By VeloNews Interactive wire services, copyright AFP2002
Fassa Bortolo and Michele Bartoli scored a double win Saturday as the Italian won the fourth stage of the Mediterranean Tour, 1:07 ahead of his own teammate and regained the yellow leader’s jersey he earned on the opening day of the five-day French stage race.
Under cold, wet and windy conditions Bartoli soloed in for the win at the end of the 147km stage between Londe and Toulon, finishing well ahead of teammate Paolo Tiralongo. With his win, Bartoli moves solidly into the lead, 1:11 ahead of Tiralongo and 2:05 up on Rabobank’s Michael Boogerd.
A field of 166 riders contested the difficult stage that ended Mount Faron, where Bartoli executed a well-timed attack in the closing kilometers of the stage.
Early on in the day, Domo’s Richard Virenque joined Hungarian Lazzlo Bodrogi in an attack at the 20km mark. The built and advantage of as much as 3:53, before being reeled in by a chase group of 13 riders – including Bartoli, Tiralongo, Boogerd and CSC’s Laurent Jalabert. As they entered Toulon with a lead of 1:30, Lotto’s Robbie McEwen launched an attack on the lower slopes of Mount Faron. He was soon joined and passed by Bartoli. The Austrailian eventually faded back to eighth place.
With Bartoli solidly in control, the race wraps up Sunday with a 120km stage between Rousset and Marseilles.
Med Tour Stage 4 Results
1. Michele Bartoli (I), Fassa Bortolo, 3:56:22;
2. Paolo Tiralongo (I), Fassa Bortolo, at 1:07;
3. Denis Lunghi (I), at 1:09;
4. Mickael Boogerd (Nl), at 1:14;
5. Markus Zberg (Swi), at 1:21;
6. Guido Trenti (USA), at 1:31;
7. Danilo Di Luca (I), at 1:40;
8. Robbie McEwen (Aus), at 1:46;
9. Oscar Camenzind (Swi), at 1:58;
10. Eddy Mazzoleni (I), at 2:21.
1. Michele Bartoli (I), 12:20:42;
2. Paolo Tiralongo (I), at 1:11;
3. Michael Boogerd (Nl), at 2:05;
4. Markus Zberg (Swi), at 2:12;
5. Danilo Di Luca (I), at 2:37;
6. Eddy Mazzoleni (I), at 3:16;
7. Guido Trenti (USA), at 3:31;
8. Grischa Niermann (Ger), at 3:45;
9. Oscar Camenzind (Swi), at 3:55;
10. Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) 3:56