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94th Giro di Lombardia - CDM

Italy, October 21, 2000


Results    World Cup Standings

Rumsas takes finale; Zabel clinches cup

By Tim Maloney, cyclingnews.com correspondent
Raimondas Rumsas
Photo: © AFP

In a surprise win in this year's Giro Di Lombardia, the final World Cup Classic, Lithuanian Raimondas Rumsas (Fassa Bortolo) sprinted in ahead of Francesco Casagrande (Vini Caldirola) and a very unlucky Niklass Axelsson (Panaria) for his biggest career win ever.

It was a beautiful fall day across Northern Italy for the "corsa degli foglia morte" after a week of intense storms that caused race organizers to cancel the two run-up races, Milano-Torino and Giro del Piemonte earlier in the week due to deadly flooding and landslides.

At 10:10am, the peloton departed from the start in Varese under grey skies of a cool morning, heading east to Bergamo. After a flat at 20 km, World Cup points leader Zabel retired. The Telekom man was still feeling the effects of a long season and a recent bout with the flu and decided to call it a day, his World Cup title safe from rival (and non-climber) Tchmil on the tough course.

The pace on the first hour across Brianza and towards the first climb of Madonna del Ghisallo was very fast, 45 km/hr. Up along the Lecco arm of Lake Como, the tempo never relented as the strung-out peloton made the sharp left hander to the 8.6 km climb up the Ghisallo. Setting the pace up the zig-zag climb was last year's Lombardia winner Celestino (Polti), with Zberg (Rabobank), Camenzind and Simoni (Lampre). The main group was stretched, but on the long, open descent to Asso, everyone came back together again.

The hot pace continued as a limpid sun began to illuminate the fall foliage and bright colors of the peloton as they headed down towards Canzo, with second hour ridden at 42/ km average. Wauters (Rabobank) made a solo move after 98 km, just after the feed zone in Cesana Brianza, but Mapei pulled him back on the 4.2 km Colle Brianza climb after almost 20 km of freedom.
Romans Vainsteins
Photo: © AFP

Hour three was raced at 41.5 km/h and with the tough pace, eventually a group would get away on the rolling terrain after Bergamo. Peron (Fassa Bortolo) attacked after 145 km and was joined by Paris-Tours winner Tafi (Mapei), Rastelli (Liquigas), Camenzind and freshly minted World Champion Roman Vainsteins (Caldirola). But after only a few klicks, Vainsteins and Rastelli thought he wiser and sat up, while the others continued on.

Tafi and Peron's hard pulls eked out a 40" lead after 20 km of liberty with the group chasing behind. After the second feed zone in Casazza at the base of the 7.6 km Colle del Gallo, Beat Zberg (Rabobank) took off and bridged up the front trio, along with Celestino, Belli (Fassa Bortolo), Lunghi (Colpack), Serpellini and Codol (Lampre), Bertolini (Alessio) and Faresin (Mapei).

The 8 riders began to close down on Tafi & co. and with 75 km to race, at the base of the toughest climb of the day, the Selvino, the trio had a half-minute lead. But the eight chasers pulled them back and with 10 km to go on the Selvino, it all came together with 60 riders "gruppo compatto." But Camenzind, Codol, Belli, Zberg kept going; then Camenzind was dropped and there were again three up front.

On the descent of the Selvino, Bartoli, Casagrande (Caldirola), Rebellin (Liquigas), Rumsas (Fassa Bortolo) and Axelsson (Panaria) came up to the front group. The finish in Bergamo was getting ever closer, with the final climbs of Berbenno and Boccolo to go. Halfway up the Berbenno, Axelsson attacked hard and surprised the other break riders. The tall, skinny Swede was feeling good; he got a gap and by the time Belli and Casagrande reacted, Axelsson was almost out of sight. Meanwhile, Bartoli, who had just bridged up, was in trouble on the 5 km climb and came off the back, only to get back on on the descent.

With 20 km to go, the lanky Swede was holding his chasers at 40". Fassa Bortolo was chasing hardest, as Belli is from Bergamo and the final are his training roads. The main group with Tchmil had already conceded over 3', so the result of the 2000 World Cup was clear. Despite his retirement, Zabel would keep his 71 point lead as Tchmil was clearly out of the running for the win.

Across the turbulent waters of the Brembo River and up through Felice Gimondi's hometown on Villa d'Alme, just before the final climb of Boccola, Axelsson held his 40" lead with only 7 km to race. The lanky Swede certainly looked like he was on his way to winning the Giro di Lombardia.
Rumsas and Bartoli
Photo: © AFP

While the Fassa Bortolo riders Belli and Rumsas began multiple attacks on the chase group, the Swede simply pounded harder on his pedals up the pavé climb into the picturesque Citta Alta of Bergamo. But behind, Casagrande had finally made a successful move from the chasers with 4 km to go and only Rumsas could follow. Belli wouldn't chase, Bartoli couldn't and Zberg was dropped, so this duo began to close down on the flying Swede from Team Panaria. There was to be no cakewalk for Axelsson.

On the fast descent into Bergamo, Axelsson began to lose time and at the 1 km kite, Casagrande, with Rumsas glued on his wheel had Axelsson in their sights. As the three riders made the final right hand turn into Piazza Matteotti with 300m to race, Axelsson dropped back and Casagrande led out the sprint. But Rumsas, seeking not only his first win of the 2000 season and his biggest win ever, blasted by the Caldirola man with 75m to race for the win.
Zabel gets the Cup
Photo: © AFP

Behind, Axelsson slammed his bars in frustration as he came third with a rear flat. Who knows; without the puncture that happened on the pavé section in the Citta Alta with 4 km to go, the tall Swede who will ride for Mercury in 2001, may have taken Lombardia. However, it was the moment of Rumsas, who won the '99 Settimana Lombarda here in Bergamo. Once again, Giancarlo Ferretti and his up and coming Fassa Bortolo team won the day, while Casagrande, who will move to Fassa Bortolo in '01 moved up to 3rd in the World Cup standings and further solidified his position as World #1 rider.

Despite his abandon, Erik Zabel easily kept his lead in the World Cup standings over Andrei Tchmil, with next year's first World Cup race set for Milano-San Remo on Saturday, March 24, 2001. 30 year old Zabel had his best season ever; 2 classic wins, another TDF points jersey win and the World Cup overall. Now the only race the World's top riders are thinking about is the race to hang up their bike and get to the nearest airport for a long vacation before training for the 2001 season begins again in December.

Results - 258 km

1 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu) Fassa Bortolo                6.18.36 (40.892 km/h)
2 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec
3 Niklas Axelsson (Swe) Ceramica Panaria-Gaerne          0.04
4 Beat Zberg (Swi) Rabobank                              0.07
5 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
6 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
7 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                     0.22
8 Massimo Codol (Ita) Lampre-Daikin                      2.11
9 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Liquigas-Pata                    2.57
10 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                  3.35
11 Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Alessio
12 Luca Scinto (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
13 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step
14 Stéphane Heulot (Fra) La Française des Jeux
15 Oscar Camenzind (Swi) Lampre-Daikin
16 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank
17 Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
18 Marco Serpellini (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
19 Richard Virenque (Fra) Polti
20 Peter Farazijn (Bel) Cofidis
21 Gianni Faresin (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
22 Mauro Gianetti (Swi) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec
23 Felice Puttini (Swi) Alessio
24 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
25 Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                    4.02
26 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
27 Marc Lotz (Ned) Rabobank
28 José Enrique Gutierrez Cataluna (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
29 Sandro Giacomelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec
30 Sergei Lelekin (Rus) Mobilvetta Design-Rossin
31 Filippo Simeoni (Ita) Amica Chips-Tacconi Sport
32 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Polti
33 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec       4.09
34 Sergio Barbero (Ita) Lampre-Daikin                    4.35
35 Massimo Cigana (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom            4.47
36 José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca      5.00
37 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Ag2r Prévoyance-Décathlon   5.35
38 Gianluca Valoti (Ita) Colpack                         6.45
39 Roberto Sgambelluri (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Regain       12.09
40 Massimiliano Gentili (Ita) Cantina Tollo-Regain
41 Igor Pugaci (Mda) Saeco-Valli & Valli                12.13
42 Denis Zanette (Ita) Liquigas-Pata                    14.08
43 Jörg Ludewig (Ger) Saeco-Valli & Valli
44 Leonardo Giordani (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
45 Patrick Calcagni (Swi) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec
46 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
47 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) Rabobank
48 Franco Ballerini (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
49 Pietro Zucconi (Swi) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec
50 Jan Schaffrath (Ger) Deutsche Telekom-ARD
51 Michele Coppolillo (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom
52 Steven Kleynen (Bel) Farm Frites
53 Tom Leaper (Aus) Ceramica Panaria-Gaerne             14.38

Starters: 166 
Finishers: 54

Final World Cup Standings

1 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom               347 pts
2 Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto Adecco                     285
3 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec   230
4 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                 217
5 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec      204
6 Oscar Freire (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step                  164
6 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Liquigas Pata                  164
8 Fabio Baldato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                    145
9 Zbigniew Spruch (Pol) Lampre-Daikin                  144
10 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Farm Frites                 135 
11 Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                  120
12 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) Lampre-Daikin              112
13 Johan Museeuw (Bel) Mapei-Quick Step                111
14 Marcus Zberg (Swi) Rabobank                          93
15 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank                       89
16 Oskar Camenzind (Swi) Lampre-Daikin                  81
17 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) Memorycard-Jack&Jones          77
18 Rolf Sorensen (Den) Rabobank                         67
19 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step               51
20 Leon Van Bon (Ned) Rabobank                          50

Teams:

1 Mapei-Quick Step                       96 pts
2 Rabobank                               71
3 Fassa Bortolo                          60
4 Lampre-Daikin                          58
5 Vini Caldirola-Sidermec                44
6 Team Deutsche Telekom                  36
7 Lotto-Adecco                           33
8 Farm Frites                            22
9 Liquigas-Pata                          19
10 La Francaise Des Jeux                 18

Complete World Cup standings

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