HEW-Cyclassics-Cup - ProT
Hamburg, Germany, July 31, 2005
Commentary by Jeff Jones
Live coverage starts: 15:00 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:30 CEST
Welcome to Cyclingnews and the Hindenburg
IV (patent pending) for the live coverage of the 10th HEW Cyclassics Cup
in Hamburg, Germany. This race is the youngest of the so-called "Classics",
which used to be collected into the World Cup series. But things have become
a little more blurred with the ProTour this year, and it is now merely part
of the ProTour calendar. Despite this, HEW does kick off the second half of
the classics season, with Clasica San Sebastian, Championship of Zurich, Paris-Tours,
and Giro di Lombardia to follow.
Today's circuit is slightly different
from years gone by, and the traditionally bumpy course takes a new turn into
the countryside south of Hamburg, peaking with the moderate climb of Langenrehm
after 58 km. It then maintains the finishing loop established in the 2004 edition
with a view to make life harder for the sprinters, making the bunch climb the
Waseberg (a 600 metre wall of up to 16%) four times, with the last coming at
15 km to go. Then it's a downhill/flat run into Hamburg for the final sprint.
15:10 CEST 140.5km/110km to go
The story so far:
Although it was sunny before the start in Hamburg, by the time the gun went
off at 11 o'clock, it had started to rain. The usual early attacks ended up
with Domina Vacanze's Jörg Ludewig getting clear after 25 km. He was chased
down by Leif Hoste (Discovery Channel) and André Greipel (Team Wiesenhof), but
the three only came together at the 105 km mark. The peloton had let them go,
and coming up to the Waseberg for the first time, the trio had 12'00.
T-Mobile and Gerolsteiner have taken the responsibility to chase, as the top
two German teams, both with excellent victory chances (Zabel, Ullrich for T-Mobile,
and Rebellin for Gerolsteiner).
15:20 CEST 152.5km/98km to go
Hoste is first
to the top of the Waseberg for the first time, beating Ludewig and Greipel for
the points. Greipel can't hang on, and is trying to chase the two more experienced
riders in front. They roll down to the finish line, where Hoste takes the sprint
points on the line ahead of Ludewig. Greipel is 4 minutes behind - he's gone.
At last report, the peloton was at 15'20. They're going to have to pull their
fingers out to get these two in front, as there's less than 98 km to go.
15:30 CEST 154.5km/96km to go
The peloton has
started to wake up a bit, and at the finish line passage with around 100 km
to go, it has reduced the gap to Ludewig and Hoste to 13'00. It's still T-Mobile
and Gerolsteiner doing the hard yards on the front of the bunch.
15:43 CEST 168.5km/82km to go
Ludewig and Hoste
continue to hammer away in front - they have a real chance of making it today.
As they reach the feed zone with 87 km to go, the peloton hasn't made much more
ground up. In fact, the gap is out to 14'20 again!
15:57 CEST 178.5km/72km to go
lent its strength to the chase, as Ludewig and Hoste tackle the Waseberg for
the second time. The gap is coming down, but will it be enough?
16:03 CEST 180.5km/70km to go
Ludewig takes the
points on the Waseberg this time, ahead of Hoste. The isolated Greipel is third
across the top of the 600m/16% climb.
16:04 CEST 185.5km/65km to go
A chasing group
has extracted itself from the peloton with Salvatore Commesso (Lampre) in it.
Saunier Duval has a man there, but the yellow jerseys are also leading the peloton.
Jan Ullrich is in fifth wheel.
The gap to the two leaders is 8'58...
16:07 CEST 188.5km/62km to go
Thomas Dekker (Rabobank)
bridges the gap to the chase group, as the peloton bears down on it. Lorenzo
Bernucci (Fassa) and José Ivan Gutierrez (Illes Balears) are also in the group,
but it's all together now.
Save for the three in front. The wet
weather has probably aided their chances of staying away. It looks like they
should do it, but the peloton will have to be organised.
16:09 CEST 194.5km/56km to go
The two leaders
reach the line for the second time with Ludewig leading Hoste across, looking
tired but determined. Their team cars have their windscreen wipers on, although
it's not raining that hard.
16:10 CEST 195.5km/55km to go
Another chase group
has counter attacked the peloton, with Sergei Ivanov (T-Mobile) driving it ahead
of Rene Haselbacher (Gerolsteiner). But the peloton is not too far behind.
The bunch is very strung out as it
heads back to the start/finish, led by a couple of Lampre riders. Ivanov is
still near the front, with one of his teammates up there too. Haselbacher does
another strong turn. Obviously Gerolsteiner is not working for him today.
16:14 CEST 197.5km/53km to go
Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step)
has also moved up, with Nico Mattan (Davitamon-Lotto) next to him. They're riding
quite hard, and will have to in order to recapture the two leaders. It's possible,
but there will have to be no mistakes.
16:17 CEST 198.5km/52km to go
Hoste and Ludewig
are now 9'07 ahead of the charging peloton, where Bettini does a turn as it
crosses the finish line. The 8'58 reported previously was more like 10'00, as
the GPS updating seems to be a bit awry.
16:19 CEST 200.5km/50km to go
Ullrich is sitting
in about 10th wheel, ahead of Pozzato. Will he get the chance to go for the
victory today? Doesn't look like it at the moment.
Tom Boonen has
abandoned. That probably won't put the brakes on Quick.Step's chase, as Paolini,
Bettini, and Pozzato are still good. Now Barloworld is in front, with Sean Sullivan
doing a big turn. The bunch is in one long line.
Hoste and Ludewig are maintaining
their tempo, as the Discovery rider pulls an energy bar out of his sodden jersey
pocket and engulfs it. Their pace is still quite good, but they'll be hurting
a lot now. The rain makes it hard to keep going too.
It's now Gerolsteiner and Barloworld
doing the chasing, with Ivanov the token T-Mobile rider. It is a very solid
chase - you can tell by the length of the peloton at the moment.
16:24 CEST 203.5km/47km to go
Of the two leaders,
Ludewig looks to be more comfortable. He has just ridden the tour de France,
so has a few more racing kilometres in his legs. But then again, Hoste will
be fresh. They do fairly short turns as they hit the headwind.
16:27 CEST 207.5km/43km to go
Danilo Di Luca, clad in his rather grey looking outfit, is being moved up towards
the front of the peloton by his Liquigas teammates.
has two men chasing the two leaders, together with Gerolsteiner and Barloworld.
Greipel was caught before the last passage of the finish line. The gap is 7'30-ish.
16:29 CEST 209.5km/41km to go
The two leaders
keep up a good tempo into the headwind. They're both big guys, and well suited
to riding in front in the rain. Of course, the peloton is going faster, but
it looks like it will finish a little short, maybe by one or two minutes. We'll
see on the next climb of the Waseberg.
Fassa also has a man in the chase.
It looks like nine or two riders chasing, mostly from Gerolsteiner. Stephan
Schreck is one of the T-Mobiles.
16:33 CEST 210.5km/40km to go
is the rider from Fassa in the chase. It's a really solid tempo on the wide
roads - quite easy to hold a high speed. 6'59 to the leaders, with just under
40 km to go.
16:35 CEST 212.5km/38km to go
The peloton will
have to ride just over 6 km/h faster than the two man break in front, to make
sure of catching them in 39 km. It's possible.
16:37 CEST 213.5km/37km to go
It's a relentless
pace behind the two leaders, with the gap now just 6'16 and falling fairly fast.
Barloworld, Rabobank, Gerolsteiner and T-Mobile are doing a lot of damage.
Ludewig and Hoste continue. Ludewig gets some more food from his team car, and
sucks it down.
Now the fluoro green Liquigas boys
are moving up to the front with Di Luca up to fourth wheel. Milesi does a big
turn, then swings off.
16:40 CEST 215.5km/35km to go
The rain starts
to fall again lightly as the bunch heads towards the Elbe and the third climb
of the Waseberg, now just 5'11 behind the leading pair. Haselbacher is doing
a great job. Wesemann is there too for T-Mobile.
Hoste is stretching
on the bike. He's pretty knackered.
16:42 CEST 217.5km/33km to go
It's the big figure
of Stephan Schreck on the front again as the peloton gets nervous. Zabel and
Ullrich are very close. Now Wegmann does a strong turn.
is doing a good job - so far - of avoiding the numerous road splits and traffic
islands. It helps having ridden the laps before.
Eric Baumann (T-Mobile) is towards
the rear of the bunch, having done a fair chunk of work earlier today.
16:44 CEST 217.5km/33km to go
Now Tosatto lifts
the pace as the spray off the road blinds the riders behind. Wegmann is in second
wheel, and they're getting very close to the Waseberg.
16:46 CEST 219.5km/31km to go
The gap is down
to 3'56! Ludewig leads Hoste on the approach to the Waseberg. They're hurting
with every pedal stroke now, even if Ludewig looks relatively comfy.
16:47 CEST 220.5km/30km to go
The peloton shows
no respite as it takes the sharp left hander and starts the approach to the
feared climb. 600 metres at 16 percent can do a lot of damage. Still Tosatto
in front, then Wegmann, Wesemann and a Rabobank rider.
Wegmann takes over from Tosatto as
the nervous riders behind move up. Everyone wants to be in front for the Waseberg.
This time will probably split the bunch in half.
16:49 CEST 221.5km/29km to go
Hoste and Ludewig
take the short but steep descent just before the climb really starts. They are
going very slow, as it's quite dangerous.
Now T-Mobile has taken over in front
of the bunch, with Klier and Wesemann towing Ullrich and De Jongh. The gap is
Finally, the leading pair take the
left hander and are on the Waseberg, with Ludewig doing the first turn. Hoste
hangs on grimly.
16:51 CEST 222.5km/28km to go
The gradient steeps
and Hoste suffers, but takes the lead. Thousands of fans are spinning noisemakers
as Hoste rides away from Ludewig! Impressive from the Belgian!
Hoste reaches the top with a 20 second
gap over Ludewig, who looks really sore.
Thomas Ziegler (Gerolsteiner)
has crashed in the peloton, which is near the foot of the climb.
Ullrich takes the lead - he's in
his small chainring at least. Guidi is next to him, then Paolini and Pozzato
Ullrich muscles his way to the top,
just ahead of Guidi, Pozzato and Paolini. They have a bit of a gap on the peloton,
led by Gerolsteiner. The gap is just 1'21 to Hoste!
The peloton is in bits as it tackles
the tricky section in between the top and the descent. Ullrich continues to
lead the two Quick.Steps and Phonak rider.
16:55 CEST 224.5km/26km to go
More riders come
back to the Ullrich group. Wegmann is there, and Rebellin.
has just 1'15 of his lead left. He's really suffering.
The Ullrich/Rebellin chase group
grows to 25 riders. Ullrich does a big turn and Pozzato marks him.
Ullrich sits up as Tankink and Gussev
attack. Tosatto(?) gives chase.
16:59 CEST 225.5km/25km to go
It's not Tosatto,
it's Marco Velo. He takes an age to get up to Tankink and Gussev, but succeeds.
They have 10 seconds on the next group of chasers, where Ullrich sits at the
Leif Hoste is still alone in front,
being chased by Jörg Ludewig (Domina Vacanze), then a trio with Bram Tankink
(Quick.Step), Vladimir Gussev (CSC), and Marco Velo (Fassa Bortolo). His gap
is under a minute though.
It's 53 seconds between Hoste and
the three chasers, who will surely catch Ludewig soon.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch... the
peloton is reforming behind the three chasers, as T-Mobile regroups on the front.
Klier, Ivanov and Wesemann are working hard. Also a Gerolsteiner or two there.
17:03 CEST 227.5km/23km to go
- last year's winner - also shows himself near the front of the peloton. Rabobank
moves up to help T-Mobile a bit. Or is it just to keep De Jongh out of the wind?
Ludewig has been caught by Gussev and co.
17:06 CEST 230.5km/20km to go
Ludewig does his
level best to hang onto the three fresh chasers, who are just 30 seconds from
Leif Hoste. The peloton is at 1'00. Hoste hits another climb, just before the
last time up the Waseberg (no finish line on this lap).
The bunch is also on the pre-Waseberg
climb, with Ivanov doing his best to drive the pace. The bunch is 15 seconds
behind the three chasers, and about 30 seconds behind Hoste.
is on his way back to the bunch.
Hoste has now been caught by the
chasing three. It's over for him. Tankink says "well done!"
17:08 CEST 232.5km/18km to go
We now have four
leaders: Leif Hoste (Discovery), Bram Tankink (Quick.Step), Vladimir Gussev
(CSC), Marco Velo (Fassa Bortolo). They are on the tricky descent before the
last climb of the Waseberg, with the T-Mobile led peloton just 15 seconds back.
17:09 CEST 233.5km/17km to go
The bunch can see
the four leaders just out of reach as they near the Waseberg. Tankink in front
again, puffing. They're on the climb!
Hoste is dropped immediately.
Gussev does a turn as the climb steepens.
They have a 15 second gap still, as the peloton swallows Hoste whole. Velo looks
back. Yep, they're coming.
17:11 CEST 234.5km/16km to go
Ullrich leads the
bunch again, pedaling a lower gear than last time. Still Pozzato on his wheel.
He rides past Gussev and Velo as Tankink goes over the top first. Zabel is right
up there too!
Alessandro Petacchi has crashed.
Velo and Gussev are back with Tankink,
with Ullrich and Greg Rast (Phonak) just behind. Rebellin is there, as is Juan
Antonio Flecha. Serguei Gonchar is trying to get up to them.
17:15 CEST 236.5km/14km to go
Rast now takes
the lead, with Gussev, Velo and Tankink coming through too. Rebellin is in fifth,
with Pozzato on his wheel. More riders are coming back to them. Ullrich is there,
but might choose to wait for Zabel. Or he might attack...
It's Elmiger, not Rast. These Phonak
Swiss champions all look the same to me.
17:16 CEST 238.5km/12km to go
A group of about
15 is riding to the finish, the survivors of the last time up the Waseberg.
Fassa has four men there! Cancellara, Velo, Bernucci and Flecha.
17:18 CEST 239.5km/11km to go
Di Luca is trying
to chase onto the leaders in a group that also contains Erik Zabel.
Ullrich wonders what to do. He's not really a sprinter, but might be able to
do something here.
Grabsch and Commesso are in the lead group too.
A rough composition of the front
group: Ullrich, Gussev, Flecha, Velo, Cancellara, Bernucci, Rebellin, Pozzato,
Paolini, Tankink, Elmiger, Grabsch, Commesso, Gonchar.
behind is terrible, as Kim Kirchen slows the pace.
17:19 CEST 241.5km/9km to go
Flecha now does
a turn on the front of the lead group. Fassa really has the numbers here, but
Quick.Step has Tankink, Pozzato and Paolini. The latter two are in good form,
finishing 1-2 in a stage of the Tour de la Region Wallonne last week.
17:21 CEST 242.5km/8km to go
A note for our readers:
no, the aliens will not drop off Lance Armstrong so that he can win today. We
apologise for the inconvenience. Normal service will be resumed shortly.
25 seconds between the two front groups. O'Grady is in the second group, along
with Voeckler, Zabel, Di Luca, Bodrogi...
Now Bert Grabsch does a big turn.
Well, it's more of a stealth attack by riding off the front. Tankink hasn't
got the gas to chase him down, and looks for support from Fassa Bortolo. Grabsch
17:23 CEST 243.5km/7km to go
Grabsch holds a
slender lead over the Fassa-led front group. The German Phonak rider looks back
but keeps pedaling hard. They're coming back though.
17:23 CEST 244.5km/6km to go
Grabsch is swallowed
with just over 6 km to go. Tankink takes over in front.
17:24 CEST 245.5km/5km to go
Velo now does a
turn with Flecha in tow. They're obviously setting this up for Cance.
The Di Luca group is at 30 seconds. Not coming back today.
It's a Fassa/Quick.Step lead out
for Cancellara, Pozzato, and Paolini. If Quick.Step works out beforehand who
to lead out today, then they might have it in the bag.
17:26 CEST 247.5km/3km to go
The chasers are
making some ground, pegging it back to 23 seconds.
Allan Davis is
in the front group too! As is Seb Joly (CA). Davis is probably the best sprinter
on paper. But it's not done on paper.
Rebellin sits second last wheel ahead
of Paolini with 3 km to go. Ullrich in third last.
17:27 CEST 248.5km/2km to go
Flecha and Bernucci
continue to drive the tempo as Cancellara gets a good sit behind.
A couple of Cofidis riders are leading the chasing bunch, but it might be too
late for them.
Tankink drives it hard, 16 seconds
is the gap. They'll really need to floor it to ensure they stay away.
Davis starts to move up, on Cancellara's
17:28 CEST 249km/1.5km to go
Tankink goes under
2 km to go with the tiring Fassa riders behind.
are improving though - 12 seconds to his group.
Tankink gives it everything, but
there's not much left. 1 km to go nearly.
17:29 CEST 249.5km/1km to go
Now the speed lifts
as Bernucci drives it up. The chasers won't get them.
Ullrich is not doing much other than
sit on at the back.
The leaders are into the final straight
now with 500m to go. Flecha leads it out for Cancellara.
17:30 CEST 250.5km/0km to go
Davis is still on
Cancellara's wheel, then hits out ... but Pozzato and Paolini come round him
to take 1-2!!!! Amazing! Pozzato wins!
Pozzato just got it from Paolini,
who did a great bike throw to get ahead of Davis in the final 10 metres for
second place. Rebellin was fourth, ahead of Cancellara.
It's been confirmed: Filippo Pozzato
is the winner of the 10th HEW Cyclassics Cup ahead of Luca Paolini. You can
all go and claim your money from the bookies now. Danilo Di Luca should keep
the ProTour leader's jersey.
That's all from us from a damp Hamburg.
Until next week's Clasica San Sebastian - see you then!
1 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Quick.Step 6.00.58
2 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quick.Step
3 Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros
4 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
5 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Fassa Bortolo
6 Salvatore Commesso (Ita) Lampre-Caffita
7 Martin Elimiger (Swi) Phonak
8 Vladimir Gussev (Rus) Team CSC
1 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 184 pts
2 Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 139
3 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile Team 136
4 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 120
5 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 111
6 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 101
7 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team 98
8 Santiago Botero Echeverry (Col) Phonak Hearing Systems 95