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Netherlands, April 28, 2001
"Triple" Dekker takes daily double with Amstel Gold and World Cup lead
In form Armstrong Amstel bridesmaid again
By Tim Maloney, cyclingnews.com correspondent
Despite battling a tough Tour De France Champion, director sportif Theo De Rooy's race strategy, a tough, windy day spring day in eastern Holland and an unlucky 13 race number, Rabobank rider Eric Dekker took a two-up sprint from Lance Armstrong (USPS) for his second ever World Cup win in today's Amstel Gold race, the fifth race in the 2001 World Cup.
Dekker not only got the victory bouquet for home squad Rabobank with his win in Maastricht, but thanks to a 2nd place in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, the crew-cut Raboman took over the top slot in the overall World Cup standings. As for Lance Armstrong, the two time Tour De France winner once again demonstrated his tremendous class by making the winning attack and showing his Tour De France preparation is right on track. Perhaps Lance's only weakness is winning a two-up head to head sprint; did Lance have deja vu back to Amstel '99 and Michael Boogerd (Rabobank), when another flying Dutchman beat the Texan.
A rainy, windy spring Saturday saw the 190 Amstel starters taking the field in terrible weather, but that didn't stop stankovite Andrei Tchmil (Lotto) from taking off after only 50 km. Tchmil has had a poor spring campaign in 2001 and the Belgo-Russo Lotto rider was looking to put the hurt on early in hopes that his tough guy physical constitution would bring him a win in Amstel. He was joined by a dozen other riders, including George Hincapie (USPS), US Champ Fred Rodriguez (Domo-Farm Frites), Luca Paolini and Paolo Bettini (Mapei), Roberto Petito (Saeco) and Matthias Kessler (Telekom). The bakers dozen pounded away through the morning's cold downpour and after 100 km of racing, they had eked out 8'30 lead.
But Tchmil & Co's early move had caught the Rabobankers by surprise and the orange and blue bankers had to spend a lot of hard earned capital pulling back the break. Eventually, after 210km of liberty, the break came back with 55 km to race. The question was after their hard chase, would Rabo be able to control the race all the way to the finish line in Maastricht?
Well, a motivated Lance didn't think so! Soon after the break came back, Armstrong suddenly hit the front with 48 km to race. His USPS boys Vasseur and Van de Velde had done yeomans work keeping Armstrong out of the wind and ready to go. When Lance saw he had a gap, he didn't wait around and put in a massive attack at 40 km to go, with only Italian Eddy Mazzoleni (Tacconi-Vini Caldirola) able to hold his wheel.
Armstrong and Mazzoleni quickly got a 30 second gap as the tired Rabobank chasers were one again caught by surprise. Rabo's D.S Theo De Rooy realized it was now or never and on the Loorberg, the 24th of the day's 29 climbs, he sent Erik Dekker on the attack to bridge up to the disappearing duo up front.
Dekker blasted away and after a superb 12 km chase, he had bridged up to Armstrong and Mazzoleni with 29 km to race, only 4 km before the steep 1 km climb of the Keutenberg Dekker's orders from De Rooy were to get up front but to not work with Lance. But after another Lance move blew out Mazzoleni on the climb, with the chase only 1' behind, the Rabobank rider realized that this was the winning move and he began to collaborate with the USPS rider.
This was not in De Rooy plan and the Rabo DS came up in the team car and told Dekker not to work; with Rabo team leader Michael Boogerd, Lotz and speedy Markus Zberg chasing less than 1" behind, De Rooy wanted the Lance move to come back. But Dekker was having none of it; he and De Rooy had a few heated conversations and Dekker worked less as Lance just powered away towards the finish in Maastricht.
As Armstrong and Dekker made the sharp left in Valkenberg at the base of the penultimate climb, the mythical Cauberg, where Lance was 4th in the 1998 World Championships, Mazzoleni was still chasing solo behind, with a group 15 chasing at 1'10". Rabo's Boogerd, Lotz and Zberg were in this group, as well as Rebellin (Liquigas), Van Petegem (Mercury-Viatel), Museeuw (Domo-Farm Frites), Chris Peers (Cofidis) and Serge Baguet (Lotto). Up front, Lance made a hard attack and got a good gap on Dekker but the Dutchman dug deep and clawed his way back up to Lance, who strangely didn't attack Dekker again.
Only one climb, the 10% Geulhemmberg remained before the flat, fast run-in back to Maastricht, and Lance now seemed content to just ride to the finish as he knew that Dekker was a faster finisher than him. Behind the chasers were disorganized and the gaps remained as before. A hurting Dekker went to the front to control the pace on the Geulhemmberg so Lance wouldn't attack him and his DS De Rooy saw his man was in difficulty. Dekker and De Rooy continued their colloquial as the rider assured his boss he was OK and would win in Maastricht.
As the chasers approached the finish in Maastricht, they gobbled up the shattered Mazzoleni before crossing the wide highway bridge back to town, while Dekker and Armstrong still had a 1' lead as they rounded the final traffic circle. Serge Baguet (Lotto) attacked off the back of the chasers and got a gap that eventually put him in 3rd, and just ahead, Lance and Dekker began the dramatic dance in the last 700 meters to see who would take the sprint. Dekker led Lance with 500 meters to go and tried to get the Texan to come around him to the front, but Armstrong was determined to stay behind.
Dekker used his superior track craft and slowed down, putting Armstrong slightly off balance. At the 300 metre mark, Dekker began to wind it up and with 250m, the Dutch rider was building an inexorable momentum that the American just could not overcome. Dekker won his biggest victory by a bike length over Armstrong, overcoming the objections of his team director and fulfilling the great promise of his 2000 season by taking the lead in the UCI World Cup.
After 3 TDF stage wins and a World Cup win in San Sebastian, Dekker showed that he might be the best Dutch bike racer on the planet and now it looks like he's proved it! As for Lance, his tremendous effort and already awesome form showed that the Texan is right on track for a 3rd consecutive Tour De France win in July.
Dekker doubles to second World Cup win
By Jeff Jones
The Dutch celebrated their 17th Amstel Gold Race victory with a win to the home team Rabobank. Theo de Rooy's highly motivated blue and orange squad placed enough men in the leading group to ensure that they would be in a winning position. When 1999 runner up Lance Armstrong attacked together with Eddy Mazzoleni with 40 km to go, Erik Dekker wasted no time in bridging up, dropping the Italian and outsprinting Armstrong to a clean and well earned victory.
Earlier in the day, a 13 man break containing a surprising number of big hitters (Tchmil, Hincapie, Bettini, Petito) rode to an 8 minute lead with 150 km to go. But with only one Rabobank rider there (Karsten Kroon) it wasn't enough, and the remainder of the team set a high tempo to catch them with 49 km to go.
Shortly afterwards with 40 km left came Lance Armstrong's counter-attack. He took Eddy Mazzoleni (Tacconi) with him, as Erik Dekker rode across the gap with 29 km to go. Armstrong and Dekker dropped Mazzoleni shortly afterwards on the 22% Keutenberg, and the pair stayed together until the finish with about a minute's lead.
Despite an Armstrong foray on the Cauberg with 16 km to go, Dekker was too strong and the pair continued to work and stay away until the finish. Dekker was able to lead out from almost a standstill to beat Armstrong to take his second World Cup win since San Sebastian 2000, becoming the new World Cup leader in the process.
1 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 6.39.13 (38.265 km/h) 2 Lance Armstrong (USA) U.S. Postal Service 3 Serge Baguet (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 0.17 4 Marcus Zberg (Swi) Rabobank 5 Johan Museeuw (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites 6 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Mercury-Viatel 0.20 7 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 8 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 9 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 10 Chris Peers (Bel) Cofidis 11 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola 0.23 12 Marc Lotz (Ned) Rabobank 2.08 13 Wilfried Peeters (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites 2.38 14 Oscar Camenzind (Swi) Lampre-Daikin 2.41 15 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Mercatone Uno 16 Gianluca Bortolami (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola 17 Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 18 Scott Sunderland (Aus) Team Fakta 19 Michael Blaudzun (Den) CSC-World Online 20 Davide Casarotto (Ita) Alessio 21 Cédric Vasseur (Fra) U.S. Postal Service 22 Christian Vandevelde (USA) U.S. Postal Service 23 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) Rabobank 24 Fernando Escartin Coti (Spa) Team Coast 25 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Deutsche Telekom 26 Niki Aebersold (Swi) Team Coast 3.33 27 Luca Paolini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 5.42 28 Armin Meier (Swi) Saeco Macchine Per Caffe 29 Ellis Rastelli (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 30 Ivan Basso (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 31 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Rabobank 9.14 32 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio 33 Gian Mario Ortenzi (Ita) Mercatone Uno 34 George Hincapie (USA) U.S. Postal Service 35 Matthias Kessler (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom 36 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Domo-Farm Frites 37 Leon Van Bon (Ned) Mercury-Viatel
1 Debby Mansveld (Ned) Vlaanderen - T-interim 2.44.30 2 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Acca Due O-Lorena 3 Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel (Ned) Farm Frites-Hartol 4 Tanja Schmidt-Hennes (Ger) Ondernemers van Nature 5 Sanne Schmidt (Den) RSC Ladies Cyclingteam de Zuidwesthoek 6 Elisabeth Vink (Ned) Farm Frites-Hartol 7 Chantal Beltman (Ned) Dutch National Team 8 Evy Van Damme (Bel) Vlaanderen - T-interim 0.02 9 Cindy Pieters (Bel) Vlaanderen - T-interim 10 Corine Dorland (Ned) Dutch National Team 11 Lisbeth Simper (Den) Team Lolland - Falster 12 Sonja Van Kuik (Ned) Farm Frites-Hartol 13 Vanja Vonckx (Bel) Vlaanderen - T-interim 0.03 14 Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (Ned) Dutch National Team 15 Sandra Rombouts (Ned) Ondernemers van Nature 16 Mariëlle Van Scheppingen (Ned) Dutch National Team 17 Madeleine Lindberg (Swe) Farm Frites-Hartol 18 Arenda Grimberg (Ned) Acca Due O-Lorena 19 Areke Hassink (Ned) Ondernemers van Nature 20 Zita Urbonaite (Ltu) Acca Due O-Lorena 21 Angela Hillenga (Ned) Dutch National Team 22 Ghita Beltman (Ned) Dutch National Team 23 Vera Hohlfeld (Ger) Acca Due O-Lorena 24 Suzanne De Goede (Ned) Ton van Bemmelen-Novilon 25 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Acca Due O-Lorena 0.23 26 Wendy Kramp (Ned) BIK-Toscany Sport 1.15 27 Sissy Van Alebeek (Ned) Farm Frites-Hartol 28 Vera Koedooder (Ned) Ton van Bemmelen-Novilon 29 Petra De Boer-Grimbergen (Ned) Ondernemers van Nature 30 Mirella Van Melis (Ned) Dutch National Team 31 Baukje Doedée (Ned) RSC Ladies Cyclingteam de Zuidwesthoek 32 Sandra Missbach (Ger) Ton van Bemmelen-Novilon 33 Kirsty Nicole Robb (Nzl) BIK-Toscany Sport 34 Anouska Van Der Zee (Ned) Farm Frites-Hartol 35 Minke Van Dongen (Ned) Dutch National Junior Team 36 Irma Van Heeren (Ned) R&TC Buitenlust 1.19 37 Heidi De Voogd (Ned) Team Ahoy 4.14 38 Andrea Hanneman (Ger) Team Stuttgart 39 Daniëlle Moonen (Ned) JvR - De Batauwers 40 Kristy Miggels (Ned) Westland Wil Vooruit 41 Josephine Groenveld (Ned) BIK-Toscany Sport 42 Abke Francissen (Ned) Team Brabant 2000 43 Annemiek Van Loon (Ned) Team Brabant 2000 44 Catharina Mulders (Ned) Ton van Bemmelen-Novilon 4.18 45 Francis Linthorst (Ned) Ondernemers van Nature 46 Sabine Gruters (Ned) Team Brabant 2000 47 Edith Moerenhout-Klep (Ned) Ondernemers van Nature 48 Pleuni Möhlmann (Ned) Dutch National Junior Team 4.21 49 Carolien Slikker (Ned) Ton van Bemmelen-Novilon 7.25 50 Frederika Van Der Wiel (Ned) Dutch National Junior Team8.20 51 Martine Bras (Ned) Team Brabant 2000 9.35
1 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 199 pts 2 Gianluca Bortolami (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola 121 3 Johan Museeuw (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites 116 4 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Domo-Farm Frites 116 5 Oscar Camenzind (Swi) Lampre-Daikin 112 6 Servais Knaven (Ned) Domo-Farm Frites 101 7 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom 100 8 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 94 9 Marcus Zberg (Swi) Rabobank 88 10 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service 73 11 Rolf Sorensen (Den) CSC-World Online 72 12 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service 70 13 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffe' 70 14 Chris Peers (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 68 15 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Mercury-Viatel 60 16 Denis Zanette (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 58 17 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 56 18 Ludo Dierckxsens (Bel) Lampre-Daikin 56 19 Serge Baguet (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 54 20 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 54 21 Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 53 22 David Etxebarria Alkorta (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 50 23 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 50 24 Wilfried Peeters (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites 49 25 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 43 26 Maximilian Sciandri (GBr) Lampre-Daikin 43 27 Steffen Wesemann (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom 42 28 Biagio Conte (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffe' 40 29 Gabriele Balducci (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola 40 30 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 36 31 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu) Fassa Bortolo 32 32 Gabriele Colombo (Ita) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone 32 33 Marcos Serrano (Spa) O.N.C.E. 28 34 Nico Mattan (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 28 35 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Mercatone Uno-Albacom 26 36 Dario Pieri (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffe' 24 37 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola 21 38 Guido Trenti (USA) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone 20 39 Christian Vandevelde (USA) US Postal Service 19 40 Michael Blaudzun (Den) CSC-World Online 16 41 Beat Zberg (Swi) Rabobank 16 42 Marc Lotz (Ned) Rabobank 14 43 Peter Luttenberger (Aut) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola 14 44 Udo Bölts (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom 12 45 Leon Van Bon (Ned) Mercury-Viatel 12 46 Gian Matteo Fagnini (Ita) Team Deutsche Telekom 12 47 Andrej Hauptman (Slo) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola 11 48 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) Mercury-Viatel 10 49 Rolf Aldag (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom 10 50 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffe' 10 51 Hans De Clercq (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 10 52 Christophe Mengin (Fra) La Francaise Des Jeux 9 53 Arvis Piziks (Lat) CSC-World Online 9 54 Scott Sunderland (Aus) Team Fakta 8 55 Mikel Zarrabeitia Uranga (Spa) O.N.C.E. 8 56 Frank Hoj (Den) Team Coast 8 57 Mario Aerts (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 8 58 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 7 59 Jo Planckaert (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 7 60 Davide Casarotto (Ita) Alessio 6 61 Enrico Cassani (Ita) Domo-Farm Frites 6 62 Cédric Vasseur (Fra) US Postal Service 5 63 Massimiliano Lelli (Ita) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Teleph 5 64 Christophe Agnolutto (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance 5 65 Bart Voskamp (Ned) Bankgiroloterij-Batavus 5 66 Hendrik Van Dyck (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 4 67 Fabio Malberti (Ita) Liquigas-Pata 4 68 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) Rabobank 3 69 Mikel Pradera Rodriguez (Spa) O.N.C.E. 3 70 Fernando Escartin Coti (Spa) Team Coast 2 71 Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) iBanesto.com 2 72 Marco Velo (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom 2 73 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Deutsche Telekom 1 74 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffe' 1 75 Franck Pencole (Fra) Bigmat.Auber 93 1 Teams 1 Rabobank 39 pts 2 Domo-Farm Frites 26 3 Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 24 4 Lampre-Daikin 22 5 Lotto-Adecco 20 6 US Postal Service 19 7 Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola 17 8 Mapei-Quick Step 15 9 Team Deutsche Telekom 14 10 Fassa Bortolo 13 11 Saeco Macchine Per Caffe' 12 12 CSC-World Online 9 13 O.N.C.E. 8 14 Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone 8 15 Mercury-Viatel 5 16 Bigmat.Auber 93 2 17 Bankgiroloterij-Batavus 2 18 iBanesto.com 1