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Scroll down to read these articles from the web site of L'Equipe.  Translated by Walt
Ballenberger  
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Tour of Italy- Basso takes the overall victory- 05/28/06
Tour of Italy- Big victory for Basso-05/27/06
Tour of Italy- Victory for Garate- 05/26/06
Tour of Italy- Schumacher wins- 05/25/06
Tour of Italy- Piepoli wins- 05/24/06
Tour of Italy- Basso high and strong- 05/23/06
Tour of Italy- Bettini in a sprint- 05/22/06
Tour of Italy- Laverde wins, Casar climbs the ladder- 05/21/06
Tour of Italy- Horrach takes it- 05/19/06

Tour of Italy- Basso takes the overall victory- 05/28/06

History will recount that the German Robert Forster (Gerolsteiner) won the 21st  and last stage of the
Tour of Italy in Milan ahead of the Spaniard Maximiliano Richeze and the German Olaf Pollack.  But
the main memory of the day will be that the big winner was the Italian Ivan Basso.  The CSC rider won
the 89th edition of the Tour of Italy on Sunday.

It was a Giro that he dominated head and shoulders above everyone else.  The Italian thus enters into
the history books of this race thanks to the 9’18” lead he held over his rival, the Spaniard José
Enrique Guttierez.  This was the largest margin of victory in 40 years at the Tour of Italy.  Not only that
but the 3rd place rider, Gilberto Simoni, twice a winner of this event, was about a dozen minutes
behind.

Basso really left no hope for his rivals since he took command of the event as soon as the race came
to the high altitudes.  That came in the eighth stage, the first of his three stage victories of this Tour.  
The Italian didn’t show any weaknesses during this Tour, but it is also true that he wasn’t attacked
very much.

Basso, who was in the pink leader’s jersey for 14 days in total, controlled things from the beginning to
the end and is now in a position to achieve a remarkable double in the Giro and Tour de France.  The
first part of this has been won, and he can be hopeful for the second.  However, it is clear that the
opposition in the Tour de France will be of a higher caliber than that of this Giro.  We will see at that
time what kind of power the Italian has.


Tour of Italy- Big victory for Basso- 05/27/06

Ivan Basso (CSC) won a great victory in the 20th and next to last stage if the Giro, which was raced
over 211 kilometers.  The Italian got away from Gilberto Simoni in the final kilometers, although Simoni
tried to win a stage in this Giro.  The winner dedicated the win to his second child, Santiago, who was
born on Friday.  Basso, won for the third time this year in Italy, or the fourth if one includes the team
time trial victory by his CSC team.  Basso has a huge lead of almost 10 minutes over his nearest rival
before the finish in Milan tomorrow.

Tour of Italy- Victory for Garate- 05/26/06

Juan Manuel Garate (QuickStep) won this mountain stage raced between Pordenone and Passo di
San Pellegrino, ahead of the German Jens Voigt and Vila Errandonea (Lampre).

The Italian Ivan Basso, 8th in the stage at 2’15” behind the day’s winner, kept his pink leaders jersey
and made a big step toward taking the final victory, while the German, Jan Ullrich, abandoned the race.

The German rider, who won an individual time trial in this Giro, complained of back pain during the
stage, and he preferred to throw in the sponge instead of continuing on to the finish on Sunday.


Tour of Italy- Schumacher wins- 05/25/06

The German Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner), 24 years of age, won the 18th stage of the Tour of
Italy in a sprint consisting of members of an escape group.  He beat out Marzio Bruseghin (Lampre)
and Jose Ivan Guttierrez (Ile Baléares).

It was however Bruseghin who pressed the action with 60 km to the finish.  Lopez, J.I. Gutierrez, and  
Schumacher, and then finally Wegelius caught him.  The Italian Paolo Bettini and the German Jan
Ullrich were not able to catch up to this group.

This group built up a lead of 7 and a half minutes before the Phonak team decided to reduce the
deficit.  Schumacher was in the end the fastest at the finish, although Bruseghin was the first to try to
break away.  This is the second stage win for Schumacher, since he already won the third stage in
Mamur in Belgium.

The Italian Ivan Basso (CSC) kept the leader’s pink jersey.  Friday the Giro will go back into the
Dolomites and into San Pellegrino in a long stage of 224 km.  Before the final ascension, the riders will
have to endure several major climbs, including the Passo di Fedaia and the Passo Pordoi.


Tour of Italy- Piepoli wins- 05/23/06

The 17th stage of the Tour of Italy was shortened because of snow on Wednesday at the Passo
Furcia.  It was won by the Italian Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval). The Italian Ivan Basso (CSC), who
was second in the stage, had no problem keeping the pink leader’s jersey.

Due to the abundant falling snow on the Plan de Corones, the organizers were forced to cut out the
last 5.5 kilometers which were unpaved and place the finish at 1740 meters of altitude.  A little earlier,
at the Passo delle Erbe, which was the first climb of the day, the riders requested that the climb be
eliminated.

At the 33rd kilometer, the Italian Dario Cioni and the Frenchman Benoit Poilvet started an attack and
escaped, but they were caught with 8 kilometers to the finish.  Piepoli won at the end in front of Basso,
who did not take part in the sprint.  With one kilometer to the finish these two riders broke away from
their last companions.  Third place went to the Spaniard Jose Enrique Gutierrez in front of the Italian
Franco Bellizotti, the Mexican Julio Perez Cuapio and the Franchman John Gadret.

Four days after having won in the rain at La Thuile, Piepoli had his second stage win in this Giro.  Ivan
Basso has a lead of 5’43” over Gutierrez and 10’34” over the Italian Gilberto Simoni, who succeeded
in moving up to third place.

Thursday the Giro goes down into the plain between Sillian, in Austria, and Gemona del Friuli (210
km), to finish the 18th stage in that valley.


Tour of Italy- Basso high and strong- 05/23/06

Ivan Basso (CSC) won the 16th stage of the Tour of Italy on Tuesday, raced between Rovato and
Monte Bondone over 173 km, the first of five mountain stages to come.

At 1650 meters of altitude, the Italian outdistanced his two compatriots Gilberto Simoni, by nearly a
minute and a half, and Leonardo Piepoli.  Basso crushed the peleton and his rivals and is more than
ever in command of the race and this should lead to the final victory.  Fifth place went to the
Frenchman Johan Gadret, who was two and a half minutes behind Basso.

The teammates of Basso (Voigt, Cuesta, Sastre) efficiently led the way up the long climb of 17.4
kilometers (with a 7.9% slope).  The pink jersey made a strong reaction to the initial breakaway
attempt of Simoni at 7.5 kilometers to the finish before breaking away from his companion.  With one
third of the climb finished, the Italians Danilo Di Luca, Damiano Cunego and Paolo Savoldelli could not
keep pace.

While the finish in Milan will take place on Sunday, Basso has a big lead in the general classification, 5’
24” ahead of Gutierrez.  “I was not given a gift.  My results are the fruit of sacrifices, effort and work.  It
should also be pointed out that the Giro is not over and that anything can happen.  For me it is
important to win because I don’t often have the opportunity, I am not the fastest of finishers”, said
Basso.

The Tour of Italy on Wednesday will come back to the difficult site of the Plan de Corones, which is
situated in the Dolomites with a finish at 2273 meters of altitude in the 17th stage.  A short stage (133
km) but very difficult (nearly 50 km of climbing).


Tour of Italy- Bettini in a sprint- 05/22/06

Paolo Bettini (Quick Step) won the 15th stage of the Tour of Italy at Brescia by the width of a tire in a
sprint in front of the German Olaf Pollack (T-Mobile).  Another German Robert Forster (Gerolsteiner),
took third place.  The Italian finally wins a stage in this Giro, the second of his career.  Ivan Basso
(CSC) remains the leader.

After having finished second two times in the four sprints thus far since the start of the race, Bettini
took the wheel of Forster before taking off and then holding back the surge of Pollack.  The Tuscan,
32 years of age, pulled out a victory before entering into the Dolomites.

The day was animated by an escape from Christope Edaleine at the 23rd kilometer.  Joined by the
Swede Gustav Larsson, the Italian Gabriele Missaglia and the Spaniard Ivan Mayoz, the Frenchman
and his group built up a lead of 5’15” over the peleton, but the T-Mobile squad led a chase and joined
the leaders with 9 kilometers to the finish.  Bettini, holder of the Olympic title, added another victory to
his list, which is already long (three World Cups, Milan-Sanremo, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and the Tour
of Lombardy).

Tour of Italy- Laverde wins, Casar climbs the ladder- 05/21/06

Le Colombian Luis Laverde (Panaria) won the 14th stage of the Tour of Italy on Sunday at
Domodossola in front of the Spaniard Francisco Perez.  Escaping with a group of eleven riders, Sandy
Casar (Française des Jeux) had an excellent 7th place finish.  The Italian Ivan Basso (CSC) kept his
stranglehold on the race.

The Frenchman, 21st in the general classification in the morning, climbed up to 6th overall and is a
little over 8 minutes behind Basso.  Casar was the highest placed of all the escapees (F. Perez,
Baliani, Laverde, Parra, Schumacher, Tiralongo, Tschopp, Zampieri, Illiano, Flores) who took off at the
27th kilometer.  Without anyone posing a big danger to the leaders, the peleton let them build up a
lead of 9’30” at the summit of Simplon with 46 kilometers to the finish, before reducing the lead to 7’
44” at the end.

A un peu plus de cinq kilomètres de l'arrivée, Laverde s'est dégagé avec Perez. Sept secondes
derrière le duo, l'Italien Paolo Tiralongo a réglé le sprint pour la 3e place. L'Allemand Stefan
Schumacher a terminé 4e devant les Italiens Raffaele Illiano et Fortunato Baliani et Casar. A 26 ans,
Laverde a remporté la deuxième victoire de sa carrière après une étape de la Semaine Lombarde en
2003.

With a little more than 5 kilometers to the finish, Laverde took off with Perez.  Seven seconds behind
this duo, the Italian Paolo Tiralongo took the sprint for third place.  The German Stefan Schumacher
finished 4th in front of the Italians Raffaele Illiano and Fortunato Baliani and also Casar.  At 26 years
of age, Laverde took the second victory of his career, the first being a stage win in the Semaine
Lombarde in 2003.

Tour of Italy- Horrach takes it- 05/20/06

The Spaniard Joan Horrach (Iles Baléares/Caisse d'Epargne) won the 12th stage of the Giro where
the finish was at Sestri Levante  He came in ahead of the Dutchman Andy Engels and the Italians
Emanuele Sella and Manuele Mori.

Horrach, 32 years of age, took off from a small group of six riders in the last kilometer.  An escape was
made by Mori and Sella with 20 km to the finish, but these two riders fell on the final descent of the
day and were caught by other pursuers.

There was no change at the head of the general classification, since the Italian Ivan Basso (CSC) kept
the leader’s pink jersey.  It was a good effort for Horrach who managed to take 7 minutes from Basso
and ended up in fourth place in the general classification.

The Ukrainian Serhiy Honchar had bad luck, as he crashed and had to watch his adversaries go by
him on the final descent.  This was unfortunate on the day before the high mountains.  The Belgian
Philippe Gilbert and the Dane Michael Rasmussen did not start this stage, and the Spaniard Roberto
Laiseka had to abandon during the day after he crashed and fractured his right knee cap.

The next stage on Saturday will take the riders from Alessandria to La Thuile over 218 km, to the foot
of the Petit Saint-Bernard very close to the French border.  There will be a large climb at the end of
the day, le Colle San Carlo (1951 m in altitude), a climb of 10.5 kilometers which will terminate with
only 7 kilometers to the finish.