ReportIt was a difficult race. First there were thunderstorms and later some tough hills which were attacked. But the 14 days of preparation that his riders have just finished in the Black Forest has clearly had benefits. The period of preparation for the Tour has definitely started.
The bad weather forced the peloton to take care in the early parts of the race. Eventually a top group of 22 riders formed. At 130 kms, on the Cote d'Evrehailles, Sebastien Demarbaix attacked. But he was caught on the Cote Warnant after gaining a 30 second gap. Four of Theo De Rooy's riders and three of Rudy Pevenage controlled the race. But they had to counter the tough work of the Lotto duo Kurt Van De Wouwer and Rik Verbrugghe. Also Axel Merckx was not taking it easy.
In the finale, there was an attack by Maarten Den Bakker. It was countered by Kurt Van De Wouwer. He had an excellent chance of winning but was caught around 4 kms from the finish. At that moment, his teammate Rik Verbrugghe took his chances on the the second climb of the Citadel. But in the end it was Udo Bölts who triumphed.
At the start in Jambes, the most interest was reserved for Jan Ullrich. The Tour winner looked to be in better shape now. He has just finished a 14 day training camp. early in the race, Jan was in the second group which was a minute or so behind the top group. He rode the race without problems. He is now in intensive preparation for the Tour.
Jambes - Namen, 201 kms:
1 Udo Bolts (Ger) Telekom-ARD 5.08.35 (39.179) 2 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 3 Stephane Heulot (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux 0.05 4 Maarten den Bakker (Ned) Rabobank 5. Cyril Saugrain (Fra) Cofidis 6. Sebastien Demarbaix (Bel) Home Market-Charleroi 7. Marty Jemison (USA) US Postal Service 8. Pascal Derame (Fra) US Postal Service 9. Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 10. David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis 11. Axel Merckx (Bel) Polti 12. Marc Wauters (Bel) Rabobank 13. Peter Farazijn (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 14. Mikael Holst Kyneb (Den) Team Home-Jack and Jones 4.02 15. Francis Moreau (Fra) Cofidis 16. Christophe Detilloux (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 17. Christian Henn (Ger) Telekom-ARD 18. Patrick Jonker (Aus) Rabobank 19. Francesco Frattini (Ita) Telekom-ARD 4.55 20. Mirco Crepaldi (Ita) Polti 6.05 21. Bert Grabsch (Ger) Agro-Adler 6.22 22. Richard Groenendaal (Ned) Rabobank 10.15 23. Rolf Aldag (Ger) Telekom 24. Daniel Atienzae (Spa) Polti 25. Marc Lotz (Ned) Rabobank 26. Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 27. Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 28. Maximilian Sciandri (GB) La Francaise des Jeux 29. Stephan Gottschling (Ger) Agro-Adler 12.35 30. Gert Vanderaerden (Bel) Palmans-Ideal 31. Roman Stoffel (Ger) Team Nurnberger 32. Oleg Pankov (Ukr) Ipso 33. Jan Ullrich (Ger) Telekom 12.35 34. Christian Vandevelde (US) US Postal Service 35. Michael Steen Nielsen (Den) Team Home-Jack and Jones 36. Raymond Meijs (Ned) Team Gerolsteiner 37. Georg Totschnig (Aut) Telekom 38. Maurizio Fondriest (Ita) Cofidis 39. Leonardo Guidi (Ita) Polti 40. Hans De Meester (Bel) Tonissteiner 41. Kai Hundertmark (Ger) Telekom 42. Thierry Marichal (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 43. Peter Meinert (Den) US Postal Service 44. Roger Hammond (GB) Palmans-Ideal 45. Ludwig Willems (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 46. Eddy Torrekens (Bel) Tonissteiner 47. Jan Boven (Ned) Rabobank 13.05 Started 114
1935 Gustave Degreef (Bel) 1936 Adolph Braeckeveldt (Bel) 1937 Karel Tersago (Bel) 1938 Adolph Braeckeveldt (Bel) 1939 Adolph Braeckeveldt (Bel) 1940 - 1941 - 1942 Maurice Van Herzele (Bel) 1943 Edouard Van Dyck (Bel) 1944 Joseph Somers (Bel) 1949 Jacques Geus (Bel) 1950 Joseph Verhaert (Bel) 1951 - 1969 no event 1970 Ferdinand Bracke (Bel) 1971 Felice Gimondi (Ita) 1972 Emiel Cambre (Bel) 1973 Albert Van Vlierberghe (Bel) 1974 Frans Verbeeck (Bel) 1975 André Dierickx (Bel) 1976 Herman Vanspringel (Bel) 1977 Walter Planckaert (Bel) 1978 Willem Peeters (Bel) - Ijsborke 1979 Leo Van Vliet (Hol) - Ti Raleigh 1980 Willy De Geest (Bel) - Ijsboerke 1981 Walter Dalgal (Ita) - 1982 Hennie Kuiper (Hol) - DAF Trucks 1983 Stephen Roche (Irl) - Peugeot 1984 Frank Hoste (Bel) - Europ Decor 1985 Marc Madiot (Fra) - Renault 1986 Steven Rooks (Hol) - PDM 1987 Pascal Poisson (Fra) - System U (Laurent Fignon (Fra) disq) 1988 Claude Criquielion (Bel) - Hitachi 1989 Thomas Wegmüller (Sui) - Domex Weinmann 1990 Luc Leblanc (Fra) - Castorama 1991 Frank Van den Abeele (Bel) - Lotto 1992 Danny Nelissen (Hol) - PDM 1993 Patrick Evenepoel (Bel) - Collstrop 1994 Peter Farazijn (Bel) - Lotto 1995 Andrea Chiurato (Ita) - Mapei 1996 Franco Ballerini (Ita) - Mapei 1997 Dimitry Konychev (Rus) - Roslotto 1998 ?Past winners from my friend Mario Stiehl in Berlin