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2002 World Cup

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88th Liege-Bastogne-Liege / Luik-Bastenaken-Luik - (CDM)

Belgium, April 21, 2002

Results     Live report

Another Italian Job

Bettini hops to win as Mapei dominates L-B-L '02

By Tim Maloney, European editor
The podium
Photo: © Yuzuru Sunada
Click for larger image

With Italians winning three out of the last five editions of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, once again there was niente da fare today - simply no way to beat Mapei-Quick Step in round 4 of the 2002 World Cup as Paolo Bettini took his second L-B-L career victory, supported by super team-mate Stefano Garzelli.

"I have to thank Garzelli for today - we're going to have fun at the Giro d'Italia," said Bettini after his victory. "Garzelli showed he was a real champion today." Bettini lived up to his nickname of the Cricket "il Grillo" today, as his sharp attacks at just the right moments off his team-mate Garzelli's powerful tempo clearly crushed the opposition.

Bettini's victory was the 10th L-B-L win ever by an Italian, but La Doyenne had more spicy Italian flavor today than just the first two riders; in fact, the first five riders were all from the sunny peninsula, while 6th place German Matthias Kessler (Telekom) was riding an Italian bike!

L-B-L was a welcome World Cup deja-vu for Mapei-Quick Step after being shut down last week in Paris-Roubaix by Domo-Farm Frites. Two weeks ago on an uncharacteristically sunny day in the Tour of Flanders, Mapei riders dominated the winning break and took a raging victory with Andrea Tafi. Today's L-B-L win was a testament to Mapei teamwork, with former Giro d'Italia winner Garzelli forging the winning break 51 km from the finish on the Cote de la Vecquée (3.2km at 7.8% avg. grade).
Cote St Roch
Photo: © Yuzuru Sunada
Click for larger image

Rather than wait for the difficult Redoute, Mapei D.S. Serge Parsani played the anticipation game plan and it worked perfectly to set up leader Bettini. Garzelli went away early in pursuit of lone race leader Salanson (Bonjour) and was quickly joined by Massimo Codol (Lampre-Daikin), Bettini, Kessler and Udo Bölts (Telekom), Ivan Basso (Fassa Bortolo), Mirko Celestino and Alessandro Spezialettti (Saeco), Serge Baguet (Lotto-Adecco) and others to form the key 13 man move of the day.

USPS and Rabobank rode hard behind this group, who were rapidly reeling in the fading Bonjour man, but with 35 km to race in Remouchamps, at the foot of the day's toughest climb, la Redoute, Salanson was caught after 200km of liberty and the chase group became the break of the day.

As Garzelli set a mean tempo up the 1,650m climb of la Redoute, with a difficult average grade of 9.8% (and sections of 21%!), his forcing blew the break to bits in front of the thousands of cheering spectators lining the steep one lane road. Only Basso, Celestino, Kessler and Bettini could follow Garzelli, while the chasers at the front of the peloton, let by Davy Bruylandts (Domo-FF), Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) and Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) were only 20" behind.

As lead break traversed the "Route des Legends" after the summit of la Redoute and began the descent to Sprimont with 31 km to Liege, the chase tempo increased behind as more riders came back after the tough ascent of la Redoute. With Boogerd, Armstrong, Vinokourov and Freire leading the chase just 8" behind at the foot of the cote de Sprimont (1.5km at 3.3% average grade), the break looked like it might be in danger of being caught. But Bettini looked back from the chase and saw the peloton closing down. Cleverly anticipating the flow of the race as had his team-mate Garzelli 25km before, "Il Grillo" immediately jumped from the back of the break, forcing the pace up and putting the peloton on the defensive with 25km to race.

Sure enough, the chase became disorganized and on the road to Tilff, at the base of the long, wooded climb of Sart-Tillman, near the University of Liege, the gap between the break and the chasing peloton began to grow. Euskaltel had Fleche Wallonne runner-up Unai Etxebarria powering away at the front, but it was too late. Bettini and Garzelli and the other Italians had taken over Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Up and over the 3.7 km 5.9% grade of Sart-Tillman powered Garzelli, and as the six man break began the long fast descent into Liege with 16km to go, they had a clear 1'00 gap on the Rebellin-led field.

Down into Liege the sextet swooped at 80 km/h, over the Meuse River sparkling in the spring sunshine, past the Standard de Liege football stadium and into the working class neighborhood of Tilleur, where the steep 900m penultimate climb up cote de Saint-Nicolas awaited.

Tilleur is where Italian immigrants settled as they worked in the now-shuttered steel mills of Liege and the emotional "tifosi belga" were beside themselves as once again, their Italian cousins put on a show for them. Extraordinary Garzelli just powered away at the front, setting up the move for Bettini to hop away from the rest of the break to him. Only Basso could follow, but the Fassa Bortolo man was always 50 metres behind the Mapei duo, who crested Saint-Nicolas with 10" advantage.

Up the final drag of Ans, Bettini and Garzelli drove towards the finish line, where coincidentally, Stage 2 of the upcoming Giro d'Italia will finish in three weeks. Bettini sprinted ahead for the win, with Basso coming in for the final podium spot. Peter Van Petegem (Lotto-Addeco) took the sprint from the first chase group for 7th, while George Hincapie finished an excellent 20th in front of the 2nd chase group after solid work from his USPS squad.

With the in-form Bettini now jumping to third in the World Cup standings, behind Johan Museeuw (abandon) and Mario Cipollini (non-starter), next Sunday's World Cup Round 5 at Amstel Gold could see the spring classics campaign conclude with the diminutive Italian from La California taking over the lead in the season-long points competition.

Results - 258 km

1 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                6.39.44 (38.8 km/h)
2 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
3 Ivan Basso (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                         0.15
4 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport              0.23
5 Massimo Codol (Ita) Lampre-Daikin                      0.28
6 Matthias Kessler (Ger) Team Telekom                    0.35
7 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                   1.03
8 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
9 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
10 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom
11 Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) iBanesto.com
12 Marcos A. Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) ONCE-Eroski
13 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank
14 Andrei Kivilev (Kaz) Cofidis
15 Dave Bruylandts (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites
16 Axel Merckx (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites                    1.08
17 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team CSC Tiscali                 1.14
18 Mario Aerts (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                        1.27
19 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Jean Delatour
20 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service
21 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Mercatone Uno
22 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step
23 Peter Luttenberger (Aut) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi
24 Jörg Jaksche (Ger) ONCE-Eroski
25 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
26 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Credit Agricole
27 Peter Farazijn (Bel) Cofidis
28 Jens Heppner (Ger) Team Telekom
29 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi
30 Franck Bouyer (Fra) Bonjour
31 Rolf Huser (Swi) Team Coast
32 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Lampre-Daikin
33 Patrice Halgand (Fra) Jean Delatour
34 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
35 Jose Azevedo (Por) ONCE-Eroski
36 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
37 Cadel Evans (Aus) Mapei-Quick Step
38 Maximilian Sciandri (GBr) Lampre-Daikin
39 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu) Lampre-Daikin
40 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) iBanesto.com
41 Eladio Jimenez Sanchez (Spa) iBanesto.com
42 Mauro Gianetti (Swi) Team Coast
43 Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Fassa Bortolo
44 Unai Osa Eizaguirre (Spa) iBanesto.com                1.42
45 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
46 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC Tiscali                 1.51
47 Gianni Faresin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                     2.11
48 Udo Bölts (Ger) Team Telekom                          2.19
49 Cédric Vasseur (Fra) Cofidis                          2.27
50 David Etxebarria Alkorta (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
51 Christophe Brandt (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
52 Geert Verheyen (Bel) Rabobank
53 Christian Vandevelde (USA) US Postal Service          2.33
54 Markus Zberg (Swi) Rabobank                           2.37
55 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step               2.42
56 Andrea Noe (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
57 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport
58 Unai Etxebarria Arana (Ven) Euskaltel-Euskadi         3.55
59 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
60 Thomas Brozyna (Pol) iBanesto.com                     4.29
61 Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi                5.01
62 Massimo Donati (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi
63 Sergio Barbero (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
64 Alexandre Moos (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems           8.07
65 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service               8.12
66 David Muñoz (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
67 Ellis Rastelli (Ita) Gerolsteiner
68 Luca Paolini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                   8.38
69 Matthias Buxhofer (Aut) Phonak Hearing Systems
70 Steve Zampieri (Swi) Tacconi Sport-Emmegi
71 Tomas Konecny (Cze) Domo-Farm Frites
72 Lukas Zumsteg (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems
73 Thierry De Groote (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop
74 Bobby Julich (USA) Team Telekom
75 Walter Beneteau (Fra) Bonjour
76 Daniel Schnider (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems
77 Bekim Christensen (Den) Team Coast
78 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Fassa Bortolo
79 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Fassa Bortolo
80 Steve De Wolf (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites
81 Marco Velo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
82 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Domo-Farm Frites
83 Koldo Gil Perez (Spa) iBanesto.com
84 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
85 Laurent Lefevre (Fra) Jean Delatour
86 David Clinger (USA) US Postal Service
87 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop
88 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE-Eroski
89 Frédéric Bessy (Fra) Credit Agricole
90 Inaki Isasi Flores (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
91 Marcel Strauss (Swi) Gerolsteiner
92 Denis Menchov (Rus) iBanesto.com
93 Nico Mattan (Bel) Cofidis
94 Benoît Poilvet (Fra) Credit Agricole
95 Alex Zülle (Swi) Team Coast
96 Jose Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) US Postal Service
97 Serge Baguet (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
98 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
99 Andrea Peron (Ita) Team CSC Tiscali
100 Torsten Hiekmann (Ger) Team Telekom
101 Guido Trentin (Ita) Cofidis
102 Jakob Storm Piil (Den) Team CSC Tiscali
103 Levy Leipheimer (USA) Rabobank
104 Jan Boven (Ned) Rabobank
105 Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
106 Fabrice Salanson (Fra) Bonjour                       8.54
107 Erwin Thijs (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop                 15.12
108 Cédric Herve (Fra) Credit Agricole
109 Marc Lotz (Ned) Rabobank
110 Peter Wuyts (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop
111 Torsten Schmidt (Ger) Gerolsteiner
112 Steffen Kjaergaard (Nor) US Postal Service
113 Pavel Padrnos (Cze) US Postal Service
114 René Haselbacher (Aut) Gerolsteiner
115 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi    15.56
116 Paolo Fornaciari (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step             19.36
117 Charles Guilbert (Fra) Bonjour
118 Alessandro Cortinovis (Ita) Lampre-Daikin
119 Constantino Zaballa Gutierrez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
120 Bram Tankink (Ned) Domo-Farm Frites
121 Daniele Contrini (Ita) Gerolsteiner
122 Bruno Thibout (Fra) Jean Delatour                   20.03
123 Joona Laukka (Fin) Jean Delatour
124 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
125 Cristian Pepoli (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport

World Cup standings after round 4

1 Johan Museeuw (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites                 170 pts
2 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone Cantina Tollo   120
3 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                 110
4 Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                   109
5 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                  89
6 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service               88
7 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Domo-Farm Frites                 79
8 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step               70
9 Steffen Wesemann (Ger) Team Telekom                   70
10 Jo Planckaert (Bel) Cofidis                          55
11 Tom Boonen (Bel) US Postal Service                   52
12 Markus Zberg (Swi) Rabobank                          51
13 Ivan Basso (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                       50
14 Lars Michaelsen (Den) Team Coast                     49
15 Enrico Cassani (Ita) Domo-Farm Frites                46
16 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Saeco - Longoni Sport          40
17 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) Team CSC Tiscali               40
18 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step            40
19 Massimo Codol (Ita) Lampre Daikin                    36
20 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step              36
21 Matthias Kessler (Ger) Team Telekom                  32
22 Rolf Sorensen (Den) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago          32
23 Tomas Konecny (Cze) Domo-Farm Frites                 32
24 Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                     28
25 Thierry Gouvenou (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93            28
26 Andrej Hauptman (Slo) Tacconi Sport                  25
27 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo             24
28 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) Lampre Daikin               24
29 Max Van Heeswijk (Ned) Domo-Farm Frites              24
30 Jan Svorada (Cze) Lampre Daikin                      24
31 Nico Mattan (Bel) Cofidis                            23
32 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Team Gerolsteiner              20
33 Paolo Bossoni (Ita) Tacconi Sport                    20
34 Servais Knaven (Ned) Domo-Farm Frites                17
35 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom              16
36 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom                        16
37 Mario Manzoni (Ita) Index Alexia                     16
38 Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa) iBanesto.com           15
39 Raphael Schweda (Ger) Team Coast                     15
41 Marcos A. Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) ONCE-Eroski        14
42 Hans De Clercq (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                    14
43 Robert Hunter (Rsa) Mapei-Quick Step                 14
44 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Index Alexia                  14
45 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank                       13
46 Andrei Kivilev (Kaz) Cofidis                         12
47 Frank Hoj (Den) Team Coast                           12
48 Mauro Zinetti (Ita) Index Alexia                     12
49 Dave Bruylandts (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites               11
50 Zbigniew Spruch (Pol) Lampre Daikin                  11
51 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step                11
52 Axel Merckx (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites                   10
53 Maximilian Sciandri (GBr) Lampre Daikin              10
54 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team Gerolsteiner                10
55 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team CSC Tiscali                 9
56 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo               9
57 Mario Aerts (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                        8
58 Ludo Dierckxsens (Bel) Lampre Daikin                  8
59 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Lotto-Adecco                    8
60 Giuseppe Di Grande (Ita) Index Alexia                 8
61 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Jean Delatour                  7
62 Tom Flammang (Lux) Cofidis                            7
63 Marc Lotz (Ned) Rabobank                              7
64 Marc Wauters (Bel) Rabobank                           6
65 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi       6
66 Matthew Wilson (Aus) La Francaise Des Jeux            6
67 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Mercatone Uno                     5
68 Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) Team CSC Tiscali               5
69 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites             5
70 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) ONCE-Eroski              5
71 Marco Milesi (Ita) Domo-Farm Frites                   4
72 Igor Flores Galarza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi           4
73 Peter Luttenberger (Aut) Tacconi Sport                3
74 Dario Pieri (Ita) Alessio                             3
75 Jörg Jaksche (Ger) ONCE-Eroski                        2
76 Jan Boven (Ned) Rabobank                              2
77 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                     1
78 Rolf Aldag (Ger) Team Telekom                         1
79 José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) iBanesto.com       1

Teams

1 Domo-Farm Frites                        34 pts
2 Mapei-Quick Step                        27
3 Lotto-Adecco                            24
4 Cofidis                                 18
5 Telekom                                 17
6 Lampre-Daikin                           17
7 Team Coast                              14
8 Rabobank                                12
9 Index-Alexia                             9
10 Fassa Bortolo                           9
11 Tacconi Sport-Emmegi                    8
12 Acqua e Sapone                          7
13 ONCE                                    6
14 BigMat                                  4
15 CSC-Tiscali                             4
16 iBanesto.com                            3
17 US Postal                               3
18 Euskaltel-Euskadi                       3
19 Saeco-Longoni Sport                     2
20 Alessio                                 2
21 Française des Jeux                      2

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