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89th Meisterschaft von Zürich -Championnat de Zurich - CDM
Switzerland, August 18, 2002
By Jeff Jones
Switzerland plays host to Round 8 of the World Cup, with the 89th edition of the Meisterschaft von Zürich on Sunday, August 18. This year's race almost didn't happen, after many of the teams threatened a boycott over non-payment of prize money from last year's event. The organisers of last year's event, DPO, left a €95000 bill for the new organisers, Upsolut, to pay, which they were forced to do when faced with potentially a very thin field for the race.
Defending champion of the Meisterschaft von Zürich is Paolo Bettini (Mapei-Quick Step), who will be on the hunt for more World Cup points in his quest to close the gap to current leader Johan Museeuw. Bettini trails the Lion of Flanders by just 68 points, needing a win or a second place (provided Museeuw doesn't place) to move into the lead. The MVZ is one of the hilliest of the three remaining rounds of the World Cup, and Museeuw will have to weather the Italian's storm in his quest to be World Cup champion for 2002. In Museeuw's favour is the fact that he has won the event twice (1991 and 1995), as well as coming second in 1994 and third in 1996. Also, Bettini pulled out of the Tour of Denmark this week due to tendon problems, so may not be 100% fit.
Paolo Bettini will have some excellent support with his teammates including Cadel Evans, Luca Paolini and Andrea Tafi, with Oscar Freire there as well in case things stay together for a big sprint. That's unlikely, as the course is a 71 km loop followed by a very challenging lap of 41.4 km, to be ridden four times for a total of 236.6 km. The key features are the steep, narrow climbs of the Pfannenstiel and Forch, with a total of 3426 metres of climbing.
Museeuw will also have strong backup, with the likes of Axel Merckx, Dave Bruylandts, Richard Virenque and Piotr Wadecki in the Domo-Farm Frites line up. But in a race like this the question will be on Museeuw himself, who will have to keep in contact with Bettini on the climbs in order to maintain his lead - no easy task.
US Postal's Lance Armstrong has previously finished second in this race (in 1992) and will be most likely riding as the team captain this year, in the absence of George Hincapie who crashed during last weekend's Clasica San Sebastian and is recovering from his injuries. The Posties look to have several of their Tour squad - Ekimov, Landis, Padrnos, and Peña, and could be a factor.
Michele Bartoli (Fassa Bortolo) is another past winner of this race, and he looks to be in reasonable shape after riding well in the Vuelta a Burgos, holding the leader's jersey at one stage. With Ivan Basso, Wladimir Belli and Francesco Casagrande, Fassa Bortolo should be able to figure in the moves.
Last week's San Sebastian winner Laurent Jalabert (CSC-Tiscali) is capable of winning in Zürich, although it's a race that he has never won. He was in great form on the Jaizkibel last week, powering away from the peloton in the big chainring to catch the leading riders, but will need his best climbing legs on if he's to make the cut in Zürich.
Of of Jalabert's breakaway companions in San Sebastian was Andrei Kivilev (Cofidis), who should be more at home on this type of parcours. Kivilev lacks a good sprint, but he can certainly bob away on the climbs.
Two riders who are very much in form at the moment are Saeco's Danilo Di Luca and Igor Astarloa. The latter has finished second in the last two rounds of the World Cup, and can be considered an outside chance for the overall victory. But he'll have to pick up a win sooner or later if he is to make up the gap to Bettini and Museeuw.
Gerolsteiner's Davide Rebellin missed the crucial breakaway in San Sebastian, despite putting his team on the front to bring back the breakaway before the climb. He'll no doubt be hoping for a better ride in Zürich.
Other potential candidates for the win include 2000 winner Laurent Dufaux (Alessio), Phonak's Alexandre Moos and Oscar Camenzind, Tacconi's Dario Frigo and Gianluca Bortolami, Rabobank's Michael Boogerd, Index-Alexia's Bo Hamburger, and Lampre's Juan Manuel Garate.
Cyclingnews will be providing live coverage of the Meisterschaft von Zürich from 1530 CEST/0630 PDT/0930 EDT/2330 Aust EST.
First Second Third 2001 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Jan Ullrich (Ger) Fernando Escartin (Spa) 2000 Laurent Dufaux (Swi) Jan Ullrich (Ger) Francesco Casagrande (Ita) 1999 Grzegorz Gwiazdowski (Pol) Sergio Barbero (Ita) Andrei Tchmil (Bel) 1998 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel) Salvatore Commesso (Ita) 1997 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Jan Ullrich (Ger) Rolf Sörensen (Dan) 1996 Andrea Ferrigato (Ita) Michele Bartoli (Ita) Johan Museeuw (Bel) 1995 Johan Museeuw (Bel) Gianni Bugno (Ita) Giorgio Furlan (Ita) 1994 Gianluca Bortolami (Ita) Johan Museeuw (Bel) Maurizio Fondriest (Ita) 1993 Maurizio Fondriest (Ita) Charly Mottet (Fra) Bruno Cenghialta (Ita) 1992 Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus) Lance Armstrong (USA) Jan Nevens (Bel) 1991 Johan Museeuw (Bel) Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Max Sciandri (GB) 1990 Charly Mottet (Fra) Greg Lemond (USA) Claudio Chiappucci (Ita) 1989 Steve Bauer (Can) Acacio Da Silva (Por) Rolf Gölz (Ger) 1988 Steven Rooks (Ned) Rolf Sörensen (Dan) Toni Rominger (Swi) 1987 Rolf Gölz (Ger) Raul Alcala (Mex) Cam Passera (Ita) 1986 Acacio da Silva (P) Steve Bauer (Can) Adri van der Poel (Ned) 1985 Ludo Peeters (Bel) Mario Beccia (Ita) Steve Bauer (Can) 1984 Phil Anderson (Aus) Hubert Seiz (Swi) Pierino Gavazzi (Ita) 1983 Johan van de Velde (Ned) Gilbert Glaus (Swi) Frans Pirard (Ned) 1982 Adri van der Poel (Ned) Hubert Seiz (Swi) Tommy Prim (Swi) 1981 Beat Breu (Swi) Henry Rinklin (Ger) Daniel Willems (Bel) 1980 Gery Verlinden (Bel) Jean-P Vandenbrande (Bel) Stefan Mutter (Swi) 1979 Giuseppe Saronni (Ita) Francesco Moser (Ita) Marc Demeyer (Bel) 1978 Dietrich Thurau (Ger) Francesco Moser (Ita) G. Van Roosbroeck (Bel) 1977 Francesco Moser (Ita) Ron. De Witte (Bel) Walter Godefroot (Bel) 1976 Freddy Maertens (Bel) Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel) Walter Godefroot (Bel) 1975 Roger DE Vlaeminck (Bel) Eddy Merckx (Bel) Franceso Moser (Ita) 1974 Walter Godefroot (Bel) G. Van Roosbroeck (Bel) Frans Verbeeck (Bel) 1973 André Dierrickx (Bel) Hennie Kuiper (Ned) Licien de Brauwere (Bel) 1972 Willy Vanneste (Bel) Vic van Schil (Bel) André Poppe (Bel) 1971 Herman Vanspringel (Bel) Romano Tumellero (Ita) Roland Berland (F) 1970 Walter Godefroot (Bel) Franz Mintjens (Bel) André Dierickx (Bel) 1969 Roger Swerts (Bel) Eddy Beugels (Ned) Roger de Vlaeminck (Bel) 1968 Franco Bitossi (Ita) Walter van Sweevelt (Bel) Marino Basso (Ita) 1967 Robert Hagmann (Swi) Paul Zollinger (Swi) Louis Pfenninger (Swi) 1966 Italo Zilioli (Ita) Luc Armani (Ita) Francis Blanc (Swi) 1965 Franco Bitossi (Ita) Roland Zoeffel (Swi) Jan Hugens (Ned) 1964 Guido Reibrouck (Bel) Gastone Nencini (Ita) Robert Hintermüller (Swi) 1963 Franco Balmanion (Ita) Angelo Conterno (Swi) Vend Barriliera (Ita) 1962 Jan Janssen (Ned) Marc Ongenae (Bel) Raf Gijsles (Ned) 1961 Rolf Maurer (Swi) Heinz Graf (Swi) Andre Noyelle (Bel) 1960 Freddy Ruegg (Swi) Alc. Vaucher (Swi) Arrigo Padovan (Ita) 1959 Angelo Conterno (Ita) Heinz Graf (Swi) Otto Altweck (Ger) 1958 Giuseppe Cainero (Ita) Hans Junkermann (Ger) Heinz Graf (Swi) 1957 Hans Junkermann (Ger) R. Filippi (Ita) L. van der Elst (Bel) 1956 Carlo Clerici (Swi) Giuseppe Cainero (Ita) Heinz Graf (Swi) 1955 Max Schellenberg (Swi) Carlo Lafranchi (Swi) Roland Callebout (Bel) 1954 Hugo Koblet (Swi) Eugen Kamber (Swi) Jean Brun (Swi) 1953 Eugen Kamber (Swi) Arm. Para (Ita) Carlo Clerici (Swi) 1952 Hugo Koblet (Swi) Carlo Clerici (Swi) Fritz Schaer (Swi) 1951 Jean Brun (Swi) Fritz Schaer (Swi) Hans Sommer (Swi) 1950 Fritz Schaer (Swi) Ferdi Kübler (Swi) Désiré Keteleer (Bel) 1949 Fritz Schaer (Swi) C. Danguillaume (Fra) Gottfried Weilenmann (Swi) 1948 Gino Bartali (Ita) Ernest Stettler (Swi) Hans Schütz (Ita) 1947 Charles Guyot (Swi) Renzo Zanazzi (Ita) Ferdi Kübler (Swi) 1946 Gino Bartali (Ita) Fausto Coppi (Ita) H. Bolliger (Swi) 1945 Leo Weilemann (Swi) Hans Maag (Swi) Ernst Naef (Swi) 1944 Ernst Naef (Swi) E. Kuhn (Swi) Hans Knecht (Swi) 1943 Ferdy Kübler (Swi) Kurt Zogg (Swi) Walter Diggelmann (Swi) 1942 Paul Egli (Swi) Walter Diggelmann (Swi) Hans Knecht (Swi) 1941 Walter Diggelmann (Swi) Hans Maag (Swi) Paul Egli (Swi) 1940 Robert Zimmermann (Swi) Walter Diggelmann (Swi) R. Breitenmoser (Swi) 1939 Karl Litschi (Swi) Werner Buchwalder (Swi) Walter Gross (Swi) 1938 Hans Martin (Swi) Walter Blattmann (Swi) Paul Egli (Swi) 1937 Leo Amberg (Swi) Ed Buchwalder (Swi) Werner Buchwalder (Swi) 1936 Werner Buchwalder (Swi) Jean Wauters (Bel) Auguste Erne (Swi) 1935 Paul Egli (Swi) Leo Amberg (Swi) Walter Blattmann (Swi) 1934 Paul Egli (Swi) Auguste Erne (Swi) Alfred Bula (Swi) 1933 Walter Blattmann (Swi) Alfred Bula (Swi) Willi Kutschbach (Ger) 1932 Auguste Erne (Swi) Alfred Bula (Swi) Karl Altenburger (Ger) 1931 Max Bulla (Aut) Karl Altenburger (Ger) Albert Buchi (Swi) 1930 Omer Taverne (Bel) Désiré Louesse (Bel) Max Bulla (Aut) 1929 Henri Suter (Swi) Ludwig Geyer (Ger) Jozef Zind (Ger) 1928 Henri Suter (Swi) Albert Meyer (Swi) Henri Reymond (Swi) 1927 Kastor Notter (Swi) Oskar Tietz (Ger) Félix Manthey (Ger) 1926 Albert Blattmann (Swi) Otto Lehner (Swi) Oskar Tietz (Ger) 1925 Hans Kaspar (Swi) Henri Reymond (Swi) Marcel Perriere (Swi) 1924 Henri Suter (Swi) Kastor Notter (Swi) Max Sutter (Swi) 1923 Adolf Huschke (Ger) Henri Suter (Swi) Kastor Notter (Swi) 1922 Henri Suter (Swi) Hermann Gehrig (Swi) Louis Krauss (Swi) 1921 Ricardo Maffeo (Ita) A. Bani (Ita) Alf Dätwiler (Swi) 1920 Henri Suter (Swi) Josi Zorloni (Swi) F. Francescon (Ita) 1919 Henri Suter (Swi) Emile Strasser (Swi) Hans Lienhard (Swi) 1918 Anton Sieger (Swi) Jakob Sieger (Swi) Heinrich Wegmann (Swi) 1917 Charles Martinet (Ita) Josi Zorloni (Swi) Pascal Valentini (Ita) 1914 Henri Rheinwald (Swi) Otto Wiedmer (Swi) Robert Chopard (Swi) In 1984, Eric McKenzie (NZ) was the winner but was disqualified for doping