___Race Snippets

   
 

82nd Giro d'Italia 1999 (Italy)

 
   
 
By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian
 

Race Leader Expelled

Started in 1909 race organizers celebrated the 90th year of the Giro d’Italia.  This was 82nd edition of the race because the Giro was not run during WW1 (1915 to 1918) and WW2 (1941 to 1945).

The race began to take shape on stage 8 from Pesara to the summit of Gran Sasso d’Italia.  The powerful Mercatone Uno-Bianchi team worked hard to catch the "breakaway of the day" and delivered Marco Pantani to the base of the finishing climb. 

Pantani jumped away with 3 kms to go and took the stage win. Pantani put on the race leader’s Maglia Rosa.  He would relinquish the jersey after the individual time trial the next day, but the race still had tough mountain stages remaining.

Pantani continued his superior climbing when the race hit the Dolomites Mountains on stage 13.  The dominative Italian climber dropped his chain on the final climb of stage 15 and losing more than 30 seconds.  He remounted, caught the pack, and flew by everyone to win the stage.  Former race leader Laurent Jalabert said after the race, "Pantani is too strong!"

Pantani was so dominate in the mountains that the Italian media started calling the race “The Pantani Show”.  A sure winner in Milan after two mountain top stage wins on stage 19 and 20 Pantani was administered a blood test the morning before the start of stage 21. 

The UCI earlier warned riders that a hematocrit reading above 50% would mean disqualification.  When Pantani’s test returned a reading of 52%  the race leader was expelled from the Giro two stages from the finish. 

SPECIAL NOTE: With no definitive test for EPO in 1999 the UCI used the 50% limit as a sign that the rider may be using EPO.  UCI president Hein Verbruggen stated, "You will notice I have said nothing about doping. One doesn't know what the correct facts are. The fact is that a hematocrit level of 52% was recorded. We have formed the view that this level is unhealthy for the rider. We cannot prove that EPO was used. But it is consistent with its use."

The race was now wide open with Ivan Gotti, former race leader Laurent Jalabert, and Paolo Savoldelli all close in the General Classification.  Over the summit of the Mortirolo Gotti attacked with Roberto Heras and Gilberto Simoni.  There were 60 kms to the finish in Aprica and the three riders worked superbly to gain a 4’05” lead at the finish.  The Giro was over.

Ivan Gotti, the 1997 Giro champion, rode into Milan to claim a grand but controversial victory in the 82nd Giro d’Italia. 

SPECIAL NOTE: The 29 year old Marco Pantani served his mandatory 14 day UCI suspension for his excessive hematocrit.

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Stage 1 Agrigento-Modica, 175 km

Ivan Quaranta (Ita)

Ivan Quaranta (Ita)

Stage 2 Noto-Catania, 133 km

Mario Cipollini (Ita)

Mario Cipollini (Ita)

Stage 3 Catania -Messina, 176 km

Jeroen Blijlevens (Ned)

Jeroen Blijlevens (Ned)

Stage 4 Vibo Valentia-Terme Luigiane, 186 km

Laurent Jalabert (Fra)

Jeroen Blijlevens (Ned)

Stage 5 Terme Luigiane-Monte Sirino, 147 km

J-J "Chepe" Gonzalez (Col)

Laurent Jalabert (Fra)

Stage 6 Lauria-Foggia, 257 km

Romans Vainsteins (Let)

Laurent Jalabert (Fra)

Stage 7 Foggia-Lanciano, 153 km

Jeroen Blijlevens (Ned)

Laurent Jalabert (Fra)

Stage 8 Pescara-Gran Sasso d'Italia, 253 km

Marco Pantani (Ita)

Marco Pantani (Ita)

Stage 9 Ancona-Ancona, 32 km ITT

Laurent Jalabert (Fra)

Laurent Jalabert (Fra)

Stage 10 Ancona-San Sepolcro, 189 km

Mario Cipollini (Ita)

Laurent Jalabert (Fra)

Stage 11 San Sepolcro-Cesenatico, 125 km

Ivan Quaranta (Ita)

Laurent Jalabert (Fra)

Stage 12 Cesenatico-Sassuolo, 168 km

Mario Cipollini (Ita)

Laurent Jalabert (Fra)

Stage 13 Sassuolo-Rapallo, 243 km

Richard Virenque (Fra)

Laurent Jalabert (Fra)

Stage 14 Bra-Borgo San Dalmazzo, 187 km

Paolo Savoldelli (Ita)

Marco Pantani (Ita)

Stage 15 Racconigi-Oropa, 143 km

Marco Pantani (Ita)

Marco Pantani (Ita)

Stage 16 Biella-Lumezzane, 232 km

Laurent Jalabert (Fra)

Marco Pantani (Ita)

Stage 17 Lumezzane-Castelfranco Veneto, 212 km

Mario Cipollini (Ita)

Marco Pantani (Ita)

Stage 18 Treviso-Treviso, 45 km ITT

Serguei Gontchar (Ukr)

Marco Pantani (Ita)

Stage 19 Castelfranco Ven-Alpe Di Pampeago, 166 km

Marco Pantani (Ita)

Marco Pantani (Ita)

Stage 20 Predazzo-Madonna Di Campiglio, 175 km

Marco Pantani (Ita)

Marco Pantani (Ita)

Stage 21 Madonna Di Campiglio-Aprica, 190 km

Roberto Heras (Spa)

Ivan Gotti (Ita)

Stage 22 Boario Terme-Milan, 170 km

Fabrizio Guidi (Ita)

Ivan Gotti (Ita)

 

Mountain Jersey

* J-J "Chepe" Gonzalez (Col)
 

Point's Jersey

Laurent Jalabert (Fra)

 

GdI May 15 to June 6, 1999

3,757 Km

1. Ivan GOTTI (Ita) 99h55'56"

2. Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) +3'35"
3. Gilberto Simoni (Ita) +3'36"
Starters: 160

Finishers: 116

Average Speed: 37.959 km/h

 

 

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