96th Milan - San Remo - PT
Italy, March 19, 2005
and profile Start
Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from Tim Maloney and
Complete live report
Live coverage starts: 9:30 CET
Estimated finish time: 16:45 CET
Welcome to Milan for the live coverage of the 94th Milan-San Remo, brought to
you by the diligent and hard working Cyclingnews team. Today is
294 km of racing starting in Milan in the northwest of Italy and finishing in
San Remo on the southwestern Mediterranean coastline, which is not actually that
far from Nice, France. The parcours is pretty much the same as it is every year,
with a flat first 125 km, then the Passo Turchino (532m) with its summit at km
144, then the mostly flat run into San Remo along the coast. The crescendo to
the finale builds all the way along the final 100 km, with the small climbs of
Capo Mele (km 240), Capo Cervo (km 246), Capo Berta (km 255) preceding the Cipressa
at km 270. Then it's a mad 25 km dash to the finish via the Poggio (km 290) and
its tortuous descent before the final run into the finish on San Remo's Via Roma.
Photo ©: Marco Bardella
It's a race that every Italian dreams about winning, and you can be sure that
there will be the usual do or die efforts by the Italians today.
It is a beautiful warm spring morning here in Milan, and it's already 15 degrees
with sparkling sunshine and not a cloud in the sky. The weather forecast is for
a nice day, in the upper 20's on the coast. There will be a libeccio wind
from the northeast, which means a tailwind for the riders all day. It'll be hard,
as usual, for anyone to get away.
09:38 CET 2km/292km to go
The official start was given at 9:35am, with 195 riders rolling out.
There are 25 teams at the start here in Milan: the 20 ProTour teams as well
as Acqua & Sapone, Team LPR, Naturino-Sapore di Mare, Ceramica Panaria Navigare
Two fairly big name riders did not start: Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto) and
George Hincapie (Discovery Channel). Both pulled out due to upper respiratory
tract illnesses, and that will really hurt their teams' chances. Cyclingnews'
Tim Maloney spoke to Discovery Channel director Dirk Demol before the start
and asked him how things were going. "Bad. George and Max are not starting,
so we don't have our guys to win."
09:59 CET 18km/276km to go
The peloton is still together after a fast and nervous start. No-one has been
able to get away yet.
The third non-starter today was Ivan Fanelli (LPR), also because of an upper
respiratory tract infection.
After the withdrawals of Hincapie and Van Heeswijk, young Belgian prodigy Stijn
Devolder will be Discovery Channel's leader for today. Stijn has been lighting
it up on the Flemish roads in the opening races there, and is a very strong rider.
"My preparation has been good," Devolder told Cyclingnews today. I'll try
to do something. I don't know where. I'll wait for the right moment."
Photo ©: CN
Dig Captain America!
Davitamon-Lotto's new top man after McEwen's withdrawal is Fred Rodriguez, who
placed second in Milan-San Remo behind Mario Cipollini in 2002. The American champion
was relaxed when we spoke to him this morning in Milan. "I'm happy about my form
right now. I'm still recovering from my crash in Paris-Nice. I know this race
and feel like I can do well today. The only difference between today and last
time  is that I have a 54 tooth chainring. When I tried to pass Cipo last
time, I didn't have that extra push, but today I do."
Photo ©: CN
10:37 CET 42km/252km to go
Lampre-Caffita is particularly aggressive at the front of the peloton, trying
to get into a move.
The temperature is now up to 20 degrees as the peloton races through Pavia.
That's my boy:
It's hard to pick between the two top favourites today, but recent form suggests
that Oscar Freire may have the edge over Alessandro Petacchi. Freire blasted to
three consecutive stage wins in Tirreno-Adriatico before easing off the throttle
and allowing his team to carry him to overall victory. He didn't even contest
the final sprint on the last stage (won by Petacchi) so as not to risk a crash.
Photo ©: CN
Cyclingnews' Tim Maloney spoke to the World Champion and ProTour leader
before the start today, and Freire was very concentrated and quite nervous, and
visibly not too happy about riding the ProTour jersey compared to the World Champion's
rainbow stripes. "I feel really good. I'm at the top of my form and I'm ready,"
he told us.
11:01 CET 62km/232km to go
The first hour was raced at an average of 42.785 km/h, which is extremely fast
for any Italian race. Normally the average speed barely creeps above 30 for
the first two hours. Then again, this is the biggest one day race on the Italian
11:15 CET 76km/218km to go
Apparently, there was a successful attack at km 33, and we can now give
you the names in the break: Jimmy Casper (Cofidis), Iñaki Isasi Flores (Euskaltel-Euskadi),
Daniele Righi (Lampre-Caffita), Mauro Santambrogio (LPR) and Filippo Simeoni
(Naturino). At km 50, they had 4'20 over a group containing Antonio Bucciero
(Acqua&Sapone) and Antonio Salomone (Barloworld-Valsir) and 6'15 over the peloton.
At km 55, this had increased to 5'30 over the two chasers and 11'15 over the
11:31 CET 84km/210km to go
Besides Oscar Freire, the other big favourite is Alessandro Petacchi. The Fassa
Bortolo top man has seemingly lost none of his speed from last year, despite losing
weight. He has already notched up an impressive 11 wins from his 20 racing days
so far this season.
Photo ©: CN
"I feel great," said Petacchi, who was also looking nervous and concentrated.
"Freire is the favourite. My team will be helping me. I think it will be a great
11:46 CET 90km/204km to go
The peloton has slowed down, relative to the two breakaway groups, and at km
62, the gaps were 4'52 between group 1 (Casper, Flores, Righi, Santambrogio,
Simeoni) and group 2 (Bucciero, Salomone) and a largish 16'15 back to the peloton.
At km 72 in Tortona, the gaps were 5'40 and 17'40.
The leading riders averaged 40.6 km/h for the second hour, which means they
are now getting near the Turchino Pass. They are not mucking around.
Only Binda, Gimondi and Merckx and Saronni (twice) won Milan-San Remo while
wearing the World Champion's colours. How does Oscar Freire rate his chances
(even though he is actually in the ProTour jersey)?
The Spaniard told Het Nieuwsblad yesterday, "I'm not Merckx hey! It would
of course be nice. What is that, riding Milan-San Remo? Well, first it's riding
250 kilometres without crashing, without attacking. And then? Make no mistakes,
only the right decisions. There's no ideal formula. Two years ago I jumped with
that attack that went nowhere and I stayed put when Bettini made the right move.
When Cipollini won, I probably did my strongest sprint ever on the Via Roma,
but I had to come from that far back that it was wasted. You see, that too is
Tom Boonen (Quick.Step)
How important is La Primavera to Tom Boonen? "For me this is the start
of the first important classics period," Boonen told Het Nieuwsblad. "But
victory in Sanremo will never evoke the same sentiments in me as Bettini would
experience. It's a special classic, because it's the first one, but the Tour of
Flanders and the Hell [Paris-Roubaix] mean so much more to me. The Ronde, in front
of my own people, has got a bit more prestige. Only few are able to win them both.
Photo ©: Marco Bardella
"Fassa Bortolo will automatically have to carry the weight in this race. Rabobank,
T-Mobile, Liquigas: they're all allies. If they get across the Poggio, then I
will too. I think the race won't really break open on the Poggio. Too many teams
have got the same interests.
"My teammates have worked through 10 possible scenarios. I'm not occupied by that.
In principle, Milan-Sanremo is a fat, shitty race. Three hundred kilometres riding
to do a sprint with fifty, sixty guys. It's a nice sight though.
"I won't be fighting to sit in Petacchi's nor Freire's slipstream. I will do my
own sprint, intuitive. If I can ride that perfectly, there might as well be ten
Freires and Petas around."
12:18 CET 105km/189km to go
The five leaders are approaching Capriata d'Orba, with the last time check at
km 92 revealing that they still have 16'50 on the peloton. The two chasers,
Bucciero and Salomone, are at 6'50 and fighting a losing battle.
a) Tom Boonen really said MSR was a "fat, shitty race" (dikke strontkoers).
By "fat", he meant "big", "wicked", or even "fully sick", i.e. "good". But the
"stront" qualifier makes it "bad".
b) The leaders only averaged 40.6 km/h in the second hour, not 46 km/h.
Cyclingnews spoke to Boonen's Quick.Step teammate Guido Trenti this morning
at the start. Trenti has ridden in the service of Petacchi for the past few years,
and knows what it's like to be the leadout man for a big sprinter.
Photo ©: CN
"Tom's in good shape and really positive," said the Italian based American. "We
have a great team. We've got Boonen if it comes to a sprint and we've also got
Bettini. So we think we have a good chance today."
12:37 CET 122km/172km to go
Bucciero and Salomone have seemingly realised (or are paying for) their folly
of chasing in between the breakaway and the peloton, and have dropped back to
9'15 behind the lead break of five riders at km 100. The peloton has maintained
its distance to the leaders, and is still at 16'50.
12:46 CET 128km/166km to go
The average speed after three hours racing is 40.216 km/h - not really lightning
fast, but there's a long way to go. The five leaders - Casper, Flores, Righi,
Santambrogio and Simeoni have been away for nearly 100 km now. Their attack
started at km 33.
13:03 CET 140km/154km to go
MSR Joker Sergio Marinangeli
A bit of a dark horse today is Sergio Marinangeli (Naturino). He was second in
the Italian championships in 2004 (he almost beat Cristian Moreni after 250 km)
and showed a surprising turn of speed in the last stage of Tirreno-Adriatico.
"I'm hoping I can do something today. I feel really good," he told Cyclingnews
at the start.
Photo ©: CN
The leaders are now on the Turchino Pass, which has its summit at 532m.
13:11 CET 144km/150km to go
The last time check we got was at km 118 in Ovada, where the five leaders had
10'53 on Bucciero and Salomone, and 16'08 to the peloton. The two chasers appear
to be persisting with their efforts, probably because they can.
Can the Lion roar again?
One reader has asked how Mario Cipollini looks today. Well, the 2002 MSR winner
wasn't talking much at the start, and he had a "major race face on" according
to our reporter Tim Maloney. Cipo is quite focused this year, and if he can get
over the climbs, then he'll be a contender.
Photo ©: CN
13:33 CET 158km/136km to go
The five leaders, Casper, Righi, Flores, Santambrogio and Simeoni, have crossed
the Turchino Pass now and are racing down towards the coastline through Voltri
and towards Varazze. At the feed zone at the foot of the Turchino (km 135),
they had 13'05 on Bucciero and Salomone and 15'05 over the peloton, which is
being controlled by the strong sprinters teams.
23 year-old Allan Davis is another one of the dark horse sprinter favourites
for today, and Cyclingnews' Anthony Tan spoke
to him last night in Milan to get his comments about today.
"I've been thinking of this race for a while now, especially since I've been
training for this race since November," said the Liberty Seguros leader. "It's
pretty much my first big goal of the season, so yeah, I'm a bit nervous, but
I know in the back of my mind that I couldn't be more ready than what I am now
for this race. I've stayed healthy for a long time now, and everything's gone
to plan, so that is always handy to have in the back of my mind."
Regarding the race, Davis knows what he has to do: "With this race, you need
to be at the front for the start of the Cipressa and also at the front for the
start of the descent, because there's a lot of switchbacks. But you need a bit
of luck on your side, too; you're hoping there'll be no crashes in the position
you're in, particularly before the start of the climb. Once it gets onto the
coast road, it's mad - everyone's got the same idea - but that's what makes
the race what it is, I think, so you need a bit of luck as well as good legs
on the day."
Davis went into detail about the finale in an interview with Ride Cycling Review's
Rob Arnold. "Normally the first selection is sorted out on the Cipressa
and then you get to the Poggio and it's full-gas to the finish. Actually, last
year it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be so I took it a bit easier
over the top and lost a lost of positions. Once it got on the descent it was
all twisty. I went over the top in about 30th or 40th position in the main group
and saw the bunch get strung out on the descent - all in one single line - and
the five guys at the front were all Fassa Bortolo driving it through to the
finish. It was single-file all the way; I virtually didn't move up a from where
I started at the top of the hill with eight or so kilometres still to go.
"That was one thing I took note of. Without that experience I wouldn't know
where I have to be on those final two climbs. If it happens that way again,
I'll know that it's VERY hard to move up in the bunch; it's that fast!"
13:48 CET 154km/140km to go
The average speed after four hours was 38.534 km/h, dropping slightly because
of the Turchino Pass.
Bucciero and Salomone were caught on the Turchino, after not even making it
halfway. In these types of races, if you're not in the leading group, you may
as well be back in the peloton.
The last time check at the top of the Turchino was 13'45, down from a maximum
14:03 CET 164km/130km to go
The gap has stabilised a bit, with the five leaders Casper, Righi, Santambrogio,
Flores and Simeoni having 14'10 over the peloton at Genova Voltri (km 155).
Liberty Seguros is leading the bunch, obviously fancying the chances of Davis
A reader has asked us what the rule of thumb is for the peloton to catch a breakaway,
when it is so many minutes ahead. It used to be 1 minute every 10 km,
but with the advent of more organised and stronger teams, a bunch can pull back
2 minutes in 10 kilometres if and when it's necessary. Even more so in this
race, because it's so long and the breakaways will be more tired towards the
14:32 CET 196km/98km to go
The gap between the breakaway and the peloton continues to fall gently, and
the latest check was at 12'30 with 125 km to go.
In the leading five man break is Jimmy Casper, who is a teammate of Stuart O'Grady
at Cofidis. The Aussie is the Cofidis team captain for today, and he was confident
at the start. "I'm here and I'm feeling good," he said. "I'm going to try to win
the race. The team is 100 percent behind me. They'll try to keep me in good position.
After the Cipressa we'll see what happens."
Photo ©: CN
As for Casper, he's been suffering a bit in the break, but he was still in contact
at km 184, when the gap was 13'20.
14:45 CET 202km/92km to go
The average speed after five hours is a moderate 39.233 km/h. It will get a
lot faster from now on as we get into the finale.
We've now posted a whole gallery of photos
from the start of Milan-San Remo. Check 'em out!
14:54 CET 208km/86km to go
Gerolsteiner is now doing a bit of chasing work, pulling the gap down to 11'15.
They're interested in their sprinter Danilo Hondo for the finale, with Davide
Rebellin also a chance.
15:05 CET 215km/79km to go
The five leaders, Jimmy Casper (Cofidis), Iñaki Isasi Flores (Euskaltel-Euskadi),
Daniele Righi (Lampre-Caffita), Mauro Santambrogio (LPR) and Filippo Simeoni
(Naturino), have been away since km 33 and will definitely reach the milestone
of 200 km out in front. Their advantage is dropping very quickly.
15:09 CET 220km/74km to go
The advantage is dropping very quickly indeed! At Finale Ligure (km 209) it
was just 5'40. The leaders are cooked, and the peloton is travelling now.
An update from the women's race, where we will have a full report later on:
Trixi Worrack (Nürnberger) won from Nicole Cooke (Safi) and Oenone Wood (Nürnberger),
which means the latter should keep the World Cup lead.
15:11 CET 221km/73km to go
The five leaders are working together well, as they have done all day. But with
just 4'25 over the peloton, it's a lost cause. Fassa Bortolo is working hard
in the bunch, of course.
15:15 CET 223km/71km to go
It's not just Fassa working - Gerolsteiner, Domina Vacanze, Liberty Seguros,
Rabobank are all up the front of the peloton, hammering.
The leaders are at the second feed zone now at Ceriale. They all grab feed bags.
They've been away for 190 km!
15:17 CET 225km/69km to go
The peloton roars through the feed zone now, just a couple of minutes behind
15:22 CET 230km/64km to go
Alberto Contador (Liberty) does a big turn on the front of the bunch, hands
draped over the tops. The break certainly hasn't sat up, but it is not long
for this world. Several readers have remarked the Simeoni has shown panache
by being in front. We won't hold that against him though.
15:25 CET 231km/63km to go
Righi, Simeoni and then Casper do turns as the leaders cross a small climb along
the coast. They're really suffering though.
15:27 CET 232km/62km to go
For Liquigas-Bianchi, Magnus Bäckstedt is doing the hard yards in front of the
peloton. A long string of riders are behind him. A few Lampre jerseys are up
there too, but probably not chasing as they've got a man in front.
15:32 CET 234km/60km to go
60 clicks to go and Casper, Simeoni, Flores, Santambrogio and Righi are still
away, fighting off the juggernaut of the peloton, where Liberty, Liquigas and
Fassa are chasing. They're right along the beach front at the moment, and the
bunch is about 1'30 behind.
15:36 CET 239km/55km to go
A new team has got to the front of the bunch - Saunier Duval, with two men.
They'll be working for Constantino Zaballa and possibly Angel Edo.
In front, Righi looks very tired. So does Casper. Flores doesn't look great.
Santambrogio looks knackered. Simeoni looks relatively smooth. See what panache
36 seconds now. It's all over.
15:37 CET 241km/53km to go
They've been racing for six hours now as one of the Saunier riders takes off
from the peloton in pursuit of the dying breakaway. He has about 5 seconds.
It looks like Andrea Tafi is the Saunier rider in pursuit. He still has 5 seconds,
and has almost caught the break.
15:41 CET 244km/50km to go
Tafi looks back and sees that he has increased his lead. He's almost on the
back wheels of the leading riders. Then he blows up and the peloton blasts past
him and the rest of the break with 50 km to go. Fassa and Cofidis (with Vasseur)
15:44 CET 246km/48km to go
The break lasted 211 km, but was never going to stay away with so many teams
working for a bunch sprint.
The big legs of Jans Koerts are now at the front of the compact peloton as it
heads into the last 50 km.
Andrea Peron (CSC) was caught up in a crash about 10 km ago. Fortunately, he
was not seriously hurt.
15:48 CET 250km/44km to go
The battle is heating up to get to the front, and the speed is up around the
50 km/h mark. Cofidis have three men in front now. Fred Rodriguez (Lotto) can
be spotted next to Erik Zabel in about 30th position. Plenty of Liquigas jerseys
protecting Cipo, who is near the front. Right next to Freire and PEtacchi.
There are plenty of people gathered on the sides of the roads to watch the peloton
flash past in about 5 seconds.
The sprinters are really concentrated near the front. Davis is also up there,
as well as Boonen.
15:52 CET 252km/42km to go
Mirko Celestino is right up there too - look for him to make an attack late
in the race.
Here comes the cold helmet of Bettini, who has Boonen right behind him. They
are in forward positions as they ride up Capo Berta. Vasseur is still leading
with a Discovery rider - Hayden Roulston - on his wheel. Well, Roulston is having
a bit of trouble holding Vasseur's pace and lets a gap go. Matteo Tosatto is
next in line.
Valerio Agnoli (Naturino) attacks.
15:55 CET 255km/39km to go
Agnoli has 5 seconds as he gives it everything on the Capo Berta. He looks back
and sees that he doesn't have enough.
The Celestino fan club has perched on the side of the road, cheering them all
Agnoli is caught by one of the Panaria riders (Luca Mazzanti) and the peloton.
Then one of his teammates tries to counter but Mazzanti is right no him.
15:56 CET 257km/37km to go
Mazzanti assumes the aero position on the descent, and the bunch strings out
on one long line behind him. Panaria don't have Brown or Grillo here today,
so they'll probably work to get Sella away or something like that.
16:13 CET 267km/27km to go
Freire is in about eighth wheel - he's strong today. Petacchi is close to him
too. Di Luca is up there, right behind the four Panaria riders.
Now Cipo himself gets to the front, looking very smooth. Then some Fassa riders
have a mini-conference. Kirchen is right up there.
Crash! A big one, with a Liquigas rider and Cristian Moreni (Quick.Step). Leif
Hoste (Discovery) is there, as is Klier, Pospyeyev (Acqua e Sapone). Cars on
the side of the road probably didn't help that. Moreni abandons.
The crash has split the peloton into two parts, and it looks like Valverde is
in the second bit.
Now Marc Wauters is on the front for Rabobank, powering it along.
Masciarelli tries to attack but goes nowhere. They hit the Cipressa, all together.
16:15 CET 270km/24km to go
Francesco Casagrande (Naturino) attacks on the Cipressa, along with Mazzanti,
Andrey Kashechkin and a Saunier rider. They get caught, then Casagrande goes
again with Paolo Tiralongo.
Valverde is in the first group.
Tiralongo and Casagrande can't get much of a lead as they near the top of the
Cipressa. A Liberty rider closes the gap. Commesso and Ludewig are dropped.
Valverde looks reasonably good now.
16:18 CET 273km/21km to go
Now it's Sella (Panaria) who counters over the top of the Cipressa, and gets
a small gap. The peloton is moving so fast, that it's incredibly hard to get
16:19 CET 276km/18km to go
On the descent of the Cipressa it's Mirko Celestino who attacks, flying down
the roads that he knows so well. But Fassa is right on him. Five leaders with
a bit of a break over the bunch.
16:22 CET 277km/17km to go
Bettini is up there in fifth wheel behind Celestino. Vinokourov is leading a
chase, with Boonen coming up. He gets a handsling from the T-Mobile rider.
Bettini attacks on his own, looking back, surrounded by motorbikes.
Bettini is joined by Andrey Kashechkin (CA) in front. The Kazakh has been riding
strongly of late.
The two leaders have 15 seconds as Fassa masses in front of the peloton again.
Kirchen is prominent. The Poggio nears. Cipo is right up the front of the peloton,
which numbers some 50 riders after that crash split things up.
16 seconds as Bettini looks back.
16:26 CET 278km/16km to go
There are five Fassas leading the peloton 16 seconds behind Bettini and Kashechkin.
Cipo, Petacchi, Freire, Guidi, Rodriguez, Jaksche, O'Grady, Hondo and Valverde
are all in the front part of the greatly reduced peloton.
16:28 CET 279km/15km to go
The gap has grown to 26 seconds as the two leaders power away from seven Fassa
Bortolo riders on the front of the peloton. Petacchi's men have some work to
do - you don't let Bettini get a gap...
16:29 CET 281km/13km to go
Rabobank has now got men in front, as have Panaria. Fassa needs the help, as
the gap is now half a minute to Bettini and Kashechkin. Amazing riding at this
end of the race.
16:31 CET 283km/11km to go
It looks like Zabel is up there in the front group, so is Boonen. So pretty
well most of the sprinters are there.
The two leaders are at 23 seconds on the Capo Verde.
16:32 CET 285km/9km to go
Less than 10 km to go and the Poggio nears. Thor Hushovd (CA) is also in the
peloton. Let the fireworks begin! Fassa has the numbers, but...
Bettini and Kashechkin have 10 seconds over the top of the Capo Verde. It doesn't
look good for them now.
16:34 CET 286km/8km to go
The leading pair are losing time as Vicioso bridges the gap to them. And passes
them. He's flying. They're on the Poggio now.
16:36 CET 287km/7km to go
Vicioso flies up the Poggio, leading Milan-San Remo. He has to use the brakes
on the hairpins. He has a very small lead as Paolo Tiralongo bridges up to him.
16:36 CET 287.5km/6.5km to go
But the peloton closes the gap and Vino attacks with Mazzanti on his wheel.
Less than 7 km to go.
16:37 CET 288km/6km to go
Rebellin counters with Pellizotti on his wheel, then Kirchen. Small gap at the
16:37 CET 288km/6km to go
Rebellin, Kirchen, Pellizotti, Merckx and Celestino have a small lead over the
top of the Poggio.
16:39 CET 289km/5km to go
Rebellin, Kirchen, Pellizotti, Merckx and Celestino hit the descent with about
5 seconds lead over the bunch. It's all strung out behind. Cipo and Hondo are
in about 20th position. Cipo looks good.
16:40 CET 290km/4km to go
Valverde is also up with the five in front. The gap is too small though.
Valverde does a turn on the front as they fly down the descent. He's got a small
gap, but the peloton is not far off their back wheels. Bettini and Boonen are
very well placed.
16:42 CET 291km/3km to go
They're at the bottom of the descent with 3 km left, and Rebellin, Kirchen,
Pellizotti, Merckx, Valverde and Celestino have a small gap on two chasers from
16:42 CET 292km/2km to go
Hushovd and a Fassa rider join the leaders, then the rest of the peloton. 2
Cipo nearly crashes but he's well placed near the front. Philippe Gilbert is
in second wheel and attacks. Nope. Fassa masses with two riders. Then Bettini
Brochard attacks! He gets four metres.
16:43 CET 293km/1km to go
Brochard is caught at the 1 km to go.
16:44 CET 294km/0km to go
They hit the Via Roma for a mass sprint. Cipo is in eighth. Hushovd is well
placed next to Hondo. Fassa leads out then Bettini in second wheel. Bettini
jumps, then stops. Boonen has to go by himself.
But Petacchi wins Milan San Remo!!!!!!!! Hondo second, then Hushovd, O'Grady,
Gilbert and Freire. That was a huge win by Petacchi - no-one got close to beating
him. He even had time to look back with 20 m to go before he let out his victory
yell. He's pretty happy. Who's fat now?
1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 7.11.39 (40.866 km/h)
2 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Gerolsteiner
3 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole
4 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone
5 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank
6 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française des Jeux
7 Ruggero Marzoli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Adria Mobil
8 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep
9 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas - Bianchi
10 Manuele Mori (Ita) Saunier Duval - Prodir