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May 30, 2007

Simoni takes stage win, Di Luca holds jersey at Giro

Yahoo! eurosport | Simoni conquers the Zoncolan

Saunier Duval's Gilberto Simoni dominated the last mountain stage of the Giro d'Italia, but couldn't kill the Killer.

Simoni, who won atop Monte Zoncolan in 2003, repeated the success, finishing with teammate Leonardo Piepoli 7 seconds ahead of CSC's Andy Schleck. Race leader Danilo (Killer) Di Luca, dropped 6 kilometers from the finish, scratched his way to the line 31 seconds behind Simoni in 4th, leaving him a healthy 2:24 gap in the overall standings to Schleck in 2nd and 2:28 to Simoni in 3rd.

It was the first race up the climb's difficult western side, but Di Luca didn't crack, and it looks like the Saturday time trial will be decisive. It's unlikely but possible that Di Luca could lose 2:24 to Andy Schleck in a TT, but Simoni's grip on 3rd looks especially tenuous. And who is nipping at Simoni's heels? Former teammate and archrival Damiano Cunego, who sits 1:01 behind Simoni's final podium spot.

CSC's David Zabriskie, who was 5th in the 2004 TT world championships (run on Saturday's course), told CyclingNews:

“You know, I wake up in the morning and I piss excellence. I'm just a big hairy American winnin' machine.”

More seriously, Zabriskie said he's been working for Schleck, but hopes to do well in Saturday's TT. He was 4th in Stage 13's uphill time trial.

Also:

CyclingNews.com | Giro Stage 17 - Simoni: King of Zoncolan | Stage 17 photos

GrahamWatson.com | Giro d'Italia Stage 17 Photo Gallery

Posted by Frank Steele on May 30, 2007 in Damiano Cunego, Danilo Di Luca, Dave Zabriskie, Gilberto Simoni, Giro d'Italia 2007, Photo galleries | Permalink

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