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  Wednesday, 29 May, 2002, 16:43 GMT 17:43 UK
Police spoil Evans' day
Cadel Evans
Evans is the first Australian to lead the Giro
Wednesday's stage results

Italian police visited the hotels of four teams after Australian Cadel Evans took over the leader's pink jersey after the 16th stage of the Giro d'Italia.

Police from Brescia went to where the Saeco, Mapei, Mercatone Uno and Panaria teams were staying in the mountain resort in the Dolomite mountains, but refused to say who or what they were looking for.

All four teams have had riders leave this year's Giro d'Italia after doping tests but the police did not search rooms or vehicles, according to officials of two of the teams.

Marco Pantani
Pantani quit in the Dolomites
Mapei team manager Aldo Sassi told Reuters that the police merely asked them for the official team medical records of Stefano Garzelli, who was disqualified from the race last week after testing positive for the banned diuretic Probenecid.

"When there's a positive test under the anti-doping law in Italy, I think they automatically investigate the case," he said.

Earlier Mexican Julio Perez Cuapio scored his second win of the race with victory on stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia in the Dolomite mountains.

The Panaria team rider finished 52 seconds ahead of Italian Paolo Savoldelli of the Index team on the gruelling 153km stage to the ski resort of Corvara di Badia.

But Evans, riding for the Mapei team, has taken over the leader's pink jersey from long-time leader Jens Heppner.


I'm overjoyed, it's a dream
Cadel Evans
The German, who led for 10 days, finished nearly seven minutes behind the winner.

The 25-year-old Evans was in a small group, including American Tyler Hamilton and Italy's Dario Frigo who finished about one minute behind the winner.

Frigo moved to second place overall, 16 seconds behind Evans. Hamilton held third place, 18 seconds behind as the Giro entered the four last stages.

"I'm overjoyed, it's a dream," said former mountain biker Evans, who took over as Mapei captain following the doping suspension of Garzelli last week.

Meanwhile, Italian climbing specialist Marco Pantani withdrew from the race.

Pantani, 32, of the Mercatone Uno team, decided to give up after slipping behind on the first climb.

Pantani, a Giro and Tour of France winner in 1998, had been troubled by bronchitis in the last few days and was over an hour behind the race leader.

Stage 17 will bring another gruelling day in the mountains with a 222km ride ending on the summit of the Folgaria climb at 1,614 metres above sea level.

The 20-stage Italian marathon ends in Milan on Sunday.


Wednesday's stage 16 results:

1 Julio Perez Cuapio (Mex) 4hr 54min 54secs
2 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) at 53 secs
3 Dario Frigo (Ita) at 55 secs
4 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) same time
5 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) same time
6 Tyler Hamilton (USA) at 58 secs
7 Cadel Evans (Aus) same time 8 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) same time
9 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) at 2:09
10 Oscar Pereio (Spa) at 2:10

Overall standings:

1 Cadel Evans (Aus) 73hr 9min 23sec
2 Dario Frigo (Ita) at 16 secs
3 Tyler Hamilton (USA) at 18
4 Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) at 24
5 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) at 32
6 Paolo Savodelli (Ita) at 48
7 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) at 1:26
8 Fernando Escartin (Spa) at 2:09
9 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) at 4:21
10 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) at 4:26

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See also:

28 May 02 | Cycling
26 May 02 | Cycling
25 May 02 | Cycling
24 May 02 | Cycling
24 May 02 | Cycling
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