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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

88th Ronde van Vlaanderen/1st Women's Ronde van Vlaanderen - CDM

Belgium, April 4, 2004

2003 results     Preview    Start List     Past winners

A challenge for Van Petegem

By Jeff Jones

Peter Van Petegem
Photo: © Sirotti
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Peter van Petegem's win in the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) last year marked the beginning of a short but very sweet purple patch. A week after beating Frank Vandenbroucke at the finish of the Ronde in Ninove last year, Van Petegem also claimed the Queen of the Classics, Paris-Roubaix. To win the two biggest classics of the year is a rare achievement, and Van Petegem now has that etched in stone.

The Lotto-Domo captain is in good form again this year, doing enough in the early season races to gradually peak for the big classics. The winner of the Ronde in 1999, Van Petegem will be trying for a third victory this year, something that only one other current rider has achieved. That man is of course Johan Museeuw (Quick.Step-Davitamon), who is riding the final races of his career in April and is looking to go out with a bang.

Museeuw first won the Ronde in 1993, back in the days when he was still developing as a classics rider. He added a second win in 1995 and a third in 1998, but has not yet been able to claim a fourth victory, something that no other rider has done. A second place in 2002 was as close as he got. Like Van Petegem, Museeuw has also used the early season races to build his form, and it's clear that he is in very good shape. A titanic struggle is expected.

Quick.Step-Davitamon has two other very strong cards to play in Paolo Bettini, who is certainly capable of winning this race, and Tom Boonen, the young sprinter who excels in the Belgian races, last Saturday winning the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen. Don't forget Luca Paolini, who won Brabantse Pijl on Sunday. Quick.Step is certainly one of the main teams to beat.

Photo: © Sirotti
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Besides the two Belgian blocs, there are several other line ups equally worthy of consideration. Rabobank, with World Cup leader Oscar Freire, Michael Boogerd and Erik Dekker, has a team with enough depth to match Quick.Step and Lotto. So too does US Postal-Berry Floor, whose stars George Hincapie, Stijn Devolder, Max van Heeswijk and Viatcheslav Ekimov will all want to be part of the game on Sunday.

Last year's second place getter Frank Vandenbroucke has changed teams to Fassa Bortolo where he will be the undisputed team captain for the Ronde. VDB has two second places to his name (1999 and 2003) and would dearly like to improve on that number. He rode very well in Paris-Nice and Setmana Catalana, and now it remains to be seen whether he has the explosivity required for the classics.

Team CSC will be riding for Michele Bartoli, winner in 1996 and a rider that you can never discount. He was almost in the final move in Sunday's Brabantse Pijl, and if he finds that extra level this week he will be dangerous.

Cofidis has a secret weapon in Stuart O'Grady, who finished third in Ninove last year and was also third in Milan-San Remo. O'Grady unfortunately crashed in the E3 Prijs, and it's not known yet how much that will effect him.

Other riders to watch include T-Mobile's Steffen Wesemann, who will be supported by a strong team, and Lampre's Gianluca Bortolami, winner in 2001 by a whisker.

Past winners

     First                     Second                   Third
2003 Peter Van Petegem (Bel)   Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel)Stuart O'Grady (Aus) 
2002 Andrea Tafi (Ita)         Johan Museeuw (Bel)      Peter Van Petegem (Bel)
2001 Gianluca Bortolami (Ita)  Erik Dekker (Ned)        Denis Zanette (Ita)
2000 Andrei Tchmil (Bel)       Dario Pieri (Ita)        Romans Vainsteins (Lat)
1999 Peter Van Petegem (Bel)   Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel)Johan Museeuw (Bel)
1998 Johan Museeuw (Bel)       Stefano Zanini (Ita)     Andrei Tchmil (Bel)
1997 Rolf Sörensen (Den)       Frédéric Moncassin (Fra) Franco Ballerini (Ita)
1996 Michele Bartoli (Ita)     Fabio Baldato (Ita)      Johan Museeuw (Bel)
1995 Johan Museeuw (Bel)       Fabio Baldato (Ita)      Andrei Tchmil (Ukr)
1994 Gianni Bugno (Ita)        Johan Museeuw (Bel)      Andrei Tchmil (Ukr)
1993 Johan Museeuw (Bel)       Franz Maassen (Ned)      David Bottaro (Ita)
1992 Jacky Durand (Fra)        Thomas Wegmuller (Swi)   Edwig Van Hooydonck (Bel)
1991 Edwig Van Hooydonck (Bel) Johan Museeuw (Bel)      Rolf Sörensen (Den)
1990 Moreno Argentin (Ita)     Rudy Dhaenens (Bel)      John Talen (Ned)
1989 Edwig Van Hooydonck (Bel) Herman Frison (Bel)      Dag Otto Lauritzen Nor)
1988 Eddy Planckaert (Bel)     Phil Anderson (Aust)     Adri Van Der Poel (Ned)
1987 Claude Criquielion (Bel)  Sean Kelly (Ire)         Eric Vanderaerden (Bel)
1986 Adri Van Der Poel (Ned)   Sean Kelly (Ire)         Flup Vandenbrande (Bel)
1985 Eric Vanderaerden (Bel)   Phil Anderson (Aust)     Hennie Kuiper (Ned)
1984 Johan Lammerts (Ned)      Sean Kelly (Ire)         Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke (Bel)
1983 Jan Raas (Ned)            Ludo Peeters (Bel)       Marc Sergeant (Bel)
1982 Rene Martens (Bel)        Eddie Planckaert (Bel)   Rudy Pevenage (Bel)
1981 Hennie Kuiper (Ned)       Frits Pirard (Ned)       Jan Raas (Ned)
1980 Michel Pollentier (Bel)   Francesco Moser (Ita)    Jan Raas (Ned)
1979 Jan Raas (Ned)            Marc Demeyer (Bel)       Daniel Willems (Bel)
1978 Walter Godefroot (Bel)    Michel Pollentier (Bel)  Greg Braun (Ger)
1977 Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel)  (3) *                    (3) *
1976 Walter Planckaert (Bel)   Francesco Moser (Ita)    Marc Demeyer (Bel)
1975 Eddy Merckx (Bel)         Frans Verbeeck (Bel)     Marc Demeyer (Bel)
1974 Cees Bal (Ned)            Frans Verbeeck (Bel)     (2)*
1973 Eric Leman (Bel)          Freddie Maertens (Bel)   Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1972 Eric Leman (Bel)          André Dierickx (Bel)     Frans Verbeeck (Bel)
1971 Evert Dolman (Ned)        F. Kerremans (Bel)       Cyril Guimard (Fra)
1970 Eric Leman (Bel)          Walter Godefroot (Bel)   Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1969 Eddy Merckx (Bel)         Felice Gimondi (Ita)     Marino Basso (Ita)
1968 Walter Godefroot (Bel)    Rudi Altig (Ger)         Jan Janssen (Ned)
1967 Dino Zandegu (Ita)        Noél Foré (Bel)          Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1966 Ward Sels (Bel)           Adriano Durante (Ita)    Georges Vandenberghe (Bel)
1965 Jo De Roo (Ned)           Edward Sels (Bel)        Georges Vanconingsloo (Bel)
1964 Rudi Altig (Ger)          Benoni Beheyt (Bel)      Jo De Roo (Ned)
1963 Noél Foré (Bel)           Frans Melckenbeeck (Bel) Tom Simpson (GB)
1962 Rik Van Looy (Bel)        Michel Van Aerde (Bel)   Norbert Kerckhove (Bel)
1961 Tom Simpson (GB)          Nino Defilippis (Ita)    Jo De Haan (Ned)
1960 Arthur De Cabooter (Bel)  Jean Graczyk (Fra)       Ric Van Looy (Bel)
1959 Rik Van Looy (Bel)        Frans Schoubben (Bel)    Gilbert Desmet (Bel)
1958 Germain Derijcke (Bel)    Willy Truye (Bel)        Angelo Conterno (Ita)
1957 Fred De Bruyne (Bel)      Jos Planckaert (Bel)     Norbert Kerckhove (Bel)
1956 Jean Forestier (Fra)      Stan Ockers (Bel)        Leon Van Daele (Bel)
1955 Louison Bobet (Fra)       Hugo Koblet (swi)        Rik Van Steenbergen (Bel)
1954 Raymond Impanis (Bel)     Francois Mahe (Fra)      Alfons Van Den Brande (Bel)
1953 Wim Van Est (Ned)         Désiré Keteleer (Bel)    Bernard Gauthier (Fra)
1952 Roger Decock (Bel)        Loretto Petrucci (Ita)   Briek Schotte (Bel)
1951 Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)      Bernard Gauthier (Fra)   Attilio Redolfi (Fra)
1950 Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)      Briek Schotte (Bel)      Louis Caput (Fra)
1949 Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)      Valére Ollivier (Bel)    Briek Schotte (Bel)
1948 Briek Schotte (Bel)       Albert Ramon (Bel)       Marcel Rijckaert (Bel)
1947 Emiel Faignaert (Bel)     René Desmet (Bel)        Henri Renders (Bel)
1946 Rik Van Steenbergen (Bel) Louis Thiétard (Fra)     Briek Schotte (Bel)
1945 Sylvain Grysolle (Bel)    Albert Sercu (Bel)       Jos Moerenhout (Bel)
1944 Rik Van Steenbergen (Bel) Briek Schotte (Bel)      Jos Moerenhout (Bel)
1943 Achiel Buysse (Bel)       Albert Sercu (Bel)       K. Beeckman (Bel)
1942 Briek Schotte (Bel)       Georges Claes (Bel)      Robert Van Eenaeme (Bel)
1941 Achiel Buysse (Bel)       Gustaaf Van Overloop (B) O. Vanden Meerschaut (Bel)
1940 Achiel Buysse (Bel)       G. Christiaens (Bel)     Briek Schotte (Bel)
1939 Karel Kaers (Bel)         Romain Maes (Bel)        Ward Vissers (Bel)
1938 Edgard De Caluwe (Bel)    Sylveer Maes (Bel)       Marcel Kint (Bel)
1937 Michel D'Hooghe (Bel)     Herman Deltour (Bel)     Louis Hardiquest (Bel)
1936 Louis Hardiquest (Bel)    Edgard De Caluwe (Bel)   Francois Neuville (Bel)
1935 Louis Duerloo (Bel)       Eloi Meulenberg (Bel)    C. Leemans (Bel)
1934 Gaston Rebry (Bel)        Alfons Schepers (Bel)    Félicien Vervaecke (Bel)
1933 Alfons Schepers (Bel)     Leon Tommies (Bel)       Romain Gijssels (Bel)
1932 Romain Gijssels (Bel)     Alphonse Deloor (Bel)    Alfred Haemerlinck (Bel)
1931 Romain Gijssels (Bel)     Cesar Bogaert (Ned)      Jean Aerts (Bel)
1930 Frans Bonduel (Bel)       Aimé Dossche (Bel)       Emile Joly (Bel)
1929 Jef Dervaes (Bel)         Georges Ronsse (Bel)     Alfred Haemerlinck (Bel)
1928 Jan Mertens (Bel)         August Mortelmans (Bel)  Louis De Lannoy (Bel)
1927 Gerard Debaets (Bel)      G.Van Slembrouck (Bel)   M. Dewaele (Bel)
1926 Denis Verschueren (Bel)   Gustaaf Van Slembrouck   Raymond Decorte (Bel)
1925 Julien Delbecque (Bel)    Jef Pé (Bel)             Hector Martin (Bel)
1924 Gerard Debaets (Bel)      René Vermandel (Bel)     Felix Sellier (Bel)
1923 Henri Suter (Swi)         Charles De Ruyter (Bel)  Albert De Jonghe (Bel)
1922 Leon Devos (Bel)          Jean Brunier (Fra)       Francis Pelissier (Fra)
1921 Rene Vermandel (Bel)      Jules Van Hevel (Bel)    Louis Budts (Bel)
1920 Jules Van Hevel (Bel)     Albert De Jonghe (Bel)   Alfons Van Hecke (Bel)
1919 Henri Van Lerberghe (Bel) Leon Buysse (Bel)        Jules Van Hevel (Bel)
1914 Marcel Buysse (Bel)       Henri Van Lerberghe (Bel)Pierre Van De Velde (Bel)
1913 Paul Deman (Bel)          Jozef Van Daele (Bel)    Victor Doms (Bel)

(1) Reybrouck (2nd) disqualified (doping)
(2) Godefroot (3rd) disqualified (doping)
(3) Freddy Maertens (2nd) and Walter Planckaert (3rd) disqualified (doping)

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