Mercury-Viatel’s Belgian recruit, Peter Van Petegem, scored his first victory for the American team on Sunday at the 54th Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne semi-classic in the north of Belgium.
Van Petegem was in a group of five that had escaped from a lead group of 14 late in the race. Van Petegem faced off against Hans De Clercq (Lotto), Jo Planckaert (Cofidis), Marc Wauters (B) and Chris Peers (Cofidis) in the finale and beat De Clercq to the line for the win in Kuurne.
"I absolutely wanted to win something very quickly for my new team," said Van Petegem after the 188km race.
The two top teams from last year’s National Racing Calendar kicked off the 2001 NRC season with impressive sweeps at the McLane Pacific Cycling Classic in Merced over the weekend. On the men’s side, Australian Baden Cooke took both the road race and criterium for Mercury-Viatel, while Ina Teutenberg and Lyne Bessette took one win apiece for the Saturn women’s team.
The weekend began with the Downtown Grand Prix on Saturday. With 19 laps remaining in the 45-lap, 36-mile women’s race, a group of seven escaped on the fast, eight-turn, 0.8-mile circuit. Teutenberg made an attempt at a solo
World women’s road champion Zinaida Stahurskaia (GAS Sport) showed that this year’s Tour de Snowy would not be the exclusive realm of Saturn’s hometown favorite Anna Millward as she rode away from the field on the first major climb of this five-day, season opening Australian stage race. But Millward, too, proved herself to be a worthy competitor as the Australian worked tirelessly to catch Stahurskaia in the closing kilometers of the day’s 77.3 km stage, preserving her lead in the overall standings.
Stahurskaia had been touted as Millward’s biggest threat, even as the Australian charged her
Sunday, the second day at Australia’s five-day Tour de Snowy offered a bit of a repeat of the first: a two stage day, marked again by the dominance of the Saturn women’s team and by Anna Millward in particular.
The morning kicked off with a very short 35.9km stage from Jindabyne to Thredbo. Despite a series of breakaway attempts, the Saturn squad kept reign on the field and reeled in the final attackers with just a kilometer to go. Again, the stage was set for a Saturn-led field sprint and the team followed its script as written: Millward scooted home to take her third successive stage in
Italian national champion and multi-classic winner Michele Bartoli sent a strong message today with a convincing win over a world class field in the Belgian season opener Het Volk.
The 30 year-old Mapei-Quick step rider returned to form late last season following a difficult knee injury, and with today’s win showed that he may again be on the level that has already placed him among the sport’s legendary classics riders.
The 200 kilometer test between Gent and Lokeren, covering much of the same terrain as the classic Tour of Flanders, got off to a chilly start with temperatures barely
Switzerland's Fabian Jekker (Maia) won the Tour of Valencia following the fifth and final stage, a 23.5km time-trial around the east coast city of Valencia.
Dutch rider Michael Boogerd, who predicted on taking the lead Tuesday that the race would hinge on the time trial, was proved correct when Jeker, who finished 15th in the stage, nipped him by 13 seconds overall and 13 seconds on the day to snatch victory.
"This is a great victory for me," said Jeker after the biggest win of his career.
The time trial through the streets of Valencia was affected by lashing rain. "At the end I was
Mapei’s Michele Bartoli won Saturday's Het Volk semi-classic, a 200km race between Ghent and Lokeren.The Italian champion won a sprint finish to come in ahead of Belgian Hendrik Van Dijck (Lotto) Matthe Pronk (Rabobank).
Bartoli, who suffered a serious injury to his right leg after an accident in the 1999 Tour of Germany, is now back in top form following this result in Belgium's season-opening event. At 30, he is now in the kind of shape which saw him top the world rankings at the end of the 90's. The result upstaged Belgian riders who have only been beaten five times in 55
Saturn’s Anna Millward quickly established herself as the woman to beat in the 2001 Tour de Snowy as the 1999 World Cup winner took both stages contested on the opening day of the Australian stage race that marks the start of the women’s road season.
Millward scored an impressive early win in the opening 30km criterium around the town center of Cooma. Fighting off riders from an impressive field of European, Australian and American riders – including the reigning world champions Zinaida Stahurskaia and Mari Holden -- Millward teamed up with fellow Aussie Kristy Scrymgeour, one of the newest