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100th Milano-Sanremo - HIS

Italy, March 21, 2009

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Cavendish pips Haussler on the line

By Bjorn Haake and Susan Westemeyer, with additional reporting by Gregor Brown in Sanremo

A happy Cav wins in the last second
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Mark Cavendish of Team Columbia-Highroad defied the skeptics, coming over the climbs near the finish to take the bunch sprint and win the 100th Milano-Sanremo. He pipped Cervélo's Heinrich Haussler, who opened the sprint, at the line to snatch the victory away. Haussler's teammate Thor Hushovd rounded out the podium.

Cavendish was well aware that nobody expected him to do anything today, due to his young age of just 23 years. "I wanted to prove I am more than just a sprinter, but a great rider – that is what I did today."

Cavendish was hugged by none other than four-time winner Erik Zabel at the finish. Zabel is now coaching the Columbia-Highroad sprinters and the German cried for the first time in Sanremo. "Yes, it was quite emotional. When Mark was still in the first group, and then he did that perfect sprint... we are very happy. That was a big number!"

The Cervélo TestTeam almost crossed Cavendish's plan. "When Haussler went it took us all by surprise. I waited for a moment and then I had to close the gap along the barrier. It was touch and go, I did not know if I was going to get him," Cavendish said.

Haussler gave it all, but missed it by a few centimetres
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The Cervélo duo Haussler and Hushovd did not only surprise the others, but even themselves. Haussler shot past the others like a rocket. "I yelled at Thor, 'Come on, get on my wheel,' and then I went. I was going too fast and he could not get on my wheel."

Haussler realised he had to do it by himself and went all out, quickly gaining a seemingly insurmountable lead of several bike lengths. But Cavendish pulled himself back into contention, although he still needed to get around Haussler. Cavendish's quest was helped by Haussler, who had Cavendish perfectly locked in on the left hand side of the road. Haussler moved towards the middle, opening up the road for Cavendish, who took the win by a small margin.

One of the few riders to try to prevent a sprint by attacking on the Poggio was Filippo Pozzato (Katusha), but the tactics didn't suit him today. "We went too slow on the first climb [Cipressa], so we were not able to make the difference. Afterwards it was Liquigas who was pulling at a high speed. Even if you tried it would have been useless."

Armstrong during his first Sanremo since 2002
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Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali set indeed a blistering pace in the latter part of the course. Pozzato went hard near the top of the Poggio and pulled away with Davide Rebellin (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli). However, the gap was too small and their attempt was brought back on the descent.

Cavendish was hanging on at the end of the group for dear life. But after the descent he worked his way up to find George Hincapie's rear wheel, and they went that way into the final kilometre.

Other sprinters didn't figure in the end. Allan Davis, who was supposed to ride for his Quick Step captain Tom Boonen, ended the day in fourth, after Boonen stopped pedaling early and rolled in in 15th place.

It was a nice, sunny day in Milano, when the peloton took off at 9:45. The speed was fast right from the start, with an average of 48 km/h in the first two hours of racing.

The break of the day was large, with 11 riders taking off early. Giampaolo Cheula (Barloworld), Mikhail Ignatiev (Team Katusha), Yuriy Krivtsov (AG2R), Christophe Le Mevel (Française des Jeux), Sebastian Lang (Silence-Lotto), Bernhard Eisel (Team Columbia-Highroad), Thomas Bertolini (Diquigiovanni), Sébastien Turgot (Bouygues Telecom), Maxim Belkov (ISD), Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Team Saxo Bank) and Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank).

Ivan Basso worked hard for Liquigas
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After a bit of reshuffling, seven riders were left at the front after the climb of Le Manie. Cheula, Krivtsov, Le Mevel, Belkov, Klostergaard, Tjallingii and Turgot.

Over the Capo Berta Turgot attacked, but was quickly reeled back in. The bunch had come agonizingly close and was less than a minute behind. The break survived over the Cipressa, but Krivtsov and Klostergaard were the last to be reeled in.

First break attempts
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The Cipressa brought a fast, but steady pace. It was urgent enough to reduce the contenders to a group of 40 or 50 riders. American Lance Armstrong (Astana) lost contact over the Cipressa and was in the second group, but he was hardly alone. Only 40-50 riders survived the penultimate climb.

On the front there were no attacks from small groups or individual riders, like seen in the past few years. The big group stayed together on the descent of the Cipressa and on the flat section towards the Poggio.

The only thing that changed was the gap to the peloton, which was up to 1:15 by the time the Poggio was reached.

The field was still together for most of the climb. It wasn't until a few hundred metres from the top when Pozzato and Rebellin tried their luck, but they were quickly brought back, leaving this year's Primavera to the sprinters.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Sirotti/www.sirotti.it

Images by AFP Photo

Results - 298km

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Columbia - Highroad                           6.42.45 (44,420 km/h)
2 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Cervélo TestTeam                                       
3 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervélo TestTeam                                             0.02    
4 Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step                                                   
5 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini                            
6 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas                                                 
7 Aitor Galdos (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                                    
8 Enrico Rossi (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce                       
9 Luca Paolini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo                         
10 Peter Velits (Svk) Team Milram                                                
11 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                                          
12 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale                                         
13 Greg van Avermaet (Bel) Silence-Lotto                                         
14 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo Bank                                            
15 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step                                             
16 Assan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana                                                    
17 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.                                   
18 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram                                             
19 Julian Dean (NZl) Garmin - Slipstream                                         
20 Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.                                            
21 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank                                       
22 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Team Katusha                                            
23 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Silence-Lotto                                          
24 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Team Milram                                              
25 Egoi Martínez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                                         
26 Carlo Scognamiglio (Ita) Barloworld                                           
27 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Française des Jeux                                       
28 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Française des Jeux                                    
29 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Rabobank                                            
30 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) ISD                                                   
31 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Slipstream                                      
32 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Rabobank                                                    
33 Andreas Klier (Ger) Cervélo TestTeam                                          
34 Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                                      
35 Nicholas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale                                          0.07     
36 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Fuji-Servetto                                             
37 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step                                             
38 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli         
39 George Hincapie (USA) Team Columbia - Highroad                                
40 Murilo Fischer (Bra) Liquigas                                                  0.10     
41 Luca Danilo Di (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini                                 0.14     
42 Lorenzo Bernucci (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini                              
43 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step                                               
44 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas                                                     
45 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas                                              
46 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli        
47 Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini                           
48 Jérome Pineau (Fra) Quick Step                                                
49 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas                                                
50 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo                         
51 Yoann Offredo (Fra) Française des Jeux                                         0.22     
52 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana                                                   0.53     
53 Robert Hunter (RSA) Barloworld                                                 1.03 
54 Gabriele Bosisio (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini                              
55 Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                                          
56 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick Step                                               
57 Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Caisse d'Epargne                                        
58 David Loosli (Swi) Lampre - N.G.C.                                            
59 Imanol Erviti (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                                           1.51     
60 Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Cervélo TestTeam                                          
61 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Silence-Lotto                                         3.53     
62 Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli    
63 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Astana                                                
64 William Frischkorn (USA) Garmin - Slipstream                                  
65 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Team Katusha                                              8.19
66 Marco Corti (Ita) Barloworld                                                  
67 Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Team Katusha                                              
68 Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo                         
69 José Joaquín Rojas (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne          
70 Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom                                     
71 Said Haddou (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom                                       
72 Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Liquigas                                             
73 Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo                        
74 Josep Jufré (Spa) Fuji-Servetto                                               
75 Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Astana                                                 
76 Serguei Klimov (Rus) Team Katusha                                             
77 Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom                                      
78 Aurélien Clerc (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale                                         
79 Rui Costa (Por) Caisse d'Epargne                                              
80 Mikael Cherel (Fra) Française des Jeux                                        
81 Ruggero Marzoli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo                          
82 Didac Ortega (Spa) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo                             
83 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram                                               
84 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Team Katusha                                              
85 Alberto Ongarato (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini                              
86 Marco Velo (Ita) Quick Step                                                   
87 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Milram                                         
88 Maurizio Biondo (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce                       
89 Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe) Team Saxo Bank                                        
90 Jürgen Roelandts (Bel) Silence-Lotto                                          
91 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis                                                  
92 Roger Hammond (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam                                          
93 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank                                                  
94 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Columbia - Highroad                           
95 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale                                      
96 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Team Columbia - Highroad                                   
97 Ermanno Capelli (Ita) Fuji-Servetto                                           
98 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Team Katusha                                        
99 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Française des Jeux                                    
100 Leonardo Giordani (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce                    
101 David De La Fuente (Spa) Fuji-Servetto                                       
102 Iker Camano (Spa) Fuji-Servetto                                              
103 Hayden Roulston (NZl) Cervélo TestTeam                                       
104 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) ISD                                                      
105 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Fuji-Servetto                                       
106 Vincent Jérôme (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom                                   
107 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Team Columbia - Highroad                               
108 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin - Slipstream                                    
109 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Team Katusha                                               
110 Marco Bandiera (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.                                         
111 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team Columbia - Highroad                                
112 Francesco Ginanni (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli      
113 Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Barloworld                                        
114 Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne                                          
115 Bingen Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis                                               
116 Patrick Calcagni (Swi) Barloworld                                            
117 Diego Caccia (Ita) Barloworld                                                
118 Massimo Codol (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo                           
119 Dario Andriotto (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo                         
120 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank                                                
121 Felix Rafael Cardenas Ravalo (Col) Barloworld                                
122 Ivan Velasco (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                                       
123 Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                                    
124 Julien El Fares (Fra) Cofidis                                                
125 Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana                                                 
126 Dario Cioni (Ita) ISD                                                        
127 Oscar Gatto (Ita) ISD                                                        
128 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank                                            
129 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis                                                
130 Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis                                                  
131 Xavier Florencio (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam                                      
132 Joaquím Rodríguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne                                     
133 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam                                           
134 Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank                                          
135 Daniele Righi (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.                                          
136 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Silence-Lotto                                            
137 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.                                      
138 Svein Tuft (Can) Garmin - Slipstream                                         
139 Tom Leezer (Ned) Rabobank                                                    
140 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Garmin - Slipstream                            11.38
141 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R La Mondiale                                        
142 Dainius Kairelis (Ltu) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce                     
143 Mickael Delage (Fra) Silence-Lotto                                           
144 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom                                 
145 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Française des Jeux                                  
146 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis                                               
147 Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (Fra) Cofidis                                          
148 Emanuale Bindi (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.                                         
149 Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli        
150 Cristiano Fumagalli (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce                  
151 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Silence-Lotto                                  12.29
152 Leonardo Moser (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli    12.30
153 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team Milram                                              
154 Martin Velits (Svk) Team Milram                                              
155 Grégory Rast (Swi) Astana                                                    
156 Pedro Horrillo (Spa) Rabobank                                                
157 Andoni Lafuente (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                                    
158 Michael Friedman (USA) Garmin - Slipstream                                   
159 Frank Hoj (Den) Team Saxo Bank                                               
160 Giampaolo Cheula (Ita) Barloworld                                       12.33
161 Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Team Saxo Bank                         12.35
162 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Française des Jeux                                 
DNF Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank
DNF Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Slipstream
DNF Rony Martias (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
DNF Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas
DNF Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Astana
DNF Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Rene Mandri (Est) AG2R La Mondiale
DNF Michael Schär (Swi) Astana
DNF Damien Gaudin (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
DNF Filippo Simeoni (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
DNF Vladimir Duma (Ukr) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
DNF Alessandro Maserati (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce
DNF Alexandre Blain (Fra) Cofidis
DNF Luca Celli (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli
DNF Iñigo Landaluze (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNF Daniele Nardello (Ita) Fuji-Servetto
DNF Davide Vigano (Ita) Fuji-Servetto
DNF Maxim Belkov (Rus) ISD
DNF Ian Stannard (GBr) ISD
DNF Oleksandr Kvachuk (Ukr) ISD
DNF Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Team Katusha
DNF Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team Saxo Bank
DNF Sebastian Lang (Ger) Silence-Lotto
DNF Aleksandr Kuschynski (Blr) Liquigas
DNF Michael Barry (Can) Team Columbia - Highroad
DNF Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank
DNF Maarten Wynants (Bel) Quick Step
DNF Leonardo Scarselli (Ita) ISD
DNF Riccardo Chiarini (Ita) LPR Brakes  - Farnese Vini
DNF Thomas Bertolini (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli
DNF Giairo Ermeti (Ita) LPR Brakes  - Farnese Vini
DNF Josu Agirre (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
DNF Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Columbia - Highroad
DNF Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram