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98th Milano-Sanremo - PT

Italy, March 24, 2007

Live report

Live commentary by Gregor Brown and Hedwig Kröner, with additional reporting from Tim Maloney

09:58 CET   
Welcome to Cyclingnews' coverage of the 98th Milano-Sanremo (or Milan - San Remo). This is the big-one, the longest one-day race in modern cycling, and truly worth its status as a Monument. The race, organized by RCS Sport, is celebrating its centenary year (with two editions not being run due to the war.)

The riders are gathered this morning, under clear and crisp conditions in front of Castello Sforzesco, nearby Milan's famous Duomo. The reported weather forecast for today is continued clear weather, with expected partly cloudy conditions at the race's mid-way point, Passo del Turchino (532m). After the pass, riders can expect the race to heat up along the Ligurian coast under partly cloudy skies and temperatures of 15°C.

197 riders from 25 teams pushed off this morning, they include Ag2r Prévoyance (Fra), Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo (Ita), Astana (Swi), Barloworld (GBr), Bouygues Telecom (Fra), Caisse d'Epargne (Spa), Ceramica Panaria-Navigare (Irl), Cofidis (Fra), Crédit Agricole (Fra), Discovery Channel (USA), Euskaltel-Euskadi (Spa), Française Des Jeux (Fra), Gerolsteiner (Ger), Lampre-Fondital (Ita), Liquigas (Ita), Predictor-Lotto (Bel), Quickstep-Innergetic (Bel), Rabobank (Ned), Saunier Duval-Prodir (Spa), T-Mobile (Ger), Team CSC (Den), Team LPR (Swi), Milram (Ita), Tinkoff Credit Systems (Ita) and Unibet.com (Swe).

The peloton made its way south, out of the world's fashion capital and onto the open roads of Lombardy. Behind the riders is a long formation of team cars. Last night there was a meeting with the teams' managers to discuss, amongst other things, the ordering of the team cars. There was no conclusion reached and it was later decided to run the team cars based on the ProTour team rankings.

Also, regarding the ProTour, the teams were presented last night, near Piazza Duomo, in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. It was a stunning presentation made to highlight the race's 100 years. However, 12 teams decided to boycott the presentation as part of the ongoing rift between the Grand Tours and ProTour. The teams who did not show said that since RCS Sport does not recognize the ProTour that they would not be present at its teams presentation. Those teams who did not show were Quickstep-Innergetic, Predictor-Lotto, Caisse d'Epargne, Ag2r Prévoyance, Cofidis, Crédit Agricole, Française Des Jeux, Team CSC, Discovery Channel, Gerolsteiner, T-Mobile and Rabobank. All the wild-card teams were present. Cyclingnews will report more on this later.

Liquigas face the cameras
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

10:04 CET   
Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole) was one of the few not starting this morning. He reportedly has gastroenteritis.

10:07 CET    4km/290km to go
The first attack comes after four kilometres. Elio Aggiano (Tinkoff Credit Systems) attacked, followed by Roberto Traficante (Team LPR), Alessandro Donati (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo) and Alexandre Usov (Ag2r Prévoyance. They were immediately pulled back.

It is again gruppo compatto (or the peloton is all together).

10:13 CET   
Regarding the order of the team cars, Radsportnews reported that it was decided on a random draw, not according to ProTour rankings as the UCI would have wanted.

Mario Cipollini was at the teams' presentation last night. In fact he is often in the area, shopping at the famous designer stores, such as Prada. He commented that "the teams not showing is a mistake. They should have at least shown up to honour the fans." Cyclingnews agrees with Cipo, we would have liked to see all 25 teams last night in Milan.

10:15 CET    21km/273km to go
It is still gruppo compatto. Tinkoff, one of the wild-card invites, is very active at the front of the race. In the team it has Mikhail Ignatiev and Pavel Brutt; both of these Russians have won twice this year.

Pippo and Cipo
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

10:33 CET   
Cyclingnews' Tim Maloney was at the start in Milan and talked with many of the riders who will be featuring in the day's finale. Daniele Bennati, the leader of Lampre-Fondital, said, "My intestinal virus from Paris-Nice is gone. I am not going to hide out today and I am going to play my cards."

One of the leaders of Milram, Mirko Celestino, will be racing on home roads; the finale of the race runs right past his house. "I am in really in good shape," he reported to Cyclingnews. "I will be watching the early breaks, but we are all for Alessandro Petacchi.

"Be careful of Riccardo Riccò, he has great legs!"

There was a lot of talk about Riccardo Riccò's "vegetable" comments. The 2006 winner, Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas), jokingly said that "he will attack because he is not a 'vegetable.'" He added, "Sanremo is a race of distance and experience." Riccò of Saunier Duval is riding in his first Milano-Sanremo while Pozzato is the returning champion.

Cannondale produced a special bike for 'Pippo' that is mirror-finished, which was designed to symbolize the Roman God Mercury. He started the race with matching helmet and shoes, both in a mirror finish. He is reportedly betting his Ferrari that he will win. He said that "I will bet my Ferrari on a double." If he loses Cyclingnews could trade in its blimp for a red Ferrari.

10:40 CET    46km/248km to go
The first hour of racing was fast, at 46.1 km/h. Reports from Sanremo (or "San Remo") are telling us that the sky is a little cloudy but for now there is no chance of rain.

11:09 CET   
There have been various breakaway attempts in the last half hour of racing, but none of them were successful. At km 56, Marco Pinotti (T-Mobile), Daniele Contrini (Tinkoff), Carlos Da Cruz (Française des Jeux) and Andreas Dietziker (Lpr) got a 12 seconds gap, but were then reeled back in by the bunch.

In Pontecurone at km 67, another move was caught: the one of Massimo Codol (Acqua&Sapone), Roberto Traficante (Lpr) and Tiziano Dall'Antonia (Panaria Navigare). It's still such a long race...

11:27 CET    74km/220km to go
The peloton is charging along towards the Passo del Turchino and is being led by T-Mobile and Quick-Step.

Cyclingnews' Tim Maloney spoke with Eddy Merckx this morning. The Belgian is the all-time great in Sanremo, having won the race an amazing seven times. "It is very hard to say who will win and I think it is a wide open race," were his thoughts on today's Classicissima . "How would I win? There are two ways to win: wait for the sprint or try a solo attack. Today, I think I would attack, to try to arrive solo."

Aussie Stuart O'Grady had has his race face on in Milan this morning. Before a race he is always focused, like no other rider. He quipped "Yeah, I am ready," and gave Cyclingnews' Tim Maloney a nod. He indicated that his goal is to be in the placings.

11:48 CET    92km/202km to go
The first true escape was launched! Yes, grab another caffè because the action is beginning! In Italy it is common to have a caffè and brioche for breakfast. Walk into any bar and you can get a very nice caffè and a soft brioche. The brioche can be taken plain, or with fillings like chocolate, cream or jam.

Back to the escape! The six riders to make it off the front of the peloton are Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff Credit Systems), Andrei Kunitski (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo), Koen De Kort (Astana), Emanuele Sella (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare), Roberto Traficante (Team LPR) and Aitor Hernández (Euskaltel-Euskadi). They currently have 1'23" on the peloton.

After two hours of racing the pace is still very high; 46.2 km/h. The riders have the wind at their backs, which is helping them push along towards the Passo del Turchino. The fastest ever average speed was in 1990 when Gianni Bugno won; 45.806. Bugno is, of course, Italian and comes from nearby, in Monza.

11:59 CET    105km/189km to go
The gap is sky-rocketing! The escape of six reaches Basaluzzo (Alessandria) with 7'25".

There were 197 starters this morning from Milano, which means there were three non-starters. Francesco Bellotti (Crédit Agricole) along with his teammate, Thor Hushovd, did not start this morning, and we are working on the third non-starter.

12:05 CET   
Cyclingnews spoke with three of the Discovery Channel riders this morning in Milan. Tony Cruz, the only American in Milano-Sanremo, is one of the nicest guys you could meet in the peloton. "We have two cards to play," said the rider from Los Angeles. "We have Popovych, who we hope can follow the attacks on the climbs, and the other is Allan Davis, who can be up with the best in the sprint."

Ukrainian Volodymyr Bileka was happy to speak with us in English. "When I first joined the team I really did not speak English," he said. "Maybe I will be able do something, but we will have to see how my legs are after all the kilometres."

Note that today he is wearing the 1 of team leader, number 101. Usually teams will give the first back-number in the set of numbers to the designated team captain.

Matt White, in his White Oakley shades, noted, "I feel better after my crash in Paris-Nice. There are no serious consequences from that incident. Today will be a hard day!"

12:12 CET    114km/180km to go
The escape of six has 7'40".

A special "Moien" to everyone Luxembourg. We know that your riders Fränk Schleck (Team CSC) and Kim Kirchen (T-Mobile) are tucked away in the peloton. It is likely that Schleck will try his luck in the finale, on the Cipressa or Poggio. Kirchen should have some what of a free hand after showing himself to be super-strong in Tirreno-Adriatico. Look for both of these riders in the race's final 30 kilometres


12:21 CET   
We received confirmation from Caisse d'Epargne of the third non-starter. José Joaquín Rojas "who because of an accident, will not start in Milan-Sanremo, and he is obliged to rest for some time." The team doctor reported that Rojas is suffering from back pains due to his crash, and that he will have to wear a special support to re-start training after two weeks of rest.

So, the three non-starters were José Joaquín Rojas, Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole) and Francesco Bellotti (Crédit Agricole).

José Enrique Gutierrez (Team LPR)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

12:56 CET    142km/152km to go
The escape is on the Passo del Turchino and its gap is still around seven minutes.

There has been a crash reported at kilometre 135 involving Frédéric Guesdon (Française Des Jeux) and José Enrique Gutierrez (Team LPR). The Frenchman and Spaniard, who finished second in the 2006 Giro d'Italia, have gotten back up and re-joined the peloton.

13:06 CET   
Over the top of Turchino the riders will be able to smell the salty air blowing north from the Ligurian Sea. Running down to the coast, they will pass through Albenga, where Mirko Celestino (Milram) was born in 1974.

The winner of the 1999 Giro di Lombardia, who now lives near Bergamo with his wife, knows these roads very well and will use the knowledge to his advantage over the race's final climbs; i Capi, the Capo Mele, Capo Cervo and Capo Berta, and then the Cipressa and Poggio.

13:12 CET    146km/148km to go
The escape is led over the Passo del Turchino by Emanuele Sella (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare). The advantage of break-away, currently descending, is still around seven minutes.

The average speed after three hours of racing is reported to be 45.2 km/h.

The peloton made its way up the climb but not without incident. Guennadi Mikhailov (Astana), Marco Fertonani (Caisse d'Epargne) and Daniele Contrini (Tinkoff Credit Systems) were tangled up, and unfortunately for the Italian of Tinkoff it meant the end of the race. The rider, who lives near Brescia, will be forced to finish the race in the team car.

13:39 CET   
Cyclingnews spoke with Vittorio Agrate before the start. The Italian has a special vantage point in the races, he is the motorcycle driver for Rai TV. "Pozzato," he quipped when asked who would win this afternoon in Sanremo. That is great advice from a man who rides right alongside our heroes.

Former professional Andrea Ferrigato spoke with Cyclingnews at the start. 'Il Lupo' (the wolf), who is a past Giro stage winner and now works for Selle Italia, said that "there would be chaos on the Poggio. But the guy to watch out for is Enrico Gasparotto."

The 2005 Italian Champion was riding very well in the Tirreno-Adriatico, taking second on its toughest stage, and he indicated this last week that he wants to have a good Sanremo. "I feel at the top of my form now and I believe I am a good racer. This year and in the future, I hope to win some important races," the 24 year-old said to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

13:50 CET    178km/116km to go
The average after three hours of racing is 44.1 kilometres per hour.

Roberto Traficante's legs have begun to weaken and he has lost pace with the escapees. The Team LPR rider will soon be caught by the peloton, who is now 6'14" behind and is mostly driven by Milram (especially active is Christian Knees). If you are a fan of Robertos then you will be happy to know that Roberto Petito (Liquigas) is still in the peloton. He will be working hard for Filippo Pozzato and Enrico Gasparotto in the race's finale.

Another crash is reported in the peloton; Paolo Longo Borghini (Barloworld) and Iban Mayoz (Euskaltel-Euskadi) have gone down but without any serious consequences. Both have re-joined the peloton.

14:00 CET    181km/113km to go
The peloton are passing through Savona, where the temperature is 12°C. The city used thrive in the Italian iron industry. The riders will be able to see some fancy iron gates and even the old iron foundries as they ride through the town.

14:08 CET    195km/99km to go
Roberto Traficante (Team LPR), after spending the first part of the race in the escape has abandoned after 195 kilometres of racing.

14:22 CET   
Cyclingnews just got off the phone with DS Matteo Algeri of Saunier Duval. He is at the finish area in Sanremo and is reporting that it is "cloudy with a little bit of rain." He continued, "I can't remember the last time there was a wet finish in Sanremo." (The last race that finished in the rain was in 1991, won by Claudio Chiappucci. - ed.)

He confirmed that his team will work to setup an attack by Riccardo Riccò on the Cipressa or Poggio, and then use Francisco José Ventoso for the sprint.

Algeri's favourite non-Saunier rider is Enrico Gasparotto (Liquigas). "He is going so strong right now. Did you see him on the Tirreno stage to San Giacomo?"

"My favourite memory of Sanremo was when Maurizio Fondriest won in 1993," he recalled. "The night before the race his wife had a baby girl, and because of the win they named her Maria Vittoria. ['Vittoria' means 'victory' in Italian - ed.]"

14:28 CET    200km/94km to go
The escape is in Noli, 42 kilometres from Capo Mele.

Please send in your favourite Milano-Sanremo memory to the address below. Thanks! Or Grazie, as they say here in Italy.

14:43 CET    215km/79km to go
The riders pass along the Ligurian coast with an advantage of 4'52 over the Rabobank-led peloton. In the first five hours of racing the average speed was 43.84 km/h.

The boys in orange are just stretching this race out for past winner Oscar Freire. The three-time World Champion will be the man-to-beat according to many.

14:46 CET   
The riders are coming up on Celestino's home town of Albenga, at kilometre 229. We have no news on the Aussie riders but if we hear something we will surely pass it on.

14:51 CET   
Reader's comments:
"My favourite memory was when Paolo Bettini foiled the sprinters. He is such a great rider." - Ric Gordon.

"1992 Milano-Sanremo: Sean Kelly's decent of the Poggio and the subsequent look on Moreno Argentin's face as Kelly caught him right on the finishing straight of the Via Roma." - Stevo in Niles.

14:55 CET    223km/71km to go
The roads look really dicey now. Lampre-Fondital is on the front hammering for its leader Daniele Bennati. The Tuscan sprinter, from Arezzo, is a hot-favourite for the sprint victory. He will have support from teammates Napolitano and Ballan.

14:58 CET   
More comments:
"This is my first Milan-Sanremo. Thanks for helping me discover the longest one day race in cycling." - Shane.

"My favourite memory from Milan - San Remo is legendary Oscar Freire win. I'm a Erik Zabel's fan, and for me this moment is very special." - Denis Trubetskoy, Ukraine

15:05 CET   
Riders are coming up on Alassio which is made famous by the chocolate "Baci di Alassio." Mmmm, it is formed from chocolate and has a nutty mixture. If you are ever in Italy you must try one of these treats.

15:08 CET    241km/53km to go
De Kort looks to be in difficulties as the escape of five hits the first of three capi, the Capo Mele.

The Peloton is led by Christian Knees. The tall Milram rider is riding along the stone cliffs. The water is down to his left, the escape of five in front of him and the international peloton is at his back.

15:10 CET   
Brutt has his long hair flowing in the wind. He has taken two wins so far this year for the newly constructed Tinkoff squad.

The weather is quite cold. Pavel Brutt is opting for arm warmers and knee warmers.

15:11 CET   
Brutt, number 222, puts in a slight dig to go off the front. He is quickly brought back by his four 'friends.'

15:15 CET   
The scenery is so beautiful in this part of Italy. Red roofs pop out of the lush green trees that are along side the road. The riders are winding their way west along the coast towards Sanremo.

World Champion Paolo Bettini is right up in the front 20 of the peloton led by Milram and Rabobank. He is keeping safe on these damp roads.

The escape is at 2'00"

15:17 CET    248km/46km to go
I Capi are the three following climbs, the Capo Mele, Capo Cervo and Capo Berta, coming at 242, 247 and 255 kilometres from the start.

15:20 CET    249km/45km to go
The five up front are taking equal turns but it is Brutt who looks the strongest. Kunitski looks so smooth; his long legs are not covered by knee-warmers and they are just pumping up and down like a finely-tuned engine. He will be really proud of his performance today, even if the escape gets caught.

Back behind it is now Cofidis on the front of the peloton. The red-kitted team are 1'22" back from the escape.

15:22 CET   
The peloton is on Capo Berta, the final of the three Capi. It is not able to smell the scent of the escapees.

15:25 CET   
The finish area is a huge party. There are many tourists and locals who have lined the Via Roma to wait for the riders. Currently there is a parade of military men on bicycles, it looks really cool.

15:27 CET    255km/39km to go
Tomas Vaitkus, new Discovery signing, is now on the front of the peloton. They will be working for Allan Davis in the sprint or setting up for Popovych to attack on the Poggio.

15:28 CET   
Crash in the peloton. This looks bad. It appears to be Fabian Wegmann of Gerolsteiner. He is on his back with blood all over his face.

Medics have taken off his helmet and they are waving in help.

15:31 CET   
The rider is David Kopp and he now has a neck brace on. We hope he will be fine. Medics are taking him away on a stretcher.

15:32 CET    256km/38km to go
"Testa della Corsa" (head of the race): the three are working well together but their gap has dropped dramatically. They now only have 48".

15:34 CET   
Alessandro Petacchi's wife is pacing up and down the finish line area. She must be nervous for her husband.

Meanwhile, Brutt is continuing to ride so strong at the front of the escape.

15:35 CET   
Another crash in the peloton. It is Marco Zanotti of Unibet. He is on his back after sliding out in a left-hand corner. The medics are now arriving.

15:36 CET   
Regarding the crash of Kopp, fortunately he seemed to be conscious, touching his head and leg with his hand.

15:39 CET   
The escape only has 28". Brutt is feeling the pressure and he must think his chances are now over.

The peloton is lead by Bouygues Telecom. We are coming closer and closer to the Cipressa. We can expect to see many attacks on the first of two race-closing climbs.

15:39 CET   
The escape is on the Cipressa.

15:40 CET   
Paolo Bettini is out the back door. As soon as the peloton hit the Cipressa he went out the rear.

15:41 CET   
The pace is crazy-fast now. Milram is on the front, controlling the pace for Petacchi.

The escape will be caught at any moment.

15:42 CET    266km/28km to go
Voeckler is at the business-end of affairs. The Frenchman might want to try his luck on the Cipressa. The race is really heating up here!

15:43 CET   
Manuel Quinziato of Liquigas is setting a mean pace and has now gone off the front with Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) on his wheel. The duo has gained a few seconds.

15:45 CET   
The early escape has been caught, we now have gruppo compatto. Voeckler and Quinziato are also back in the fold.

15:46 CET   
Paolo Bettini (Quickstep-Innergetic), number 161, looks like he will have no chance today. The team will be 100% for Tom Boonen now. Good luck Tom!

15:47 CET   
Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) has attacked. He is really on good form after his performance in the Paris-Nice, where he held the race lead after winning a stage. He joins up with Andrea Moletta (Gerolsteiner).

15:49 CET   
Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery Channel) attacks to join and a trio is formed up front. This is a good looking move.

15:50 CET    272km/22km to go
The riders are coming to the top of the Cipressa. The trio are on its way down, with about 20". These turns are so risky. The road is ribbon-like as it goes down to the Ligurian coast.

15:51 CET   
Update: Kopp is in hospital and getting treatment. He'll be fine, says Gerolsteiner.

15:53 CET    275km/19km to go
Oscar Freire (Rabobank) and a Lampre rider attack.

Meanwhile, Moletta crashes on a right-hand corner. He wraps himself around a pole but looks to be fine. Medics are taking him away. We now only have two up front, Popo and Franco.

15:54 CET   
Mirko Celestino (Milram) is chasing from behind. It is Patxi Vila (Lampre-Fondital) and Celestino who are chasing the duo up front. There is 10" between the two groups with the Poggio arriving.

15:55 CET   
A stretcher has arrived to carry Moletta off. Not a good day for team Gerolsteiner.

15:56 CET   
This is a great move by Liquigas. They now have one man up front, with Franco, and two cards to play in the peloton. Gasparotto will follow any attacks on the Poggio and Pippo Pozzato will try to win in a sprint.

15:58 CET   
Celestino is really gritting his teeth. He knows these roads so well, having grown up in this area. But the duo, with Vila, is doomed. The peloton is right on the two.

15:58 CET    278km/16km to go
Quick-Step is on the front in large numbers. Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) and Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery Channel) have only 20" now.

16:00 CET   
The roads have dried out. It looks like we will have a safe finish on dry roads.

Pellizotti looks to be tiring as the Poggio approaches. The duo have 28".

16:01 CET    282km/12km to go
Watch for any attacks to happen on the Poggio. This will be THE place for the attackers to make their move. At the top there are only 5.7 kilometres to the line.

Robbie McEwen is moving up in the Peloton.

16:03 CET   
The duo of Pellizotti and Popovych are going to be caught on the slopes of the Poggio. Here we go! Wait for the counter-attacks.

16:03 CET   
Tom Boonen looks comfortable in the peloton.

The duo is caught. Gruppo Compatto.

16:04 CET   
Manuele Mori (Saunier Duval-Prodir) is up at the front. Setting up for Riccò?

16:05 CET   
wait, Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery Channel) is still off the front! He is pounding on his pedals. This tough rider is not giving up.

16:06 CET    286km/8km to go
Ballan leads Bennati for Lampre. They looks smooth!

Popo is taking these corners on the downhill run of the Poggio with grace!

16:07 CET   
Riccardo Riccò (Saunier Duval-Prodir) attacks as promised! Popo is caught.

16:08 CET   
Philippe Gilbert (Française Des Jeux) joins Riccò!

16:09 CET    289km/5km to go
Kim Kirchen (T-Mobile) is chasing. Gilbert and Riccò look very strong! The Belgian and Italian are swapping turns. They have just topped the Poggio with five seconds.

16:11 CET   
They have to be very careful on this descent of the Poggio. No one wants to leave the race like Moletta did on the Cipressa.

Bettini is Back. He is chasing hard on the descent of the Poggio. He is playing perfect teammate to Boonen.

16:12 CET    291km/3km to go
Both Riccò and Gilbert are very young. The Italian is 23 and the Belgian is 24.

16:13 CET   
This could be it cycling fans!

16:13 CET   
Lampre has the peloton lined out for Bennati. The duo now looks doomed. We should have a bunch sprint. Brace yourself.

16:14 CET   
The duo are looking back. It is over for them.

16:14 CET    293km/1km to go
Milram is there, so is Lampre. We are in the final Km!

16:14 CET   
Ballan is leading the peloton.

16:14 CET   
Boonen is on the wheel of Freire.

16:15 CET   
Milram takes over.

16:15 CET   
It is Petacchi and Boonen.

16:15 CET   
But wait... Oscar Freire darts through!

16:15 CET   
The Spaniard has clinched his second Sanremo!

16:17 CET   
Freire was on the wheel of Petacchi. The Milram lead-out train could not shake the Spaniard who came up on the left with Allan Davis (Discovery) on his wheel. Boonen may have got second.

16:26 CET   
That was a remarkable show by Oscar Freire. The Spaniard showed so well in Tirreno-Adriatico and was the favourite of many cycling pundits, but he often has varying results. As well as three World Championships he now has two Milan-Sanremos under his belt. Thinking back to 1999, who would have ever guessed this punchy Spaniard would one day have these impressive wins in his palmarès. Bravo Oscar!

The Australians were also impressive; three Australians in the top six with Davis, McEwen and O'Grady. Good work boys.

16:28 CET   
Thanks for joining Cyclingnews on our coverage of La Classicissima. Please return in the coming weeks for more live coverage.

Provisional Results

1 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
2 Allan Davis (Aus) Discovery Channel
3 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic
4 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Predictor-Lotto
5 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Team CSC
6 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram
7 Gabriele Balducci (Ita) Acqua&Sapone
8 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Team Milram