34th Tirreno Adriatico - H.C.

Italy, March 8-15, 2000

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Stage 4 - March 11: Isernia-Luco de Marsi, 207 km

Cipo out in the cold

The fourth stage of Tirreno-Adriatico was longish at 207 kilometers, but also quite flat, being run between Isernia and Luco Marsi. This time, German sprinter, Erik Zabel (Telekom) didn't let some Spanish World Champion beat him - he got his train together and finished the stage quickest in from of Super Mario and Jan Svorada (Cze, Lampre).

The early part of the stage was animated by an attempt by Mapei's Andrea Tafi, Paolo Bettini and Luca Scinto, but the peloton suspected something was up and reeled them in in short order. Next, it was Oscar Pozzi (Amica Chips) who tried, but the pace of Telekom and Saeco was too high to prevent him from going far. Attempts were made by Marco Artunghi (Mercatone Uno) and Giuseppe Palumbo (Amica Chips), before Dmitri Konyshev (Fassa Bortolo) tried an Ekimov style move with 4 kilometers to go.

In this, he was unsuccessful as Saeco and Telekom upped the pace in the final few kilometers. The finishing straight was 700 meters long and Zabel's new lead out man, Gianmatteo Fagnini did his job, launching the German to victory.

Cipollini did not have the riders to support him at the end, and was forced to concede defeat to Zabel: "I have done what I could, but the significant thing is that I have almost found my best condition," said Cipollini afterwards, seemingly with no regrets that his former lieutenant has already prevented him from winning a couple of stages this year.

Frenchman Laurent Jalabert (ONCE) had no difficulties in retaining the leaders jersey that he won in fine style yesterday. He will aim to defend it in tomorrow's flat 26.5 individual time trial at Ascoli Piceno.


1. Erik Zabel (Ger) Teleko               5.38.45 (37.373 kph)
2. Mario Cipollini (Ita) Saeco
3. Jan Svorada (Cze) Lampre Daikin
4. Marco Zanotti (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
5. Robert Hunter (RSA) Lampre Daikin
6. Andreas Klier (Ger) Farm Frites
7. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole
8. Oscar Freire (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step
9. Ivan Quaranta (Ita) Mobilvetta Rossin
10. Moreno Di Biase (Ita) Cantina Tollo

General classification after stage 4:

1. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Once           18.54.35
2. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Liquigas-Pata       0.04
3. Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank            0.06
4. Jens Voigt (Ger) Crédit Agricole
5. Juan Carlos Dominguez (Spa) Vitalicio     0.07
6. Ruggero Marzoli (Ita) Cantina Tollo
7. David Romero Plaza (Spa) Festina
8. Gabriele Colombo (Ita)Cantina Tollo
9. Alberto Elli (Ita) Telekom
10. Oscar Freire (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step      0.12