Results & Reports
Milan to San-Remo
Milan, Italy, March 18, 2000
By Tim Maloney, cyclingnews.com correspondent
Almost certainly, Team Telekom's post-race dinner in San Remo will feature a "tris"; three different kinds of pasta to celebrate Erik Zabel's third victory in Milano San Remo and his third in the last 4 years. In fact, Berlin born Zabel has put in almost 15,000km of training to be ready for this race. He was, as was the Telekom team, for the pink horde pounded at the front all day into the strong spring headwind along the Ligurian Riviera towards San Remo and finally delivered the win for Zabel. It was 'Teo Fagnini, Telekom's signing from Saeco who led out Zabel along the finishing straight, just as he had for Mario Cippollini so many times before.
The 91st edition of Milano San Remo departed from Milano at 0930, and although there were a few early attacks, it wasn't until outside Tortona that neo-pro Michele Gobbi of Mobilvetta - Rossin, last years European U23 champ took a flyer with 244km to go and the big teams said "ciao". Gobbi quickly established a 2 minute gap and as he approached Turchino pass in Ovada, he built a major lead of the peloton.
In fact, Gobbi had pounded to a lead of 22 minutes by Capriata d'Orba after 110km of racing. By the time the solid neo-pro had crested the Turchino pass after 144km of racing, his lead had built to one-half hour, while behind, the group was riding piano, halfway up the 24km Turchino climb.
Gobbi plunged down to Voltri and made the right hand turn towards San Remo on via Aurelia, while behind, the real action had begun. Andrea Tafi (Mapei) attacked on the Turchino descent and had closed down some time on Gobbi as the Aurelia began.
At Cogoleto, with 135 km to race, Gobbi had 15 minutes on the peloton, while 23 chasers had exited the group and were chasing the Mobilvetta man 14.30 behind. The almost double dozen had some Lotto's, Fassa Bortolo's, O.N.C.E's and others covering any early move, and included Zülle (Banesto), Skibby (Memorycard), Extebarria (O.N.C.E.), Den Bakker (Rabobank), Vinokourov (Telekom) and Ekimov (USPS).
After a half-hour of freedom at 78 km to go, it was gruppo compatto as the big group was caught, and Gobbi was still alone in front in Pietra Ligure, with a 5.30 lead. But the young neo-pro was croaking after almost 160km solo break and became the putative hero of the day when a group of 4 riders caught and blew by him at the second feed zone with 66km to go. Gobbi had been away for over 160km by himself in a classic and he got a major hat-tip from all the tifosi for his nice ride.
Old fox Skibby was piloting a quartet consisting of himself, Hunter (Lampre), the talented young South African, and two strong Dutch riders; Voskamp (Polti)and Kroon (Rabobank).
At 55 km to go, and approacing the first "capi " or coastal climb, Hunter, Skibby, Voskamp and Kroon continued to gain time on the group. With a moderate headwind on via Aurelia, the quartet had gained in 2.35 in Albenga. Behind, Lelekin (Mobilvetta) made a solo attempt to bridge and got as close as 15 seconds to the front quartet, but was caught by a chasing tandem led by his Mobilvetta teammate Gobbi and Navas (Banesto).
Aas the capi approached, Telekom and Mapei were getting nervous and rode hard tempo; keeping the gap at about 2.30. Gobbi and Navas couldn't bridge and were sucked up by the chasing group, but with about 50 minutes left to race at 41 km to go at Diana Marina, the lead quartet have been maintaining their advantage, with 2.40 on the peloton. Hunter has stopped working up front as his teammate Svorada was back in the pack, while the Mapei-led peloton was pounding away behind.
With 34km to go, the quartet navigated the narrow streets of Imperia, having 1.45 on the peloton with Hunter still not working, obviously saving himself for an attack on the upcoming Cipressa. IIn fact, as the steep slopes of the Cipressa arrive, Hunter goes but the peloton is closing down very fast behind. By the time Hunter got his 15 seconds gap on the chasers, Michele Bartoli (Mapei) and Juan Carlos Dominguez (Vitalicio) had extracted themselves from the peloton and were screaming up the cypress-topped climb in search of the tricky South African.
Bartoli, wearing special support taping on his still-delicate left knee and emerging Spaniard JC Dominguez took the initiative and grabbed a lead of almost 20 seconds on the run-up to the final climb, Il Poggio di San Remo. However, the impulsion of Telekom was too much: with 4 riders on the front along the long straight road to San Remo with 10 km to race, Bartoli and Dominguez were only 5 seconds ahead as the Poggio began. In an incredible moment of bad timing, George Hincapie (USPS) flatted just at the base of Il Poggio, ending his hopes of victory.
Although Bartoli & Dominguez made a valiant second acceleration, the duo were caught halfway up the climb. Then all hell seemed to break lose, but the top riders were so busy looking at each other, there was nothing happening as Davide Rebellin led over the top, with chasers just behind. Mapei man Paolo Bettini took a flyer on the descent, but he came back, just as did Dominguez, who made a solo move with 1500m to go. The Spaniard came back and with 600 meters to go, Teo Fagnini hit the front with his new Telekom teammate Zabel on his wheel. He rode a perfect lead-out for the German to power to victory in Milano San Remo 2000, winning the first World Cup of the season and his third Milano San Remo.
Erik Zabel: "A dream came true for me today. What Gian-Matteo Fagnini has done is unbelievable. We have a Super Team."
Walter Godefroot, Telekom's sports director: "If we had had Fagnini last year this would have been Zabel's fourth win"
Fabio Baldato: "I had a good position in the sprint, but when Fagnini started I was a bit disoriented. This is my fourth second place in a World Cup race. One day I will have some luck too…"
Oscar Freire: "Everything went well the whole day. I had my chance in the sprint, even if I knew that it is very hard to beat Zabel. My teammates has worked very well for me. Third in San Remo gives me taste for more and I can't be disappointed since it's my first start in the race."
Andrei Tchmil: "I hoped for a selection at the Poggio with a group of some ten riders coming to the finish. But i was watched. Telekom were to many. I had no possibility to attack."
Michele Bartoli: "Too bad that only Dominguez came along as I attacked. If we had been more it could have held over the Cipressa. But anyway I have showed that I'm around again, and that is very important for the coming Belgian races. I'm satisfied with that but a little disappointed that our team still not has won in San Remo."
Patrick Lefevere, Mapei's sports director: "Zabel won, but Freire is, with his 24 years, not far away. I must congratulate my team. They have done a good job, we have never been so close to a victory in San Remo."
200 riders were scheduled to start, but there were two non-starters: Emmanuel Magnein (FDJ) and Jakob Storn Piil (MCJ&J), who was hit by a car whilst training yesterday.
TV interviews before the start:
Eddy Merckx (7 times winner of Milan-San Remo): 'When I became professional it was a historical day for me. Starting with all those big names! You have to be a quick climber but - after the Poggio - you have to descend well too. Via Roma is the most beautifull via in the world for me.'
Belgian TV on the Poggio: You start 20 meters above sea level and in 3,75 km you reach 162 meters. In recent years, the professionals do this climb in around 6 minutes: that means 40 km/h! It's nearly a sprint. But take care at the most dangerous hairpin turn. The house with number 61 is a famous point just in the hairpin. It's the house with the gate with two red pillars. When you climb fast you nearly hit the pillars.
In the Cofidis-team, Frank Vandenbroucke and Jo Planckaert both have a free role today.
Mark Wauters (Rabobank): "We want as many riders as possible the final and than hopefully Markus Zberg, or somebody else from our team can win."
Peter van Petegem (Farm Frites): The team rides for me. We have to see how many riders we have at the Cipressa."
Johan Museeuw (Mapei): If we are all together at the start, Bartoli will attack as the first Mapei on the Poggio, and otherwise we all have a free card."
Oscar Freire: "My first contact with the Poggio on Thursday gave me a good feeling. But it was only training, and that is something other than the real race. But, we have a lot of good riders."
1. Erik Zabel (Ger) Deutsche Telekom 7.11.29 (40.882 km/h) 2. Fabio Baldato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 3. Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step 4. Zbigniew Spruch (Pol) Lampre-Daikin 5. Sergei Ivanov (Rus) Farm Frites 6. Jo Planckaert (Bel) Cofidis 7. Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom 8. Rolf Sorensen (Den) Rabobank 9. Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Vini Caldirola 10. Bo Hamburger (Den) Memory Card-Jack & Jones 11. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Once-Deutsche Bank 12. Elio Aggiano (Ita) Vitalicio Seguros-Grupo Generali 13. Enrico Cassani (Ita) Team Polti 14. Markus Zberg (Swi) Rabobank 15. Johan Museeuw (Bel) Mapei-Quick Step 16. Andreas Klier (Ger) Farm Frites 17. Andrea Ferrigato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 18. Andrej Tchmil (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 19. Marc Wauters (Bel) Rabobank 20. Dimitri Konychev (Rus) Fassa Bortolo 21. Mirko Celestino (Ita) Team Polti 22. Javier Pascual Rodriguez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 23. Mario Aerts (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 24. Giuseppe di Grande (Ita) Festina 25. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 26. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 27. José L. Rebollo Aguado (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros 28. Oscar Camenzind (Swi) Lampre-Daikin 29. Gian Matteo Fagnini (Ita) Telekom 30. Peter van Petegem (Bel) Farm Frites 31. David Etxebarria Alkorta (Spa) Once-Deutsche Bank 32. Pascal Chanteur (Fra) Ag2R Prévoyance 33. Abraham Olano Manzano (Spa) Once-Deutsche Bank 34. Juan C. Dominguez (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros 35. Peter Farazijn (Bel) Cofidis 36. Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec 37. Mauro Gianetti (Swi) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec 38. Wladimir Belli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 0.09 39. Michele Bartoli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 0.13 40. Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 1.44 41. Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus US Postal Service 1.54 42. Lars Michaelsen (Den) La Francaise des Jeux 2.19 43. Mario Cipollini (Ita) Saeco-Valli&Valli 44. Mirko Gualdi (Ita) Mobilvetta-Rossin 45. Mikel Zarrabeitia Uranga (Spa) Once-Deutsche Bank 46. Fabiano Fontanelli (Ita) Mercatone Uno 47. Marco Zanotti (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 3.13 48. Nico Mattan (Bel) Cofidis 49. Koen Beeckman (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 50. Jan Boven (Ned) Rabobank 51. Francisco Cerezo Perales (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros 52. Geert Verheyen (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 53. Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 54. Marco Serpellini (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 55. Gabriele Colombo (Ita) Cantina Tollo 56. Pedro Horrillo Munoz (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros 57. Cédric Vasseur (Fra) US Postal Service 58. Marcello Siboni (Ita) Mercatone Uno 59. Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Team Polti 60. Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Farm Frites 61. Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux 62. Maarten den Bakker (Ned) Rabobank 63. Michel Lafis (Swe) Farm Frites 64. Christophe Mengin (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux 65. Martin Rittsel (Swe) Memorycard-Jack&Jones 66. Massimiliano Lelli (Ita) Cofidis 67. Servais Knaven (Ned) Farm Frites 68. Unai Osa Eizaguirre (Spa) Banesto 69. Marco Milesi (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec 70. Jan Hruska (Cze) Vitalicio Seguros 71. Steve de Wolf (Bel) Cofidis 72. Wilfried Peeters (Bel) Mapei-Quick Step 73. Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 74. Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Once-Deutsche Bank 75. Inigo Cuesta Lopez (Spa) Once-Deutsche Bank 76. Pascal Hervé (Fra) Team Polti 77. Jaime Hernandez Bertran (Spa) Festina 78. Stephane Barthe (Fra) Ag2R Prévoyance 79. Tristan Hoffman (Ned) Memorycard-Jack&Jones 80. Chris Peers (Bel) Cofidis 81. Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 82. Luis Perez Rodriguez (Spa) Vitalicio Seguros 83. Francisco Cabello Luque (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 84. Massimiliano Mori (Ita) Saeco-Valli&Valli 85. Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Saeco-Valli&Valli 86. Rolf Aldag (Ger) Telekom 87. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol) Banesto 3.34 88. Rolf Huser (Swi) Festina 89. Ivan Basso (Ita) Amica Chips 90. Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita) Amica Chips 91. Denis Zanette (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 92. Pavel Padrnos (Cze) Saeco-Valli&Valli 93. Jan Svorada (Cze) Lampre-Daikin 94. Alessandro Baronti (Ita) Cantina Tollo 95. Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 96. Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) Banesto 97. Enrico Zaina (Ita) Mercatone Uno 98. Mario Scirea (Ita) Saeco-Valli&Valli 99. Ellis Rastelli (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 100. Karsten Kroon (Ned) Rabobank 101. Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Banesto 102. Oscar Pozzi (Ita) Amica Chips 103. David Clinger (USA) Festina 104. Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Amica Chips 105. Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz) Telekom 106. Salvatore Commesso (Ita) Saeco-Valli&Valli 107. Frankie Andreu (USA) US Postal Service 4.35 108. Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service 109. Guido Trenti (USA) Cantina Tollo 110. Stéphane Heulot (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux 111. Rossano Brasi (Ita) Team Polti 112. Massimo Giunti (Ita) Cantina Tollo 5.09 113. Robert Hunter (Rsa) Lampre-Daikin 6.01 114. Kai Hundertmark (Ger) Telekom 6.15 115. Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 116. Mauro Radaelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec 9.55 117. Paolo Fornaciari (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 118. Nicola Loda (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 119. René Jorgensen (Den) Memorycard-Jack&Jones 120. Michele Coppolillo (Ita) Mercatone Uno 121. Rafael Diaz Justo (Spa) Once-Deutsche Bank 122. Steffen Wesemann (Ger) Telekom 123. Gianluca Sironi (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec 124. Jan Schaffrath (Ger) Telekom 125. Benoit Joachim (Lux) US Postal Service 126. Gianluca Bortolami (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec 127. Frank Hoj (Den) La Francaise des Jeux 128. Marco A. di Renzo (Ita) Cantina Tollo 129. Kurt Alse Arvesen (Nor) Amica Chips 130. Steve Vermaut (Bel) US Postal Service 131. Kurt van Lancker (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 132. Paul van Hyfte (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 133. Christophe Agnolutto (Fra) Ag2R Prévoyance 134. Glen Magnusson (Swe) Farm Frites 135. Xavier Jan (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux 136. Graziano Recinella (Ita) Mobilvetta-Rossin 137. Allan Johansen (Den) Memorycard-Jack&Jones 138. Alessio Galletti (Ita) Saeco-Valli&Valli 139. Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel) Cofidis 140. Devis Miorin (Ita) Mobilvetta-Rossin 141. Paolo Bossoni (Ita) Cantina Tollo 142. Marco Velo (Ita) Mercatone Uno 143. Vitali Kokorine (Rus) Amica Chips 144. Tomas Brozyna (Pol) Banesto 145. Ruslan Ivanov (Mda) Amica Chips 146. Franck Perque (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux 147. Leon van Bon (Ned) Rabobank 148. Steven de Jongh (Ned) Rabobank 149. Frank Corvers (Bel) Memorycard-Jack&Jones 150. Diego Ferrari (Ita) Amica Chips 151. David Navas Chica (Spa) Banesto 152. José J. Gomez Gonzalo (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 153. Richard Virenque (Fra) Team Polti 154. Thierry Marichal (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 155. Javier Pascal Llorente (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 156. Lauri Aus (Est) Ag2R Prévoyance 157. Marcelino Garcia Alonso (Spa) ONCE-Deutsche Bank 158. Bart Voskamp (Ned) Team Polti 159. Alberto Benito Guerrero (Spa) Banesto 160. Oscar Sevilla Ribera (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 161. José E.Gutierrez Cataluna (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 162. Benoit Salmon (Fra) Ag2R Prévoyance 163. Ruben Galvan Manchon (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 164.. Riccardo Forconi (Ita) Mercatone Uno 165. Ermanno Brignoli (Ita) Mercatone Uno 166. Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Team Polti 167. Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 168. Franco Ballerini (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 169. Francisco Leon Mane (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 170. Johan Verstrepen (Bel) Lampre-Daikin 171. Alexander Fedenko (Ukr) Liquigas-Pata 172. Stefano Zanini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 173. Giancarlo Raimondi (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 174. Massimo Apollonio (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec 175. Cristian Salvato (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 176. Milan Kadlec (Cze) Mobilvetta-Rossin 177. Jesper Skibby (Den) Memorycard-Jack&Jones 178. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2R Prévoyance 179. Filippo Baldo (Ita) Mobilvetta-Rossin 180. Ruggero Marzoli (Ita) Cantina Tollo 181. Ivan Quaranta (Ita) Mobilvetta-Rossin World Cup standings after round 1: 1. Erik Zabel (Ger) Deutsche Telekom 100 pts 2. Fabio Baldato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 70 3. Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step 50 4. Zbigniew Spruch (Pol) Lampre-Daikin 40 5. Sergei Ivanov (Rus) Farm Frites 36 6. Jo Planckaert (Bel) Cofidis 32 7. Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom 28 8. Rolf Sorensen (Den) Rabobank 24 9. Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Vini Caldirola 20 10. Bo Hamburger (Den) Memory Card-Jack & Jones 16 11. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Once-Deutsche Bank 15 12. Elio Aggiano (Ita) Vitalicio Seguros-Grupo Generali 14 13. Enrico Cassani (Ita) Team Polti 13 14. Markus Zberg (Swi) Rabobank 12 15. Johan Museeuw (Bel) Mapei-Quick Step 11 16. Andreas Klier (Ger) Farm Frites 10 17. Andrea Ferrigato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 9 18. Andrej Tchmil (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 8 19. Marc Wauters (Bel) Rabobank 7 20. Dimitri Konychev (Rus) Fassa Bortolo 6 21. Mirko Celestino (Ita) Team Polti 5 22. Javier Pascual Rodriguez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 4 23. Mario Aerts (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 3 24. Giuseppe di Grande (Ita) Festina 2 25. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 1