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37th Amstel Gold Race - (CDM)

Netherlands, April 28, 2002

Results    World Cup standings     Live report    Women's results

Roll out the Bartoli barrel

Fassa Bortolo man brings home the beer with Amstel Gold win

Michele Bartoli
Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

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.

Michele Bartoli
Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

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

Boogerd chats
Photo: © Jeff Jones/CN
Click for larger image

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

The crucial break
Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

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.

The sprint
Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

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.

Photography

Photos by Fotoreporter Sirotti

Photos by AFP

Photos by Jeff Jones

Results - 254.9 km

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

World Cup standings after round 5

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


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