90th Milan - San Remo, World Cup Round 1
Italy, March 20, 1999
SummaryBelgian Andrei Tchmil (Lotto) surprised the sprinters in the last km of Milan-San Remo and won the first round of the World Cup as a result. 36-year old Tchmil attacked 600 metres before the end and held a narrow advantage over German Erik Zabel, the winner of the last two editions of the race.
The 294 km Classic was contested under a spring sun. It was Tchmil's third World Cup win in his career. He won Paris-Roubaix in 1994 in terrible weather conditions and later Paris-Tours in 1997.
After a long breakaway was neutralised as the peloton came to the last few hills, Italian Marco Pantani excited the tifosi by attacking on Le Cipressa the second last difficulty within 25 kms of the end. The 1998 Giro and Tour winner quickly gained a gap of several seconds. But the fancied riders reacted immediately and a small group formed over the top of the Cipressa. Michele Bartoli, in particular, chased him up the Cipressa. But the move split the peloton into three groups and ensured that the finale would be contested by a smaller group of riders, including the favourites.
The Italian rider Gabriele Colombo, who won in 1996, then attacked as soon as the front group reached El Poggio - less than 8 kms from the finish. He had a lead of 7 seconds over the top of the short and sharp hill but was caught in the last kms by the other riders who then settled for a sprint finish. That was until Tchmil caught them by surprise and attacked.
The race began early for some. 32 riders from 4 teams (Telekom, ONCE, Lotto, Festina) were subjected to compulsory blood controls by the UCI between 4.45 and 6.30 am. None of the riders tested were above the limit.
What they said:Andrei Tchmil (Belgium - Lotto) - the winner: "I had high hopes for this at the start. But it is a race which has many parameters. I knew though that I had it when I was 50 metres from the end. I knew that the attack by Pantani would be countered and it was - very quickly. Then it was fairly watchful. After the Poggio, Erik Zabel was in the box seat and I thought that he was setting it up just like last year. I knew that we had to attack him to avoid that inevitability. The more the merrier. Today, it was a victory for all the team. Unlike last year I have come into this period in better form. This year I am concentrating on the classics. I will not be riding the Tour de France for that reason."
Erik Zabel (German - Telekom), second placegetter: "I was very close to another victory. The Lotto team were well represented in the final stages of the race. I found that I was a little isolated in the final section but that is not criticism of my team. I knew at the start that it would be very difficult to win this race three times in a row. Congratulations to Tchmil."
Zbigniew Spruch (Poland - Lampre), third overall: "The race was very intense. Hunter worked very well for me when I reached the lead. I had thoughts that I could win the sprint. But there are always uncertainties when the attacks are going. On the Poggio, I was preparing to attack. Colombo beat me to it."
Michele Bartoli (Italy - Mapei-Quick Step): "It was normal that I would react to Pantani's attack. It would not have been sensible to allow a dangerous rider like him to get a lead. At the end I missed the move but I have good tempo and the legs for the coming races."
Marco Pantani (Italy - Mercatone Uno): "I had a go on the Cipressa. When I was caught I could see that Bartoli was near to me. Alone, I could have had a chance but I decided to ease up when they came back. But, on the Poggio, I wanted to attack a second time. But I realised that I would not succeed. If the weather is favourable, I will contest the Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège."
Frank Vandenbroucke (Belgium - Cofidis): "On the Cipressa and the Poggio, I was there with the rest of them. I then missed the move and it was over. There was nothing wrong with my team. Everything was going well. The race was magnificent - I have never climbed the Cipressa or the Poggio as quickly. When Pantani attacked I was reacting within 10 metres."
Emmanuel Magnien (France - La Française des Jeux): "I had a go with 50 kms to go. I have to rethink my preparation. I prepared for this race but I did not have the same form as I had last year."
Patrick Lefevere (Mapei-Quick Step manager): "Our team was not in contention at the end. It could have been a better outcome for us. The race was very quick and it has a deserving winner - Tchmil. I think he is a great cyclist."
Profile of Andrei TchmilAndrei Tchmil is a Russian from Khabarovsk in Siberia (ex-USSR), which is located on the coast near to Japan. When he was young his family migrated to the Ukraine and soon after he went to Moldavia where he attended a cycling school. He made his debut in the professional peloton in 1989 and was one of the first wave of Russian professionals who travelled west after the fall of the Soviet Union. In 1998, after several years of residence he took out Belgian nationality.
He was born on January 22, 1963. His spouse is Helena and has 2 children (Maxime and Oksana). He has ridden for Alfa Lum (1989 and 1990), SEFB (1991), GB (1992 and 1993), Lotto (since 1994).
His major results include:
Milan-San Remo, 294 kms:
1. Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 6.52.37 (42.752 km/h) 2. Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Deutsche-Telekom 3. Zbignew Spruch (Pol) Lampre-Daikin 4. Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mercatone Uno Bianchi 5. Lauri Aus (Est) Casino 6. Leon Van Bon (Ned) Rabobank 7. Peter Van Petegem (Bel) TVM-Farm Frites 8. Jo Planckaert (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 9. George Hincapie (Usa) US Postal Service 10. Gabriele Balducci (Ita) Navigare-Gaerne 11. Alexandre Gontchenkov (Rus) Ballan-Alessio 12. Andrea Ferrigato (Ita) Ballan-Alessio 13. Markus Zberg (Swi) Rabobank 14. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Team Polti 15. Nicola Loda (Ita) Ballan-Alessio 16. Andrei Kivilev (Kaz) Festina Lotus 17. Bo Hamburger (Dan) Cantina Tollo-Alexia 18. Mario Aerts (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 19. Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Alexia 20. Angel Edo (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 21. Maximiliam Sciandri (GB) La Francaise des Jeux 22. François Simon (Fra) Crédit Agricole 23. Dario Pieri (Ita) Navigare-Gaerne 24. Fabiano Fontanelli (Ita) Mercatone Uno Bianchi 25. Rolf Sorensen (Den) Rabobank 26. Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Ballan-Alessio 27. Biagio Conte (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 28. Beat Zberg (Swi) Rabobank 29. Oscar Camenzind (Swi) Lampre-Daikin 30. Lars Michaelsen (Dan) La Francaise des Jeux 31. Ludo Dierckxens (Bel) Lampre-Daikin 32. Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Team Polti 33. Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita) Mobilvetta-Northwave 34. Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Ballan-Alessio 35. Chris Peers (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 36. Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Crédit Agricole 37. Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) Banesto 38. Geert Verheyen (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 39. Wladimir Belli (Ita) Festina Lotus 40. Andreas Klier (Ger) TVM-Farm Frites 41. Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Vini Caldirola 42. Alexandre Shefer (Kaz) Riso Scotti-Vinavil 43. Franco Ballerini (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 44. Stefano Zanini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 45. Ruben Galvan (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 46. Laurent Roux (Fra) Casino 47. Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 48. Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel) Cofidis 49. Pascal Chanteur (Fra) Casino 50. Christophe Mengin (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux 51. Mirko Celestino (Ita) Team Polti 52. Jens Voigt (Ger) Crédit Agricole 53. Davide Casarotto (Ita) TVM-Farm Frites 54. Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 55. Cristian Moreni (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 56. Marc Wauters (Bel) Rabobank 57. Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 58. Mauro Gianetti (Swi) Vini Caldirola 59. Roberto Heras (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 60. Marty Jemison (Usa) US Postal Service 61. Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) Rabobank 62. Marco Pantani (Ita) Mercatone Uno Bianchi 63. Richard Virenque (Fra) Team Polti 64. Michele Bartoli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 65. Fabio Malberti (Ita) Riso Scotti-Vinavil 66. Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Saeco-Cannondale 67. Pascal Richard (Swi) Mobilvetta-Northwave 68. Gian Fagnini matteo (Ita) Saeco-Cannondale 69. Gabriele Colombo (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Alexia 0.11 70. Massimo Donati (Ita) Vini Caldirola 0.18 71. Stéphane Barthe (Fra) Casino 0.21 72. Alvaro Gonzalez (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros 0.31 73. David Extebarria (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank 1.36 74. Mario Scirea (Ita) Saeco-Cannondale 1.36 75. Massimiliano Lelli (Ita) Cofidis 1.54 76. Riccardo Forconi (Ita) Mercatone Uno Bianchi 1.54 77. Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 1.54 78. Peter Farazijn (Bel) Cofidis 1.54 79. Servais Knaven (Ned) TVM-Farm Frites 2.30 80. Geert Van Bondt (Bel) TVM-Farm Frites 2.30 81. Cédric Vasseur (Fra) Crédit Agricole 2.30 82. Marco Milesi (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 2.30 83. Henk Vogels (Aus) Crédit Agricole 2.30 84. Vindislav Bobrik (Rus) Riso Scotti-Vinavil 3.03 85. Rolf Huser (Swi) Festina Lotus 3.03 86. Igor Gonzalez (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros 3.03 87. Angel Luis Casero (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros 3.03 88. Christopher Jenner (Nzl) Crédit Agricole 3.03 89. Rolf Aldag (Ger) Team Deutsche-Telekom 3.03 90. Tristan Hoffman (Ned) TVM-Farm Frites 3.03 91. Alberto Elli (Ita) Team Deutsche-Telekom 3.30 92. Josè M. Jimenez Sastre (Spa) Banesto 4.21 93. Pedro Horrillo Munoz (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros 6.47 94. Tyler Hamilton (Usa) US Postal Service 6.47 95. Steve De Wolf (Bel) Cofidis 6.47 96. Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Alexia 6.47 97. David Latasa Lasa (Spa) Banesto 6.47 98. Carlo Marino Bianchi (Ita) Riso Scotti-Vinavil 6.47 99. Mario Cipollini (Ita) Saeco-Cannondale 6.47 100. Alexandre Moos (Swi) Festina Lotus 6.47 101. Johan Verstrepen (Bel) Lampre-Daikin 6.47 102. Christophe Agnolutto (Fra) Casino 6.47 103. Jan R. Svorada (Cze) Lampre-Daikin 6.47 104. Fabrice Gougot (Fra) Casino 6.47 105. Marco Velo (Ita) Mercatone Uno Bianchi 6.47 106. Marco Fincato (Ita) Mercatone Uno Bianchi 6.47 107. Wim Feys (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 6.47 108. Luis Perez (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank 6.47 109. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Navigare-Gaerne 6.47 110. Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Saeco-Cannondale 6.47 111. Frédéric Moncassin (Fra) Crédit Agricole 6.47 112. Guido Trenti (Usa) Cantina Tollo-Alexia 6.47 113. Xavier Jan (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux 6.47 114. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) ONCE-Deutsche Bank 6.47 115. Emmanuel Magnien (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux 6.47 116. Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Cofidis 6.47 117. Lance Armstrong (Usa) US Postal Service 6.47 118. J. Luis Rubiera (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 6.47 119. Claude Lamour (Fra) Cofidis 6.47 120. Javier Pascual Rodriguez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 6.47 121. Vladmir Duma (Ukr) Navigare-Gaerne 6.47 122. Ellis Rastelli (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 6.47 123. Bertran Hernandez (Spa) Festina Lotus 6.47 124. Juan José De Los Angeles (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 6.47 125. Benoit Joachim (Lux) US Postal Service 7.42 126. Victor Pena (Col) Vitalicio Seguros 8.06 127. Graziano Recinella (Ita) Mobilvetta-Northwave 8.06 128. Andrea Brognara (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Alexia 9.45 129. Glenn Magnusson (Swe) US Postal Service 9.45 130. Paul Van Hyfte (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 10.08 131. Jean-Patrick Nazon (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux 13.30 132. Thierry Marichal (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 13.30 133. Andrej Hauptman (Slo) Vini Caldirola 13.30 134. Mirco Crepaldi (Ita) Team Polti 13.30 135. Frédéric Bessy (Fra) Casino 13.30 136. Mauro Radaelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola 13.30 137. Paolo Fornaciari (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 13.30 138. Rossano Brasi (Ita) Team Polti 13.30 139. Pascal Derame (Fra) US Postal Service 13.30 140. Serguej Outschakov (Ukr) TVM-Farm Frites 13.30 141. Steven De Jongh (Ned) TVM-Farm Frites 13.30 142. Javier Pascual Llorente (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 13.30 143. Arnaud Pretot (Fra) Cofidis 13.30 144. Alessio Bongioni (Ita) Riso Scotti-Vinavil 13.30 145. Bjarne Rijs (Dan) Team Deutsche-Telekom 13.30 146. Giovanni Lombardi (Ita) Team Deutsche-Telekom 13.30 147. Denis Zanette (Ita) Team Polti 13.30 148. Francesco Frattini (Ita) Team Deutsche-Telekom 13.30 149. Eros Poli (Ita) Crédit Agricole 13.30 150. Gianluca Bortolami (Ita) Vini Caldirola 13.30 151. Cristian Salvato (Ita) Team Polti 13.30 152. Massimo Apollonio (Ita) Vini Caldirola 13.30 153. Matteo Frutti (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 13.30 154. Gianpaolo Mondini (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Alexia 13.30 155. André Korff (Ger) Festina Lotus 13.30 156. Endrio Leoni (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 13.30 157. Daniele Contrini (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 13.30 158. Cesar Solaun Solana (Spa) Banesto 13.30 159. Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank 13.30 160. Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Banesto 13.30 161. Massimo Strazzer (Ita) Mobilvetta-Northwave 13.30 162. Rafai Diaz Justo (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank 13.30 163. Mario Manzoni (Ita) Mobilvetta-Northwave 13.30 164. Frankie Andreu (Usa) US Postal Service 13.30 165. Ermanno Brignoli (Ita) Mercatone Uno Bianchi 13.30 166. Wilfried Peeters (Bel) Mapei-Quick Step 13.30 167. Luca Scinto (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 13.30 168. Laurent Lefevre (Fra) Festina Lotus 13.30 169. Filippo Casagrande (Ita) Vini Caldirola 13.30