Home  Tech   Features   Road   MTB   Cyclocross   Track   News   Images    Feedback 


Past Winners




Start list
Live coverage

Time Table



2001 Gent-

2001 results


2002 World Cup

Milan - San Remo
Ronde van

Paris - Roubaix

Pearl Izumi
Lemond Bikes

64th Gent-Wevelgem - 1.HC

Belgium, April 10, 2002

Main Page    Start List    Route detail     Results & report

Complete Live Report

Start time: 11:30 CEST
Estimated finish time: 16:30 CEST

14:00 CEST
Welcome to today's live coverage of Gent-Wevelgem, the 207 kilometre semi-classic run midway between the Ronde Van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix. Today's race will give the sprinters more of a chance, although there is the small matter of the Kemmelberg - a steep cobbled climb that has to be tackled twice (km 149 and 172). There are also the climbs of Vidaigneberg, Rodeberg and Monteberg, all of which also are ridden twice.

The race started from Gent's Citadelpark at 11:30 am in bright sunshine in cool, windy conditions. The riders will be battling the winds all day, especially around the coast, and this should considerably reduce the size of the bunch by the finish.

14:20 CEST
Cyclingnews spoke to a few riders before this morning's start to get their comments. The first was defending champion George Hincapie (US Postal), who was negotiating his way through the crowds after signing on.

Despite Paris-Roubaix looming on Sunday, Gent-Wevelgem is also an important race for Hincapie. "I'm going to try and defend every race, but it's a big race," he said.

Looking forward to the rest of the classics: "I've never done Liege. But I feel strong and I don't see any reason why I should limit my potential in any of these races. I think I need to give it a chance and see what happens. My objective now is Paris-Roubaix and after that I need to look at the rest of the season. So definitely in the back of my mind the World Cup is an important objective as well."

14:40 CEST
One rider who will be approaching today's race with some trepidation is Chris Peers (Cofidis), who crashed on the descent of the Kemmelberg last Wednesday during De Panne. Although no bones were broken, Peers was bruised to the point that he couldn't walk, and it took a lot of intensive rehab to get him riding again. He spoke to Cyclingnews about his thoughts for Gent-Wevelgem.

"I feel not bad. I am still hurting everywhere. I have less pain on the bike than I have to walk. I can walk since last Sunday. Every day I go to [physiotherapist] Lieven Maesschalck in Lebbeke and he's doing everything for me to get on the bike."

It's very important for me that I'm here for Paris-Roubaix and the other classics. If I'm not here today it's finished for me for the classic season. I'm going to do everything now. On Monday I trained 180 kilometres. I feel the condition is not alright - I have some pain and now I hope to have a good race and we'll see."

Are you worried about the Kemmelberg, given what happened? "I will probably have a bad moment when I pass the Kemmelberg. If I pass the Kemmel then it's forgotten for ever. It's my fault I crashed on the Kemmel on the descent. There were the other guys before me."

" I think I've crossed the Kemmel 400 times without crashes. I don't have to think every time you pass the Kemmel you have to crash. I hope I will be quite well in Wevelgem tonight."

14:45 CEST - 144 km/63 km to go
An update on the race: A group of around 25 riders has a 1'14 lead on the peloton. All the big names are there, including Museeuw, Hincapie, Zabel, Cipollini, Nazon, McEwen, Knaven. There are just approaching the Monteberg and Wim Vansevenant (Collstrop) attacks off the front.

The wind has kept the pace very high, with an average speed of over 46 km/h so far.

14:56 CEST - 148 km/59 km to go
They hit the Kemmelberg for the first time, with Vansevenant rapidly coming back to the leading group, the full composition of which is as follows: Klier, Zabel (Telekom), Hunter (Mapei), Hincapie, Boonen (USPS), McEwen, H De Clercq, Gardeyn, Vierhouten (Lotto), Museeuw, Rodriguez, Knaven, Cretskens, (Domo), Vansevenant, Van Dijck (Collstrop), Hvastija (Alessio), Van Hyfte, Hoffman (CSC), Cipollini (Acqua e Sapone), JP Nazon and Pencolé (FdJ).

15:03 CEST - 153 km/54 km to go
The next group is now only 20 seconds behind, but lose it again, despite the strong chase by Fassa Bortolo. The gap goes up to a minute, but Rabobank and Mapei also lend a hand in the chase.

Cyclingnews spoke with Robbie McEwen (Lotto) this morning, who was a surprise late starter in this race. "I only found out I was racing since yesterday. I just feel like racing. I didn't race since MSR. I had 8 days off and then 9 days training. I've been watching the TV and saw that some of our guys have had a little bit of bad luck - a couple of guys out with crashes. We lost Andrei. I said if you need someone, give us a call. Yesterday they rang back and said 'come and have a race'.

" I'm not expecting too much. I'm not coming in and saying I'm a big favourite and feeling awesome. But I feel OK and I'll see how far I get. If the race is a bit controlled then maybe I'll hang in until the finish. With this much wind it's going to be hard."

15:09 CEST - 158 km/49 km to go
The leading group is now down to 20 as Gardeyn (Lotto) is dropped. That means that Domo outnumber Lotto four to three in the top group. Their lead has gone up to 1'14 again.

Hincapie has a flat, and will have to do a bit of work to get back on in this wind. Will Tom Boonen drop back to help him? He looks behind but stays in the leading group. Hincapie is chasing back on through the cars and will easily get them.

15:16 CEST - 163 km/44 km to go
The leaders hit the Zwarteberg, a smooth 10% climb, still with a 1 minute lead on the next group. Fred Rodriguez chats with George Hincapie, while Tom Boonen (USPS) sets the tempo on the climb. Aart Vierhouten (Rabobank) has to have his seat fixed by the Lotto mechanic. Tricky when you're doing 50 km/h.

15:22 CEST - 167 km/40 km to go
Into the last 40 kilometres, and the second group is making a real effort to get the leaders back. They have closed to within 30 seconds, thanks to Fassa, Cofidis, Credit Agricole, Alessio and Rabobank all putting in.

15:27 CEST - 170 km/37 km to go
Frank Pencole (FdJ) attacks on the Monteberg, and is chased by Rodriguez (Domo) and Van Dijk (Collstrop). The three get a gap to the leader's, who have to be careful to keep up the tempo.

The second and last ascent of the Kemmelberg is coming soon.

15:31 CEST - 172 km/39 km to go
Van Dijk forces the pace on the Kemmelberg, with Rodriguez right next to him. Pencole is dropped. Hincapie goes hard in the next group, and McEwen has trouble following.

Hincapie gets Rodriguez and Van Dijk over the top, looks behind to see where the rest are. Hvastija also bridges up and there are four leaders.

15:35 CEST - 174 km/33 km to go
McEwen, Nazon and Vansevenant are trying to regain the group group, which is racing flat out now to try and catch Hincapie's group. They give up, and get caught by the next 30 riders or so.

Cipollini attacks! He bridges the gap into a very strong headwind to the Hincapie group. Robert Hunter chases too.

15:39 CEST - 178 km/29 km to go
The leading group is now five: Hincapie, Hvastija, Van Dijck, Rodriguez and ...Mario Cipollini. Can Supermario take his third Gent-Wevelgem, or will the others have something to say about it. They've opened up an 18 second lead on the next group, where Domo and Tom Boonen have stopped chasing.

15:44 CEST - 181 km/26 km to go
This is the right move. The gap has now ballooned out to 48 seconds to the Museeuw group, with the next peloton at 1'40. Cipollini certainly chose the right time to get across.

15:51 CEST - 185 km/22 km to go
The five leaders are all taking equal turns, ensuring that they don't get caught over the final 20 kilometres of twisting, narrow farm roads into Wevelgem. The next group of a dozen riders also has to keep the speed up, although they still have a minute to the third group on the road.

15:59 CEST - 191 km/16 km to go
There are three decent sprinters in the front group: Cipollini, Hincapie and Rodriguez. Van Dijk is no slouch either, but will have to attack to have a chance at winning. The same goes for Hvastija. The wind is now directly in the riders faces, but they're still maintaining a smooth, high tempo.

16:06 CEST - 194 km/13 km to go
The gap is starting to come down between the two front groups. It's now down to 47 seconds with 12 km to go - enough to stay away if they keep working hard.

The five leaders are riding to stay away though, and should keep working until the final couple of kilometres. Cipollini is certainly doing his fair share of work.

16:10 CEST - 199 km/8 km to go
They keep the gap at 46 seconds due to their consistent turns of pace. Cipollini has a chat to his team manager, who presumably has told him to wait for the sprint! They won't get caught by the chasers now, that's for certain.

Hincapie has a little dabble off the front, but is countered by Cipollini. Then Van Dijk has a go, but Rodriguez is right on him.

16:16 CEST - 202 km/5 km to go
Hvastija attacks into a corner, but Rodriguez is right on his wheel. Van Dijk does the work to close the gap, in time for another Hincapie attack. It's unsuccessful, and the five are all together with 5 km to go.

Rodriguez sits at the back of the group, on Cipollini's wheel. He doesn't want to let it go! However, he rolls through for his turn with 4 km to go.

16:18 CEST - 204 km/3 km to go
Rodriguez attacks! Hvastija chases, then Hincapie goes again, followed by Van Dijk. No-one can get more than 5 metres.

They're racing through the streets of Wevelgem now with 2 kilometres to go, and none of these five riders can seem to get an advantage. Is it going to be Cipollini, or Rodriguez or Hincapie or ?

16:21 CEST - 206 km/1 km to go
1 km to go, and the pace is still quite high. No-one wants to give anyone a platform to attack. Hincapie is now on Cipollini's wheel, but loses it when he chases after an attack by Hvastija

16:23 CEST - 207 km/0 km to go
Hvastija and Van Dijk lead the way over the final 700 metres. Then Cipollini, Rodriguez and Hincapie in last wheel. Cipollini has the perfect position.

Hvastija winds it up, then Van Dijk attacks, but Cipollini gets it by over a bike length from Rodriguez and Hincapie. Van Dijk fourth and Hvastija fifth.

That's Cipollini's third win in Gent-Wevelgem, after his 1992 and 1993 wins. Congratulations on a well deserved victory.


1 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Acqua e Sapone              4.39.00 (44.731 km/h)
2 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Domo-Farm Frites
3 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service
4 Hendrik Van Dyck (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop
5 Martin Hvastija (Slo) Alessio                         0.10
6 Robert Hunter (RSA) Mapei-Quick Step                  1.29
7 Tom Boonen (Bel) US Postal Service
8 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom
9 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) CSC-Tiscali
10 Johan Museeuw (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites

Results & report