Oscar Camenzind outsprinted Davide Rebellin, David Etxebarria, Francesco Casagrande and Michael Boogerd in an exciting finish to the Ardennes classic.
Earlier in the race, American Tyler Hamilton suffered a broken elbow involved in a crash at the base of the Côte de Wanneranval.
Camenzind the Swiss Lampre-Daikin star followed the moves of the powerhouse Fassa Bortolo team of Casagrande and Raimondas Rumsas, who led in the bunch 25 seconds behind the first five.
Another Fassa Bortolo rider, Dario Frigo, had been off the front with Camenzind’s teammate, Max Sciandri, for well over an hour
Ukraine's Sergei Gontchar, of the Liquigas team, won the overall title in the 31st Settimana Lombarda in Bergamo, Italy Sunday.
Fassa Bortolo’s Alessandro Petacchi, won the fifth and final stage, a 163.4km run from Colzate to Clusone.
Petacchi outsprinted Latvia's world champion Romans Vainsteins and Giuseppe Di Grande, also an Italian.
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Mercatone Uno’s Marco Pantani pulled out of the Settimana Lombarda prior to the start of Saturday's 187km fourth stage from Roncadelle.
The 31-year-old rider, winner of the 1998 Tour de France and Giro d'Italia double, also pulled out of the Tour of the Basque Country earlier this month, because of a recurring bronchitis problem.
“There was no question that he would take any risk before the Giro. It's better for him to train on roads he knows and in more favourable climatic conditions," said Mercatone team manager Giuseppe Martinelli.
After three stages of the five-day event, Liquigas’s
Spanish cyclist Javier Otxoa left intensive care on Saturday after being run over on February 15 in an accident that killed his twin brother, the Spanish sports daily Marca reported.
The 26-year-old Otxoa has lost 44 pounds and is still unable to move his legs. He has been communicating with his family by writing notes and has apparently been asking for his brother Ricardo, disbelieving his family's assurances that Ricardo has been in another ward of the hospital. Javier Otxoa won the 10th stage of the 2000 Tour de France, after a long solo breakaway effort.
The two brothers, members of
Former Italian cycling champion Salvatore Commesso has been suspended until mid-May after being caught in possession of banned substance, his Saeco team said on Saturday.
The Saeco team, which has suspended the cyclist's salary, issued a statement noting that management has yet to make a decision over the 26-year-old Neopolitan's future.
The Italian cycling federation imposed the ban after the 1999 Italian champion was stopped by police who stumbled upon the banned substances by chance almost a year ago.
Reports say a vial of banned substances were found in the rider's
It looks to be a fine day tomorrow for Liége-Bastogne-Liége. The weather reports call for mostly sunny skies with scattered rain and temperatures in the high 40s.
Expect a strong ride from Fassa Bortolo, especially Raimondas Rumsas. His teammates Francesco Casagrande, Dario Frigo, Wladimir Belli and Ivan Basso, second Wednesday in the Fléche Wallonne after a day-long breakaway, will all be dangerous on this course too.
Mapei’s Michele Bartoli and Paolo Bettini, last year’s winner, Rabobank’s Michaël Boogerd, and Liquigas-PATA’s Davide Rebellin are all be riders to watch as well.
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo)edged out Domo’s Fred Rodriguez at the end of the second stage of the Settimana Lombarda.
Petacchi finished at the head of a mass sprint after a 174-kilometer race near the city of Alzate Brianza in Lombardy. Petacchi, recently injured in the Tour of the Mediterranean, also narrowly beat Serguei Yakovlev (Cantina Tollo) and Liquigas's Daniele Contrini. With three stages of the five-stage Italian tour remaining, Tacconi Sport’s Stefan Rutimann moved into the overall lead.