trial, 32 kms   Andrea Noe
June 4 - Turin-Milan, 198 kms   Mariano Piccoli


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