96th Paris-Tours - CDM
France, October 6, 2002
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Complete Live Report
Start time: 11:10 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:00 CEST
Welcome to Cyclingnews.com's coverage of the 96th Paris-Tours, the 9th and penultimate
round of the World Cup, held over fairly flat 254 km parcours starting from
St Arnoult-en-Yvelines near Paris, and finishing in Tours' Avenue de Grammont.
With the World Cup standings so close this year between Paolo Bettini (272
pts) and Johan Museeuw (270 pts), Paris-Tours is a crucial race for both riders.
A clear advantage gained here will be hard to overcome in the last round, the
Giro di Lombardia on October 19. Both Bettini and Museeuw are favourites to
win this race, with Bettini probably have the best form at the moment - he beat
Mario Cipollini in a bunch sprint in the Giro di Lucca a few days ago, so look
Further down the World Cup standings we have Igor Astarloa (Saeco) in third
on 152 points, Michele Bartoli (Fassa) on 142 points and Dario Frigo (Tacconi)
on 136 points. With a really good performance in the final rounds, any one of
these riders could take the World Cup as well.
The weather today is cool and windy, with rain clearing at the start to give
the riders sunny skies.
14:10 CEST - 126 km
An update on the situation in the race: five riders attacked after 5 kilometres,
and have established a decent sized lead over the peloton. The five are (of
course) Jacky Durand (FDJeux.com), Glenn d'Hollander (Lotto-Adecco), Jakob Piil
(CSC-Tiscali), Francisco Mancebo (iBanesto.com) and Samuel Dumoulin (Jean Delatour).
Jose Cayetana Julia Cegarra (Kelme) decided to chase them, but he missed the
boat and is stranded in the middle somewhere.
After 40 km, the break had 2'50 on the peloton, and this grew to 7'50 at the
85 km mark. Cegarra was 3'30 behind them at that point.
Paris-Tours is not only an important race for the World Cup this year, but it
also serves as the final serious preparation race for the World Championships
road race next Sunday in Zolder. More so than in previous years, Paris-Tours
should be a good predictor for Zolder, and many of the favourites for that race
are also here, including : Paolo Bettini (Mapei), Johan Museeuw (Domo), Mario
Cipollini (Acqua e Sapone), Robbie McEwen and Peter Van Petegem (Lotto-Adecco),
Erik Zabel (Telekom), Tom Boonen (USPS), Laurent Jalabert (CSC), Gianluca Bortolami
(Tacconi), EBaden Cooke and Jimmy Casper (FDJeux.com), Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa
Bortolo), and Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2r).
Roger Dargaville, an Aussie ex pat living in Paris, points out that there are
seven Australian riders on the start list of Paris-Tours, which is probably
a record. It's a reflection of the increasing quality of talent that has come
from Australia in the last few years, helped along by several government backed
development programs. Paris-Tours has one Australian winner: Phil Anderson in
1986, who beat Jean-Louis Pellion and Charly Mottet when the race was run between
Creteil and Chaville known as the Grand Prix d'Automne.
15:00 CEST - 171 km/83 km to go
The five leaders, Jacky Durand (FDJeux.com), Glenn d'Hollander (Lotto-Adecco),
Jakob Piil (CSC-Tiscali), Francisco Mancebo (iBanesto.com) and Samuel Dumoulin
(Jean Delatour), are still away and working together smoothly. They have seven
minutes on the peloton with 83 km to go. Their maximum lead was nine minutes.
There are three riders chasing them at 5'47: Olivier Asmaker (CSC), Jean Michel
Tessier (Cofidis), and Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner)
15:10 CEST - 178 km/76 km to go
The average speed after four hours is 44.5 km/h, give or take a little. The
riders have a 3/4 tailwind which is assisting the break. These five have been
away for 173 km, and have a good chance of staying clear.
The peloton has started to wake up a little, with a Fassa Bortolo rider and
a few Acqua e Sapone riders getting to the front. They'll have to work hard
15:19 CEST - 186 km/68 km to go
Jacky Durand and Jakob Pill look to be the strongest riders in the break as
they negotiate a small climb. Paco Mancebo is also doing his turns, with a little
more effort. Glenn d'Hollander and Samuel Dumoulin are on the back of the break,
feeling the effects of being in front all day.
The three chasers - Asmaker, Tessier and Lang - are at 4'55, while the peloton
is still at 7'10.
Telekom and Fassa Bortolo are leading the chase with a little more urgency
15:24 CEST - 191 km/63 km to go
The lead is gradually dropping, but the peloton looks to be running out of kilometres.
It's now 6'51 to the five leaders, with the three chasers at 4'39 behind the
15:30 CEST - 196 km/58 km to go
The break is flying along, although d'Hollander appears to be spending a lot
of time on or off the back. It's up to Durand, Piil, Mancebo and Dumoulin to
do the work. d'Hollander has an excuse too, as his teammate Robbie McEwen is
in the peloton, and one of the favourites to win today.
4'30 behind them are three riders: Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner), Olivier Asmaker
(CSC) and Jean Michel Tessier (Cofidis). The peloton is at 6'30, led by FDJeux.com(?),
Fassa Bortolo, Telekom, Mapei and Acqua e Sapone.
15:37 CEST - 201 km/53 km to go
The leaders are on the remarkably named Cote de la Pagode de Chantaloupe, which
is completely unremarkable otherwise (except for the Chinese pagoda nearby).
Glenn d'Hollander has installed himself at the back of the break and the other
four are making do. The peloton, still led by telekom, Fassa bortolo, Acqua
e Sapone and the odd Mapei rider, is chasing hard at 6 minutes behind. The three
men in between are gradually closing the gap too.
Durand extols his companions to continue working hard, and casts a number of
suspicious looks at Glenn d'Hollander, who returns them impassively. The gaps:
3'49 to the three chasers, and 5'49 to the peloton.
15:45 CEST - 206 km/48 km to go
More Acqua e Sapone jerseys appear at the front, to join the Telekom/Fassa Bortolo
chase. It will come down to the wire it seems, but the peloton should be able
to pull them back.
Frank Vandenbroucke (Domo-Farm Frites) has abandoned, because of a fall in
the peloton a few minutes ago.
15:55 CEST - 214 km/40 km to go
Mario Cipollini is moving to the front of the peloton, which is closing in on
the three chasers Asmaker, Lang and Tessier. The five man break has 4.03 with
40 km to go, and is running out of legs.
Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) has abandoned.
16:02 CEST - 219 km/35 km to go
The three chasers are just 27" in front of the peloton, which is riding
hard in pursuit of them and the other five: Durand, Piil, Mancebo, Dumoulin
and d'Hollander. The latest gap was 3'50.
16:08 CEST - 223 km/31 km to go
The three chasers, Asmaker, Tessier and Lang still haven't been caught surprisingly,
despite the high pace in the peloton. However, they are going to have a hard
time reaching the front five by themselves.
The peloton is still led by Telekom, Acqua e Sapone and Fassa Bortolo.
16:12 CEST - 225 km/29 km to go
Asmaker has attacked his two companions, and is making a solo bid to catch the
leading five. Tessier fell, which explains why Asmaker is now solo. 3'20 by
himself is a big ask though. The pair get back together but realise it's pointless
and go back to the peloton. Lang was caught also.
Mancebo is dropped as Durand accelerates on a climb. There are now four leaders:
Durand, Piil, Dumoulin and d'Hollander, who is working now.
16:20 CEST - 220 km/24 km to go
The leading four, Glenn d'Hollander (Lotto), Samuel Dumoulin (Jean Delatour),
Jacky Durand (FDJeux.com) and Jakob Piil (CSC) are still in with a real shout
to win this 96th Paris-Tours. The peloton behind them is chasing hard, courtesy
of Telekom and Fassa Bortolo, and closing the gap slowly. It was 2'50 at 25
km to go.
Paolo Bettini (Mapei) is very close to the front, hoping to stay out of trouble
and finish ahead of Museeuw.
16:25 CEST - 224 km/20 km to go
The four leaders have 20 km to go, and are still looking good to stay away,
as they have 2'40 on the Fassa led peloton. A couple of Rabobank riders are
also helping the chase.
One of the pre race favourites, Robbie McEwen told French TV this morning that
Bartoli was the man to watch, not Cipo et. al. The sprinters would watch each
other and Bartoli stood the best chance to escape at the end.
16:28 CEST - 226 km/18 km to go
Mancebo is absorbed by the peloton which is still being led by Fassa Bortolo.
A number of riders are being shelled out the back due to the corners and narrow
roads, which make life tough following with a strong wind. The gap is still
16:33 CEST - 230 km/14 km to go
With 14 km to go, the gap is still over 2 minutes. It looks as though Durand,
d'Hollander, Piil and Dumoulin will stay away. Fassa Bortolo are doing their
best to get them back, but it's difficult. Petacchi is their man for the sprint.
16:34 CEST - 231 km/13 km to go
Piil attacks, but Durand chases him down. Durand goes through for a turn, and
they have gapped d'Hollander and Dumoulin. The gap is 1'55 to the peloton with
12 km to go.
16:37 CEST - 234 km/10 km to go
10 km to go for Durand and Piil, who have gotten rid of d'Hollander and Dumoulin.
The peloton will not get them, as the difference is still 1'45.
Jaan Kirsipuu was one of the favourites for the win today, but it looks as
though he'll miss out. "If it arrives in a sprint, it's not so important
to be well-placed at the start of the (2km) finishing straight, because it's
very long and it's easier to move up. One must be well-placed at the right moment,"
16:40 CEST - 237 km/7 km to go
Piil and Durand hit the Cote de l'Epan with 7.5 km to go. Piil rides in front,
and doesn't attack Durand. It's a tough little climb, and Durand must be thinking
of what happened last year when Richard Virenque dropped him to win Paris-Tours.
Both Piil and Durand look knackered at the top, with Piil trying to get the
Frenchman to come through for a turn.
The Fassa Bortolo peloton hits the climb, 1'50 behind the leaders and 1'25
behind d'Hollander and Dumoulin. Bartoli attacks, somewhat predictably. A teammate
- Petacchi? comes with him. Tom Boonen is also chasing them.
16:43 CEST - 239 km/5 km to go
Piil and Durand have 30" on d'Hollander and Dumoulin and 1'25 on Bartoli
and Petacchi as they hit the Cote de Petit pas d'Ane, the last climb.
Petacchi and Bartoli are 1'14 behind the two leaders at the climb, so they
have a chance of catching d'Hollander and Dumoulin. Johan Museeuw has caught
Bartoli and Petacchi on the climb!
16:47 CEST - 241 km/3 km to go
Museeuw has a chance of reclaiming the World Cup lead, if he holds off Bettini
to the finish. He is working with Bartoli and Petacchi now. He won't win the
race though, as Piil and Durand are now in the Avenue de Grammont, and D'Hollander
and Dumoulin are still in the middle.
Piil is at the front, and Durand is sitting on him.
16:49 CEST - 243 km/1 km to go
It's a race within a race, as Piil and Durand are going for the win, while Museeuw
is going for the World Cup lead. Durand refuses to do a turn, and Piil sits
up and looks back at him.
16:51 CEST - 244 km/0 km to go
Durand attacks, but Piil is strong. Piil gets his wheel and comes round and
wins! Durand simply went too early, as he gave Piil plenty of time to get his
wheel, rest a little, and jump for the line in the last 50m.
The peloton has caught everyone else, and it's Zabel who wins the sprint from
Rene Haselbacher and Romans Vainsteins.
Paolo Bettini gained some more points for the World Cup, and he now has 279
points compared to Museeuw's 270. One more round, meaning that Museeuw is going
to have to have an incredible ride in Lombardy to win.
1 Jakob Piil (Den) CSC-Tiscali 5.37.14
2 Jacky Durand (Fra) FDJeux.com
3 Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom
4 Rene Haselbacher (Aut) Gerolsteiner
5 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Domo-Farm Frites
6 Jose Enrique Gutierrez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca
7 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport
8 Jo Planckaert (Bel) Cofidis
9 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
10 Julian Dean (NZl) CSC-Tiscali
World Cup standings after round 9
1 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 279 pts
2 Johan Museeuw (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites 270
3 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport 180
4 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 142
5 Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport 136
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