PreviewBelgium's world cycling champion Johan Museeuw is to skip Sunday's Grand Prix of Switzerland World Cup race due to poor form, he said on Wednesday.
``I can barely follow the pack, that's nothing for a world champion,'' Museeuw told Het Nieuwsblad newspaper. ``Normally I never take a rest at this time of the year. Now I just have to.''
Museeuw said he would return to competition in next week's Tour of the Netherlands and gradually gear up for the world championships in San Sebastian, Spain, in early October and the Paris-Tours World Cup race on October 5.
Museeuw won the Cup series for the second year in succession last season but has scored in only two rounds this year, partly due to a run of bad luck.
Dane Rolf Sorensen heads the World Cup standings after seven rounds. Museeuw is just 15th and out of the reckoning.
Final reportDavide Rebellin outsprinted Tour de France champion Jan Ullrich and World Cup leader Rolf Sörensen to win the Swiss Grand Prix on Sunday.
As a pack of 20 riders entered the Oerlikon velodrome for a final one lap sprint to the finish, Rebellin powered to the front, crossing half a wheel ahead of Ullrich and Sörensen to claim the eighth round of the World Cup.
"I was prepared for the finish because as a junior I raced the pursuit on the track, so I knew what to expect,'' said Rebellin, adding that he hoped to be named to the Italian team to compete at next month's world championships.
With his third place, Sörensen, the only rider to score points in all eight rounds, consolidated his position atop the overall rankings.
With just two rounds remaining in the 10 race series, the Paris-Tours and Tour of Lombardy, Sörensen has 275 points, 47 clear of Michele Bartoli.
It was the second world Cup win in three races for Rebellin and shot the 26-year-old Italian into third place in the rankings with 205 points and contention for the coveted overall crown.
"The victory in San Sebastian has changed everything,'' said Rebellin, who recorded the first major victory of his career two weeks ago winning the San Sebastian Classic. "I'm much more confident now.''
Run in sweltering heat, the 237km test from Basle to Zürich unfolded slowly, as stifling conditions sapped riders' strength and left most content to ease through the first half of the race.
Rebellin's winning time of six hours, 18 minutes, 55 seconds reflected the harsh conditions that contributed to fewer than half the 248 riders finishing the race.
A well-rested Ullrich, competing in his first major event since the Tour de France, thought he might join the long list of casualties but survived to achieve a surprise podium finish.
"This morning when we left Basle I didn't feel so strong,'' said Ullrich. "But as the day went on I began to feel more confident and when I was fifth entering the track I knew I had a chance to be on the podium.
"I've had experience on the track and from that point I wasn't surprised to reach the podium.''
Andrea Tafi, winner of last weekend's World Cup event in Rochester, looked poised for back-to-back victories as he and world number one Laurent Jalabert diced for the lead several times over the final km.
But in the end the two paid for their duel as they fell off the pace at the finish, Tafi crossing 15th and Jalabert 26th.
Race distance - 237 kms
1. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Francaise des Jeux 6.18.55 2. Jan Ullrich (Ger) Telekom 3. Rolf Sörensen (Den) Rabobank 4. Stephane Heulot (Fra) Francaise des Jeux 5. Richard Virenque (Fra) Festina 6. Michele Bartoli (Ita) MG 7. Maarten den Bakker (Ned) TVM 8. Alberto Elli (Ita) Casino 9. Yvon Ledanois (Fra) Gan 10. Alexander Gontchenkov (Ukr) Roslotto 11. Beat Zberg (Swi) Mercatone 12. Gianluca Bortolami (Ita) Festina 13. Roberto Petito (Ita) Saeco 14. Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei 15. Daniele Nardello (Ita) Mapei 16. Mirko Celestino (Ita) Polti 17. Enrico Zaina (Ita) Asics 18. Laurent Roux (Fra) TVM 19. Udo Bölts (Ger) Telekom all s.t. 20. Mauro Gianetti (Swi) FDJ 0.07 21. Gianluca Valoti (Ita) Polti s.t. 22. Laurent Dufaux (Swi) Festina 0.11 23. David Plaza (Spa) Cofidis s.t. 24. Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Refin 0.16 25. Massimo Donati (Ita) Daeco s.t. 26. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) 0.24 27. Patrick Jonker (Aus) s.t. 28. Kai Hundertmarck (Ger) 0.34 29. Darren Baker (USA) s.t. 30. Franz Hotz (Swi) 31. Alessandro Baronti (Ita) 32. Piotr Ugrumov (Let) 33. Georg Totschnig (Aut) 34. Simone Borgheresi (Ita) 1.25 35. Benoît Salmon (Fra) s.t. 36. Didier Rous (Fra) 1.29 37. Pascal Hervé (Fra) 1.42 38. Luca Scinto (Ita) 2.53 39. Pascal Richard (Swi) s.t. 40. Andrei Tchmil (Ukr) 4.47 41. Paolo Bettini (Ita) s.t. 42. Brian Holm (Den) 43. Andrea Ferrigato (Ita) 6.09 44. Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) 8.28 45. Arvis Piziks (Let) s.t. 46. Markus Zberg (Swi) 47. Erik Dekker (Ned) 48. Diego Ferrari (Ita) 49. Sven Teutenberg (Ger) 50. Bo Hamburger (Den) 51. Cédric Vasseur (Fra) 52. Rolf Järmann (Swi) 53. Andrea Noé (Ita) 54. Herminio Diaz Zabala (Spa) 55. Richard Chassot (Swi) 56. Viatsjeslav Ekimov (Rus) 57. Michael Andersson (Swe) 58. Danny Nelissen (Ned) 59. Emmanuel Hubert (Fra) 60. Jörg Jaksche (Ger) 61. Francisque Teyssier (Fra) 62. Claudio Chiappucci (Ita) 63. Biagio Conte (Ita) 64. Roberto Sierra (Spa) 65. Davide Casarotto (Ita) 66. Michael Boogerd (Ned) 67. José Ramon Uriarte (Spa) 68. Paul Van Hyfte (Bel) 69. Pierre Bourquenoud (Swi) 70. Jürgen Werner (Ger) 71. Stéphane Petilleau (Fra) 72. Marco Fincato (Ita) 73. George Hincapie (USA) 74. Thomas Fleischer (Ger) 75. Orlando Rodriguez (Por) 76. Mauro Bettin (Ita) 77. Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) 78. Max van Heeswijk (Ned) 79. Oscar Pellicioli (Ita) 80. Bobby Julich (USA) 81. Stefano Garzelli (Ita) 82. Bruno Boscardin (Swi) 83. Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) 84. Erik Breukink (Ned) 85. Marco Zen (Ita) 86. José Vicente Garcia (Spa) 87. Bruno Cenghialta (Ita) 88. Kevin Livingston (Usa) 89. Christian Henn (Ger) 90. Christophe Mengin (Fra) 91. Massimo Apollonio (Ita) 92. Alexander Chefer (Kaz) 93. Stefano Cattai (Ita) 94. Sergio Barbero (Ita) 95. Pavel Tonkov (Rus) 96. Franco Ballerini (Ita) 97. Giusvan Piovaccari (Ita) 98. Peter Meinert-Nielsen (Den) 99. Giorgio Furlan (Ita) 100. Melchor Mauri (Spa) 101. Jens Heppner (Ger) 102. Angelo Canzonieri (Ita) 103. Carlo Finco (Ita) 104. Rolf Aldag (Ger) 105. Alberto Volpi (Ita) 106. Armin Meier (Swi) 107. Mikel Zarrabeitia (Spa) 108. Roland Meier (Swi) 109. Angel Luis Casero (Spa) 110. Stefano Colage (Ita) 111. Maximilian Sciandri (Gbr) 112. Michele Coppolillo (Ita) 113. Andrea Peron (Ita) 114. Rodolfo Massi (Ita) 115. Rolf Huser (Swi) + 11.02 116. Fabrice Gougot (Fra) s.t. 117. Eddy Gragus (USA)
World Cup standings
1. Rolf Sörensen (Den) 275 points 2. Michele Bartoli (Ita) 228 3. Davide Rebellin (Ita) 205 4. Andrea Tafi (Ita) 202 5. Beat Zberg (Sch) 135 6. Alberto Elli (Ita) 120 7. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) 114 8. Maximilian Sciandri (Gbr) 113 9. Andrej Tchmil (Ukr) 112 10. Jo Planckaert (Bel) 106 11. Alexander Gontchenkov (Ukr) 106 12. Bjarne Riis (Den) 100 13. Erik Zabel (Ger) 100 14. Frederic Guesdon (Fra) 100 15. Gianluca Bortolami (Ita) 100 16. Davide Casarotto (Ita) 98 17. Johan Museeuw (Belgium) 95 18. Frederic Moncassin (France) 94 19. Andrea Ferrigato (Ita) 90 20. Stephane Heulot (Fra) 84
1. La Francaise des Jeux (Fra) 66 pts 2. TVM (Ned) 41 3. Mapei-GB (Ita) 40 4. Team Deutsche Telekom (Ger) 40 5. Lotto-Mobistar-Isoglass (Bel) 37 6. Rabobank (Ned) 34 7. Lotus-Festina (Fra) 33 8. Team Polti (Ita) 26 9. Mercatone Uno (Ita) 24 10. Gan (Fra) 20 11. Roslotto-ZG-Mobili (Ita) 18 12. Casino (Fra) 12 13. Scrigno (Ita) 12 14. Batik-Del Monte (Ita) 11 15. Maglificio MG Technogym (Ita) 11 16. Asics (Ita) 9 17. US Postal Service 7 18. ONCE (Spa) 6 19. Cofidis (Fra) 6 20. Saeco (San Marino)