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100th Milano-Sanremo - HIS
Italy, March 21, 2009
Cavendish pips Haussler on the line
By Bjorn Haake and Susan Westemeyer, with additional reporting by Gregor Brown in Sanremo
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.
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."
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).
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.
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
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