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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

 UCI codes explained

30th Tour Méditerranéen - 2.3

France, February 12-16, 2003

2002 Results     Stage List    Preview     Start List     Past winners

The Stages

  • Stage 1 - February 12: Arma Di Taggia - Arma Di Taggia, 106.6 km
  • Stage 2 - February 13: Menton - Le Cannet, 109 km
  • Stage 3 - February 14: Seillans - La Motte, 60 km
  • Stage 4 - February 14: La Motte - Toulon Mont Faron, 110 km
  • Stage 5 - February 15: La Garde - Berre l'Etang, 114 km
  • Stage 6 - February 16: Gemenos - Marseille TTT, 42 km


Images by Emmanuel Isnard


By Jeff Jones

The Tour Méditerranéen has been making headlines this week for different reasons during the lead up to this five day French stage race that runs from February 12-16. Following Mario Cipollini's announcement to withdraw from the race at the last moment, controversy ensued when his Domina-Vacanze Elitron team was subsequently thrown out of the race. However, although justifiably annoyed, the organisers were not allowed to do this to the team and Domina Vacanze was reinstated, sans Cipollini, late on Tuesday.

Last year, Cipollini won a stage in the otherwise Fassa Bortolo dominated Tour of Med, and that was followed up by a stage win from his teammate and leadout man Giovanni Lombardi. Neither Lombardi nor Cipollini are part of the Domina Vacanze line up this year, so wins in bunch sprints will be virtually impossible for the team.

The parcours of the 30th edition of this race is interesting for several reasons. Split into six stages over five days, none of the stages measures over 114 km - comparatively shorter than any stage races at this time of year.

The first stage, starting and finishing in Arma Di Taggia, takes place on Italian soil and includes the famous Poggio climb. However unlike Milan-San Remo, the Poggio doesn't come at the end of a 290 km race, being placed just 12 km into the first stage and unlikely to have an effect on the result. The first stage does include the climbs of Torrima (437m, km 59) and San Bartolomeo (630 m, km 69), which might prove decisive, but after a 35 km flat run into the finish, a bunch sprint looks likely.

The riders will be back in France for stage 2, Menton - Le Cannet (109 km), and this should be a picturesque stage with the climbs of La Turbie (465m, km 9) and Aspremont (515m, km 32.5) in the Alpes Maritimes. The generally lumpy parcours could see a breakaway succeed in making it to Cannes with 8 km to go, staying away to contest the uphill finish in Le Cannet.

The riders won't have much time for any relaxation on Valentine's Day, February 14, as they have to tackle two stages today. The first is a 60 km run from Seillans to La Motte, with a 283m climb towards the end of the stage with 5 km to go. This will serve as preparation for the afternoon's fourth stage, from La Motte to Toulon, Mont Faron. The latter is traditionally the decisive stage in the Tour of Med, with the 10 km ascent of Mont Faron (544m) raced flat out.

Stage 5 from La Garde to Berre l'Etang on February 15 is a fairly standard sprinters stage, despite a long climb at the start up to Mauzaugues (480m, km 24). The stage length is 114 km, making it the longest single stage in this year's race.

The finale from Gemenos to Marseille is an interesting twist in the tail of the Tour of Med, being run as a team time trial over 42 km with a couple of 300m climbs. The TTT was held first up last year, but having it at the end of the race could certainly change the GC on the final day.

With a big representation from the Division I teams, it's always hard to pick the favourites for this race. Last year Fassa Bortolo dominated, with Michele Bartoli winning atop Mont Faron and reclaiming the lead from his teammate Alessandro Petacchi. This year, Ferretti's squad does not contain Petacchi or Bartoli, but will probably rely on Fabian Cancellara and perhaps Kim Kirchen for the hillier stages.

Others to look for on GC include Quick Step's Richard Virenque and Paolo Bettini, Phonak's Oscar Camenzind, Team Coast's Angel Casero and Alex Zülle, Lotto-Domo's Rik Verbrugghe, Saeco's Mirko Celestino and Gilberto Simoni, De Nardi's Serguei Gontchar, La Boulangère's Didier Rous, Cofidis' David Millar and David Moncoutié, Ag2r's Andy Flickinger and Laurent Brochard, CSC's Lennie Kristensen, and Rabobank's Michael Boogerd and Levi Leipheimer.

In the sprints, Robbie McEwen (Lotto-Domo), Baden Cooke (, Giovanni Lombardi (Domina Vacanze), Ivan Quaranta (Saeco), Filippo Pozzato (Fassa Bortolo), Massimo Strazzer (Phonak), Jo Planckaert (Cofidis) and Tony Cruz (USPS) will all show their condition.

Start list

Fassa Bortolo                       Domina Vacanze Elitron
1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi)           12 Alberto Ongarato (Ita)
2 Serguei Ivanov (Rus)              13 Kyrylo Pospyeyev (Ukr)
3 Kim Kirchen (Lux)                 14 Martin Derganc (Slo)
4 Nicola Loda (Ita)                 15 Daniele Bennati (Ita)
5 Roberto Petito (Ita)              16 Francensco Secchiari (Ita)
6 Filippo Pozzato (Ita)             17 Gabriele Colombo (Ita)
7 Guido Trenti (USA)                18 Michele Scarponi (Ita)
8 Marco Zanotti (Ita)
Quick Step - Davitamon              Lotto - Domo
21 Richard Virenque (Fra)           31 Robbie McEwen (Aus)
22 Paolo Bettini (Ita)              32 Stefan Van Dijck (Ned)
23 Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel)        33 Gorik Gardeyn (Bel)
24 Aurélien Clerc (Swi)             34 Christophe Brandt (Bel)
25 Davide Bramati (Ita)             35 Nick Gates (Aus)
26 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz)          36 Ief Verbrugghe (Bel)
27 Nick Nuyens (Bel)                37 Christophe Detilloux (Bel)
28 Michael Rogers (Aus)             38 Koos Moerenhout (Ned)
Cofidis, Le Crédit Par Téléphone    Saeco
41 David Moncoutie (Fra)            51 Giosuè Bonomi (Ita)
42 Médéric Clain (Fra)              52 Mirko Celestino (Ita)
43 Andreï Kivilev (Kaz)             53 Paolo Fornaciari (Ita)
44 Jo Planckaert (Bel)              54 Jörg Ludewig (Ger)
45 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz)            55 Dario Pieri (Ita)
46 Bingen Fernandez Bustinza (Spa)  56 Ivan Quaranta (Ita)
47 Frédéric Bessy (Fra)             57 Salvatore Commesso (Ita)
48 Marek Rutkiewicz (Pol)           58 Fabio Sacchi (Ita)
Team Coast                          US Postal Service presented by Berry Floo
61 Alex Zuelle (Swi)                71 Antonio Cruz (USA)
62 Niki Aebersold (Swi)             72 Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus)
63 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita)             73 Benoît Joachim (Lux)
64 Christoph Von Kleinsorgen (Ger)  74 Steffen Kjaergaard (Nor)
65 André Korff (Ger)                76 Pavel Padrnos (Cze)
66 Thomas Liese (Ger)               77 Max Van Heeswijk (Ned)
67 Steffen Radochla (Ger)           78 Matthew White (Aus)
68 Stefan Adamsson (Swe)
Rabobank                            Credit Agricole
81 Michael Boogerd (Ned)            91 Christophe Moreau (Fra)
82 Levi Leipheimer (USA)            92 Sébastien Hinault (Fra)
83 Bram De Groot (Ned)              93 Thor Hushovd (Nor)
84 Roy Sentjens (Ned)               94 Stéphane Auge (Fra)
85 Bobbie Traksel (Ned)             95 Anthony Morin (Fra)
86 Marc Lotz (Ned)                  96 Jens Voigt (Ger)
87 Beat Zberg (Swi)                 97 Cédric Fragniere (Swi)
88 Thorwald Veneberg (Ned)          98 Benoît Poilvet (Fra)
Ag2r Prevoyance                     Phonak Hearing Systems
101 Laurent Brochard (Fra)          111 Oscar Camenzind (Swi)
102 Lauri Aus (Est)                 112 Miguel Martinez (Fra)
103 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus)       113 Daniel Schnider (Swi)
104 Andy Flickinger (Fra)           114 Massimo Strazzer (Ita)
105 Christophe Oriol (Fra)          115 Benoît Salmon (Fra)
106 Nicolas Portal (Fra)            116 Fabrice Gougot (Fra)
107 Mark Scanlon (Irl)              117 Cyril Dessel (Fra)
108 Thierry Loder (Fra)             118 Roger Beuchat (Swi)
FDJeux.Com                          Brioches La Boulangere
121 Baden Cooke (Aus)               131 Didier Rous (Fra)
122 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra)           132 Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra)
123 Sandy Casar (Fra)               133 Christophe Kern (Fra)
124 Carlos Dacruz (Fra)             134 Jérôme Pineau (Fra)
125 Jean-Cyril Robin (Fra)          135 Thomas Voeckler (Fra)
126 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra)          136 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra)
127 Christophe Mengin (Fra)         137 Anthony Geslin (Fra)
128 Philippe Gilbert (Bel)          138 Emmanuel Magnien (Fra)
Team CSC                            Jean Delatour
141 Nicolas Jalabert (Fra)          151 Patrice Halgand (Fra)
142 Andrea Tafi (Ita)               152 Ludovic Martin (Fra)
143 Paul Van Hyfte (Bel)            153 Stéphane Goubert (Fra)
144 Michael Blaudzun (Den)          154 Eddy Seigneur (Fra)
145 Lennie Kristensen (Den)         155 Christophe Edaleine (Fra)
146 Jimmi Madsen (Den)              156 Sébastien Joly (Fra)
147 Lars Michaelsen (Den)           157 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr)
148 Andrea Peron (Ita)              158 Gilles Bouvard (Fra)
De Nardi - Colpack                  MBK - Oktos
161 Serhiy Honchar (Ukr)            171 Stéphane Barthe (Fra)
162 Matteo Carrara (Ita)            172 Jeremy Hunt (GBr)
163 Graziano Gasparre (Ita)         173 Frédéric Gabriel (Fra)
164 Leonardo Giordani (Ita)         174 Eddy Lembo (Fra)
165 Devis Miorin (Ita)              175 Christophe Rinero (Fra)
166 Rafael Nuritdinov (Uzb)         176 Franck Pencole (Fra)
167 Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita)          177 Yoann Le Boulanger (Fra)
168 Leonardo Zanotti (Ita)          178 Jay Sweet (Aus)
Bigmat.Auber 93
181 Guillaume Auger (Fra)
182 Ludovic Auger (Fra)
183 Loïc Lamouller (Fra)
184 Cyril Saugrain (Fra)
185 Alexei Sivakov (Rus)
186 Sébastien Talabardon (Fra)
187 Nicolas Liboreau (Fra)
188 Felix M. Garcia Casas (Spa)

Past winners

     First                      Second                    Third
2002 Michele Barotli (Ita)      Paolo Tiralongo (Ita)     Michael Boogerd (Ned)
2001 Davide Rebellin (Ita)      David Moncoutié (Fra)     Laurent Brochard (Fra)
2000 Laurent Jalabert (Fra)     Bobby Julich (USA)        Jonathan Vaughters (USA)
1999 Davide Rebellin (Ita)      Michael Boogerd (Ned)     Wladimir Belli (Ita)
1998 Rodolfo Massi (Ita)        Bo Hamburger (Den)        Richard Virenque (Fra)
1997 Emmanuel Magnien (Fra)     Michele Bartoli (Ita)     Frattini (Ita)
1996 Franck Vandenbroucke (Bel) Fabio Baldato (Ita)       Wladimir Belli (Ita)
1995 Gianni Bugno (Ita)         Roberto Petito (Ita)      Davide Rebellin (Ita)
1994 Davide Cassani (Ita)       Evegeni Berzin (Rus)      Laurent Brochard (Fra)
1993 Charly Mottet (Fra)        Heinz Imboden (Swi)       Pascal Lance (Fra)
1992 Rolf Gölz (Ger)            Ronan Pensec (Fra)        Laurent Madouas (Fra)
1991 Phil Anderson (Aus)        Tony Rominger (Swi)       Julian Gorospe (Spa)
1990 Gerard Rué (Fra)           Tony Rominger (Swi)       Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus)
1989 Tony Rominger (Swi)        Luc Roosen (Bel)          Jean-Claude Leclercq (Fra)
1988 Jan Nevens (Bel)           Charly Mottet (Fra)       Luc Leblanc (Fra)
1987 Gerrit Solleveld (Ned)     Kurt Van Lancker (Bel)    Francesco Moser (Ita)
1986 Jean-François Bernard (Fra)Joël Pelier (Fra)         Jean-Marie Grezet (Swi)
1985 Phil Anderson (Aus)        Eric Caritoux (Fra)       Stefen Roche (Ire)
1984 Jean-Claude Bagot (Fra)    Stephen Roche (Ire)       Steffan Mutter (Swi)
1983 Gerrit Knetemann (Ned)     Joop Zoetemelk (Ned)      Steven Rooks (Ned)
1982 Michel Laurent (Fra)       Greg LeMond (USA)         Gradi (Ita)
1981 Steffan Mutter (Swi)       Jones                     Marcel Tinazzi (Ita)
1980 Gerrie Knetemann (Ned)     Henk Lubberding (Ned)     Michel Laurent (Fra)
1979 Michel Laurent (Fra)       Gerrie Knetemann (Ned)    Schipper (Ned)
1978 Gerrie Knetemann (Ned)     Joseph Bruyère (Bel)      Jan-Luc Vandenbroucke (Bel)
1977 Eddy Merckx (Bel)          Wilfried Wesemael (Bel)   Jean Chassang (Swi)
1976 Roy Schuiten (Ned)         Roland Salm (Swi)         Michel Laurent (Fra)
1975 Joseph Bruyère (Bel)       Stéphane Labourdette (Fra)Christian Perret (Swi)
1974 Charles Rouxel (Fra)       Cyrille Guimard (Fra)     Jacky Mourioux

Past winners by Mario Stiehl,