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Scroll down to read these articles from L'Equipe.  Translated by Walt Ballenberger  
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Tour of Italy- Stage 5- Di Luca Takes the 5th Stage
Tour of Italy Stage 4- Mazzanti Takes the Fourth Stage- 05/11/05
Tour of Italy Stage 3- Bettini Retakes the Lead- 05/10/05
Tour of Italy Stage Two- Double Coup for McEwen- 05/09/05
Tour of Italy- Double Coup for Bettini- 05/08/05
Four Days of Dunkirk- Fedrigo Wins- 05/08/05
Four Days of Dunkirk- Fedrigo in the Lead- 05/07/05
Four Days of Dunkirk- Voeckler OK- 05/06/05
Four Days of Dunkirk-  Gilbert 1st- 05/05/05
Four Days of Dunkirk- Hushovd OK- 05/04/05
Tour of Italy- Forfeit of Davide Rebellin- 05/03/05
Tour of Romandie- Double Coup for Botero- 05/01/05
Tour of Romandie- Success for Contador- 04/30/05
Tour of Romandie- Victory for Cunego- 04/29/05
Tour of Romandie- The Second for Petacchi- 04/28/05
Cipollini Stops- 04/27/05
Tour de Romandie- Periero Sio Sweeps to Victory- 04/26/05

Tour of Italy- Stage 5- Di Luca Takes the 5th Stage

The Italian Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas team) won the 5th stage of the Tour of Italy on Thursday
at Aquila.  He also donned the pink leader’s jersey as well.

Di Luca came to the front at the summit of a climb of 1300 meters.  He won his second Giro
stage thus far, two days after taking victory at Giffoni Valle Piana.  The rider from the
Abruzzes, a winner in his home region, beat the Italian Marzio Bruseghin in the last 50
meters.  The Columbian Mauricio Ardila took third place, two seconds ahead of the Belgian
Bjorn Leukemans and the Italians Ivan Basso and Damiano Cunego.

In the stage, the longest of the Giro at 223 kilometers, the Olympic champion and overall
leader in the general classification, Paolo Bettini, took part in a breakaway of 21 riders that
left the main field behind with 180 km to the finish.  The group, which contained the
Frenchman Sandy Casar, built up a lead of 8’50” at kilometer 103.

With the teammates of Cunego and Di Luca doing the work, the peleton reduced the lead to
2½ minutes at the foot of Mount Urano, a first category climb with 60 km to the finish line.  A
group of 4 riders kept ahead of the main field (Eltink, Parra, Petrov, Gil), but they too were
caught with 4 km to the finish.

Di Luca New Leader
Di Luca took the pink jersey thanks to the time bonus for winning the stage (20 seconds),
and now finds himself 3 seconds ahead of Bettini and 25 seconds ahead of Luca Mazzanti.

At 29 years of age, Di Luca holds first place in the Pro Tour standings after his wins in April in
the Tour of the Basque Country, the Amstel Gold Race and the Fleche Wallonne.  “This
jersey is the pinnacle.  I am happy, I am wearing the pink jersey, and that was my objective.  I
won in the Abruzzes.  My Giro is a success”, declared Di Luca just after the finish.

Friday the Giro heads back to the flat areas near the sea arriving in Maremma, the region of
wild horses.  The sixth stage will be 153 km and should favor the sprinters.

Tour of Italy Stage 4- Mazzanti Takes the Fourth Stage- 05/11/05

The Italian Paolo Bettini (Quick Step team) was penalized from first place to fourth in the 4th
stage of the Tour of Italy due to irregularities in the sprint finish.  His compatriot, Luca
Mazzanti (Panaria team), second in the stage, was declared the winner.

Bettini, who was in front, slightly moved his direction to the side and blocked the passage of
the Australian Baden Cooke, who was trying to pass next to the barriers.  Cooke then did a
spectacular somersault, with no apparent damage, and crossed the line on foot.

The commissioners then decided to penalize Bettini, who protested this decision.  Given
fourth place in the stage behind his compatriots Luca Mazzanti, Dario Cioni, and Michele
Scarponi, he still holds the pink jersey of the overall classification leader.

The stage, 211 kilometers in length, was animated by an escape by the Frenchman Cedric
Vasseur and the Italian Marci Pinotti, who took off at the 24th kilometer, built up a lead of five
minutes over the main field, but were caught with 28 km left before the finish line.

Mazzanti, easily outdistanced by Bettini at the line, took his first stage win in the Giro.  At 31
years of age, he gave the team Panaria (one of only two teams participating who are not part
of the Pro Tour) its second stage win of this Giro.  The first was by the Australian Brett
Lancaster in the prologue.

Tour of Italy Stage 3- Bettini Retakes the Lead- 05/10/05

The third stage of the 88th Giro (Tour of Italy) was won by Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas team).  
The Italian sprinter caught up with a small group of escapees and edged out his compatriots
Damiano Cunego (lampre) et Stefano Garzelli (Liquigas) at Giffoni Valle Piana to take the
third stage win of his career in the Giro.

Danilo Di Luca, who wears the white jersey  of the leader of the Pro Tour, and his team
forced the action at the climb of Santa Tecla, with 9 km to the finish line.  This attack was too
much for McEwen (yesterday’s winner) and the other sprinters, among them the Italian
Alessandro Petacchi.

Paolo Bettini (Quick-Step team), who took part in the escape, took advantage of the situation
and regained the pink leader’s jersey in the overall classification which he gave up to Robbie
McEwen on Monday.  He is now 9 seconds ahead of Danilo DiLuca.  The peleton arrived
more than a minute after the stage winner.

In this stage of 205 kilometers, the Australian Russell Van Hout, who broke away at the 8th
kilometer, built up a lead of 17 minutes before being caught by the main field with 30 km to
the finish line.  The Belgians Christophe Detilloux (pain in his right knee) and Tom Steels
(intestinal pains) both abandoned in the first half of the stage.

Tour of Italy Stage Two- Double Coup for McEwen- 05/09/05

The second stage of the Giro (Tour of Italy), which took the riders from Catanzaro Lido to
Santa Maria del Cedro over 182 kilometers, was won in a sprint by the Australian Robbie
MeEwen.  The sprinter of the Davitamon-Lotto team beat the Spaniard Isaac Galvez (Iles
Baleares team) and the German Jorg Forster (Gerolsteiner team) at the line.

Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo team), who hoped to take the victory in today’s sprint,
fell back to fourth.

With his sixth stage victory in the Tour of Italy, McEwen pocketed 20 seconds of bonus time
given to the stage winner and pulled off a double coup, winning both the stage and taking the
pink leader’s jersey for the general classification.

In this flat stage, the escape of the day comprised six riders, (Schnyder, Bichot, Sentjens,
Schmitz, Di Biase, Krauss), built up a lead of 7 minutes over the main peleton.  The escape
group was swallowed up by the field with 20 km to finish, however.

The Spaniard Alberto Lopez de Munain had a serious crash with 40 km to go before the
finish line.  He lost conscienceness for a time, but his life is not in danger, according to the
medical diagnosis from the hospital at Cetraro, where the rider from the Euskaltel team was
taken.

Tomorrow the third stage will take the peleton from Diamanti to Giffoni Valle Piana over more
than 200 km.

Tour of Italy- Double Coup for Bettini- 05/08/05

The first stage of the Tour of Italy went to the Italian Paolo Bettini (Quick Step team) on
Sunday at Tropea.  It was a double coup for the Olympic champion who also took the overall
leader’s pink jersey.  The Australian Robbie McEwen finished second, and the Italian
Alessandro Petacchi, third.

Sick for the last few weeks, Bettini is now fully recovered.  The Italian took his first victory of
the season and the first of his career in the Giro, a race which he hasn’t participated in for
several years.  The smile of the Tuscan when he crossed the finish line expressed his joy.

Four riders (Scarselli, Krauss, Zanini, Veneberg) escaped in the first hour of the race.  After
building up a lead of more than 11 minutes on the peleton, the foursome were caught with a
dozen kilometers to the finish.  Victim of a breakdown in the final stretch, the Italian Ivan
Basso lost five seconds on the other favorites.  The Italian adventure of the ex-Champion of
France, Didier Rous, ended quickly as he had to abandon after only 20 kilometers due to an
illness.

Four Days of Dunkirk- Fedrigo Wins- 05/08/05

The Frenchman Pierrick Fedrigo (Bouygues Telecom team) won the overall victory in the
Four Days of Dunkirk after the fifth and last stage, raced Sunday over 165.5 km between
Bourbourg and Dunkirk.  The last stage was won by the Pole, Adam Wadecki (Intel Action
team).

Four Days of Dunkirk- Dedrigo in the Lead- 05/07/05

The Frenchman Pierrick Fedrigo (Bouygues Telecom team) put on the leader’s jersey at the
expense of the German Linus Gerdemann (CSC team) at the end of the fourth stage of the
Four Days of Dunkirk, which was won on Saturday by the Russian Vladimir Efimkim
(Barloworld team), who is now in second place in the general classification.

The stage was animated early on by an escape of six riders, including the Frenchmen
Mengin and Nazon.  At kilometer 75, the escapees built up a lead of 4’30” over the peleton,
which was being pulled by the wearer of the pink leader’s jersey.  With 50 km to the finish, the
peleton was broken up by an attack from Christophe Moreau, who found himself in a group of
15 in pursuit of the escapees.

At the start of the last of six loops of 23 km around Bulogne, only Mengin and the Belgians
Coenen and Van Hecke stayed in front with 35 seconds in advance of the group of chasers.  
Fedrigo managed to join those in front, and with the rhythm accelerating, Efimkin joined the
group of three and took off in front of them.  

At the head of the peleton, Thomas Voeckler and Anthony Geslin guided their teammate
Fedrigo into a good position before the last climb.  Fedrigo finally left the stage victory for
Efimkin but took the overall lead, putting his grip on the final victory with one stage to go.

Four Days of Dunkirk- Voeckler OK- 05/06/05

The champion of france Thomas Voeckler of the Bouygues Telecom team won the third
stage of the Four Days, raced over 195.6 km between Lievin in the Pas-de-Calais and
Sangatte on Friday.

The German Linus Gerdemann (CSC team) snatched the leader’s jersey for the overall
competition.

Four Days of Dunkirk-  Gilbert 1st- 05/05/05

The Belgian Philippe Gilbert (Francaise des Jeux team) put on the pink leader’s jersey in the
Four Days of Dunkirk race thanks to his success in the second stage, raced over 204.1 km
on Thursday between Marcq-en-Baroeul and Lens.  He took first place in the general
classification from Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole team), who was leading Wednesday night
after his victory that day in a sprint.

Four Days of Dunkirk- Hushovd OK- 05/04/05

The Norwegian champion Thor Hushovd (Creedit Agricole team) won the first stage of the
Four Days of Dunkirk on Wednesday in a sprint finish, raced between Dunkirk and Marcq-en-
Baroeul.

He finished ahead of the Frenchman Jimmy Casper and the Pole Joroslaw Zarebski and took
the pink jersey of the leader in the overall classification.  This stage of 153.7 km started off at
a quick pace (49.9 km covered in the first hour) and included a lot of attacks.  At the first
sprint bonus in Winnezeel at kilometer 50, the French champion Thomas Voeckler won the
points over Hushovd and then tried in vain to escape.

A the start of the Flanders climbs, the German Linus Gerdemann went in front and built up a
lead of 23 seconds over the Dutchman Koos Moerenhout at the summit of the Mont des
Cats.  After the Mont Noir, Gerdemann waited for his pursuer.  The two men decided to work
together and built up a lead of two minutes over the main field.


At 4 kilometers from the finish line, the peleton caught the two runaways.  The Cofidis and
Credit Agricole teams set up the run for the finish.  With 100 meters to the line, Jimmy Casper
launched his final sprint, but Thor Hushovd came through and beat the Frenchman by a hair.

The second stage will take the riders from Marcq-en-Baroeul to Lens on Thursday over
204.1 km.  Two sections of cobblestones which are part of the Paris-Roubaix classic, situated
at Haspres and Haveluy, will pose the major problems of the st
age.

Tour of Italy- Forfeit of Davide Rebellin- 05/03/05

The Italian Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner team) will not be at the starting line of the Tour of
Italy on Saturday in Reggio di Calabre.  He doesn’t think he’s in good enough condition after
the tough spring classic season in the Ardennes (Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and
Liège-Bastogne-Liège) and thus prefers to sit out the race for the pink jersey.

His forfeiture follows that of his teammate, the German Fabian Wegmann, winner of the
Grand Prix of the Mountains competition during the 2004 Tour of Italy.  The Swiss climber
Sven Montgomery will thus be the leader of the German team, which will only have one Italian
in the event, Andrea Moletta.

Tour of Romandie- Double Coup for Botero- 05/01/05

The Columbian Santiago Botero (Phonak team)  won the Tour of Romandie on Sunday by
taking victory in the fifth and last stage, an individual time trial of 20.4 km around Lausanne.  
Botero’s time was 26’29“, ahead of the Australian Bradley McGee and the Italian Damiano
Cunego (Lampre team).  Cunego finished second over-all in the event.  The Pro Tour
standings are still dominated by the Italian Di Luca who did not participate in this event.

Tour of Romandie- Success for Contador- 04/30/05

Starting the day only two seconds behind the Columbian, Santiago Botero (Phonak team),
the Italian Damiano Cugego (Lampre team) finally took the overall lead on Saturday by
coming in third in the next-to-last stage, the fourth stage of the event.  Cunego finished
eleven seconds behind the day’s winner, the Spaniard Alberto Contador (Liberty Seguros
team), and eight seconds behind his countryman, Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval team).

Already the winner on Friday in Anzere, his first win of the season, Damiano Cunego has a
three second lead over Botero going into the last stage, an individual time trial of 20.4km to
be held Sunday in Lausanne.  The Russian Denis Menchov (Rabobank team) is in third place
in the general classification at 13 seconds behind the leader.  He finished Saturday in a
group of riders who were 19 seconds behind the winner of the stage.

Tour of Romandie- Victory for Cunego- 04/29/05
The Italian Damiano Cunego (Lampre team) one of the young lions in the pro peleton, took
the victory in the third stage of the Tour of Romandie on Friday at Anzere by defeating the
Russian Denis Menchov (Rabobank team) in a sprint.  Cunego brought himself into second
place, just two seconds behind the Colombian Santiago Botero (Phonak team), who took the
overall lead away from the Italian Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo team), winner of the
first two stages.

Tour of Romandie- The Second for Petacchi- 04/28/05

The second stage of the 59th Tour of Romandie was won in a sprint on Thursday by
Alessandro Petacchi.  The Italian sprinter from the Fassa Bortolo team left his adversaries no
chance at the finish line in Fleurier.  Petacchi had a double victory because he also took the
overall lead in the event.

The Spaniard Oscar Pereiro Sio (Phonak team) who managed to win several time bonuses
during the day, was not able to keep the overall leader’s jersey by a handful of seconds.

The day was highlighted by an escape from Inigo Landaluze (Euskatel team) who got away
from the peleton on the Mont des Verrieres at kilometer 18.  The Spaniard built up a lead of 9
minutes, but the peleton woke up just in time.

Tomorrow’s stage will be 147 km from Aigle to Anzere.

Cipollini Stops- 04/27/05

The Italian Mario Cipollini, the most spectacular sprinter of his time, has decided to end his
sporting career at the age of 38, his Liquigas team announced on Tuesday.  His retirement
comes 11 days before the start of the Tour of Italy in Reggio de Cabre.

Record number of victories in the Tour of Italy
“It was a difficult decision that took a lot out of me, but the public will understand”, stated
Cipollini, who has compiled 189 victories in his career and who had scheduled a press
conference for Friday.

Since his beginning as a professional in 1989, Cipollini has been one of the top sprinters in
the history of cycling.  The Tuscan, who built up several nicknames (the Lion King, Super
Mario….) in particular beat the record for the most number of stage wins in the Tour of Italy
which was 40, set by the great champion Alfred Binda.

Winner of 42 stages in the Tour of Italy, the last two won in 2003, Cipollini also won 12 stages
in the Tour de France and wore the yellow jersey for six days.  In 2002 Cipo reached the
summit of his career by winning Milan-San Remo for the first time and then becoming world
champion in Belgium at Zolder.


Tour de Romandie- Periero Sio Sweeps to Victory- 04/26/05

The prologue of the 59th Tour de Romandie was won by the Spaniard Oscar Pereiro Sio.  
The Spaniard from the Phonak team covered the 4.5 kilometers in 4’28”.  The Italian Paolo
Sapodilla (Discovery Channel team) had the same time but was 23 hundredths of a second
behind.  Stefan Garzelli (Liquigas team) was in third on the podium of this prologue.

The leading Frenchman, Laurent Lefebvre (Bouygues Telecom team) had to settle for 27th
place, 8 seconds behind.  Wednesday, the first stage will take the peloton from Avenches in
a loop of 167 km.
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