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92nd Milan - San Remo

Italy, March 24, 2001

Results     World Cup standings

Zabel zaps 4th Milano-San Remo win while Bric Berton bombs

By Tim Maloney, correspondent
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Cipo, Zabel and Vainsteins
Photo: © AFP

Clad in his 2000 World Cup champion's jersey, Erik Zabel (Deutsche Telekom) sprinted to his 4th win in La Primavera, aka Milano-San Remo, the traditional season opening classic. Once again, Zabel powered in for a solid victory in the 92nd edition of the race, this time a half bike length ahead of his arch rival Mario Cipollini (Saeco) and World Champ Romans Vainsteins (Domo-Farm Frites). Zabel's 6th victory this 2001 season showed the depth of the 31 year old Germans preparation for Milano-San Remo; Zabel has reportedly racked up 18,000km since November to be ready for La Primavera.

With the traditional M-SR climb of the Passo Turchino closed by a landslide, the supposedly more difficult ascent of Bric Berton was expected to make the final phases of Milano-San Remo tougher, but in the final analysis, the Bric Berton climb had little impact. Instead of a series of attacks, the peloton just rode tempo 4' behind the break. If anything, the tougher climb of Bric Berton took more away from Zabel's rivals Cipollini and Vainsteins than the tough, well-prepared German.

Under a clear and warm Saturday morning in front of the Basilica Of Saint Ambrose, the peloton took the rolling start and, well, nothing much happened for several hours. After two hours of racing at Rivalta Scrivia, 64.8 kilometers had been covered and after almost three hours, the first real break finally stuck at Novi Ligure (104 km). Ukrainian Sergey Matveyev (Panaria-Fiordo), Sweden's Martin Rittsel (CSC-World On-Line), Spain's David Latasa Lasa ( and Czech Milan Kadlec (Mobilvetta-Formaggi Trentini).
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Colour along the coast
Photo: © AFP

After 128 km of racing, the advantage of the leading quartet was 5'00 on a Lampre-Daikin led peloton. An hour later, at the top of the Bric Berton climb, the front quartet rode at a steady tempo and crested the 773m summit with 4 minutes on the steady peloton. Suprisingly, no team attacked the peloton to take the sting out of the sprinters' legs, and after the long descent south to the Ligurian coast, the break had an advantage of 9'15" at Finale Ligure with 84km, or almost two hours left to race.

The chasing peloton now began to get serious about reeling in the fugitives and by the 2nd feed zone in Ceriale, with 72 left to race, the Rabobank and Telekom led bunch had reduced the leaders' margin to 6'00. A light sidewind along the coast road via Aurelia was slowing the leaders and helping the chasers. As the first capi approached, Matveyev and Co had only 4'00 lead, and as the peloton hit the first slopes of Capo Mele, Lampre hit the front and upped the tempo significantly.

On the other side of Capo Mele through Andorra, the hometown of Saeco rider Mirko Celestino, celeste baloons of his fan club festooned the roadside as the leading quarted pounded through 3'30" ahead of the ever approaching chasers with 50 km to San Remo. By now, the sidewind had switched to a tailwind and the pace was increasing. Mapei weighed in with Andrea Tafi up front, pounding a huge gear chasing the fading fugitives up Capo Berta as the lead was now down to 2'00.

Muscular Matveyev had attacked the break and took off alone up Capo Berta towards San Remo. Down the other side into Alassio, Matveyev passed the fountain in Piazza Dante with 32km to go with a lead of only 1'18, while his former companions Rittsel, Latasa and Kadlec were all eventually swallowed up by the locomotive peloton.
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Pantani and Cipollini
Photo: © AFP

The penultimate climb of Milano-San Remo, the Cipressa comes with 27km to go. Marco Pantani set the record for the climb in '99 with 9'38", while last year's attack by Michele Bartoli was slightly slower at 9'55", but any sub 10' climb of the difficult ascent would light up Milano-San Remo. Matveyev was caught just at the base of the 5km climb after 164km of liberty, but it didn't stay gruppo compatto for very long.

Sergio Barbero (Lampre-Daikin) attacked immediately and was joined by Bo Hamburger (CSC-World On-Line). This duo got a 50 metre gap, and were joined by Peter Farazijn (Cofidis), Mario Aerts (Lotto), Nathan O'Neill (Panaria-Fiordo) and Alexander Vinokorov (Deutsche Telekom), but the fireworks were just starting. Halfway up the Cipressa, Francesco Casagrande (Fassa Bortolo), the UCI's #1 ranked rider made a massive attack from the chase in a 53x15, bridging easily and then just blowing by the front riders into the race lead.

By the summit of the Cipressa with 22km left to race, Casagrande had chopped put an advantage of 15" on the chasers and 22" on the 120 strong peloton. On the tricky descent of the Cipressa, the Fassa Bortolo man was joined by his chasers, including Salvodelli (Saeco) who bridged with his fantastic descending skills. As the front group hit the coast road via Aurelia with 20km to go, there were 6 riders in the lead with a slim margin of 15". Casagrande, Farazijn, Salvodelli and Vinokorov had been joined by Roberto Bettini (Mapei) and Gabriele Balducci (Tacconi Sport).

With 7km of the flat section of via Aurelia ahead of them before the final climb of the Poggio, the sextet tried to make a go of it but neither Vinokorov or Bettini was working, which eventuallydoomed the break. Just after the break came back in Riva Ligure, Nico Mattan (Cofidis) made a classic counter move and got up to 8 seconds, but the hard charging group of 50 riders,led by the pink and black Deutsche Telekom squad pulled him back just as the Poggio began.

Vinokorov went back to the front with Zabel on his wheel and rode hard tempo to keep the attacks from blowing up his sprinter and the tactic worked for about two thirds of the Poggio climb, when former M-SR winner Gabriele Colombo (Cantina Tollo) attacked and was joined by Peter Van Petegem (Viatel-Mercury), Roberto Petito (Fassa Bortolo) and Italian champion Michele Bartoli (Mapei). This quartet tried to get away but over the top of the Poggio climb, with 4km to race, their lead was only a few ticks of the chronometer.
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Zabel gets it
Photo: © AFP

Despite a patented from Eric "Hat Trick" Dekker (Rabobank) with 2km to go, as the race wound up to a thrilling finale under the 1km to go kite, there were perhaps 40 riders ready to contest the sprint on via Roma, including Zabel, Mario Cipollini, World Champ Romans Vainsteins, Mapei's Stefano Zanini and Viatel-Mercury's Peter Van Petegem. Zanini however became the victim of a crash, which brought down Davide Rebellin, Dimitri Konyshev, Nicolay Bo Larsen and Mikel Zarrabeitia amongst others.

With 800 meters to go, Zabel's trusty lieutenant Gian-Matteo Fagnini (Deutsche Telekom) moved right, made a tremendous lead-out pull for Zabel and with 300 meters to go, the Telekom man hit the front, never to be bested by runner-up Cipollini or Vainsteins. Zabel's powerful Telekom team executed their strategy perfectly and delivered the goods for Zabel to once again zap the competition on via Roma.

Results - 287 km

1 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom              7.23.13 (38.852 km/h)
2 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffe'
3 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Domo-Farm Frites
4 Biagio Conte (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffe'
5 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
6 Gabriele Colombo (Ita) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone
7 Gabriele Balducci (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
8 Marcus Zberg (Swi) Rabobank
9 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service
10 Rolf Sorensen (Den) CSC-World Online
11 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
12 Guido Trenti (USA) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone
13 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Mercury-Viatel
14 Gian Matteo Fagnini (Ita) Team Deutsche Telekom
15 Andrej Hauptman (Slo) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
16 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffe'
17 Dario Pieri (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffe'
18 Mario Aerts (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
19 Jo Planckaert (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone
20 Christian Vandevelde (USA) US Postal Service           0.39
21 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank                             0.50
22 Fabio Malberti (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
23 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
24 Marco Velo (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom
25 Maximilian Sciandri (GBr) Lampre-Daikin
26 Bo Hamburger (Den) CSC-World Online
27 Andrei Kivilev (Kaz) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone
28 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
29 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu) Fassa Bortolo
30 Bobby Julich (USA) Credit Agricole                     1.01
31 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Deutsche Telekom
32 Cristian Gasperoni (Ita) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone
33 Fabiano Fontanelli (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom
34 Philippe Gaumont (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone
35 Nico Mattan (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone
36 Roberto Petito (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
37 Marco Serpellini (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
38 Mikel Pradera Rodriguez (Spa) O.N.C.E.
39 Peter Farazijn (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone
40 Oskar Camenzind (Swi) Lampre-Daikin
41 Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                       1.08
42 Andreas Klier (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom              1.15
43 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Mercury-Viatel
44 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffe'           1.37
45 Jan Svorada (Cze) Lampre-Daikin                        1.43
46 Marco Zanotti (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
47 Matthew White (Aus) US Postal Service
48 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole
49 Paolo Bossoni (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
50 Mauro Radaelli (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
51 Denis Zanette (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
52 Juan Carlos Dominguez (Spa) iBanesto.Com
53 Uros Murn (Slo) Mobilvetta Design-Formaggi Trentini
54 Beat Zberg (Swi) Rabobank
55 Stuart O'grady (Aus) Credit Agricole
56 Mariano Piccoli (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
57 CÚdric Vasseur (Fra) US Postal Service
58 Gianluca Bortolami (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
59 Christophe Brandt (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
60 Mikel Artetxe Gezuraga (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
61 Michael Blaudzun (Den) CSC-World Online
62 Benoit Joachim (Lux) US Postal Service
63 Nathan O'neill (Aus) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
64 Mauro Gianetti (Swi) Team Coast
65 Yaugeni Syniuskine (Blr) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
66 Dmitri Fofonov (Kaz) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone
67 Filippo Simeoni (Ita) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone
68 Luis Arrieta JosÚ (Spa) iBanesto.Com
69 Frank Hoj (Den) Team Coast
70 Steffen Wesemann (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom
71 Igor Flores Galarza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
72 Daniele Contrini (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
73 Rolf Huser (Swi) Team Coast
74 Massimiliano Lelli (Ita) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone
75 Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole
76 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
77 Francisco Cabello (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
78 Christopher Jenner (Fra) Credit Agricole
79 Massimo Giunti (Ita) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone
80 Johan Museeuw (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites
81 Jan Schaffrath (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom
82 Inigo Chaurreau Bernardez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
83 JosÚ Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) O.N.C.E.
84 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
85 Iban Mayo Diez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
86 Alberto Elli (Ita) Team Deutsche Telekom
87 Abraham Olano Manzano (Spa) O.N.C.E.
88 Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
89 Marco Pantani (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom
90 Antonio Varriale (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
91 Paolo Fornaciari (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
92 Chris Peers (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone
93 Marc Lotz (Ned) Rabobank
94 JosÚ Azevedo (Por) O.N.C.E.
95 Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus) Lotto-Adecco
96 Alex Zuelle (Swi) Team Coast
97 Niki Aebersold (Swi) Team Coast
98 Vjatceslav Ekimov (Rus) US Postal Service
99 Txema Del Olmo Zendegi (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
100 Sergio Barbero (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
101 Unai Etxebarria Arana (Ven) Euskaltel-Euskadi
102 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
103 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) iBanesto.Com
104 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffe'
105 Enrico Cassani (Ita) Domo-Farm Frites
106 Mario Scirea (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffe'
107 Pavel Padrnos (Cze) Saeco Macchine Per Caffe'
108 Luca Scinto (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
109 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
110 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Domo-Farm Frites
111 Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Fassa Bortolo
112 Fabio Baldato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
113 Serguei Yakovlev (Kaz) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone
114 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) CSC-World Online
115 Timothy Jones (Zim) Mobilvetta Design-Formaggi Trentini
116 Bingen Fernandez Bustinza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
117 Michele Coppolillo (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
118 Vladimir Duma (Ukr) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
119 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone
120 Dmitri Konyshev (Rus) Fassa Bortolo                   2.18
121 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                 3.38
122 Ellis Rastelli (Ita) Liquigas-Pata                    4.50
123 Mikel Zarrabeitia (Spa) O.N.C.E.
124 Nicolay Bo Larsen (Den) CSC-World Online              5.00
125 Cristian Moreni (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom           5.17
126 Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Mobilvetta Design-Formaggi Trentini
127 Devis Miorin (Ita) Mobilvetta Design-Formaggi Trentini
128 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Mercatone Uno-Albacom
129 Gian Mario Ortenzi (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom
130 Sergiy Matveyev (Ukr) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo        5.40
131 Tom Leaper (Aus) Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo
132 Kai Hundertmark (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom           6.34
133 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) Rabobank                     7.12
134 Jan Boven (Ned) Rabobank
135 Nicola Loda (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
136 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Rabobank
137 Fabrice Gougot (Fra) Credit Agricole
138 Wilfried Peeters (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites
139 Marco Milesi (Ita) Domo-Farm Frites
140 Davide Bramati (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
141 Paul Van Hyfte (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
142 Piotr Wadecki (Pol) Domo-Farm Frites
143 Koen Beeckman (Bel) CSC-World Online
144 Roland Meier (Swi) Team Coast
145 Jaime Javier Hernandez Bertran (Spa) Festina
146 Juan Manuel Cuenca Martinez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
147 David Etxebarria (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
148 Fabian De Waele (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
149 Ermanno Brignoli (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom
150 Jorg Jaksche (Ger) O.N.C.E.
151 Steffen Kjaergaard (Nor) US Postal Service
152 Pavel Tonkov (Rus) Mercury-Viatel
153 Domenico Gualdi (Ita) Mobilvetta-Formaggi Trentini    8.53
154 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) Mercury-Viatel
155 Mauro Gerosa (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
156 Zoran Klemencic (Slo) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola    9.42
157 Javier Pascual Llorente (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
158 Hendrik Van Dyck (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
159 Gianpaolo Mondini (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom
160 Floyd Landis (USA) Mercury-Viatel
161 Alberto Benito Guerrero (Spa) iBanesto.Com
162 Federico Giabbecucci (Ita) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone
163 Iban Sastre Estevez (Spa) Festina
164 Rodolfo Massi (Ita) Mobilvetta Design-Formaggi Trentini
165 Mirko Marini (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
166 Arvis Piziks (Lat) CSC-World Online
167 Cristian Salvato (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
168 Ludo Dierckxsens (Bel) Lampre-Daikin                 12.31
169 Antonio Tauler (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
170 Servais Knaven (Ned) Domo-Farm Frites
171 Lars Michaelsen (Den) Team Coast
172 Jon Odriozola Mugarza (Spa) iBanesto.Com
173 Rafael Casero Moreno (Spa) Festina
174 Henk Vogels (Aus) Mercury-Viatel
175 David Clinger (USA) Festina
176 Raphael Schweda (Ger) Team Coast                     14.24
177 Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat) Lampre-Daikin              15.39
178 Martin Rittsel (Swe) CSC-World Online
179 David Latasa Lasa (Spa) iBanesto.Com
180 Francisco Leon Mane (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
181 Milan Kadlec (Cze) Mobilvetta Design-Formaggi Trentini

World Cup standings after round 1

1 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom                 100 pts
2 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffe'         70
3 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Domo-Farm Frites                50
4 Biagio Conte (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffe'            40
5 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                    36
6 Gabriele Colombo (Ita) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone     32
7 Gabriele Balducci (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola    28
8 Marcus Zberg (Swi) Rabobank                             24
9 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service                 20
10 Rolf Sorensen (Den) CSC-World Online                   16
11 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                 15
12 Guido Trenti (USA) Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone        14
13 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Mercury-Viatel                 13
14 Gian Matteo Fagnini (Ita) Team Deutsche Telekom        12
15 Andrej Hauptman (Slo) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola     11
16 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffe'        10
17 Dario Pieri (Ita) Saeco Macchine Per Caffe'             9
18 Mario Aerts (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                          8
19 Jo Planckaert (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone    7
20 Christian Vandevelde (USA) US Postal Service            6
21 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank                              5
22 Fabio Malberti (Ita) Liquigas-Pata                      4
23 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                3
24 Marco Velo (Ita) Mercatone Uno-Albacom                  2
25 Maximilian Sciandri (GBr) Lampre-Daikin                 1


1 Saeco Macchine Per Caffe                                12 pts
2 Team Deutsche Telekom                                    9
3 Cantina Tollo - Acqua&Sapone                             8
4 Tacconi Sport - Vini Caldirola                           7
5 US Postal Service                                        6
6 Cofidis                                                  5
7 Rabobank                                                 4
8 Fassa Bortolo                                            3
9 CSC - World Online                                       2
10 Mapei - Quick Step                                      1

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