GP Wallonie - 1.2

Belgium, May 24, 2001

2000 Results    Results    Past winners

Axel Merckx wins GP Wallonie

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Axel Merckx
Photo: © AFP

Belgian champion Axel Merckx (Domo) produced his first win of the 2001 season in the GP Wallonie, held around the picturesque city of Namur today. Merckx powered away from breakaway companion Tom Stremeersch (Vlaanderen T Interim) with 1.5 km to go to finish alone at the top of the Citadel of Namur. In third place was Australian Scott Sunderland (Fakta), who beat training partner Serge Baguet (Lotto) in the final few meters.

The race was held in very warm, sunny conditions, at times travelling along the Samber and Maas rivers. Axel Merckx was one of the pre-race favourites, and got himself into a 14 man break that included Wim Vansevenant (Mercury), Scott Sunderland (Fakta), Pieter Vries (Bankgiroloterij), Daniel Atienza (Cofidis), Koos Moerenhout (Domo), Dave Bruylandts (Domo), Serge Baguet (Lotto), Tom Stremeersch (Vlaanderen T Interim), David Debremaeker (VdC), Sebastien Demarbaix (Ag2r), Guido Trentin (Cofidis), Eddy Lembo (Jean Delatour), and Reto Bergmann (Post Swiss).

With approximately 25 kilometres to go, Merckx launched a strong attack, taking Stremeersch with him. The two quickly gained 25 seconds, which turned into 50 as the chasers did not get organised. Serge Baguet (3rd in Amstel Gold) attempted to bridge with 15 kilometres to go, but couldn't get closer than 30 seconds before he was caught by a small group (Sunderland, Vansevenant and Demarbaix) on the first cobbled climb of the Citadel.

The 50 second gap to Merckx and Stremeersch was secure however, and with 10 kilometres and one more ascent of the Citadel to come, it was unlikely that they would be caught. The second and final time up the climb, Merckx accelerated from behind Stremeersch, opening up a small gap on the determined Vlaanderen rider. However, Merckx proved strong enough to take the win by 4 seconds, dedicating it to his wife Jodi and their newborn daughter, Axana.


1 Axel Merckx (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites                4.34.00
2 Tom Stremersch (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim            0.04
3 Scott Sunderland (Aus) Team Fakta                    0.50
4 Serge Baguet (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                      0.52
5 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Mercury-Viatel                 1.00
6 Eddy Lembo (Fra) Jean Delatour                       1.05
7 Steven Kleynen (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites                1.16
8 Sébastien Demarbaix (Bel) Ag2R Prevoyance            1.25
9 Pieter Vries (Ned) Bankgiroloterij-Batavus           1.40
10 Chris Peers (Bel) Cofidis
11 David Debremaecker (Fra) Ag2r-Prevoyance
12 Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus) Lotto-Adecco
13 Christophe Bassons (Fra) Jean Delatour              2.20
14 Bostjan Mervar (Slo) KRKA-Telekom Slovenije
15 Samuel Plouhinec (Fra) Jean Delatour
16 Marc Chanoine (Bel) Ville De Charleroi-New Systems
17 Marc Streel (Bel) Collstrop-Palmans
18 Guido Trentin (Ita) Cofidis
19 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Festina
20 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) La Francaise Des Jeux
21 Reto Bergmann (Swi) Post Swiss Team
22 Dave Bruylandts (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites
23 Daniel Atienza Urendez (Spa) Cofidis                2.36
24 Ludovic Capelle (Bel) Ag2R Prevoyance               3.00
25 Henk Vogels (Aus) Mercury-Viatel                    5.40
26 Hendrik Van Dyck (Bel) Lotto-Adecco                 7.50
27 Thierry De Groote (Bel) Collstrop-Palmans
28 Tom Desmet (Bel) Bankgiroloterij-Batavus
29 Arnaud Prétot (Fra) Festina
30 Alexandre Chouffe (Fra) Bigmat-Auber 93
31 Sébastien Talabardon (Fra) Bigmat-Auber 93
32 Peter Farazijn (Bel) Cofidis
33 Nicolas Fritsch (Fra) La Francaise Des Jeux
34 Martin Derganc (Slo) KRKA-Telekom Slovenije
35 Steve De Wolf (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites
36 Stéphane Auge (Fra) Festina
37 Branko Filip (Slo) KRKA-Telekom Slovenije
38 Paul Van Hyfte (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
39 Koos Moerenhout (Ned) Domo-Farm Frites
40 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
41 Renaud Boxus (Bel) Ville De Charleroi-New Systems
42 Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe) Team Fakta                 10.50
43 Sebastien Matozza (Bel) Ville De Charleroi         11.02

Past Winners

2000 Alberto Elli (Ita) Deutsche Telekom 196 kms in 4.42.05 (41.732 km/h)	
1999 Patrick Jonker (Aus) Rabobank       196 kms in 4.41.45 (41.737 km/h)
1998 Udo Bolts (Ger) Telekom             201 kms in 5.08.35 (39.179 km/h)
1997 Dimitry Konychev (Rus) - Roslotto
1996 Franco Ballerini (Ita) - Mapei
1995 Andrea Chiurato (Ita) - Mapei
1994 Peter Farazijn (Bel) - Lotto
1993 Patrick Evenepoel (Bel) - Collstrop
1992 Danny Nelissen (Hol) - PDM
1991 Frank Van den Abeele (Bel) - Lotto
1990 Luc Leblanc (Fra) - Castorama
1989 Thomas Wegmüller (Sui) - Domex Weinmann
1988 Claude Criquielion (Bel) - Hitachi
1987 Pascal Poisson (Fra) - System U (Laurent Fignon (Fra) disq) 
1986 Steven Rooks (Hol) - PDM
1985 Marc Madiot (Fra) - Renault
1984 Frank Hoste (Bel) - Europ Decor
1983 Stephen Roche (Irl) - Peugeot
1982 Hennie Kuiper (Hol) - DAF Trucks
1981 Walter Dalgal (Ita) - 
1980 Willy De Geest (Bel) - Ijsboerke
1979 Leo Van Vliet (Hol) - Ti Raleigh
1978 Willem Peeters (Bel) - Ijsborke
1977 Walter Planckaert (Bel)
1976 Herman Vanspringel (Bel)
1975 André Dierickx (Bel)
1974 Frans Verbeeck (Bel)
1973 Albert Van Vlierberghe (Bel)
1972 Emiel Cambre (Bel) 
1971 Felice Gimondi (Ita)
1970 Ferdinand Bracke (Bel)

1951 - 1969  no event

1950 Joseph Verhaert (Bel)
1949 Jacques Geus (Bel)
1944 Joseph Somers (Bel)
1943 Edouard Van Dyck (Bel)
1942 Maurice Van Herzele (Bel)
1941 -
1940 -
1939 Adolph Braeckeveldt (Bel)
1938 Adolph Braeckeveldt (Bel)
1937 Karel Tersago (Bel)
1936 Adolph Braeckeveldt (Bel)
1935 Gustave Degreef (Bel)

Past winners from Mario Stiehl in Berlin