Sunday 14 October- 9:30 - Elite Men's Road Race - 254.1 km (21 laps)

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Complete live report

9:00 GMT
Welcome to the live coverage of the Big One, the Elite Men's individual road race. It's cool and overcast this morning, but expected to clear. There's a lot of tension in the air. Thousands of Spanish fans have arrived to support their countrymen. One thing people have remarked in all week is the lack of crowds. Talking with some locals in the press room, they said that the races haven't been very well promoted. However, a big crowd, in the order of 200,000 people is expected today.

The race is due to start at 9:30 GMT. The Cyclingnews team will also be joined by Scott Sunderland today, who will be providing expert commentary as the race progresses.

9:20 GMT
A Simoni tidbit: Italian rider Gilberto Simoni has been staying in a room by himself. He comes to the table and eats, doesn't really talk to anyone and leaves. This is not unusual for the quietly spoken Italian - He's not being rude, that's just his style.

9:34 GMT - Lap 1
The peloton rolls out for the first of 21 laps. Three time World Champion Eddy Merckx comments that "to become World Champion here you'll have to have a super day. If everyone is too scared; it might stay together though. To predict the outcome it is hard. To be a bit chauvinistic ; I think, 1 Baguet, 2 Virenque, 3 Ullrich."

Erik Dekker: "The parcours is hard. 21 times over the same parcours. The race will be fast; it won't be a 'sleepy' race; you're constantly thinking about the next climb."

Andre Tchmil looked very focussed at the start - he was almost World Champion last year. Oscar Freire, the Spanish hope for these World's looks relaxed. The Aussies were in the front of the pack at the start, thanks to Scott Sunderland's seventh last year. The start shot has been given by Laurent De Backer, the new vice-president of the UCI.

9:42 GMT - Lap 1
Daigudinov has attacked, but there is a reaction in the peloton. He is going to the top of the first climb. A Moldavian rider is seen coming after him in the background. The Polish team is not making the same mistake as they did last year; where they were chasing after reacting too late. Now they are sitting attentively in the front.

Scott Sunderland "I think they'll take it easy until the roads dry up completely. The Swiss are going out quite fast. A few Spaniards and Dutchies in the front. Because everyone is afraid of this parcours; most connoisseurs think that the race won't break open. Zabel and Freire come into sight then. If the race is hard; Ullrich has got a big chance. If the race stays closed; Zabel is a favourite. The Germans can put pressure on the rest of the field this way. Good tactics."

9:48 GMT - Lap 1
Kairat Baigudinov (Kaz) and Alexandru Sabalin (Mda) have about 35 seconds after the first lap. They will try and take a couple of minutes and take some publicity that way. For now, the peloton is sitting back a bit and "feeling" the course. The road looks better now; with the sun drying things very rapidly.

Lap 1 time: 17:30 (41.49 km/h)

9:54 GMT - Lap 2
The gap is 45 sec. Nico Mattan in the front. Tchmil is sitting a bit further back. According to José De Cauwer, Belgian National Coach, the Belgian team is going to "follow, follow, follow and let the race unfold. We will react when necessary but not take any initiative ourselves."

Scott Sunderland has gone out training for a couple of hours, but he will join us again later. Obviously he's feeling a little bit better although it's clear that he'd rather be in Lisbon at the moment.

10:06 GMT - Lap 2
The two riders have now stretched their lead to over a minute now. The peloton is led by the Dutch, German, Polish teams. Riders are throwing off their arm and leg-warmers.

Damon Kluck (USA) is riding his first World's, and looked very nervous before the start.

Some course details: For people who will be seeing it on TV, you can't tell on television how technical the race course is, especially how difficult the first climb is. It starts out very steeply and goes up and around to a little village area and under a railroad viaduct. The second climb is not that steep, but it looks much longer in reality that it shows up on TV. The third difference is that the false flat on top is much more winding and technical, and the descent is quite technical and bumby in places. It's clearly harder than Lugano in 1996.

Thanks to Sean Petty and Jim Ochowicz, USA Cycling, for enabling us to take a lap on the parcours.

Lap 2 time: 17:52 (40.63 km/h)
Total time: 35:22 (41.06 km/h)

10:19 GMT - Lap 3
Eddy Seigneur (who rode the TT the other day and is Laurent Brochard's team mate at Jean Delatour): "Richard Virenque is for sure a favourite; he's in big form at the moment but he's sharing it with Jean-Cyril Robin and Laurent Brochard. Laurent is very much ready for this race too. They are the three 'protected' riders in the French Team."

The two in front are going nowhere, they're "swimming". Ullrich and Zabel already close up the front. Nardello, Bettini are keeping them company in the first 25. They are very cautious on this parcours; they can see the race in the best possible way.

10:25 GMT - Lap 3
A lot of the riders are now taking the necessary 'moving sanitary stop'; a real stop is not possible, so everything is done while rolling along...Quite a bit of bike-handling acrobatics to be seen here.

Belgian Dave Bruylandts' selection was point of criticism, he was quite short in his comments before the race: "José De Cauwer warned us not to be taken by surprise. Everybody has got their own role to play here; but the race will decide who will be in the finale. We will see who's there. It can go any way really."

Baigudinov is on his own now, having dropped Sabalin who is on his way back to the peloton.

Lap 3 time: 18:03 (40.22 km/h)
Total time: 53:25 (40.77 km/h)

10:34 GMT - Lap 4
There is an acceleration in the peloton. The Germans are attentive. A Danish rider gets some Swiss and Spanish company, also Basso, Kroon and Hundertmark with it. The peloton is strung out. The Moldavian rider is caught back. Daigudinov is still leading with about a minute.

The skies are lightening up and the costal fog is starting to lift.

The massive peloton is cruising along the parcours. The riders in front of the compact peloton are drinking and eating. 1:11 is the lead of Baigundinov now on the fourth lap.

Lap 4 time: 18:32 (39.17 km/h)
Total time: 1:11:57 (40.36 km/h)

10:51 GMT - Lap 5
Van Petegem is sitting relaxed in the back of the peleton; where he is to be seen at the beginning of every big race he does well in. Jens Voigt is sitting in the front, next to a Belgian and Australian jersey. Casagrande and Nardello are also in the first rows, and a lot of Spanish colours too.

Daigudinov, who rides for an amateur team in Burgos, has stretched his lead to over 2 minutes. He is hoping to attract some interest from a pro squad through his efforts.

The skies are lightening, not sunny, not too windy. If you look at the finishing straight, you can see a lot of Colnago signs. Some people have even called it the "World Championships of Colnago". They have put in quite a bit of money.

Lap 5 time: 19:14 (37.75 km/h)
Total time: 1:31:11 (39.81 km/h)

11:08 GMT - Lap 6
Rabobank is well represented in this peloton with no less than 15 riders - Almost 10% of the peloton!

Russian Alexander Botcharov (before the race) "We've got a lot of younger riders who aren't favourites of course. But we will all work for Konyshev; he is the experienced rider in our team here." Konyshev is indeed a very strong rider, who can benefit from the "anonymity" of the Russian Team in this race. Another Russian, Lelekin is now accelerating. The peloton on guard and immediately reacting.

Rudy Pevenage "Ullrich hasn't come here for last Thursday. He is here for this race. The Italians are going to make this a tough race in the finale I think. But Ullrich will benefit from this."

A few of the French riders moving towards the front of the peloton. The race is still quietly progressing. The peloton will let Baigudinov have a couple of minutes for a while still. There is no nervousness so far.

Another Danish attack. The Spanish riders are reacting; they are trying to keep this race under control.

11:16 GMT - Lap 6
Baigudinov gets caught on the top of the second climb and almost immediately a counter-attack goes with about 25 riders. Freire and Cuesta are in there. Eladio Jimenez, Wegelius, Baranowski, Voigt, Fofonov, Figueras as well. Jimenez is putting some more power on the pedals to try and make this break work.

Just after the end of the end of the lap they were caught (they sat up).

Lap 6 time: 18:05 (40.15 km/h)
Total time: 1:49:15 (39.87 km/h)

11:22 GMT - Lap 7
Eladio Jimenez attacks on the first climb of the seventh lap, followed by French and German riders. The Germans were very prominent in closing down that last move.

Chavanel joins Jimenez in his attack, but they are caught by the peloton and it's gruppo compatto over the finish line. The speed really lifted on that lap, with an average of over 44 km/h.

The Danish team has been very active so far in this race. Team fakta's Jorgen Bo Petersen, Michael Skelde, Morten Sonne together with Frank Hoj (Coast), Michael Blaudzun, Nielsen and Sorensen (all CSC) forming the Danish formation will have put their two bob in today. The two suicide attackers, Baigudinov and Sabalin, have abandoned.

Lap 7 time: 16:24 (44.27 km/h)
Total time: 2:05:39 (40.45 km/h)

11:50 GMT - Lap 8
The tempo of the race has been quite high so far, and it will get faster. Clearly a lot of teams want to make it tough from the beginning, to pave the way for their leaders to attack later.

Another Danish rider attacks. Jens Voigt on his tail again; it's not easy to get away. A few riders have tried but no gift are being given away in this race. The peloton reacts immediately to any acceleration or attack. Ruskys and Nielsen in the front; giving it some stick.

David Millar has abandoned.

Lap 8 time: 17:08 (42.37 km/h)
Total time: 2:22:47 (40.68 km/h)

12:00 GMT - Lap 9
There about 10 Italians in the front; also a few Dutch jerseys, an Australian and some Spanish riders in the first 20. Nierman Abandons. Belohvichics also. Piotr Przydzial (Pol) and Thorwald Veneberg (Ned) made it pretty hard on the climb.

David Millar: "I'm just not feeling good today; I left it all on the road on Thursday. Psychologically I'm wasted. I'm still devastated about that silver medal. The race here is very hard. It took me whole lap to get to the front. Everybody is suffering; It's going to get slower and slower I think. The race will be made in the back; there's guys going to get dropped lap after lap."

12:10 GMT - Lap 9
Figueras is accelerating; this might make a first selection! Ullrich following smoothly. The peloton is strung out again.

Leipheimer gets a flat on the false flat area, and Pelusi dropped back to help him back. He should get there though.

Peter Van Petegem (before the race) "I woke up this morning the same as every other morning. We'll see how the race goes. I expect a hard race; it's all depending on how the race goes the first 150 km. I think it will be best to be in a break before Ullrich decides to open up books..."

Lap 9 time: 17:51 (40.67 km/h)
Total time: 2:40:38 (40.68 km/h)

12:22 GMT - Lap 10
All the Spanish riders in the front going up the Serafina climb. Beloki, Rebellin attentively in the front. All the favourites are staying in the first half of the peloton.

Australian climber Cadel Evans in the middle of the pack; going up the climb looking reasonably comfortable.

12:38 GMT - Lap 10
Scott Sunderland has just finished his two hour ride and recognizes Tom Leaper as the Australian who has been seen in the front of the pack since the start. Matt Hayman has been spotted a few times too; in his typical style, mouth open and very concentrated. Jens Voigt has been in the line of fire the whole race now. Axel Merckx is moving up to the front.

Scott has just spoken to Australian cycling legend Neil Stephens, who's in the team car following the race.

Scott: "Tom and Matt seem to be doing really well, I can see Mick Rogers moving up now also ; how's things going for the rest of the team?"

Neil :"Patrick Jonker is here, after a couple of difficult weeks with knee problems, doing the work for Cadel. Patrick's experience will help Cadel greatly in the finale. Tom spoke to me yesterday and it is difficult for him to do something in the end, he hasn't got a contract yet for next year so he'll try and go with a break; that way he'll be showing himself a bit. Matt Hayman wants to get as far as he can with the front group and then concentrate on helping Cadel. Mick and Nathan are a bit tired after riding the time-trial and they are just trying to show their faces in the first part of the race."

Lap 10 time: 18:38 (38.96 km/h)
Total time: 2:59:16 (40.50 km/h)

12:41 GMT - Lap 11
Frank Hoj (Den) is attacking on the climb; with some serious power behind it. The Danes are really making this race hard today! No immediate reaction from the peloton.

The Italian team has taken control of things in the peloton now; taking over from the Spanish squad. They have let Frank Hoj take 30 seconds.

Peter Van Petegem and Chris Peers are still in the tail of the peloton. Van Petegem is keeping his cool.

Lap 11 time: 17:14 (42.13 km/h)
Total time: 3:16:30 (40.64 km/h)

12:52 GMT - Lap 12
Another 121 km to go (10 laps). Frank Hoj still leading. In 1970, Dane Mortenson was second, but there has never been a Danish World Champion. Frank Hoj's lead is now 1:43.

All the major countries have got riders in the front. Italy, Spain, Holland, France. Oscar Freire in there too. The Germans are sitting quietly together in group in the middle of the front; so are the Belgian riders.

Hoj looks good, just cruising along. Piotr Przydzial, Nardello, Pronk, Farazijzn, and Cuesta are all near the front of the peloton, which is still 100 strong. The gap is about 2:30.

Scott Sunderland "Another lap or so and we'll have to expect an acceleration. You can see the big guns moving up bit by bit; e.g. Virenque is clearly moving closer to the front."

Lap 12 time: 17:35 (41.29 km/h)
Total time: 3:34:05 (40.69 km/h)

13:09 GMT - Lap 13
Nine Laps to go. Coming close to the magic 100km mark. Frank Hoj is still away, and now has a 3 minute gap. Bartoli is coming to sniff the air in the front. Tempo is accelerating now. Bessy has attacked at the Serafina! Karsten Kroon is reacting.

The Italians have moved to the front, Mazzoleni and Ivan Basso are chasing. The gap is down to 1:36 The field is still really big. Leipheimer, McRae, Wegelius, Sevilla, Wadecki, and Perez Cuapio are near the front. Tchmil, Museeuw are near the back. About 20 riders are dropped.

Scott Sunderland "Although things look quiet, the favourites Ullrich, Tchmil, Virenque and Freire are close to the front; I think it will happen soon now. From what I have experienced before; I think with 7 to 8 laps to go the race will break open."

13:22 GMT - Lap 13
The French are getting nervous. Constant attempts to get away are being made now. Virenque might want to open up the race and has ordered his team mates to pull up the speed. Hoj's gap is cut to 1:12 by the end of the lap.

Scott Sunderland "The peloton is completely strung out in one line. If you're not in the front here, it's going to be hard..."

Lap 13 time: 18:05 (40.15 km/h)
Total time: 3:52:10 (40.65 km/h)

13:33 GMT - Lap 14
A heap of riders abandoning the race now; it's getting serious at this point. Hoj's lead is getting smaller and in the front the attacks keep happening. Basso and Nardello, Jaksche and Brard chasing Hoj now. Aitor Osa is there also.

Hoj's caught at the top of the second climb. There are six leaders now. Zampieri and Perez Cuapio are reacting in the peloton. The speed is going up. The race has indeed broken open at the moment.

The Dutch led peloton crosses the line with seven laps to go at 37 seconds behind the six leaders.

Lap 14 time: 17:51 (40.67 km/h)
Total time: 4:10:01 (40.653 km/h)

13:44 GMT - Lap 15
Steven De Jong (Ned) has abandoned and commented : "I've done most of my job. It was a very heavy lap that last one I did. The first climb is not too bad but the second one hurts. The peloton is speeding up. Boogerd and Dekker are doing really well."

His compatriot Matté Pronk is leading the peloton. Gilberto Simoni is also making tempo(?) despite the fact that there are two Italians in the break.

Marcus Ljunqvist (Swe) is reacting in the peloton; attacking strongly. Casero is jumping across too.

13:51 GMT - Lap 15
Wadecki (Pol) has a go, with Moos in his wheel; Frank Hoj has been dropped by the front group, which is reduced to five riders: Basso and Nardello, Jaksche, Brard and Aitor Osa.

Eddy Merckx: "There's no Belgian in the break. I think we're coming short now; it might be tougher than we thought; I don't think we can do better at this moment. We should have had a Belgian reacting with the Italians!"

The current situation: The five leaders, then Moos and Wadecki, then another two riders followed by a group of three, then the peloton. Gert Verheyen is in a chasing group, together with Danilo di Luca. Wadecki and Moos have closed the gap to the five leaders. The group with Verheyen is following closely.

Sevilla and Vicisio caught Verheyen's group, who were in turn caught by the peloton.

Lap 15 time: 17:30 (41.49 km/h)
Total time: 4:27:31 (40.707 km/h)

13:59 GMT - Lap 16
The peloton is led by the "Dutch Express" now, all orange jerseys at the front; chasing the breaks hard. A lot of guys in difficulties in the back. Nardello attacks from the front group, which should be caught soon, as they only have 15 seconds. The Dutch are sacrificing a few men now.

It's getting a little windy, with a breeze blowing up from the Taugus river.

José De Cauwer contradicting Eddy Merckx's statement "Nothing has been decided so far. I'm hearing no complaints from the riders so far. All the guys are feeling ok; we'll see."

All riders are caught now by the orange brigade.

14:07 GMT - Lap 16
Another attack. It's Erik Dekker himself! Simoni goes with him.

We are getting closer to the 200 km mark. The battle is claiming a lot of victims now.

Scott Sunderland "The back door is fully opened at this point and there's a lot of riders going out....Vainsteins is suffering in the back; Vainsteins will not be World Champion this year."

There are 13 leaders at this stage, among them: Lotz, Lanfranchi, Petrov, Beloki, Wadecki, Tchmil, Bruylandts. However, the peloton is close. Van Petegem is dropped by the peloton.

The break is caught just before the start/finish.

Lap time: 17:40 (41.09 km/h)
Total time: 4:44:10 (40.877 km/h)

14:20 GMT - Lap 17
Simoni, Brochard, Sevilla, Virenque, Duma are all active near the front of the 60 strong peloton. Simoni is really making things tough up this first climb. Michael Rasmussen (Den) is also riding quite well - a lot of people were expecting him to take a shortcut on the dirt path, as he comes from an MTB background...

Romans Vainsteins, the outgoing World Champion, has abandoned, along with a few Spanish guys, Van Petegem, Klier, Werner, and Hoj.

The Italians are trying hard to split the race. Di Luca attacks, but Vicioso is on him. Cadel Evans is sitting in the midst of the group; looking good, relaxed.

Scott Sunderland "Ullrich and Zabel can be spotted now and again. The biggest favourites are still holding their cards close to their chest.The only one showing himself is Virenque."

14:31 GMT - Lap 17
Erik Zabel punctures on the false flat, but gets a quick wheel change and is making his way back to the peloton.

Di Luca and Vicioso have now got a gap.

Van Petegem " I had a flat two laps before I abandoned. It was too hard to come back; it was too much for my legs. The effort has cost me too much. It's a really nice race but it's very hard; the climbs follow each other too quickly. All the other Belgians are waiting a bit more to see what happens; Baguet is looking very strong."

Lap 17 time: 17:13 (42.17 km/h)
Total time: 5:01:23 (40.951 km/h)

14:31 GMT - Lap 18
Up front, a group of nine riders have gotten away, and are bridging up to Di Luca and Vicisio. Bettini, Lanfranchi, Virenque, Ivanov, Voigt, Sevilla, Kroon, Valjavec, Mattan, Brandt, Wauters, Petersen.

On the front of the peloton is Maarten den Bakker (Ned).

Scott Sunderland "The finale has started; the Italians have sent their rabbit out for the peloton to chase. Vicioso is along for the ride. Everything is still possible; it will get nervous now."

"The Italians are riding a perfect race, with a very ambitious Di Luca; so is the Spanish team."

14:43 GMT - Lap 18
About 200 metres from the top of the first climb, Bettini jumped across to Di Luca and Vicisio (who is not doing any turns). What's left of the chasers look pretty disorganised.

Scott Sunderland has been in contact with Neil Stephens again, to feel the atmosphere from within. Neil: "I'm really happy with Tom Leaper. He's still in there. Cadel is still going fine too. A few big riders have been dropped now and it's looking good for us. The next three laps will be deciding."

Lap 18 time: 17:03
Total time: 5:18:28 (41.034 km/h)

14:50 GMT - Lap 19
Three laps to go/36 km. Virenque is getting nervous, nobody seems to be willing to work with him. He's urging Baguet to work but Baguet is shaking his head. Virenque is pissed off big time. Di Luca is riding his heart out for Bettini.

Scott Sunderland "The stress level has gone up immensely. They should work together now; if there is hesitation the break will be successful."

Virenque has decided to attack by himself now. The Germans are on the front now; trying to counter the attack made by Virenque.

Scott Sunderland "Ullrich is looking good. I think he wouldn't put his team at the front if he didn't feel right. Zabel is still there is Freire."

14:55 GMT - Lap 19
The three riders have been caught halfway up the climb. Going up the Serafina, Aldag did a huge pull. Now it's Kessler, Ullrich, Figueras, Freire, Simoni.

The Kaiser himself, Ullrich is attacking now, with Figueras, Wadecki, Freire, Virenque. Ullrich is riding a huge gear and Wadecki is dropped, but they get caught by the front group. Boogerd is there, with Rebellin...12 guys have a bit of a gap.

Scott Sunderland "There is still quite a big peloton. I have to admit; I didn't think there would be at this stage. Ullrich has totally opened up the race now; there's riders all over the place. He has just tested the field; looking at who is capable of doing what...this is just the beginning."

:"It might come down to the last lap; the group is still too big; they have been too careful in the beginning of the race. There are still a lot of riders with heaps of power left in the legs. Number one and two of the Tour of Spain are now riding in the front for Oscar Freire; fantastic team work!"

Lap 19 time: 16:34 (43.82 km/h)
Total time: 5:35:02 (41.17 km/h)

15:08 GMT - Lap 20
About 40 riders left for the last two laps. Cadel Evans has moved up to the front; in the wheel of the Spanish riders. Looking good!

There are 6 Spanish riders in the front and 6-7 Italians; quite a few Belgian riders too, among whom Museeuw, Brandt. Baguet is not there though.

Rudy Pevenage: "Jan is out there on his own. That reaction with Kessler was one lap too early. I think Jan should have waited another lap. Kessler heated things up too much and Jan got nervous. We hope for the best."

Rubiera makes an attack, Figueras and Rasmussen bridge up as does Brandt.

Scott Sunderland "Rubiera and Farezin out in the front still. The tactics are excellent; they are forcing the other countries to do the work. Casagrande and Rebellin can sit back a bit."

Axel Merckx and Marc Wauters have abandoned

15:17 GMT - Lap 20
Mario Aerts is looking very strong. Casagrande still nicely hidden in the group. Baguet abandoned: "I tell you; I have tried my best today. With 3 laps to go; my legs turned square and I knew it was finished."

Dekker is attacking with Ullrich in his wheel. Dekker has closed the gap to the front group. Everything is back together on the top of the climb

Scott Sunderland "This is the time to attack; it's going to happen soon."

15:22 GMT - Lap 20
Geert Verheyen is attacking; a very smart move! He's brought back quickly though. The only two Swedish riders in these World Championships are still in there, both Axelsson (Alessio) and Lungjvist (fakta) are riding a great race! Max Sciandri is also sitting in the pack for Great Britain.

The two sprinters Zabel and Freire still in the peloton!

It has started to rain.

Scott Sunderland "I hope it stays reasonably dry, the finale will get dangerous otherwise; the guys out there still don't need this"

Lap 20 time: 16:29 (44.04 km/h)
Total time: 5:51:27 (41.314 km/h)

15:24 GMT - Lap 21
One lap to go; the Spanish are there working for Freire. Zabel is looking strong, but sitting in the back. Tchmil, Museeuw are moving to the front now. Nico Mattan attacks on the foot of the climb!

He gets 10 seconds but the Spanish pulled him back, especially Sevilla. Figueras, Ullrich are still there.

At the foot of the second climb, Ullrich attacks, followed by Virenque, Figueras, Botero. Simoni counters on the right, and no-one has chased...Baranowski tries to bridge.

Scott Sunderland "Freire, Zabel and Museeuw must now be moving up on the bookies boards!"

15:31 GMT - Lap 21
Ullrich, Virenque, Figueras, Bartoli, Rebellin are chasing at the top of the climb, but Simoni has 10 seconds. Michael Boogerd, with Dekker on his wheel is chasing for all he's worth. Arkadiusz Wojtas is there for Poland.

Virenque is trying to get away, but no-one can get Simoni yet. Lanfranchi goes after Simoni(?!). He's chasing him down.

15:35 GMT - Lap 21
Five kilometres to go, they're on the descent and it's Beloki setting the tempo, followed by Bruylandts. Simoni is looking behind him now. At least Lanfranchi has stopped chasing. Simoni is caught, it's going to be a sprint. Place your bets on Zabel, Tchmil and Freire.

Casagrande counters, but Przydzial chases him down. Watch out for Spruch...

Tchmil attacks with 2 kilometres to go, Dekker on his wheel, and Levi Leipheimer. Tchmil attacks again with 1.5 km to go. Italians on his wheel.

1 km to go: Boogerd attacks on the inside, but Zabel is right there in third wheel. Zabel has no lead out though. Ullrich is trying to come up and lead him out. It's an indecisive sprint. Dekker leads out, here comes Freire - he wins it! Bettini second, Hauptman third, Dekker fourth, Zabel fifth

Scott Sunderland " The Italians are starting the sprint. Zabel is going but Freire is stronger. Freire is World Champion! What a great finish this is! Freire makes a nice World Champion. He looked strong the whole race! The whole peloton was afraid to ride during the first half of the race; this was perfect for riders like Zabel and Freire. Freire was definitely the strongest there today in the sprint, he took the right position in the finish, against the barriers, a fantastic sprint and a win very much deserved."

Lap 21 time: 15:53 (45.71 km/h)
Total time: 6:07:20 (41.504 km/h)


1 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa)        6.07.21 (40.504 km/h)
2 Paolo Bettini (Ita)
3 Andrej Hauptman (Slo)
4 Erik Dekker (Ned)
5 Erik Zabel (Ger)
6 Piotr Wadecki (Pol)
7 Giuliano Figueras (Ita)
8 Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus)
9 Tomas Konecny (Cze)
10 Beat Zberg (Swi)

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