Gilberto Simoni - 2nd Giro D'Italia Victory, 2003

2nd Giro D'Italia Victory, 2003

Following his Giro victory Simoni moved to the Saeco Macchine per Caffè-Longoni Sport team with the goal of repeating his Giro success of the previous year. However, traces of cocaine were found in his blood and he was disqualified despite his protestations of innocence. It was later determined that the cocaine in his blood came from candies that his aunt had bought for him from Peru.

In 2003, the Saeco team came to the Giro d'Italia with the sole purpose of supporting Simoni. After epic battles with a resurgent Stefano Garzelli, Yaroslav Popovych and Marco Pantani in the high mountains in a hailstorm, Simoni cemented his second Giro d'Italia victory. His pursuit was documented in the film The Quest.

Following his dominant showing in the Giro, he set his aims on the Tour de France and in several interviews challenged the incumbent Lance Armstrong to a battle in the mountains. Unfortunately his performance was lacking, although he was able to gain a stage win.

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