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38th GP Pino Cerami - 1.3

Belgium, April 10, 2003

2002 Results   Results    Past winners

Voskamp wins Pino Cerami

The podium
Photo: © Miwako Sasaki
Click for larger image

Dutchman Bart Voskamp (BankGiroLoterij) has soloed to victory in the 38th GP Pino Cerami, a 186 kilometre one day event held in Hornu, near Mons. Voskamp cruised to a crushing 3'34 win over Italian Stefano Casagranda (Alessio) and Gabriele Balducci (Caldirola-Sidermec), who won the bunch sprint for third.

Voskamp was still smarting from his crash in the Driedaagse van De Panne, which deprived him of a likely victory in the race. "That remains a missed chance," he said. "The Driedaagse has a lot more publicity. This win doesn't make everything OK."

Navigators Team Report

It is amazing how quickly things can change. The jubilation of Wednesday's success at Gent-Wevelgem came to a screeching halt the following morning as the riders awoke to prepare for today's Pino Cerami. This is a race the Navigators Cycling Team won in 2002, and the boys had retired last night with the enthusiasm and excitement of defending their title. First look out the window brought to bear a frigid reality. The snow covered fields were still being peppered by a driving wet snow as the temperature hovered around freezing. Today was NOT going to be comfortable.

As the team traveled south to the village of St. Ghislain near the city of Mons, things were starting to look better. The snow had stopped, and although the temperature was still icy cold, it almost appeared that the sun was starting to break. The parking lot at the staging area was filled with enthusiastic fans and autograph seekers, and the athletes hovered in the vans trying to keep warm and figure out what combination of clothing would be most appropriate. Fortunately for the Navigators lads, a full arsenal of BioTex undergarments provided the ideal compliment to their Biemme kit, but the soigneurs were going to have plenty of fresh laundry by days end.

As the racers assembled on the start line waiting for the controlled procession out of town, Thor re-appeared and the boys were pelted with a driving mix of snow and sleet. By the time the start whistle had blown, most were soaked to the bone.

A quick start and series of attacks led to a two man escape of BankGirolterij's Bart Voskamp and Vlaanderen's Geoffrey Demeyere. They crossed the first special prize sprint at 26 km with a gap of 40 seconds, but the field was not letting them get too far out. As the cold wind continued to push against the leaders, the gap remained fairly constant at 40" and with 40km covered, the two sat up and looked back to the field.

Sensing the opportunity, fakta's Bj°rnar Vest°l jumped free and quickly came on the now creeping leaders. As he shot past, the two picked up their tempo realizing they may still contest the 2nd sprint at 50km. Soon the three were rolling, and had a 1 min gap. They were joined by Team Down Under's Jaarod Poad and Polsat's Lukasz Podolski.

As the field settled back, the gap quickly grew to 3 min, and after a feed and pee stop, the escapees were on their way to an 8 minute advantage. Marlux was the first to start a tempo trying to create opportunities for an on form Dave Bruylandts, and the Navigators soon joined in the pursuit, not wanting the gap to be too large before the closing circuits.

Although the strong teams had missed the break, the cold seemed to dampen the spirits of the peloton, and there was limited enthusiasm for the chase. Working with only Walters and Wherry on the front, with limited and occasional help from Marlux and Collstrop, the gap came down to close to 5 minutes, but it was going to take more effort to finish the job. Not wanting to do the work for the whole bunch, the Navigators pulled their chasers, and immediately the gap went back to 8 minutes. The Polsat rider had abandoned by now, but the remaining four were keeping the pressure steady, and Voskamp was clearly having a day he wanted to take advantage of.

As the field approached the five finishing circuits at 110 km, the field was in full pursuit. The tough circuit was very technical and featured two climbs including a 1.5 km cobbled ascent that pitched to near 20%. Voskamp charged the climb and dropped his three companions. As the gap opened between the leader and his former allies, the field began to take time back.

Voskamp kept his distance, and as the last lap began, he maintained a nearly 4 minute advantage, while the three chasers were less than 1 minute clear of the field. The main group however had been decimated and only 17 riders remained. Sprinters Erik Zabel and Fred Rodriguez were still in the group and the Navigators had Vogels and Jeff Louder. By the final climb, all but Voskamp were back together, and the Bankgiroloterij rider would hold on for the victory.

Alessio's Davide Casarotto jumped clear over the top of the bricks and held on for second just in front of a field sprint. The remaining 25 riders were spread out curb to curb, and the finish was so close in the middle that 8th thru 25th place could not be determined shortly after the finish. Vogels got squeezed and Louder finished near the front as Caldirola's Balducci took the sprint for third.

Photography

Images by Miwako Sasaki/Japanese Cycle Sport

Results - 185.5 km

1 Bart Voskamp (Ned) BankGiroLoterij Cycling Team       4.26.21 (41.787 km/h)
2 Stefano Casagranda (Ita) Alessio                         3.34
3 Gabriele Balducci (Ita) Caldirola-Sidermec-Saunier Duval 3.44
4 CÚdric Vasseur (Fra) Cofidis-Le CrÚdit par TÚlÚphone
5 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom
6 Gerben L÷wik (Ned) BankGiroLoterij Cycling Team
7 Ludovic Capelle (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
8 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) iBanesto.com
8 JosÚ Vicente Garcia Acosta (Spa) iBanesto.com
8 Rolf Aldag (Ger) Team Telekom
8 Frank Hoj (Den) Team fakta
8 RenÚ J÷rgensen (Den) Team fakta
8 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Team fakta
8 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
8 Salvatore Scamardella (Ita) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
8 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim
8 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim
8 Wim Van Huffel (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim
8 Dave Bruylandts (Bel) Marlux-Wincor Nixdorf
8 Eric Baumann (Ger) Team Wiesenhof
8 Igor Abakoumov (Bel) Van Hemert Groep
8 Jeff Louder (USA) Navigators Cycling Team
8 Henk Vogels (Aus) Navigators Cycling Team
8 Thierry De Groote (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop
25 Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Quick.Step-Davitamon-Latexco
26 Bj÷rn Leukemans (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop
27 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Caldirola-Sidermec-Saunier Duval
28 Jaarod Poad (Aus) Team Down Under                       4.45
29 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Team Telekom                    4.57
30 Bj÷rnar Vest÷l (Nor) Team fakta                         5.11
31 Geoffrey Demeyere (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim

Past winners

2002 Kirk O'Bee (USA) Navigators Cycling Team   186 km in 4.18.00 (43.25)
2001 Scott Sunderland (Aus) Team fakta          181 km in 4.24.00 (41.33)
2000 Jan Bratkowski (Ger) Mercury               181 km in 4.12.00 (43.09)
1999 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Team Polti            199 km in 4.50.00
1998 Marco Serpellini (Ita) Brescialat-Liquigas 199 km in 4.43.00 (42.402)
1997 Race Cancelled
1996 Marco Serpellini (Ita)
1995 Fabiano Fontanelli (Ita)
1994 Michele Bartoli (Ita)
1992 Laurent Dufaux (Swi)
1991 Andrej Tchmil (Mol)
1990 Maximilian Sciandri (Ita)
1989 Stefan Joho (Swi)
1988 John Talen (Ned)
1987 Rolf S÷rensen (Den)
1986 Urs Freuler (Swi)
1985 Paul Haghedooren (Bel)
1984 Gerrie Knetemann (Ned)
1983 Bernard Hinault (Fra)
1982 Ronny Van Holen (Ned)
1981 Joop Zoetemelk (Ned)
1980 Joop Zoetemelk (Ned)
1979 Daniel Verplancke (Bel)
1978 Gerrie Knetemann (Ned)
1977 Joseph Jacobs (Bel)
1976 Willy Teirlinck (Bel)
1975 Eddy Verstraeten (Bel)
1974 Marc Demeyer (Bel)
1973 Ferdinand Bracke (Bel)
1972 Christian Callens (Bel)
1971 Georges Van Coningsloo (Bel)
1970 AndrÚ Dierickx (Bel)
1969 Frans Mintjens (Bel)
1968 Julien Stevens (Bel)
1967 Willy Planckaert (Bel)
1966 Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1965 Jan Boonen (Bel)
1964 AndrÚ Noyelle (Bel)


Past winners by Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com