Elite Men's Road Race
The local time in Plouay is
Plouay: Circuit Jean Yves-Perron, 268.9 km (19 laps)
09:50 CET - Pre race
Welcome to the final race of the 2000 World Championships in Plouay - the 269 km elite men's road race. 19 laps of the tough circuit Jean Yves-Perron will break more than a few hardened riders, and only the toughest will survive the closing laps.
The weather is somewhat better today - breaks in the clouds and the possibilty of no rain. However, a lot can happen weather-wise during six and a half hours in Brittany.
The ceiling of clouds is lifting and there's no wind. The weather looks promising at the moment. The riders are heading to the start.
10:53 CET - 14.1 km
The peloton are under way in the men's road race. As expected, things are fairly quiet on the first lap.
Latvian Raivis Belohvosciks attacks on the second climb, the Cote de Ty-Marrec. He gets about 40 metres, but the bunch brings him back, with the Spanish team the main chasers.
Sitting on the front at the end of the lap are JC Robin (Fra), Robert Hunter (RSA) and Jan Schaffrath (Ger).
Lap 1 time: 22:29 (37.7 km/h)
10:58 CET - 18 km
Jay Sweet (Aus) and Mirko Celestino (Ita) are also on the front. Sweet's teammate, Scott Sunderland was looking quite happy this morning before the race. The weather has probably helped!
The crowds are enourmous: 200,000 plus and there are lots of "Allez Jaja" signs.
11:20 CET - 28.2 km
Piano is the word as they come through to complete the second lap. Jay Sweet is still at the front, as is Christophe Moreau, who has not got his toungue out yet. The sun continues to threaten to come out. The wind is coming from the WNW and conditions are improving.
Lap 2 time: 23:29
11:43 CET - 45 km
Lap three: On the Cote de Ty-Marrec, Ondrej Sosenka (Cze) and three others attacked and lifted the pace a little. Most people are throwing away their wind jackets and the riders are well warmed up. Sosenka was cuaght and Christian Poos (Lux) and Jena-Cyril Robin led the peloton through lap three.
At the beginning of lap four, Moreau countered on the Cote de Lézot There is a group now of eight riders with about 20 seconds.
Lap 3 time: 21:32
11:49 CET - 49 km
The eight riders are: Rafael Diaz Justo (Spa), Christophe Moreau (Fra), Eladio Jimenez Sanchez (Spa), Danilo Di Luca (Ita), Serguei Lelekin (Rus), Matthé Pronk (Ned), Roger Beuchat(Swi), and Thierry Marichal (Bel). Chasing are Walter Beneteau (Fra) and another rider. The pace is 50-50 at the moment, and the break have about 20 seconds.
11:53 CET - 51 km
The fourth climb of the Ty-Marrec sees the "Moreau group" at about 20 seconds to a lone chaser (Robert Radosz (Pol)). The peloton are another 20 seconds back and riding tempo. The group officially is: Rafael Diaz Justo (Spa), Eladio Jimenez Sanchez (Spa), Roger Beuchat (Swi), Walter Beneteau (Fra), Christophe Moreau (Fra), Danilo Di Luca (Ita), Thierry Marichal (Bel), Serguei Lelekin (Rus), Matthé Pronk (Ned), and Piotr Przydzial (Pol).
12:06 CET - 59 km
It's high noon in Plouay and the 10 man Moreau group is gaining ground. They rode the fourth lap in 18:16 at over 46 km/h - by far the quickest today. At the moment, the gap is around 1'20 to the main peloton which is being led by Belgium, Spain, and Austria without any real urgency.
At the end of the fourth lap, there was a 13 rider group away containing Michel Van Haecke (Bel), Sergio Barbero (Ita) and Piotr Chmielewski (Pol) amongst others. They were caught on lap five up the Cote de Lézot.
Lap 4 time: 18:16
12:23 CET - 74 km
Halfway through lap five, Jay Sweet (Aus) crashed. He was ok, but his bike was in three pieces. It's not yet known if he rejoined.
The nine breakaways (Piotr Przydzial was dropped) are making a good pace, and they will be out for quite some time. On the last lap, the margin to the peloton has increased considerably, and they are at 5:50. Igor Pugaci is leading them through.
Marichal has been told by the Belgian team coach, Jose de Cauwer, not to contribute to the work in the front group. "It's better to break the group," said de Cauwer on Belgian TV.
Lap 5 time: 19:07
12:43 CET - 85 km
End of lap 6: The peloton have just rolled through at 7'39 behind the leaders led by the Polish team (105). A lot of people are starting to eat now. Tchmil gets a bottle, as does Peers from the Belgian pit crew.
Lap 6 time: 19:37
13:03 CET - 99.05 km
End of lap 7: The peloton are riding harder now, and have reduced the gap to 6'30, mainly through the efforts of the Polish team.
In the breakaway, Di Luca is being "furbo" i.e. not working much. He wants to save his legs. and some of the break riders are trying to take him out the back. Pronk, Lelekin and Beuchat are working hard though.
Lap 7 time: 19:50
13:22 CET - 113.2 km
End of lap 8: Christophe Moreau leads the nine man break through the start/finish, and Danilo Di Luca is second wheel but still not doing a great deal of work.
The 150 rider peloton are at 5'29, led by Piotr Chmielewski and the Poles. The last two laps have been ridden at around 44 km/h by the Polish squad. Sciandri had a flat and got back in, while in the break Eladio Jimenez had some service done to his race number.
Lap 8 time: 19:50
13:42 CET - 127.5 km
End of lap 9: Peloton are at 4'51, led by the Polish team who have Wadecki as their main man. Hushovd had a flat, but got back in. The bunch is still quite big.
Moreau is powering the break, as are the Spanish who want to make the race hard with their greater numbers.
Lap 9 time: 19:37
14:00 CET - 141.5 km
End of lap 10: Over half way now, and the gap has been slowly eroded to 4'18. The Polish are still working as is Braika from Denmark. They are waiting for some help. Moreau is still powering the break, along with Lelekin and Beuchat.
Weather wise, the rain is holding off, and there are some greyer crowds coming in. The road is pretty much dry.
On a different tack: In an interview on Italian TV, Rudy Pevenage (Telekom boss): "Ullrich will almost certainly ride the Giro next year as preparation for the Tour."
Lap 10 time: 19:25
14:18 CET - 155.6 km
End of lap 11: Christophe Moreau leads the the nine man break through for the 11th lap. They have been away now for eight laps (112.8 km).
The peloton come through at 3'33, and the Danish team are giving the Poles a hand, while the other teams sit back. Sitting at the back of the peloton are Tony Cruz and Fred Rodriguez. The Australians are all in there as well.
Some abandons: Michael Andersson (Swe), Ruslan Pidgornyy (Ukr) and Robert Hunter (RSA)
Our friend Carlos from Bicisport magazine in Spain told us that Oscar Freire has a lot of morale going into the champinships. His back is fine, and is no problem for a one day race. He felt good during Paris-Tours but did not want to try too much.
Lap 11 time: 19:55
14:30 CET - 165 km
Belgian Thierry Marichal attacks up the cote de Ty Marrec and Moreau, Beuchat, Di Luca, and Pronk go with him. The other four (Rafael Diaz Justo, Eladio Jimenez Sanchez (Spa), Walter Beneteau (Fra), and Serguei Lelekin (Rus)) are at 20 seconds, with the peloton at 3 minutes.
14:41 CET - 169.8 km
End of lap 12: There are five escapees (Marichal, Moreau, Beuchat, Di Luca, and Pronk) at 54 seconds in front of four (Diaz Justo, Jimenez, Beneteau and Lelekin)/ The peloton are at 3'23, led by - as usual - the Poles and Danes, with Tayeb Braikia doing his bit.
There are a lot more riders in the main field than is normal at this stage for the World's - still 140 plus with 100 km to go.
Lap 12 time: 19:36
14:56 CET - 183.95 km
End of lap 13: The five riders have 2:08, and will probably be caught this lap or the next.
During lap 13, Jose Ivan Guttierez attacked in the feed zone .Wadecki went with him but they were caught by Simoni and Vinokourov covered it. Going over the line with six to go, Wadecki went again, but was chased by Celestino.
Behind, Jalabert had a flat and needs towing back on.
The field is now down to about 60 and Fred Rodriguez is abandoning.
Lap 13 time: 19:42
15:04 CET - 190 km
Lap 14: Lots of attacking with five and a half to go. Bettini is up the front, and the Italians are now starting to attack. It's getting more serious and there should be some action on the Ty-Marrec.
Some other people's tips:
Patrick Lefevere on Belgian TV: "My favourite for the title? Bettini."
Johan Museeuw in a phone-interview for Belgian TV: "It isn't easy to follow the championships by television. I'm working hard coming back, it goes well but you have to keep your feet on the ground. Domo can count on me next year, but I don't know yet how my condition will be. For today I hope Wilfried Peeters and Axel Merckx will do well."
"For Peeters it will be very difficult, more chances for Axel. I talked to him yesterday and advised him to keep quiet today till the last two or three laps. But my favourite for today is Bettini."
15:12 CET - 198.1 km
Five laps/70 kilometres to go. The race is getting progressively faster as they're riding about 43 km/h laps. Up front, Di Luca attacked on the Ty Marrec climb during lap 14, he got 10 seconds and Moreau pulled him back. Pronk was dropped and looks dead.
Brochard attacked in the peloton, but he was caught. The peloton comes in at 2:20, led by Alessandro Petacchi.
Lap 15: Di Luca has attacked again on the Cote de Lézot, trying to soften them up.
Lap 14 time: 19:25
15:24 CET - 205 km/65 km to go
Mid way through lap 15, and the break are holding their 2'20 lead. The peloton have regrouped and are some 120 riders strong now.
15:32 CET - 212.2 km/57 km to go
Four laps to go and the break (Marichal, Di Luca, Moreau and Beuchat) are holding their 2'20 lead.
During the last lap (15) there was some action in the peloton: Christophe Mengin and Laurent Brochard tried to attack, before a six rider group: Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Spa), Laurent Brochard (Fra), Chris Peers (Bel), Mirko Celestino (Ita), Alexei Sivakov (Rus) and Scott Sunderland (Aus) countered and managed a 10 second gap for a while. They were caught again.
Matte Pronk is caught by the peloton just prior to the end of the 15th lap.
Lap 15 time: 20:11
15:44 CET - 221 km/48 km to go
Mid way through lap 16: The lead is down to 2'05 as the quartet pass through the feed zone. All are riding extremely well for their respective countries, forcing the Spanish and Dutch to take up the chase in the bunch.
15:53 CET - 226.4 km/42.3 km to go
End of lap 16: The break have lost a lot of time under the impetus of the Spanish. Zubeldia was on the front up the second climb where there was an attack by Brochard halfway up, but he was caught.
Lap 17: Scinto attacks on the Cote de Lézot. The Italians are really going for it. Bartoli throws in a huge attack, and there is Bruylandts covers. Then there is a group of 14 chasing. Gianetti, Boogerd and Hamburger are there.
Lap 16 time: 19:57
16:01 CET - 233 km/35 km to go
The break is caught with 38 kilometres to go. Vinokourov attacks now after the Bartoli group is absorbed. Heulot goes with him, but not far. The leading peloton are down to about 50 now, with two and a half laps to go.
16:04 CET - 235 km/33 km to go
After Vinokourov was caught, Patrice Halgand attacked and has about 10 seconds at the base of the Ty-Marrec climb.
16:10 CET - 240.5 km/28.2 km to go
End of lap 17: Peloton led through by Luca scinto, with JC Robin and Axel Merckx following.
Recap: Patrice Halgand's escape didn't last long. The Italians chased, and David Rebellin, Virenque, Sunderland and Tchmil were all active. Over the top Merckx, and Axelsson attacked but were caught before the finish line.
Zberg attacks on the Cote de Lézot, but is recaptured.
Chann McRae is riding well, never at the front but always well positioned. He is having another great World Championship ride.
Lap 17 time:18:14
16:20 CET - 250 km/18.5 km to go
During the second last lap, there's been a lot of attacking, but nothing has stuck. Scinto and Simoni are riding hard tempo on the front. Rubiera (Spa) looks good too, as does Freire.
Jalabert has abandoned.
16:20 CET - 254.7 km/14.2 km to go
One lap to go: On the Ty-Marrec climb (lap 18), Scinto and Simoni wound it up, but Tchmil countered. Bartoli made a big move but Tchmil sat on. Then, over the top Merckx attacks and gets a small lead.
The Belgians are riding a great race, and there are about 30 guys left. Gianni Faresin is burying himself to bring back Merckx.
Lap 18 time: 17:35
16:33 CET - 258 km/11 km to go
Rebellin rides a hard tempo with the help of Rubiera (Spa) to bring back Merckx. Then there is an attack by Tchmil on the Kerscoulic climb. He gets 20 metres.
16:35 CET - 259 km/10 km to go
Tchmil is going for it. He has about 10 seconds and is riding away from Beltran and Rubiera on the front. Tchmil is pounding away. The Italians are nowhere to be seen.
16:38 CET - 262 km/7 km to go
Andrei Tchmil was caught by the Spaniards and Italians just before the feed zone. There are about 30 left.
16:40 CET - 263 km/5 km to go
Up the Ty-Marrec for the last time, and Simoni attacks on the left hand side. Bartoli goes after Simoni and he sits up. There's another move on the RHS with Boogerd, Bruylandts, Freire, Rebellin and Sunderland. Tchmil and Bartoli are up there as well.
16:41 CET - 264 km/4 km to go
Casagrande gets a 5 second gap at the top of the Ty-Marrec. There's a lot of indecision.
16:43 CET - 265 km/3 km to go
Casagrande is chased by the Belgians, Tchmil and Boogerd are there. It's a real pursuit match.
16:46 CET - 269 km/0 km to go
The Belgians are pulling him back. A counter by Tchmil at 1km to go. Rebellin chases him. Romans Vainsteins is in third position.
Here they come and Vainsteins gets it, with Spruch second, third was Freire who just edged out Bartoli.
Lap 19 time: 17:31
1 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) 6.15.28 (42.692 km/h) 2 Zbigniew Spruch (Pol) 3 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) 4 Michele Bartoli (Ita) 5 Tobias Steinhauser (Ger) 6 Niki Aebersold (Swi) 7 Scott Sunderland (Aus) 8 William Chann Mcrae (USA) 9 Paolo Bettini (Ita) 10 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) 11 Michael Boogerd (Ned) 12 Axel Merckx (Bel) 13 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) 14 Niklas Axelsson (Swe) 15 Dave Bruylandts (Bel) 16 Oscar Camenzind (Swi) 17 Maximilian Sciandri (GBr) 18 Jean Cyril Robin (Fra) 19 Andrei Tchmil (Bel) 20 Raimundas Rumsas (Ltu)