With 7km left in the 212km stage, Denis Zanette of Liquigas-PATA attacked eight breakaway companions he had been with for 123km and rolled in alone through the streets of the Lubljana, the capitol of Slovenia. He crossed the line, arms upraised, throwing kisses to the huge crowd that was happily welcoming the Giro on this warm, sunny day. Mario Manzoni (Alexia) outsprinted Isidro Nozal (ONCE-Eroski) three seconds later, and the rest of the breakaways finished at 15 seconds – 10 minutes up on the main pack. The top rankings didn't change, with a dozen riders wedged within a minute of overall
It couldn’t have been easier for Mario Cipollini. Instead of having to duke it out in another physical sprint like other flat stages have ended in, the Lion King was able to roll to an easy sprint win because of a crash behind him in the last corner.
While most of Italy is as up and down as a crumpled rug, over the millennia the mighty Po River has ground down every bit of topography in a crosswise swath where the country widens at the top of the boot. Consequently, stage nine, which ran northeast for 142km in the Po valley and crossed the river once, was flat as a pancake and certain to
On a day when a tireless 40-year-old animated the action all day long, it was an up-and-coming 26-year-old on a first-year team who stole the show at the elite men’s national road race championship in Redding, California, on Saturday. A teary-eyed Remi McManus of the Boise Stars team accepted the national championship jersey after outsprinting four breakaway companions at the end of the 111-mile race.
The finish came down to McManus and four others: Brice Jones (Mercy Fitness), Patrick Heaney (Lombardi Sports), Tim Unkert (Capital Velo Club) and Chris Walker (Triathlete Zombies).
Once again, Julio Perez was the animator of a pivotal stage and came agonizingly close to winning it. The pack had not even left the vacation spa town of Montecatini Terme when the Mexican Panaria rider attacked with five others just two kilometers into this difficult 185km stage.
Among those with him was Pietro Chaucchioli, who rolled into Reggio Emilia alone 183km later. Behind, in a small chase group finishing a minute behind the 26-year-old Alessio winner was ONCE’s José Azevedo, who came within a whisker of taking over the maglia rosa.
After 9km, a group of 11 took off after Perez’s
Iban Mayo ( Euskaltel Euskadi) achieved his first career win by taking the final overall victory of the Grand Prix Midi Libre, following the end of the sixth and final stage as the race concluded in Sete Sunday.
The 23-year-old, who only turned professional last year, had an overall 35 second advantage on stage winner and former champion here Benoit Salmon of France following the final run between Florac and Sete.
Mayo, a virtual unknown, set a cracking pace under the blazing sun and was in second position following the double climb of 12 percent incline of Mont Saint-Clair.
Favorites reigned in the pro men and pro women cross country races at the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic in Durango, Colorado on Sunday.
In the men’s race 1999 NORBA national champion and 2000 Olympian Travis Brown (Trek-Volkswagen) had an easy go of it, winning the three-lap, 20.4-mile race with a time of 1:40:48. Costa Rican José Adrian Bonilla (Café Costa Rica) came across second, 1:46 behind Brown. Jay Henry was third, at 3:09.
"I was going pretty hard from the start because José was really pushing the pace," said Brown, who grew up in Durango. "I was getting small gaps on almost every
Canada’s Lyne Bessette overcame a final stage challenge to lock up her second overall win at France’s Tour de l'Aude on Sunday. Germany’s Judith Arndt and Bessette successfully chased down breakaway attempt by Susanne Ljungskog (Vlaanderen) the winner of the women’s edition of the Milan-San Remo World Cup, La Primavera Rosa.
With 40 kilometers remaining in the final stage, Lungskog – who started the day in fifth place overall at 7:50 -- moved off the front of the field in an attempt to lock in a solo win, and a possible upset in the overall standings. But the two race leaders – Bessette in
At Saturday’s national road race championships, Saturn’s Kimberly Bruckner demonstrated again that she was the strongest woman on the roads of Redding. Two days after winning the national time trial championship, Bruckner broke away with Harbour Lights’ Amber Neben 27 miles into the 69-mile championship road race and eventually soloed in for her second national title in three days.
Saturday’s women’s race consisted of four laps of a hilly, 14-mile circuit west of Redding, with a six-mile starting and finishing tail from town to the circuit.
The 64-woman field was content to stay together at
Canadian Lyne Bessette held on to her overall lead in the Tour de L’Aude as AutoTrader.com's Sarah Ulmer won eighth stage of the French stage race.
A break of 10 riders escaped the field at the halfway point of the 122km stage between Limoux and Espéraza. None of the escapees posed a threat to Bessette’s grip on the overall lead. The American Autotrader team had two of its riders in the break – Ulmer and the team’s new recruit Katrina Berger.
Berger attacked as the lead group -- now down to eight riders -- reached the final finishing circuit. With her teammate ahead, Ulmer sat on as the
Stefano Zanini outsprinted a group of 49 riders to win the longest stage of the Giro, beating Gabriele Missaglia and Jan Ullrich after a great leadout from Stefano Garzelli. For the first time in the race, the Olympic road champion was feeling well enough again to come over the top of a big climb with the front group and even to mix it up in the sprint.
The 239km stage started in Rieti in the province of Lazio, headed north through the entire length of Umbria and finished in Montevarchi in Tuscany. It started slowly, winding along picturesque roads in hilly country along lakes and past