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39th Amstel Gold Race - CDM

Netherlands, April 18, 2004

Results    Live report    World Cup standings

Rebellin spoils Boogerd's party

By Jeff Jones in Valkenburg

Rebellin hands Boogerd another defeat
Photo ©: AFP

In his first World Cup win since 1997, Italian Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) knocked perennial favourite Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) into second position in the Amstel Gold Race, a race that Boogerd calls his own after having finished on the podium five times. But Rebellin is no stranger to podiums himself, and has accumulated his fair share of them over the years. This time he nailed it, as Boogerd started his sprint on the Cauberg with 350m to go, which turned out to be far too long for an uphill, two man sprint.

When Cyclingnews asked why he started to sprint that early, Boogerd replied simply, "Because last year [when he finished second] I attacked at the same place and won the sprint." This year, Rebellin was stronger and immediately took Boogerd's wheel, comfortably passing him in the final 100 metres to take his third World Cup win after San Sebastian and Zurich in 1997.

"In the last kilometre I was calm," said Rebellin of his tactics on the Cauberg. "I saw that the finish suited me, I felt in good condition and I wasn't scared of Boogerd."

Rebellin and Boogerd had escaped a six man lead group on the Fromberg with 17 km to go, with Paolo Bettini, Peter Van Petegem, Danilo Di Luca and Matthias Kessler in hot pursuit. "I thought it was a good moment to go," said Rebellin. "We worked perfectly together and it was definitely the right break. We knew what the gap was and maybe there was a bit of risk letting the speed drop, but Boogerd would go, as he certainly didn't want to lose. For me it was perfect that Boogerd led out."

Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner)
Photo ©: AFP

Rebellin's last win in a World Cup was seven years ago, but he attributed his long recess to health problems which he says he has finally put behind him. Often accused of following wheels rather than attacking, Rebellin has renewed strength. "In future you can expect more from me. I think I can continue at this level now."

The death of his friend Denis Zanette early last year has also had a big effect on Rebellin, who, reminiscent of Alexandre Vinokourov/Andrei Kivilev, said "The win today was for Denis Zanette. He was my best friend and I hoped I could win a big race for him and his wife. I certainly got the strength today from Denis Zanette to win."

World Cup leader Steffen Wesemann (T-Mobile) finished 20th today and was able to hold onto his jersey. The German winner of the Ronde van Vlaanderen said that, "It's my objective to hold this jersey for as long as possible. It was hard to change from the style of racing in Paris-Roubaix to the Amstel Gold Race. I'll try to finish in the top 20 in Liege-Bastogne-Liege, but to win that race will be very hard."

How it unfolded

The peloton
Photo ©: Olympia

184 riders started in Maastricht's Markt at 10:15am under sunny skies. The key factor today was the wind, which was blowing strongly from the south, and would wreak havoc with the peloton as it twisted and turned along the narrow roads in southern Limburg. The temperatures crept up to 14 degrees, although later on in the day the riders were greeted with rain.

The first serious attack came after 15 km and contained favourite Erik Dekker (Rabobank), who took Johan Van Summeren (Relax-Bodysol) and Jan Kuyckx (Vlaanderen) with him. The trio was able to get up to 3'00 lead after 48 km before Dekker was ordered back to the peloton. In the meantime, Peter Wuyts (Mr. Bookmaker) and Alain van Katwijk (BankGiroLoterij) set off in pursuit of the break, but they never caught them - the closest they came was 1'10 at km 55 and they came back to the peloton at km 130.

Rabobank in control
Photo ©: AFP

A crash at km 28 took out Beat Zberg (Gerolsteiner) and Niels Scheuneman (Relax-Bodysol) with Zberg having to go to hospital with knee and head injuries. Beat's brother Markus was also involved in a crash later on, but survived to play an important part in the finale.

Van Summeren and Kuyckx battled hard at the head of the race to increase their advantage to 9'40 after 105 km, the maximum they were able to obtain. The peloton was controlled by Rabobank, who were determined to keep their key men Boogerd, Dekker and Freire in top positions. The chase behind started now, with Maarten den Bakker and Steven de Jongh doing a lot of work for the home boys in orange.

Van Summeren and Kuyckx
Photo ©: CN

The two leaders continued to ride a good race, and on the second climb of the Cauberg (km 170) they were 5'00 clear. The action in the peloton started to heat up at this point, with Dutchman Leon van Bon (Lotto-Domo) trying several moves, all of which were unsuccessful. With 60 km to go, a group of five with Aldag (T-Mobile), Rogers (Quick.Step), Kroon (Rabobank), Vierhouten (Lotto-Domo), and Van Velzen (Jacques) tried to escape the bunch and close the two minute gap to the leaders. They succeeded in catching Kuyckx on the Bemelerberg, where Aldag and Kroon dropped the rest of the group. Van Summeren followed soon after when he punctured, a somewhat ignomious end to a 185 km breakaway.

The presence of a T-Mobile and Rabobank rider up the road forced Fassa Bortolo to do a lot of the chasing, and Ferretti's men caught Aldag and Kroon with 46 km to go, prompting a new round of attacks from Horrillo, Merckx, Ivanov, Mazzoleni, M. Zberg, Coenen, Sorensen, Popovych, Verheyen, Dekker and Landis. But the first really decisive move came from blond German Matthias Kessler (T-Mobile), who attacked on the Eyserbosweg with 20 km to go, taking Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step), Michael Boogerd (Rabobank), Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner), Peter Van Petegem (Lotto-Domo) and Danilo Di Luca (Saeco) with him.

Van Petegem and Boogerd
Photo ©: Sirotti

The six men put their horsepower to good use and rode away from the now shattered peloton. Erik Dekker, Michele Bartoli, Oscar Camenzind, Floyd Landis formed part of a chase group, but Dekker's continual accelerations disrupted their rhythm and the six leaders could not be caught.

Rebellin took the race in hand on the Fromberg with 17 km to go, taking Michael Boogerd with him and assuming the leadership of the race. The pair realised that they needed to put time into riders like Bettini and Van Petegem, and worked hard to establish a gap over the four chasers. They stuck together over the Keutenberg, with its nasty 22 percent grade, and opened up 30 seconds lead to Bettini and co., which was enough insurance for the finishing climb of the Cauberg.

Davide Rebellin wins
Photo ©: Sirotti

There was therefore time for tactics to be played out on the Cauberg, as Rebellin led all the way up the climb at a gradually slowing pace, with a very nervous Boogerd on his wheel, checking behind to see where the chasers were. After one final glance back, Boogerd accelerated hard with 350m to go as the Cauberg began to level out, but it was not enough. Rebellin easily took his wheel and waited until the last 100m, when he was able to sail round Boogerd for his third World Cup win after San Sebastian and Zurich in 1997.

Bettini led home Di Luca, Van Petegem and Kessler in the chase group, while Dekker put in a nice solo effort to finish seventh. But for the second time in two years, the super favourite Michael Boogerd had to settle for second place behind someone quicker than him on the day.


Images by Fotoreporter Sirotti

Images by Olympia Photo

Images by AFP Photo

Images by DCP-Bert Geerts

Results - 251 km

1 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                           6.23.44 (39.262 km/h)
2 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank                                  0.01
3 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon                        0.18
4 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Saeco                                          
5 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Lotto-Domo                                  
6 Matthias Kessler (Ger) T-Mobile Team                            0.26
7 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank                                      0.41
8 Sergei Ivanov (Rus) T-Mobile Team                               0.52
9 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Saeco                                     0.53
10 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Liberty Seguros                         0.55
11 Oscar Camenzind (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems                   0.57
12 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon                        1.00
13 Axel Merckx (Bel) Lotto-Domo                                   1.12
14 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank                              1.16
15 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Team CSC                                     
16 Erik Zabel (Ger) T-Mobile Team                                     
17 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Saeco                                         
18 Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel) Fassa Bortolo                            
19 Arcos Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Liberty Seguros                      
20 Steffen Wesemann (Swi) T-Mobile Team                               
21 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team CSC                                      
22 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Domina Vacanze                              
23 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems                        
24 Serhiy Honchar (Ukr) De Nardi                                      
25 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance                         1.23
26 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems                     
27 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile Team                       1.28
28 Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) Alessio-Bianchi                          
29 Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal Service-Berry Floor                   
30 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi                            
31 Jose Azevedo (Por) US Postal Service-Berry Floor               1.44
32 Jose Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) US Postal Service-Berry Floor    1.54
33 Pedro Horrillo Munoz (Spa) Quick.Step-Davitamon                3.43
34 Phillippe Gilbert (Bel) FDJeux.com                                 
35 Michael Barry (Can) US Postal Service-Berry Floor                  
36 Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi                         
37 Paolo Valoti (Ita) Domina Vacanze                                  
38 Geert Verheyen (Bel) Chocolade Jacques Wincor-Nixdorf              
39 Marc Lotz (Ned) Rabobank                                           
40 Markus Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner                                    
41 Michael Blaudzun (Den) Team CSC                                    
42 Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Quick.Step-Davitamon                       
43 Rolf Aldag (Ger) T-Mobile Team                                     
44 Wim Vanhuffel (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim                           
45 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto                   
46 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Rabobank                                   3.55
47 Andrea Noe (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi                                   
48 Bram Tankink (Ned) Quick.Step-Davitamon                            
49 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago                         
50 Cristian Moreni (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi                              
51 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Liberty Seguros                          
52 Gregory Rast (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems                          
53 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Fassa Bortolo                              
54 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Lampre                                     
55 Erwin Thijs (Bel) MrBookmaker.com-Palmans                      6.13
56 Johan Coenen (Bel) MrBookmaker.com-Palmans                         
57 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                  
58 Koos Moerenhout (Ned) Lotto-Domo                                   
59 Massimiliano Gentili (Ita) Domina Vacanze                          
60 Chris Peers (Bel) Chocolade Jacques Wincor-Nixdorf                 
61 Andrej Hauptman (Slo) Lampre                                       
62 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon                          
63 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team CSC                                   
64 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Domina Vacanze                             
65 Daniele Nardello (Swi) T-Mobile Team                               
66 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC                                       
67 Benoit Joachim (Lux) US Postal Service-Berry Floor                 
68 Ellis Rastelli (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi                               
69 Uan Ant Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Fassa Bortolo                        
70 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Lotto-Domo                                   
71 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago                6.46
72 Leon Van Bon (Ned) Lotto-Domo                                  6.56
73 Bert Hiemstra (Ned) Chocolade Jacques Wincor-Nixdorf           7.50
74 Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJeux.com                                   8.37
75 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                            9.15
76 Osé Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto             9.55
77 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Liberty Seguros                        
78 Alexander Bazhenov (Rus) Domina Vacanze                       11.23
79 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) Ag2R Prevoyance                          11.31
80 Francesco Failli (Ita) Domina Vacanze                         11.44
81 Massimo Giunti (Ita) Domina Vacanze                                
82 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Gerolsteiner                                   
83 Simone Cadamuro (Ita) De Nardi                                     
84 Dariusz Baranowski (Pol) Liberty Seguros                           
85 Roger Hammond (GBr) MrBookmaker.com-Palmans                        
86 Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2R Prevoyance                                 
87 Javier Ramirez Abeja (Spa) Liberty Seguros                         
88 Paolo Bossoni (Ita) Lampre                                         
89 Gianluca Bortolami (Ita) Lampre                                    
90 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre                                     
91 Uros Mum (Slo) Phonak Hearing Systems                              
92 Jan Van Velzen (Ned) Chocolade Jacques Wincor-Nixdorf              
93 Davide Bramati (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon                          
94 Nico Mattan (Bel) Relax-Bodysol                               11.56
95 Roberto Petito (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                                 
96 Daniele Righi (Ita) Lampre                                         
97 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago                 12.04
98 Pieter Mertens (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim                          
99 Ruslan Ivanov (Mda) Alessio-Bianchi                                
100 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Fassa Bortolo                                   
101 Filippo Simeoni (Ita) Domina Vacanze                              

World Cup standings after round 4
1 Steffen Wesemann (Ger) T-Mobile Team                             116 pts
2 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank                                115
3 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner                               100
4 Magnus Backstedt (Swe) Alessio-Bianchi                           100
5 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon                          94
6 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Lotto-Domo                                94
7 Leif Hoste (Bel) Lotto-Domo                                       84
8 Erik Zabel (Ger) T-Mobile                                         80
9 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank                                        79
10 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank                                   76
11 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) Team CSC                                   70
12 Leon Van Bon (Ned) Lotto-Domo                                    68
13 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service-Berry Floor              53
14 Roger Hammond (GBr) MrBookmaker-Palmans                          50
15 Dave Bruylandts (Bel) Chocolade Jacques Wincor-Nixdorf           50
16 Stuart O'grady (Aus) Credit Agricole                             50
17 Johan Museeuw (Bel) Quick.Step-Davitamon                         47
18 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Lampre                                   43
19 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Saeco                                       40
20 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Fassa Bortolo                            40
21 Alessadro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                           40
22 Frank Hoj (Den) Team CSC                                         40
23 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) T-Mobile Team                               40
24 Andreas Klier (Ger) T-Mobile Team                                37
25 Max Van Heeswijk (Ned) US Postal Service-Berry Floor             36
26 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Saeco                                      34
27 Mathiaa Kessler (Ger) T-Mobile Team                              32
28 Igor Astraloa (Spa) Cofidis                                      32
29 Rolf Aldag (Ger) T-Mobile Team                                   28
30 Antonio Flecha G. Juan (Spa) Fassa Bortolo                       27
31 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick.Step-Davitamon                            21
32 Angel Martin Perdiguero Miguel (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir        20
33 Giampalo Casuro (Ita) Liberty Seguros                            16
34 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Team CSC                                   16
35 Oscar Camenzind (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems                     15
36 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Lotto-Domo                                15
37 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon                          14
38 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance                           14
39 Axel Mercks (Bel) Lotto-Domo                                     13
40 Ludo Dierckxsens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago                   12
41 Jorg Ludewig (Ger) Saeco                                         12
42 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) FDJeux.com                                12
43 Fabio Baldato (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi                              12
44 Daniele Nardello (Ita) T-Mobile Team                             11
45 Josu Silloniz Aresti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                     11
46 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Saeco                                        9
47 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole                                9
48 Guido Trenti (USA) Fassa Bortolo                                  9
49 Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel) Fassa Bortolo                           8
50 Frederic Guesdon (Fra) FDJeux.com                                 8
51 Xavier Florencio C. (Spa) Relax-Bodysol                           8
52 Marcus Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner                                   8
53 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2R Prevoyance                               8
54 Marcos Serano Roddriguez (Spa) Liberty Seguros                    7
55 Roberto Petito (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                                7
56 Cristian Moreni (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi                             7
57 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Team CSC                                     6
58 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                   6
59 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team CSC                                     5
60 Stijn Devolder (Bel) US Postal Service-Berry Floor                5
61 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Domina Vacanze                             4
62 Michele Gobbi (Ita) De Nardi                                      4
63 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems                       3
64 Lars Michaelsen (Den) Team CSC                                    3
65 Inigo Landaluze (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                           3
66 Serhiy Honchar (Ukr) De Nardi                                     2
67 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                   2
68 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago                   2
69 Christophe Mengin (Fra) FDJeux.com                                1
70 Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros                                 1
1 T Mobile                                                        35 pts
2 Lotto-Domo                                                      26
3 Rabobank                                                        25
4 Quick.Step-Davitamon                                            22
5 Fassa Bortolo                                                   18

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