PreviewThe 92nd edition of the Tour of Lombardy, the autumn classic which finishes the World Cup races for 1998 and is organised by La Gazetta dello Sport, the large Italian sport's newspaper has a long history. 92 years in fact. The first edition was won by Giovanni Gerbi in 1905. The race runs from Varese and finishes in the northern town of Bergamo. The same as in 1995, except the roads in between have often been changed to suit the whims of the organisers. This year is no exception. In place of the climb over del Colle del Gallo, which last year provided the critical selection just 10 kms before the end, the race this year will go up the Colle Aperto which is just 4.1 kms from the finish in the public square in Bergamo.
The race begins in front of the Town Hall in Vareso and is neutral for the first 3 kms as they cross the city. The race starts at 10.30. Then it follow a route through: Varese, Bizzozero, Castiglione Olona, Tradate, Mozzate, Appiano Gentile, Villa Guardia, Como, Lipomo, Erba, Canzo, Valbrona, Onno, Regatola, Guello, Madonna del Ghisallo, Asso, Eupilio, Cesana Brianza, Oggiono, Colle Brianza, Olgiate Molgora, Brivio, Pontida, Almenno San Salvatore, Roncola, Colle Vallepiana, Capizzone, Ponte Giurino, Berbenno, Brembilla, Zogno, San Pellegrino Terme, San Giovanni Bianco, Olda, Peghera, Forcella di Bura, Gerosa, Brembilla, Sedrina, Villa d'Almè, before finishing in Bergamo for a total of 253 kms.
The finish in Bergamo is via Ruggieri da Stabello, via Marione da Ponti, porta Garibaldi, porta San Lorenzo-inizio via della Boccola, porta Pantano, largo Colle Aperto, via delle Mura, porta Sant'Agostino, largo viale Vittorio Emanuele II, largo Bellotti, to the piazza Matteotti. The race is expected to finish between 16.15 and 16.45 depending on the conditions.
Michele Bartoli, the World Cup winner already for 1998, is a likely starter. But he has said he is not certain that he will bother finishing the race. He said he was ill after the World Championships last weekend and is still a little sore after his fall in the road race. He told the press: I've not been on best form. I've had stomach problems and they seem to be getting worse rather than better. I've also had a slight rise in temperature due, I think, to the fall I had at the world championships. It would be a shame not to compete in the Tour of Lombardy because I think the course and conditions suit me better than last year when I clinched the title. I'll start, but who knows whether I'll finish."
The rider who will not be so equivocal is Marco Serpellini who won the Tour of Piedmont this week and figured well in Milano-Torino. He also has a lot to prove because he was not considered in the Italian team for the world championships. He told the press: "I learned a lot from defeat in the Milan-Turin race because I put my head down 250 km from the finish and was amazed at how much ground I made up on the leaders. It shows I'm in good form. It's a shame the season is just about to finish but I want to make a real impression in the Tour of Lombardy."
Andrea Tafi is also likely to try to salvage a big victory at the end of what has not been a particularly rewarding season for him in the shadow of Michele Bartoli.
Leon Van Bon who is second on the overall World Cup points to date is just in front of Italian Stefano Zanini. However, he has said that he is not going to try to defend that place. He told the press: "It was a good season. I wil ride the Brinta Beach Classic and then I am leaving for a holiday in Mexico. After these holidays I will start with the preparation for the next season. This year's victory in the World Cup race in Hamburg was nice - but I want more. My next targets will be the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix."
Race ReportThe last two weekends have been good for Oskar Camenzind. Last Sunday he won the World Road Championship in emphatic style from Peter Van Petegem and Michele Bartoli. Yesterday, (Saturday) he won the last classic of the World Cup for 1998 - the 92nd Tour of Lombardy over 253 kms between Vareso and Bergamo.
He beat Dutchman Michael Boogerd, also in top form at the end of the season, by 6 seconds after a blistering attack in mist and rain over the cobbled streets of Bergamo. For Boogerd it was a good outcome though as he ensured his 5th place in the overall World Cup standings for 1998, the highest a Dutch rider has been since the days of Erik Breukink.
The Swiss are having a good end of season generally with Felice Puttini coming third at 1.21 and the current Olympic Road Champion, Pascal Richard coming 5th also at 1.21. World Cup winner Michele Bartoli, who hasn't been completely well this week after a fall in the World Championships last weekend and other problems, was 4th.
The main peloton was complete over the Forcella di Burra. Camenzind and Boogerd powered down the descent into Bergamo in continual light rain and mist. The only two to react were Bartoli and Richard but by then the flight had built a gap in excess of a minute. Camenzind then waited until they reached Bergamo and then put the hammer down to drop Boogerd who was just hanging on by this time. Puttini won the three up sprint between himself, Bartoli and Richard.
The other feature noted in the official press release was the rather ignominious exit from professional cycling by Gianni Bugno. He stopped, in apparent pain, on the third climb - the Salita di Valpiana - and deprived the legion of fans in Bergamo of seeing one last big finish.
Vareso - Bergamo, 253 kms:
1. Oscar Camenzind (Swi) Mapei-Bricobi 5.59.01 (42.282) 2. Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 0.06 3. Felice Puttini (Swi) Ros Mary 1.21 4. Michele Bartoli (Ita) Asics-CGA 1.21 5. Pascal Richard (Swi) Casino 1.21 6. Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Cantina Tollo 1.57 7. Marco Serpellini (Ita) Brescialat-Liquigas 3.50 8. Markus Zberg (Swi) Team Post Swiss 3.50 9. Andrei Zintchenko (Rus) Vitalicio 3.50 10. Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei-Bricobi 3.50 11. Marco Velo (Ita) Brescialat-Liquigas 3.50 12. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Polti 3.50 13. Gianluca Valoti (Ita) Polti 3.50 14. Felix Garcia Casas (Spa) Festina 3.50 15. Wladimir Belli (Ita) Festina 4.22 16. Mirko Celestino (Ita) Polti 5.31 17. Mario Aerts (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 5.31 18. Fabrice Gougot (Fra) Casino 5.36 19. Vladimir Duma (Ukr) Scrigno 5.50 20. Richard Virenque (Fra) Festina 6.23 21. Paolo Bettini (Ita) Asics-CGA 12.01 22. Emmanuel Magnien (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux 12.01 23. Mauro Gianetti (Swi) La Francaise des Jeux 12.01 24. Niki Aebersold (Swi) Team Post Swiss 12.01 25. Rolf Sörensen (Den) Rabobank 12.01 26. Mirko Gualdi (Ita) Polti 12.01 27. Andrea Patuelli (Ita) Amore e Vita 12.01 28. Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole 12.01 29. Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Cantina Tollo 12.01 30. Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) Rabobank 12.01 31. Stefano Cattai (Ita) Ballan 12.01 32. Udo Bolts (Ger) Telekom 12.01 33. Pascal Hervè (Fra) Festina 12.05 34. Andrei Kivilev (Kaz) Festina 12.05 35. Valerio Tebaldi (Ita) Mobilvetta-Northwave 15.01 36. Fabrizio Bontempi (Ita) Ros Mary 15.01 37. Valentino Fois (Ita) Vini Caldirola 15.01 38. Rolf Jaermann (Swi) Casino 15.01 39. Marc Lutz (Ned) Rabobank 15.01 40. Moller (Den) 15.01 41. Franz Hotz (Swi) Post Swiss Team 15.01 42. Roland Meier (Swi) Cofidis 15.01 Started: 195 Finished: 42
1905 Giovanni Gerbi (Ita) 1906 Giuseppe Brambilla (Ita) 1907 Gustave Garrigou (Fra) 1908 Francois Faber (Lux) 1909 Giovanni Cuniolo (Ita) 1910 Giovanni Micheletto (Ita) 1911 Henri Pelissier (Fra) 1912 Carlo Oriani (Ita) 1913 Henri Pelissier (Fra) 1914 Lauro Bordin (Ita) 1915 Gaetano Belloni (Ita) 1916 Leopodo Torricelli (Ita) 1917 Philippe Thijs (Bel) 1918 Gaetano Belloni (Ita) 1919 Costante Girardengo (Ita) 1920 Henri Pelissier (Fra) 1921 Costante Girardengo (Ita) 1922 Costante Girardengo (Ita) 1923 Giovanni Brunero (Ita) 1924 Giovanni Brunero (Ita) 1925 Alfredo Binda (Ita) 1926 Alfredo Binda (Ita) 1927 Alfredo Binda (Ita) 1928 Gaetano Belloni (Ita) 1929 Piero Fossati (Ita) 1930 Michele Mara (Ita) 1931 Alfredo Binda (Ita) 1932 Antonio Negrini (Ita) 1933 Domenico Piemontesi (Ita) 1934 Learco Guerra (Ita) 1935 Enrico Mollo (Ita) 1936 Gino Bartali (Ita) 1937 Aldo Bini (Ita) 1938 Cino Cinelli (Ita) 1939 Gino Bartali (Ita) 1940 Gino Bartali (Ita) 1941 Mario Ricci (Ita) 1942 Aldo Bini (Ita) 1945 Mario Ricci (Ita) 1946 Fausto Coppi (Ita) 1947 Fausto Coppi (Ita) 1948 Fausto Coppi (Ita) 1949 Fausto Coppi (Ita) 1950 Renzo Soldani (Ita) 1951 Louison Bobet (Fra) 1952 Giuseppe Minardi (Ita) 1953 Bruno Landi (Ita) 1954 Fausto Coppi (Ita) 1955 Cleto Maule (Ita) 1956 André Darrigade (Fra) 1957 Diego Ronchini (Ita) 1958 Nino Defilippis (Ita) 1959 Rik Van Looy (Bel) 1960 Emile Daems (Bel) 1961 Vito Taccone (Ita) 1962 Jo De Roo (Ned) 1963 Jo De Roo (Ned) 1964 Gianni Motta (Ita) 1965 Tom Simpson (GB) 1966 Felice Gimondi (Ita) 1967 Franco Bitossi (Ita) 1968 Herman Van Springel (Bel) 1969 Jean-Pierre Monseré (Bel) 1970 Franco Bitossi (Ita) 1971 Eddy Merckx (Bel) 1972 Eddy Merckx (Bel) 1973 Felice Gimondi (Ita) 1974 Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel) 1975 Francesco Moser (Ita) 1976 Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel) 1977 G.B. Baronchelli (Ita) 1978 Francesco Moser (Ita) 1979 Bernard Hinault (Fra) 1980 1. Alfons de Wolf (Bel) 255 kms at 35.747 2. Alfredo Chinetti (Ita) 3. Ludo Peeters (Bel) 1981 1. Hennie Kuiper (Ned) 259 kms at 39.642 2. Moreno Argentin (Ita) 3. Alfredo Chinetti (Ita) 1982 1. Giuseppe Saronni (Ita) 248 kms at 40.754 2. Pascal Jules (Fra) 3. Francesco Moser (Ita) 1983 1. Sean Kelly (Ire) 253 kms at 39.164 2. Greg Lemond (USA) 3. Adri Van Der Poel (Ned) 1984 1. Bernard Hinault (Fra) 251 kms at 40.831 2. Ludo Peeters (Bel) 3. Tuen Van Vliet (Ned) 1985 1. Sean Kelly (Ire) 255 kms at 41.208 2. Adri Van Der Poel (Ned) 3. Charly Mottet (Fra) 1986 1. G.B. Baronchelli (Ita) 262 kms at 37.329 2. Sean Kelly (Ire) 3. Phil Anderson (Aus) 1987 1. Moreno Argentin (Ita) 265 kms at 38.576 2. Eric Van Lancker (Bel) 3. Marc Madiot (Fra) 1988 1. Charly Mottet (Fra) 260 kms at 38.134 2. Gianni Bugno (Ita) 3. Marino Lejaretta (Spa) 1989 1. Tony Rominger (Swi) 260 kms at 38.368 2. Gilles Delion (Fra) 3. Luc Roosen (Bel) 1990 1. Gilles Delion (Fra) 246 kms at 39.704 2. Pascal Richard (Swi) 3. Charly Mottet (Fra) 1991 1. Sean Kelly (Ire) 242 kms at 39.176 2. Martial Gayant (Fra) 3. Franco Ballerini (Ita) 1992 1. Tony Rominger (Swi) 241 kms at 39.311 2. Claudio Chiappucci (Ita) 3. David Cassani (Ita) 1993 1. Pascal Richard (Swi) 242 kms at 39.821 2. Giorgio Furlan (Ita) 3. Max Sciandri (Ita) 1994 1. Vladislav Bobrik (Rus) 244 kms at 34.378 2. Claudio Chiappucci (Ita) 3. Pascal Richard (Swi) 1995 1. Gianni Faresin (Ita) 252 kms at 42.116 2. Daniele Nardello (Ita) 3. Michele Bartoli (Ita) 1996 1. Andrea Tafi (Ita) 250 kms at 42.642 2. Fabian Jeker (Swi) 3. Axel Merckx (Bel) 1997 1. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) 250 kms at 43.013 2. Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) 3. Francesco Casagrande (Ita)