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83rd Paris-Brussels - 1.2
Belgium, September 13, 2003
2002 Results Results Past winners
Kirchen wins 83rd Paris-Brussels
By Jeff Jones
Luxembourger Kim Kirchen (Fassa Bortolo) has won the 83rd edition of Paris-Brussels, after outwitting Laszlo Bodrogi (Quick.Step) and Maryan Hary (Brioches la Boulangère) in a three man sprint. Hary had escaped with 11 km to go, joined by Kirchen and then Bodrogi who bridged across in the final 3 km. Bodrogi tried to surprise them with 800m to go, but was no match for Kirchen.
The 222 km race, downgraded to 1.2 this year due to UCI regulations, was run in sunny and moderately windy conditions. Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step) was back racing again, although he wasn't quite in top condition, and was present at the front of the race until 13 km to go when he couldn't follow any more.
Australian champion Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) and Oscar Freire (Rabobank) were some of the strongest riders in the race, but the fact that they were heavily marked meant that they often missed the breaks. On several occasions, O'Grady was the driving force bridging 30 second gaps to breakaways, but every time the ever diminishing peloton followed a short while later.
With 35 km to go, a 10 man break had formed with Freire, Renier (Brioches), Pichon (FDJeux.com), Vansevenant and Vierhouten (Lotto-Domo), Paolini (Quick.Step), Basso and Kirchen (Fassa), Strauss (Gerolsteiner), Barbero (Lampre), and Oriol (Ag2r). O'Grady countered from the peloton and brought them back with 28 km to go, only for a new round of attacks to begin.
With 23 km to go, a more decisive selection was made with Freire, Renier, Hary (Brioches), Vansevenant, Bodrogi, Basso, Kirchen, Strauss, Barbero and Vainsteins (Vini Caldirola). Other riders, including Bracke and Paolini managed to get across from the main bunch. On the Keperenberg with 12 km to go, Hary attacked over the top, with Kim Kirchen waiting for a couple of kilometres before chasing him down. Laszlo Bodrogi then put in a do or die effort, and the big Hungarian closed the gap with 3 km to go to form a group of three in front.
Behind them the chase was marked by Hary's teammate Renier, who jumped on every attack that looked dangerous, eventually coming in with Tony Bracke to finish fourth. In front, the sprint started just after the 1 km mark when Bodrogi tried to surprise Kirchen and Hary by attacking with 800m to go. Kirchen didn't chase, forcing Hary to ride to close the gap. The young Frenchman did, and as they got close to Bodrogi, Kirchen jumped across then away to take the win.
Images by AFP
Results - 226 km
1 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Fassa Bortolo 5.19.00 (42.51 km/h) 2 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Quick Step-Davitamon 0.01 3 Maryan Hary (Fra) Brioches La Boulangere 0.04 4 Franck Renier (Fra) Brioches La Boulangere 0.09 5 Tony Bracke (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 6 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank 0.13 7 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quick Step-Davitamon 0.18 8 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Lotto-Domo 0.21 9 Marcel Strauss (Swi) Gerolsteiner 10 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Vini Caldirola-So.Di 11 Ivan Basso (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 12 Sergio Barbero (Ita) Lampre 13 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Lotto-Domo 14 Thomas Liese (Ger) Team Bianchi 1.25 15 Fabien Sanchez (Fra) Fdjeux.Com 16 Stuart O'grady (Aus) Crédit-Agricole 17 Thorwald Veneberg (Ned) Rabobank 18 Eddy Lembo (Fra) Palmans-Collstrop 19 Stéphane Berges (Fra) Ag2R-Prévoyance 20 Loyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2R-Prévoyance 2.07 21 Davide Bramati (Ita) Quick Step-Davitamon 22 Bram De Groot (Ned) Rabobank 23 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Fassa Bortolo 24 Nico Eeckhout (Bel) Lotto-Domo 25 Christophe Oriol (Fra) Ag2R-Prévoyance 26 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Quick Step-Davitamon 2.52 27 Jehudi Schoonacker (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim 3.49 28 Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim 4.24 29 Andrej Hauptman (Slo) Vini Caldirola-Su.Di 30 Mickael Pichon (Fra) Brioches La Boulangere 31 J.J. Cobo Acebo (Spa) Brioches La Boulangere 32 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step-Davitamon 33 René Haselbacher (Aut) Gerolsteiner Courtesy of Ronald Schipper
2002 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Adecco 2001 Emmanuel Magnien (Fra) La Francaise des Jeux 2000 Max van Heeswijk (Ned) Mapei-Quick Step 1999 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) 1998 Stefano Zanini (Ita) 1997 Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) 1996 Andrea Tafi (Ita) 1995 Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel) 1994 Rolf Sörensen (Den) 1993 Francis Moreau (Fra) 1992 Rolf Sörensen (Den) 1991 Brian Holm (Den) 1990 Franco Ballerini (Ita) 1989 Jelle Nijdam (Ned) 1988 Rolf Gölz (Ger) 1987 Wim Arras (Bel) 1986 Guido Bontempi (Ita) 1985 Adri Van der Poel (Ned) 1984 Eric Vanderaerden (Bel) 1983 Tommy Prim (Swe) 1982 Jacques Hanegraaf (Ned) 1981 Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel) 1980 Pierino Gavazzi (Ita) 1979 Ludo Peeters (Bel) 1978 Jan Raas (Ned) 1977 Ludo Peeters (Bel) 1976 Felice Gimondi (Ita) 1975 Freddy Maertens (Bel) 1974 Marc Demeyer (Bel) 1973 Eddy Merckx (Bel) 1966 Felice Gimondi (Ita) 1965 Edward Sels (Bel) 1964 Georges Van Coningsloo (Bel) 1963 Jean Stablinski (Fra) 1962 Joseph Wouters (Bel) 1961 Pino Cerami (Bel) 1960 Pierre Everaert (Bel) 1959 Frans Schoubben (Bel) 1958 Rik Van Looy (Bel) 1957 Leon Van Daele (Bel) 1956 Rik Van Looy (Bel) 1955 Marcel Hendrickx (Bel) 1954 Marcel Hendrickx (Bel) 1953 Loretto Petrucci (Ita) 1952 Alberic Schotte (Bel) 1951 Jean Gueguen (Fra) 1950 Rik Van Steenbergen (Bel) 1949 Maurice Diot (Fra) 1948 Lode Poels (Bel) 1947 Ernest Sterckx (Bel) 1946 Alberic Schotte (Bel) 1939 Frans Bonduel (Bel) 1938 Marcel Kint (Bel) 1937 Albert Beckaert (Bel) 1936 Eloi Meulenberg (Bel) 1935 Edgard De Caluwe (Bel) 1934 Frans Bonduel (Bel) 1933 Albert Barthelemy (Fra) 1932 Julien Vervaecke (Bel) 1931 Jean Aerts (Bel) 1930 Ernest Mottard (Bel) 1929 Pe Verhaegen (Bel) 1928 Georges Ronsse (Bel) 1927 Nicolas Frantz (Lux) 1926 Denis Verschueren (Bel) 1925 Gerard Debaets (Bel) 1924 Felix Sellier (Bel) 1923 Felix Sellier (Bel) 1922 Felix Sellier (Bel) 1921 Robert Raboul (Fra) 1920 Henri Pelissier (Fra) 1919 Alexis Michiels (Bel) 1914 Louis Mottiat (Bel) 1913 Octave Lapize (Fra) 1912 Octave Lapize (Fra) 1911 Octave Lapize (Fra) 1910 Maurice Brocco (Fra) 1909 Francois Faber (Lux) 1908 Lucien Petit-Breton (Fra) 1907 Gusrave Garrigou (Fra) 1906 A. Dunlop (Fra) Past winners by Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com