65th Fleche Wallonne (1.HC)

Belgium, April 18, 2001

Start list    Map/profiles

Complete Live Report

Start time: 1100 CET
Estimated finish time: 1600 CET

1345 CET - 93 km/105 km to go

We pick up the action in the men's race with approximately 105 kilometres to go. The riders have just been up the Mur de Huy for the second time. There is a group of seven away: Luca Paolini (Mapei), Ivan Basso (Fassa Bortolo), Jorg Jackshe (ONCE), Marcelino Alonso (CSC-World Online), Koos Moerenhout (Domo), Unai Etxebarria (Euskaltel) and Grischa Niermann (Rabobank). They have 2'46 on the peloton, which is led my Michael Boogerd and his cohorts.

1400 CET - 118 km/80 km to go

The 7 leaders have had their advantage cut to 2'35 by the Mapei/Cofidis/Rabobank led peloton. The weather at the moment is not too bad - some sun, and enough wind to blow the rain away.

A non-starter this morning was Lampre's Ludo Dierckxsens (6th in Paris-Roubaix), who is saving himself for Leige-Bastogne-Liege. CSC-World Online have their big hitter back in Laurent Jalabert, who is looking to gain some form in time for the Tour de France selection on May 2, and beyond.

1412 CET - 129 km/69 km to go

The gap to the seven leaders is coming down rapidly now to 1'10. There are just 5 hills left in the race, which finishes on top the Mur de Huy.

Markus Zberg and Erik Dekker try a few pre-emptive attacks in the peloton, and this has the effect of reducing the gap even further.

1422 CET - 135 km/63 km to go

Serge Baguet (Lotto) has attacked in pursuit of the leading bunch of 7 (Luca Paolini (Mapei), Ivan Basso (Fassa Bortolo), Jorg Jackshe (ONCE), Marcelino Alonso (CSC-World Online), Koos Moerenhout (Domo), Unai Etxebarria (Euskaltel) and Grischa Niermann (Rabobank)). He is 35 seconds away from catching them, and has a 20 second advantage on the peloton.

31 year old Baguet is riding quite well at the moment, but hasn't had the results to show it.

1433 CET - 142 km/56 km to go

Tacconi Sport leads the peloton now, as they ride up the 10% Côte de Pailhe. Marcelino Alonso (CSC) has attacked the break, and has 30 seconds. A further 20 seconds behind is the peloton.

Bartoli is looking strong near the front of the peloton and there are still around 50 riders in it.

1445 CET - 146 km/52 km to go

Paolini, Basso, Niermann, Jackshe, Unai Etxebarria, and Neirmann trail Marcelino Alonso (CSC) by 33 seconds, with the main peloton another 33 seconds behind. The break is working well, but the peloton have not yet gotten serious.

Cesar Solaun (iBanesto) attacks now, to speed them up a little, and gets a gap.

1455 CET - 158 km/44 km to go

Bjaarne Riis has a word to Alonso from the CSC team car, as the Spaniard grinds away uphill into a headwind. He sits up and waits for the break again, perhaps to try again later. Solaun is still chasing them.

There is some counter-attacking in the peloton now, but nothing sticks. The next climb is the Côte de Coutisse at 38 kilometres to go.

1458 CET - 157 km/41 km to go

There is a fall near the head of the peloton, creating a big hole.

Solaun catches the leaders and there are now 8 riders away with 1'50 on the peloton.

Fabiana Luperini (Ita) has won the 93 km women's Fleche Wallone. Brief results follow

1 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Edilsavino
2 Anna Millward (Aus) Saturn
3 Trixi Worrack (Ger) German National Team
6 Heidi van der Vijver (Bel) Vlaanderen-T-Interim
8 Zinaida Stahurskaia (Blr) GAS Sport
9 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Acca Due O
10 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Farm Frites Hartol

1505 CET - 159 km/39 km to go

Erik Dekker (Rabobank) attacks on the Côte de Coutisse, a 1 km, 6 percent climb. This is a dangerous move and is setting things up perfectly for Rabobank, who have Michael Boogerd and Markus Zberg in the peloton.

1513 CET - 168 km/30 km to go

There are just three hills to go: Côte de Bohissau (km 170), Côte de Ahin (km 187) and the Mur de Huy (km 198).

Erik Dekker is riding well in pursuit of the leaders, and the gap is 1'15 between him and the top 8.

Lotto-Adecco, Cofidis, and Telekom start to chase now in the peloton, who are another 1'05 behind.

1518 CET - 170 km/28 km to go

Dekker chases the leading breakaway up the 20 % climb of the Côte de Bohissau. Unai Etxebarria is dropped.

The pace is furious in the peloton now, as Astarloa (Mercatone attacks). Cofidis can't follow, but Rik Verbrugghe can and he catches the Spaniard.

1523 CET - 173 km/25 km to go

Lotto's Rik Verbrugghe (2nd last year) is alone now (Astarloa is dropped), and 1'23 behind the leading bunch.

Erik Dekker bridges up at last, and there are now 9 riders in the lead: Luca Paolini (Mapei), Ivan Basso (Fassa Bortolo), Jorg Jackshe (ONCE), Marcelino Alonso (CSC-World Online), Koos Moerenhout (Domo), Unai Extebarria (Euskaltel) and Erik Dekker and Grischa Niermann (Rabobank).

1528 CET - 177 km/21 km to go

Axel Merckx (Domo) tries to force the pace in the peloton, with 20 kilometres to go. The 45 second minute gap is still there, but Rik Verbrugghe is now within 30 seconds of the 9 leaders.

Paolo Bettini (Mapei) decides to make an inroad into the lead, and strings out the peloton.

1533 CET - 178 km/20 km to go

Axel Merckx and Paolo Bettini lead a 7 man chase group, with Markus Zberg there. They are 58 seconds behind, but are caught by the peloton.

Rik Verbrugghe has closed the gap to Alonso, Etxebarria, Niermann, and Moerenhout. Some distance ahead are Basso, Paolini, Solaun, Dekker, and Jacksche.

1540 CET - 183 km/15 km to go

Verbrugghe, Basso, Paolini, Solaun, Dekker, and Jacksche are now the leading group. They are beginning the second last climb, the Côte de Ahin. It is 2.5 kilometres at 6 percent.

Dekker can't follow.

1547 CET - 187 km/12 km to go

Verbrugghe rides hard in the leading group, dropping everyone save for Basso, Jacksche and Solaun.

In the peloton, Laurent Dufaux (Saeco) attacks, but can't shake them. Boogerd has a go as well, also without success. Michele Bartoli (Mapei) leads the fragmented peloton on the descent. The gap is still 50 seconds.

There is just one more climb to go: the Mur de Huy.

1552 CET - 191 km/7 km to go

The leading quartet (Verbrugghe, Basso, Jacksche and Solaun) are just 7 kilometres from the end, doing 63 km/h on a descent before the Mur de Huy.

Bartoli is frustrated with the chasers, and the gap remains at 52 seconds.

1556 CET - 196 km/2 km to go

Michael Boogerd, Beat and Markus Zberg (Rabobank) lead the chase, but they have some work to do to catch the fugitive four.

Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto) is doing all the work, with Basso sitting on his wheel. Basso might be able to take him if he can hang on up the Mur de Huy. The gap is 37 seconds.

1559 CET - 197 km/1 km to go

The leader's are hammering up the Mur de Huy, but Rabobank are going flat out. Verbruggheleads Basso, Jackshe, and Solaun as he has done for the last few kilometres. Jackshe is in trouble and can't follow, Solaun goes as well. Basso is hanging on - just.

1601 CET - 198 km/0 km to go

Verbrugghe attacks on the 20 percent grade, and rides away from Basso. He is giving it everything and it's more than enough. Basso, Jackshe and Solaun finish in that order, with the pelotono snapping on their heels.


1 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco     4.46.58
2 Ivan Basso (Ita) FAssa Bortolo
3 Jorg Jackshe (Ger) ONCE
4 Cesar Solaun (Spa) iBanesto.com
5 David Extebarria (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
6 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) 
7 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
8 David Rebellin (Ita) Liquigas
9 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank
10 Peter Luttenberger (Aut) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola 
11 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
12 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu) Fassa Bortolo
13 Francesco Mancebo (Spa) iBanesto.com
14 Marcos Serrano (Spa) O.N.C.E
15 Oscar Camenzind (Swi) Lampre-Daikin
19 Axel Merckx (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites
20 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step

Results and report