World champions Marga Fullana and Miguel Martinez started the European World Cup season right where they left off last year. Fullana beat her Specialized teammate and reigning World Cup champion Barbara Blatter by 22 seconds in the qualifying time trial in Sarentino, Italy, while Martinez (Full Dynamix) finished ten seconds up on Roland Green (Trek-Volkswagen). The time trial was held in order to seed the riders for tomorrow’s cross country.
The course in Sarentino has changed for this year, and 10th-placed Thomas Frischknecht (Ritchey-Yahoo!) called it "the toughest World Cup course in
Italy's Gilberto Simoni riding for Lampre won a sprint finish in the fourth stage of the Tour of Romandie, a 171.5km run between Saint-Aubin and Nendaz, Switzerland on Saturday. The 29-year-old produced a blistering sprint to beat Spain's Manuel Beltran into second and Switzerland's Sven Montgomery into third while Italy's Dario Frigo of Fassa Bortolo held onto the overall lead.
Simoni's finishing flourish was testament to his fitness as he builds up to his main objective the Giro d'Italia in which he has finished third the past two years. But Frigo, who finished sixth 14 seconds adrift, on
French rider Didier Rous grabbed the overall lead in the Four Days of Dunkirk cycling race after Saturday's fifth stage, a 170.5km run from Outreau to Boulogne-sur-Mer.
Rous, one of the Festina riders expelled from the 1998 Tour de France, now riding for Bonjour, finished in 4:10:35, narrowly beating out Dutchman Jeroen Blijlevens and Frenchman Stephane Heulot, while French veteran Laurent Jalabert finished fourth.
Former world No. 1 Jalabert, still recovering form after an injury earlier this year, took on the race with 45km remaining after young Frenchman and Rous's teammate Sylvain
Festina's Spanish rider David Plaza won a sprint finish to take the third stage of the Tour of Romandie in Payerne, Switzerland on Friday.
The 30-year-old Plaza completed the 25.5km time-trial course in 31:20, outsprinting Italy's Dario Frigo of the Fassa Bortolo team by 0.72. Third place finisher Andrei Teteriouk of Kazakhstan was 16 seconds back.
Paris-Nice champion Frigo, 27, took the overall lead with a 21 second advantage on compatriot Paolo Savoldelli. Plaza is in third position, at :26.
Copyright AFP 2001
Estonia's Jaan Kirsipuu of the AG2R team won a sprint finish that saw 12 riders fall to take the fourth of seven stages of the Four Days of Dunkirk cycling race in Saint-Vanant, France on Friday. Sprint specialists Jo Planckaert and Jeroen Blijlevens fell in the mass tumble in which US Postal's Stephen Barthe broke his wrist and Irishman Ciaran Power suffered a concussion.
In the first stage of the race, fellow Postal rider Dylan Casey crashed into a TV soundman, and broke his pelvis and collarbone. Casey's agent has said the rider may file suit against the TV station the soundman works
Czech rider Jan Svorada of the Lampre team won a sprint finish to take the third stage of the Four Days of Dunkirk cycling race in Landrecies, France.
Svorada clocked a time of 4:35:10 to pip Italian Endrio Leoni of Alessio, and Slovenian Zoran Klemencic of Tacconi, to the post after the 189km run.
Estonia's Jaan Kirsipuu of AG2R, winner of the first two stages, had difficulty throughout the stage and was overwhelmed some 100 meters from the line. He holds the overall leader's pink jersey ahead of Australians Baden Cooke (Mercury-Viatel) and Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) at 13 and 14
Italy's Paolo Savoldelli won a sprint for the second stage of the Tour of Romandie in Vevey, Switzerland on Thursday.
The Saeco rider, winner of the opening prologue, covered the 171.7km run between Tramelan and Vevey in 4:04:48 to come in ahead of Spaniard Manuel Beltran and Italian Dario Frigo, plus a pursuing peleton of eight riders.
The Italian recaptured the overall leader's green jersey from Australian Bradley McGee, but has just a seven-second lead on second-placed compatriot Dario Frigo.
"Everything is to play for in Friday's time-trail at Payerne. If the rider who has the green
Italy's Fabrizio Guidi, of the Mercury-Viatel team, won the 165km first stage of Switzerland’s Tour of Romandie between Pfaffnau and Tramelan.
The 29-year-old Guidi won in a sprint finish, just nipping Swiss riders Oscar Camenzind (Lampre-Daikin) and Niki Aebersold (Team Coast), then used the opportunity to take a swipe at Tour de France organizers who did not select his American team as a wild card entrant last week.
"It was a political and not a sports decision," said Guidi.
The Italian added that he hadn't thought Camenzind would be the main danger but quickly readjusted his target. "My
Estonia's Jaan Kirsipuu (AG2R) won his second successive stage of the Four Days of Dunkirk cycling event Wednesday to hold on to the leader's pink jersey.
The 31-year-old, who held the Tour de France yellow jersey for several days in 1999, won in a sprint finish against Australia's Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) and Mercury-Viatel's Dutch rider Jans Koerts. The day’s stage was a 192.2km run between Roost Warendin and Haines-Les-La-Bassee in France.
Copyright AFP 2001
AG2R’s Jaan Kirsipuu captured the leader’s pink jersey after winning a sprint for the first stage of the Four Days of Dunkirk on Tuesday.
The Estonian rider covered the 164.8km between the northern French towns of Dunkirk and Steenvoorde in 3 hours, 46 minutes, pipping Australia's Baden Cooke (Mercury-Viatel) and French champion Christophe Capelle of BigMat-Auber.
Meanwhile, American Dylan Casey (US Postal) crashed just after crossing the line when he collided with a sound engineer from a French television station. According to early medical reports Casey suffered a fractured pelvis and