|Tech Features Road MTB Cyclocross Track News Images Feedback|
37th Amstel Gold Race - (CDM)
Netherlands, April 28, 2002
Roll out the Bartoli barrel
Fassa Bortolo man brings home the beer with Amstel Gold win
By Tim Maloney, European editor
The Spring Classics season came to a close today in Maastricht, Holland, with a decidedly Italian flavour. Just a month short of his 32nd birthday, Michele Bartoli brought Fassa Bortolo the big classics win they have been seeking this year, winning a 4-up sprint from a break that went away with 39 kilometres to go.
Fassa Bortolo took the top two spots like last week's L-B-L, where Mapei was 1-2, but it was Bartoli's powerful Russian teammate Serguei Ivanov who made the difference for the rider from Pisa today. Last January at Fassa Bortolo's team presentation, Bartoli told Cyclingnews that "It's my turn (to win a classic); I really want to win again; a race like San Remo, Flanders or Liege."
Now reunited with his old DS Giancarlo Feretti, who was behind the wheel in the FB team car today keeping Bartoli focused, and the great legs of Ivanov for support, Bartoli found himself in the winning break at Amstel Gold and didn't put a pedal wrong in the final to win his fifth career World Cup classic.
Although Fassa Bortolo started the season like gangbusters, winning prodigiously in February and March, Feretti's squad has been disappointing in the big World Cup events until now. Bartoli missed the key move in the Tour of Flanders and didn't quite have the legs at Fleche Wallonne, where he finished 3rd.
Bartoli told Cyclingnews after Amstel Gold today that, "Yes, this is the win I've been waiting for. Up until now, I've had a lot of bad luck; I've blown all the big races since the beginning of the season...but now the classics season is over and my morale is very good."
"Ferretti gave us good direction in the break. He said, Ivanov can get away by himself and you can win in a sprint. But Armstrong was too strong today; he was the one who pulled back all the moves. Next I'll be racing the Giro but mostly to help (Francesco) Casagrande."
A cool, wet start
Just as last year, the Amstel Gold World Cup #5 started in Maastricht under cold, rainy and windy skies. Pre-race favorites in the 37th edition of the event were Dutchman Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) and Lance Armstrong (United States Postal Service), but Armstrong had a touch of a stomach bug on Friday and it wasn't clear how this might effect the American.
A new 254.4km course, tougher than ever with 33 climbs winding around the Dutch province of Limburg didn't really excite anyone for the first half-hour after the start, but eventually after 30 km, with 224km still left to race, a group of six got away; Bram De Groot (Rabobank), Thorsten Rund (Coast), Stefan Kupfernagel (Phonak), Bram Schmitz (Bankgiroloterij), Thierry De Groote (Palmans-Collstrop) and Bj°rner Vest°l (EDS-Fakta)
Clearly these players were just looking to make some early action happen so others had to chase, and the Germans, Dutch and Norwegians who were away were not fazed by the lousy weather conditions. And as last year, as the race went on, the conditions began to improve. After two hours away, the break had over 7'00 on the lethargic peloton, and with 143 km to go on the climb up to the highest point in the Netherlands, Drielandenpunt, Rund and Vest°l dropped off the break.
Eventually the pace picked up behind and after the second feed zone with 60km to race, all the various front-runners were within 3'30" of the USPS-led peloton. Up the Gulperbergweg with 47km to go, the peloton closed to 2'00, with USPS still driving under overcast skies.
The big move
As the remaining two riders from the break (De Groot and Schmitz) struggled up the wet, steep Eyserbosweg (900m/11.5% avg. grade), it was show time back in the peloton. '99 Amstel winner Boogerd made his move, attacking hard over the top of the steep climb, with Bartoli following. Ivanov and Armstrong got across and quartet made the move of the day.
After 14 km of freedom with 25 km to go, the Armstrong-led quartet had 45" on the splintering peloton. Earnest Boogerd rode hard on the Fromberg & Keuterberg to try and sap the legs of the two Fassa Bortolos, but with the Cauberg coming up at 19 km to go, the Italo-Russo duo clearly had the numerical advantage. Behind, Lotto and Telekom were chasing in the greatly diminished bunch.
A few klicks later, Fassa began duking it out with Armstrong and Boogerd. On the next to last climb, Geulhemmerweg, tough guy Ivanov made his first move, which Armstrong countered. Bartoli attacked again in Terblijt and Armstrong countered again, with Boogerd looking a bit shaky. With 8km to go on the last climb, Sint-Antoniusbank, Armstrong made a strong move which put Bartoli and Boogerd on the ropes. But Ivanov was there to save the day for Bartoli and came back to stop Armstrong once again.
Now there was only 5 km to race over wide suburban roads back to and over the Maas (Meuse) River Bridge, where Ivanov put in multiple attacks covered by Armstrong, while Bartoli sits back and Boogerd hangs on. The front quartet was all together under the 1 km flame rouge, and at the entrance to the long, slightly uphill finishing straight, Ivanov did the job once again for Bartoli, leading out the Italian for the win. After doing the minimum of work in the break, Boogerd sprinted to third in front of a tired but still determined Armstrong, who had to endure a sketchy move by the desperate to podium Dutchman in the last 20 meters.
52 seconds behind the winning quartet, World Champion Oscar Freire (Mapei-Quick Step) took the bunch sprint from Peter Van Petegem (Lotto-Adecco) for 5th. Johan Museeuw (Domo-FF) kept his lead in the World Cup standings, while last week's L-B-L winner Paolo Bettini (Mapei-Quick Step) moved up to second.
A tired and drawn Museeuw told Cyclingnews that "I raced on guts alone today; like at Liege-Bastogne-Liege. I couldn't have given more. I've been running on my reserve tank for two weeks now. I started my season early at the Tour Of Qatar in January and I'll be happy to take a break now. At my age, I know what I need to do."
"I'll start racing again in the Tour Of Belgium, the Tour Of Germany and then Tour de Suisse and the (Belgian) National Championships, but no Tour De France. Instead, I'll do a training camp at altitude in Saint-Moritz to prepare for the World Cup races in August. With the World Cup leaders jersey, me and my Domo-Farm Frites team have extra motivation to go for the World Cup this year."
Museeuw and the rest of the Worlds top riders will resume the chase for the 2002 World Cup at Hew Cyclassics in Hamburg, Germany on August 4th.
Photos by Fotoreporter Sirotti
Photos by AFP
Photos by Jeff Jones
1 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 6.49.17 (37.37 km/h) 2 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Fassa Bortolo 3 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 4 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service 5 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step 0.52 6 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 7 Jo Planckaert (Bel) Cofidis 8 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 9 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom 10 Nico Mattan (Bel) Cofidis 11 Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe) EDS-fakta 12 Marc Lotz (Ned) Rabobank 13 Geert Verheyen (Bel) Rabobank 14 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport 15 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola 16 Cristian Moreni (Ita) Alessio 17 Bram Schmitz (Ned) Bankgiroloterij-Batavus 18 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 19 Christophe Brandt (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 20 Rolf Huser (Swi) Team Coast 21 Mario Aerts (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 22 Aleksandr Shefer (Kaz) Alessio 23 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) iBanesto.com 24 Mauro Gianetti (Swi) Team Coast 0.53 25 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Jean-Delatour 26 Dave Bruylandts (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites 27 Christian Vandevelde (USA) US Postal Service 28 Peter Farazijn (Bel) Cofidis 29 Jens Heppner (Ger) Team Telekom 0.54 30 Ivan Basso (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 31 Steffen Wesemann (Ger) Team Telekom 0.57 32 Udo B÷lts (Ger) Team Telekom 1.04 33 David Clinger (USA) US Postal Service 4.23 34 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 35 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) EDS-fakta 5.09 36 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Domo-Farm Frites 5.11 37 Allan Johansen (Den) EDS-fakta 38 Zbigniew Spruch (Pol) Lampre-Daikin 39 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) CSC-Tiscali 40 Thomas Brozyna (Pol) iBanesto.com 41 Andrej Hauptman (Slo) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola 42 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Fassa Bortolo 43 Martin Hvastija (Slo) Alessio 44 Bart Voskamp (Ned) Bankgiroloterij-Batavus 45 CÚdric Vasseur (Fra) Cofidis 46 Pedro Horrillo Mu˝oz (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step 47 Javier Pascual RodrÝguez 48 Marc Wauters (Bel) Rabobank 49 Bram De Groot (Ned) Rabobank 50 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio 51 Matthias Buxhofer (Aut) Phonak Hearing Systems 52 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Phonak Hearing Systems 5.12 53 Gianluca Bortolami (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola 54 Johan Museeuw (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites 55 Serge Baguet (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 56 Gabriele Balducci (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola 57 Matthias Kessler (Ger) Team Telekom 58 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Lotto-Adecco 8.17 59 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Gerolsteiner 8.18 60 Enrico Cassani (Ita) Domo-Farm Frites 8.19 61 JosÚ Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) US Postal Service 8.21 62 Axel Merckx (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites 63 Mauro Radaelli (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola 11.34 64 Nicola Loda (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 65 Mario Manzoni (Ita) Index-Alexia 66 Thierry De Groote (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop 11.35 67 Martin Derganc (Slo) Acqua e Sapone 68 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 69 Corey Sweet (Aus) Bankgiroloterij-Batavus 70 Bo Hamburger (Den) Index-Alexia 71 Max Van Heeswijk (Ned) Domo-Farm Frites 72 Pieter Vries (Ned) Bankgiroloterij-Batavus 11.36 73 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Rabobank 74 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service 75 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Kelme 76 Gianni Faresin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 77 Lorenzo Bernucci (Ita) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 78 Stefan Kupfernagel (Ger) Phonak Hearing Systems 11.37 79 Ellis Rastelli (Ita) Gerolsteiner 80 Luca Paolini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 81 Jan Boven (Ned) Rabobank 82 Lennie Kristensen (Den) EDS-fakta 83 Rolf S°rensen (Den) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 11.38 84 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) iBanesto.com 85 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 11.39 86 Michael Skelde (Den) EDS-fakta 87 RenÚ J°rgensen (Den) EDS-fakta 88 Ludo Dierckxsens (Bel) Lampre-Daikin 89 Bert Hiemstra (Ned) Bankgiroloterij-Batavus 90 Mauro Gerosa (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola 11.40 91 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu) Lampre-Daikin 92 Alessandro Cortinovis (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 93 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems 94 JosÚ Enrique Gutierrez Cataluna (Spa) Kelme 11.41 95 Rolf Aldag (Ger) Team Telekom 96 Andreas Klier (Ger) Team Telekom 97 Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Lotto-Adecco 11.42 98 Marco Serpellini (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 12.11
1 Johan Museeuw (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites 170 pts 2 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 134 3 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 121 4 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Acqua e Sapone 120 5 Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 109 6 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 100 7 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service 88 8 Jo Planckaert (Bel) Cofidis 83 9 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Domo-Farm Frites 79 10 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step 76 11 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Fassa Bortolo 70 12 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 70 13 Steffen Wesemann (Ger) Team Telekom 70 14 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 63 15 Tom Boonen (Bel) US Postal Service 52 16 Markus Zberg (Swi) Rabobank 51 17 Ivan Basso (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 50 18 Lars Michaelsen (Den) Team Coast 49 19 Enrico Cassani (Ita) Domo-Farm Frites 46 20 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 44 21 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service 40 22 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 40 23 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) CSC-Tiscali 40 24 Nico Mattan (Bel) Cofidis 39 25 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom 36 26 Massimo Codol (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 36 27 Matthias Kessler (Ger) Team Telekom 32 28 Rolf S°rensen (Den) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 32 29 Tomas Konecny (Cze) Domo-Farm Frites 32 30 Thierry Gouvenou (Fra) Big Mat-Auber 93 28 31 Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 28 ... 69 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Jean-Delatour 8 81 Nicolas Jalabert (Fra) CSC-Tiscali 5 Teams 1 Mapei-Quick Step 36 pts 2 Domo-Farm Frites 34 3 Lotto-Adecco 30 4 Cofidis 25 5 Rabobank 24 6 Telekom 21 7 Fassa Bortolo 17 8 Lampre-Daikin 17 9 Team Coast 14 10 Tacconi Sport-Emmegi 9 11 Index-Alexia 9 12 US Postal 8 13 Acqua e Sapone 7 14 ONCE-Eroski 6 15 Alessio 5 16 BigMat Auber 93 4 17 CSC-Tiscali 4 18 iBanesto.com 3 19 Euskaltel-Euskadi 3 20 EDS-fakta 2 21 Saeco Longoni Sport 2 22 Franšaise des Jeux 2