98th Paris-Roubaix - Cat. CDM

France, April 9, 2000

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Live Report

10:30 - 0 km

273 kilometres to go, and the riders depart from the Place du Palais in Compiegne for the unofficial start. They're under way!

Johan Museeuw's comments before the start: "Last year I was scared. It was the first time after my fall. But today I start with the intention to win. It isn't the first time I've ridden on stones this year. And it has gone well until now."

Museeuw wears a Pantani/Durand cap specially made for him with the Lion of Vlaanderen imprinted on it.

10:45 - 3 km

Official start. All the favourites are here: Ballerini, Tafi, Museeuw, Tchmil, Van Petegem. How long will it take before the bunch gets nervous?

11:02 - 16 km

The peloton is fairly quiet, and proceeds through the village of Noyon in the department of Oise.

11:30 - 40 km

MuilleVillett. The first attack has gone away: 12 riders, including: Tom Steels (Mapei), Dimitri Konychev (Fassa), Jan Boven (Rabobank), Jacky Durand (Lotto), Robert Hunter (Lampre), Marty Jemison (USPS) and Matthew White (VC) establish a lead.

The first cobbled section (Rue de la Sucerie) is still 60 kilometres away.

11:46 - 45 km

Break gaining, peloton content to let them go. 55 kilometres until the first pave section. The weather is fine at the moment. Average speed in the first hour: 41.31 km/h

12:07 - 55 km

The speed has dropped a little, but the peloton are still compact. No-one is willing to chase the 12 leaders yet. No rider has won this race as well as winning the Ronde van Vlaanderen since 1977. Can Tchmil do it this year?

12:27 - 65 km

Speed now at 36.5 km/h. The peloton is content with this, with still over 200 km to go. The first cobbled section is now only 35 kilometres away.

12:40 - 70 km

Bellecour. The break has over two minutes now. The first cobbles coming in 30 kilometres.

12.57 - 98 km

Troisvilles: The race is on! A break of 12 has gone heading into the first cobbled section. They are flying now.

13.22 - 115 km

Just before zone 23 Quievy (3700 m) there were 12 leaders, with the peloton at 2.33" After zone 23: 8 leaders, and the peloton at 2.29". Andrei Tchmil has already punctured and fallen. He is behind the peloton chasing hard.

In the leaders group: Tom Steels (Mapei), Dimitri Konychev (Fassa), Jan Boven (Rabobank), Jacky Durand (Lotto), Robert Hunter (Lampre), Marty Jemison (USPS) and Matthew White (VC)

13.26 - 120 km

The leaders have 2.50" Temperature: 14 celsius and the wind: NNE No Telekom or Farm Frites riders with leaders. The next zone is number 21: Haussy (900 meters).

Andrei Tchmil regained the peloton a short while ago and is now moving up.

13:39 - 127.5 km

After zone 21 there were seven leaders: Tom Steels (Mapei), Dimitri Konychev (Fassa Bortolo), Robert Hunter (Lampre), Matthew White (Vini Caldirola), Jacky Durand (Lotto), Marty Jemison (US Postal), Sebastien Joly (Bonjour). Jan Boven (Rabobank) punctured

The seven leaders reach zone 20: Saulzoir (1200 meters) after 127,5 km; Stil 145 km to finish and 40 km of cobbles.

13:46 - 132 km

The seven leaders now have 3.20". In the bunch, both Stuart O'Grady and Frederic Finot, both Credit Agricole have punctured.

13:56 - 140 km

The seven leaders now have passed zone 19 (Verchain-Mangre, 1600 m) and 18 (Maing, 2500 m). Then, Jacky Durand (Lotto) punctures and needs a lot of assistance with his wheel to get going again. Bad luck indeed for an important teammate of Tchmil. He starts chasing to regain his six companions.

In the peloton there is a fall: Chris Peers (Cofidis) and Massimo Apollonio (Vini Caldirola).

14:00 - 142 km

Six leaders reach zone 17 Famars a Aulnoy (2500 m, cat. 4 = heavy going). Durand is 42 seconds behind, but 3:02 in front of the peloton.

14:10 - 146 km - Zone 16

In the leading group Joly now has problems to follow on the pave, and also White looks tired.

14.20 - 155 kms

Durand is caught by the peloton and punctures after a minute in the peloton. Desbiens (Cofidis) has a gap. They are now in a stretch of 20 kms of asphalt before the Bos d'Arenberg.

Up front Joly is back agin. Jemison is waving but the bike seems OK. Thirsty?

14.30 - 163 km

Minor riders attack in the peloton. Young (19) Eddy Lembo (J Delatour) gets a gap, Reynauld (Festina) tries next and the tempo will increase soon to get good positions for Arenberg.

Gaps: 2.25 from leaders to Desbiens, 3.20 to peloton.

14.41 - zone 15 - 168 kms

Preparing for the Arenberg, Farm Frites driving the peloton. Not much work in the bunch for Nardello, Tafi, Museeuw (Mapei), Ballerini (Lampre) and Baldato (Fassa Bortolo). They have mates in front.

Joly first into Arenberg, Jemison tries at the side.

14.45 - zone 15 - 170 kms

Joly dropped first, Jemison soon gets problems and also White.

The peloton enters. O'Grady, Tafi, Backstedt, Höj, Museeuw and others seen in the front of the peloton.

14.51 - 171 kms

Tafi first out of the Arenberg in the peloton driving hard. Höj, Hincapie, Spruch, Museeuw, van Petegem and Pieri along, and maybe some more. Speed slows on the asphalt but a small group has emerged. Tafi doesn't want to work.

Four remain up front. White still on with Konyschev, Hunter, Steels. Joly and Jemison gone.

14.55 - 175 kms - zone 14

The front four at Wallers. In the peloton it's an assembled bunch of 25 again entering Wallers with van Bondt driving.

15.03 - 184 kms - zone 13

Names in the main group at 1.29: Ballerini, Tchmil, Zabel, Museeuw, Tafi, Hincapie, Andreu, Backstedt, O'Grady, Flickinger and the caught Jemison driving now for US Postal before he will be dropped. Reynauld who has been in between for a long time is caught. Up front White is in problems again.

15.13 - 187 kms

Ballerini attacks towards the end of Wandignies pavé from a group with Tafi, Museeuw, Tchmil, Hoffman, Ekimov, Hincapie, White who is caught. They catch him and the gap to the leading trio is 1.29.

15.20 - 194 km -

Tafi's speed shrinked the gap in no time at all and in the Warlaing pave and they are caught. The eight man group is also joined from behind. Pieri falls but is back on the bike. Some 25 riders in the peloton now but disagreement and less speed when Tafi starts driving again.

15.25 - zone 11 - 201 km

Van Heeswijk (Mapei) attacks now with 75 kms to go on the Tilloy pavé. Mapei has a grip now with many in the top peloton, and now the others have to chase van Heeswijk. More names in the main group: Vainsteins, Van Bon, Milesi, Spruch, Serpellini, when they pass the last feeding zone at Orchies.

15.35 - 205 km

More front riders: Zabel and Backstedt (CA) coming from behind with Pieri (Saeco)and Guesdon (FDJ). Van Heeswijk still alone up front, 29 seconds ahead of the bunch, gained to some part at the feeding. Spruch (Lampre) attacks with Zanini (Mapei) and Wesemann (Telekom) but nothing serious. More coming from behind, among them Kirsipuu but they are not more than 30 in the main bunch, more following than chasing van Heeswijk. Time for Chemin des Prières pave.

15.43 - 207 kms

Out of Chemin des Prières, zone 10. Ballerini behind, probably puncture. Gets help from the impressing young Hunter. Tafi attacks but team mate Zanini cools him, they still have van Heeswijk ahead. The other tetams doesn't seem to be to scared, no real chase yet.

15.50 - 218 kms - zone 9

Van Heeswijk has 19 seconds going in. Francaise des Jeux has three riders, Guesdon, winner in 1997, and Danes Michaelsen and Höj. Three posties, Ekimov, Hinmcapie and Andreu tries to raise the speed a little. Museeuw also seen at the front and attacks to reach van Heeswijk and Mapei is attacking now with 59 kms to go.

16.00 - 220 km - zone 8

Andreu gets a gap on the asphalt. On the 300 m section before zone 8 Mons-de-Pevelet he is caught by Museeuw. Will they get along? They get some 25 seconds to the little peloton going into the pave section. FDJ's Michaelsen drives. Andreu is not too much interested in helping Museeuw. Mapei and Posties are neutralizing the peloton.

16.10 - 228 km

Approaching zone 7, Ennevelin, the leading duo gets over a minute and Mapei and USP with seven riders among them controls the peloton easily. 1.20 no when Hunter (Lampre) tries to gain some speed. Aldag (Telekom), who has joined from behind is also seen in the front and van Bondt (Farm Frites)but no organized chasing. 45 kilometers to go coming inot Ennevelin.

16.15 - 232 km

In Ennevelin it's van Bondt up front in the peloton, the duo doesn't gain any more now. Van Bondt gets problems in a band, out in the grass but is OK. Telekom's Wesemann at the front now, which means than Zabel also is in the group.

16.20 - 235 km

On the pave at Ennetières Museeuw attacks in the front and leaves Andreu behind. Museeuw has made his mind up. He had some problems in a turn but controls the situation, The chasers now at 53 seconds when Vainsteins raises the speed.

16.25 - 245 km

Museeuw increases the gap but he seems to suffer a bit in the headwind. Telekom comes to the front now in the peloton. It must be Hundertmarck, Wesemann and Aldag but Zabel comes up and asks them to take it easy. Seems like he is going for World Cup points only.

16.35 - 247 km

Museeuw has 2.40 now going towards Cysoing pave. Frank Höj attacked and caught Andreu. Very slow in the peloton. Ridiculous now when Kirsipuu is attacking. He if anyone would wait for the sprint in Roubaix. Backstedt is showing at the front. But Mapei has always someone to cover. And the Posties has Andreu in between. Pieri attacks but Tafi tows the peloton and he is caught.

16.45 - 250 km zone 5

25 kms to go in the zone 5, divided in two parts, the first 1000 meters, the other 400. And lot of people along the road, we are close to Belgium now and Museeuw's leads is going towards three minutes. Rabobanmk is trying to get up some speed in the peloton with Wauters and van Bon. The middle duo, Höj and Andreu are soon caught by the peloton at 2.33.

16.53 - 255 kms - zone 4

Museeuw still first into zone 4, 1800 meters, with 18 kms to go at the end. The gap now is still over two minutes and Museeuw is riding hard. Hincapie is driving hard in the front with Spruch on the wheel and Wesemann with a gap. Vainsteins is coming up but also Tafi. The speed is up.

16.58 - 257 kms - zone 3

Wesemann is riding hard now and is alone, 1.50 after Museeuw. He gained 33 seconds on the last 1800 meter pave, and now it is 2100 meters. Hincapie follows alone and then there is Vainsteins. But Museeuw still looks fairly good, keeping his speed in the middle of this split section. Its only Wesemann chasing now.

17.01 - 259 kms

Tafi is coming now, approaching Wesemann at 1.22, which means that Wesemann will be less likely to tow Tafi up to Musdeeuw. Tafi on the other hand lacks sprinting abilities totally. Hincapie and Hoffmann (Memorycard) follows.

17.07 - zone 1 - 265 kms

Now they are four chasing Museeuw, well Tafi shouldn't but the other three, Wesemann (Telekom), Andreu (US Postal) and Hoffmann (Memorycard) but gthe get no cooperation and more comes from behind, among them van Petegem, Zanini and Zabel! Wesemann still leading at full speed but then he cools off for the sake of Zabel probably. Ballerini and Wauters approaching from behind. Five kms to go, it looks like Museeuw, he has a minute now.

17.12 - 270 kms

Tafi punctures some kms from the finish, while Hincapie is up front at 1.05. Zabel is still along and they are now seven riders chasing a tiring Museeuw who turns around but this should be OK. But he is tired now inside Roubaix.

17.16 - 271 kms

Museeuw lost second by second coming into Roubaix in the headwind on high gears and had only 30 seconds at three kilometers, what a drama.

17.21 - 272 kms - The finish

The followers, eight riders, lead by Wesemann approached with Zabel along, and they are in sight of Museeuw now but he comes alone into the velodrome and wins with less than a lap on the velodrome. And lifts his left leg, that he injured so badly, two years ago in this race. Van Petegem wins the sprint for second ahead of Zabel, Hoffmann, Zanini, Hincapie and Wauters. Tafi ninth alone.

Preliminary results:

1. Johan Museeuw (Bel) Mapei              6.46.15 (40.172 kph)
2. Peter van Petegem (Bel) Farm Frites       0.10
3. Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom
4. Tristan Hoffmann (Ned) Memorycard
5. Stefano Zanini (Ita) Mapei
6. George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Sevice
7. Marc Wauters (Bel) Rabobank
8. Franco Ballerini (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
9. Stefan Wesemann (Ger) Telekom
10. Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei                  1.20

World Cup standing:

1. Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom                    190 pts
2. Johan Museeuw (Bel) Mapei                   111
3. Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto                   108
4. Peter van Petegem (Bel) Farm Frites          94
5. Franco Ballerini (Ita) Lampre-Daikin         94
6. Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Vini Caldirola       82
7. Tristan Hoffmann (Ned) Memorycard            76
8. Dario Pieri (Ita) Saeco                      79
9. Zbignew Spruch (Pol) Lampre-Daikin           60
10. Oscar Freire (Spa) Mapei                    50

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Complete live report so far