Events

Freire Gets Around Zabel in Hamburg

Some of Oscar Freire’s biggest wins have come at the expense of one man: That perennial German warrior Erik Zabel. The Spanish sprinter took his third world title in 2004 in Verona in Italy with Zabel taking second, a win that came months after Freire out-stabbed Zabel on the Via Roma to win Milan-San Remo that spring. In Sunday’s Vattenfall Cyclassics, Freire once again revealed he has one of the best bike stabs in the game, sneaking away with a photo-finish mass sprint with Zabel getting the worse end of the bargain. Last year’s winner Filippo Pozzato came through third.FULLRESULTS “I

By Andrew Hood

Mass Gallop: Freire takes a close one in Hamburg

Mass Gallop: Freire takes a close one in Hamburg

Photo: Graham Watson

Some of Oscar Freire’s biggest wins have come at the expense of one man: That perennial German warrior Erik Zabel.

The Spanish sprinter took his third world title in 2004 in Verona in Italy with Zabel taking second, a win that came months after Freire out-stabbed Zabel on the Via Roma to win Milan-San Remo that spring.

In Sunday’s Vattenfall Cyclassics, Freire once again revealed he has one of the best bike stabs in the game, sneaking away with a photo-finish mass sprint with Zabel getting the worse end of the bargain. Last year’s winner Filippo Pozzato came through third.FULLRESULTS

“I was behind Zabel and overtook him at the right moment,” said Freire, who became the first Spanish rider to win the race. “We were all strong until the end and it was only a matter of throwing the our bikes to the line.”

After scores of late breaks were reeled in with about 10km to go to set up a mass gallop, it looked like Zabel was going to get a huge victory into Hamburg to repeat his 2001 victory.

Pozzato was being led out by his Quick Step teammate, but appeared to begin his sprint too early, opening the door for the 37-year-old Zabel. But it was Freire, sneaking past Zabel’s right shoulder with a perfectly timed jab at the line, who snagged the win.

Freire didn’t believe it until he saw the photo finish. He, too, has been on the wrong end of photo finishes, losing a tight battle to Alejandro Valverde earlier this year in a stage at the Vuelta al País Vasco.

“I didn’t lift my head not for one second and I had to wait until I knew for sure I had won,” Freire said. “To win is always important. It’s a classic and I had to take the chance when I had it. I stayed in good position, but you never know. Zabel was racing at home and that always counts.”

The 243.3km race – formerly the HEW Cyclassics — saw the return to action of Astaná (formerly Liberty Seguros-Würth) and Alexandre Vinokourov, who was forced to miss the 2006 Tour de France after several of its riders were implicated in the Operación Puerto doping investigation in Spain.

Several top riders skipped the race, including world champion Tom Boonen (Quick Step), Champs Elysees winner Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) and Andréas Klöden (T-Mobile).

The hilly circuit course in and around Hamburg typically ends in a sprint and this year proved no exception despite the best efforts from the agitated peloton to derail the sprinter’s hopes.

The Waseberg was the day's major hurdle.

The Waseberg was the day’s major hurdle.

Photo: Graham Watson

The race was the first one-day ProTour classic since Liège-Bastogne-Liège back in April and will be followed up in two weeks by the Clásica San Sebastian in Spain on Aug. 12.

The main hurdle of the route is the Waseberg climb, a short but steep hump that includes more than a half kilometer at 15 percent. The route tackled the Waseberg four times, with the final passage coming at 16km to go, which often serves as a springboard for late attackers.

After about 40km, three riders – Dario Andriotto (Liquigas), Corey Sweet (Wiesenhof) and Laszlo Bodrogi (Credit Agricole) – extracted themselves from the main bunch and chugged away, gaining more than 12 minutes at one point. Andriotto crashed, leaving Sweet and Bodrogi to fight the good fight until they were gobbled up with about 60km to go. From there, the Quick Step and the big German powers – Milram for Zabel, Gerolsteiner for Rebellin and T-Mobile – did their collective best to keep a lid on a jittery bunch. Scores of riders tried to splay off in the frenetic, closing 30km, including Philippe Gilbert (FDJeux) who launched ahead of the penultimate passage over the Waseberg climb. Gerolsteiner sent Fabien Wegmann out to cover the move and the pair opened up a gap of nearly a minute coming through the final launch up the Waseberg, where it all comes back together again with 15km to go. Rebellin led a counter-attack that found some company of Luca Paolini (Liquigas), Alessandro Ballan (Quick Step) and Mirko Celestino (Milram) to open a narrow gap of about 15 seconds with 10km to go, but Rabobank and Quick Step collaborated to put the hammer down on a much-reduced peloton.

Quick Step sent Pozzato charging toward the line, but perhaps a tad early, opening the door for Zabel and Freire to sneak through.

For Freire, who was forced to abandon the Tour in the final week after taking two stage victories, the win comes as a nice surprise.

For Zabel, it was another second-place finish in a number that’s sure to come close to his career 200-plus wins.

Rebellin on the attack

Rebellin on the attack

Photo: Graham Watson

“I am not bothered,” Zabel said. “Freire is famous for his finishing sprint.”

If anyone knows, it’s Zabel.

Results
1. Oscar Freire (Sp), Rabobank, 243.2km in 5:30:02 (44.2kph)
2. Erik Zabel (G), Milram
3. Filippo Pozzato (I), Quick Step
4. Nick Nuyens (B), Quick Step
5. Gerald Ciolek (G), Team Wiesenhof Akud
6. Grégory Rast (Swi), Phonak
7. Samuel Dumoulin (F), AG2R
8. Giuliano Figueras (I), Lampre
9. Danilo Napolitano (I), Lampre
10. Manuele Moro (I), Saunier Duval, all s.t.
FULLRESULTS

ProTour Standings, after Vattenfall Cyclassics
1. Alejandro Valverde (Sp) – 195 points
2. Floyd Landis (USA) – 175
3. Frank Schleck (LUX) – 150
4. Tom Boonen (BEL) – 145
5. Ivan Basso (I) – 138
6. Cadel Evans (AUS) – 120
7. Christophe Moreau (F) – 118
8. Jsrg Jaksche (G) – 110
9. Alessandro Ballan (I) – 110
10. Damiano Cunego (I) – 106
11. Oscar Freire (Sp) – 99
12. Filippo Pozzato (I) – 95
13. Patrik Sinkewitz (G) – 90
14. Samuel Sanchez (Sp) – 89
15. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) – 87
16. Michael Boogerd (Nl) – 85
17. Paolo Savoldelli (I) – 85
18. Paolo Bettini (I) – 84
19. Oscar Pereiro (Sp) – 83
20. Denis Menchov (Rus) – 83

Photo Gallery

Results

Results
1. Oscar Freire (Sp), Rabobank, 243.2km in 5:30:02 (44.2kph)

2. Erik Zabel (G) Milram

3. Filippo Pozzato (I) Quick Step-Innergetic

4. Nick Nuyens (B) Quick Step-Innergetic

5. Gerald Ciolek (G) Wiesenhof Akud

6. Grégory Rast (Swi) Phonak

7. Samuel Dumoulin (F) AG2R

8. Giuliano Figueras (I) Lampre-Fondital

9. Danilo Napolitano (I) Lampre-Fondital

10. Manuele Mori (I) Saunier Duval

11. Sébastien Hinault (F) Credit Agricole

12. Vicente Reynes Mimo (Sp) Caisse d'Epargne-I.B.

13. Davide Rebellin (I) Gerolsteiner

14. Luca Paolini (I) Liquigas

15. Uros Murn (Slo) Phonak

16. Enrico Gasparotto (I) Liquigas

17. Bram Tankink (Nl) Quick Step-Innergetic

18. Fabian Wegmann (G) Gerolsteiner

19. Erki Pütsep (Est) AG2R

20. Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne-I.B.

21. Cristian Moreni (I) Cofidis

22. Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Discovery

23. Pablo Lastras Garcia (Sp) Caisse d'Epargne-I.B.

24. Roy Sentjens (B) Rabobank

25. Michael Barry (Can) Discovery

26. Alexander Efimkin (Rus) Barloworld

27. Matteo Tosatto (I) Quick Step-Innergetic

28. Jérôme Pineau (F) Bouygues Telecom

29. Riccardo Ricco (I) Saunier Duval

30. William Bonnet (F) Credit Agricole

31. Philippe Gilbert (B) Française des Jeux

32. Anthony Geslin (F) Bouygues Telecom

33. Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile

34. Hugo Sabido (Por) Barloworld

35. Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R, all s.t.

36. Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Lampre-Fondital, at 0:03

37. David Millar (GBr) Saunier Duval

38. Salvatore Commesso (I) Lampre-Fondital

39. Johan Van Summeren (B) Davitamon-Lotto

40. Mirko Celestino (I) Milram

41. Andrea Moletta (I) Gerolsteiner, all s.t.

42. Marc De Maar (Nl) Rabobank, at 0:06

43. Leonardo Bertagnolli (I) Cofidis

44. Marco Velo (I) Milram, all s.t.

45. Lorenzo Bernucci (I) T-Mobile, at 0:09

46. Daniele Nardello (I) T-Mobile

47. Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana, all s.t.

48. Paolo Bettini (I) Quick Step-Innergetic, at 0:13

49. Alessandro Ballan (I) Lampre-Fondital, s.t.

50. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana, at 0:21

51. Gerben Löwik (Nl) Rabobank, at 0:39

52. Joseba Albizu Lizaso (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:57

53. Thomas Voeckler (F) Bouygues Telecom

54. Piet Rooijakkers (Nl) Skil-Shimano, all s.t.

55. Paul Martens (G) Skil-Shimano, at 1:17

56. Björn Schröder (G) Milram, both s.t.

57. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Credit Agricole, at 1:40

58. Markel Irizar Aranburu (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.

59. Matthieu Sprick (F) Bouygues Telecom, at 1:49

60. Aitor Perez Arrieta (Sp) Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., at 1:55

61. Daniel Becke (G) Milram

62. Christian Knees (G) Milram

63. Stephan Schreck (G) T-Mobile

64. Roger Hammond (GBr) Discovery

65. Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus) Discovery

66. Volodymyr Bileka (Ukr) Discovery

67. K Fernandez De Larrea (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, all s.t.

68. Stuart O'grady (Aus) CSC, at 2:03

69. Ca Barredo Llamazales (Sp) Astana, at 7:32

70. Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Sp) Astana

71. Olaf Pollack (G) T-Mobile

72. Mik Pradera Rodriguez (Sp) Caisse d'Epargne-I.B.

73. Joaqu Rodriguez Oliver (Sp) Caisse d'Epargne-I.B.

74. Sergio Miguel Mo Paulinho (Por) Astana

75. Christian Leben (G) Wiesenhof Akud

76. Artur Gajek (G) Wiesenhof Akud

77. Peter Mazur (Pol) Saunier Duval

78. Assan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana

79. Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Saunier Duval

80. Serguei Yakovlev (Kaz) Astana

81. Eric Leblacher (F) Française des Jeux

82. David Kopp (G) Gerolsteiner

83. Manuel Quinziato (I) Liquigas

84. Allan Johansen (Den) CSC

85. Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank

86. Franck Renier (F) Bouygues Telecom

87. Yannick Talabardon (F) Credit Agricole

88. Claudio Corioni (I) Lampre-Fondital

89. Mauro Facci (I) Barloworld

90. Julian Dean (NZl) Credit Agricole

91. Pieter Mertens (B) Davitamon-Lotto

92. Joseba Zubeldia Agirre (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi

93. Alexandre Usov (Blr) AG2R

94. Mark Scanlon (Irl) AG2R

95. Aart Vierhouten (Nl) Skil-Shimano

96. Mathieu Heijboer (Nl) Cofidis

97. Maarten Tjallingii (Nl) Skil-Shimano

98. Kevin Hulsmans (B) Quick Step-Innergetic

99. Matthias Kessler (G) T-Mobile, all s.t.

100. José An Redondo Ramos (Sp) Astana 10:12

101. Aurélien Clerc (Swi) Phonak, at 10:20

102. Lu Pagliarini Mendonca (Bra) Saunier Duval, at 11:00

103. Corey Sweet (Aus) Wiesenhof Akud

104. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Credit Agricole

105. Michael Albasini (Swi) Liquigas

106. Anton Luengo Celaya (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi

107. Marcus Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner

108. Diego Caccia (I) Barloworld

109. David Loosli (Swi) Lampre-Fondital

110. Wouter Weylandt (B) Quick Step-Innergetic

111. Steffen Radochla (G) Wiesenhof Akud

112. Kevin Van Impe (B) Quick Step-Innergetic, all s.t.



Did Not Finish

Fabian Cancellara (Swi) CSC

Jakob Piil (Den) CSC

Luke Roberts (Aus) CSC

Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) CSC

Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe) CSC

Matti Breschel (Den) CSC

André Korff (G) T-Mobile

Thomas Ziegler (G) T-Mobile

Martin Elmiger (Swi) Phonak

Bert Grabsch (G) Phonak

Fabrizio Guidi (I) Phonak

Robert Hunter (RSA) Phonak

Steve Morabito (Swi) Phonak

Alexei Markov (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne-I.B.

Jurgen Van Den Broeck (B) Discovery

Jason McCartney (USA) Discovery

Max Van Heeswijk (Nl) Discovery

Jan Boven (Nl) Rabobank

Joost Posthuma (Nl) Rabobank

Matteo Carrara (I) Lampre-Fondital

Mario Aerts (B) Davitamon-Lotto

Christophe Brandt (B) Davitamon-Lotto

Nick Gates (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto

Gert Steegmans (B) Davitamon-Lotto

Peter Van Petegem (B) Davitamon-Lotto

Wim Vansevenant (B) Davitamon-Lotto

Sven Krauss (G) Gerolsteiner

Volker Ordowski (G) Gerolsteiner

Peter Wrolich (A) Gerolsteiner

Guido Trentin (I) Saunier Duval

Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Saunier Duval

Jimmy Engoulvent (F) Credit Agricole

Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Credit Agricole

Arnaud Coyot (F) Cofidis

Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (F) Cofidis

Tyler Farrar (USA) Cofidis

Thierry Marichal (B) Cofidis

Tristan Valentin (F) Cofidis

Iker Flores Galarza (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi

Iban Iriondo Uranga (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi

Alan Perez Lezaun (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi

Simon Gerrans (Aus) AG2R

Laurent Mangel (F) AG2R

Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) AG2R

Enrico Poitschke (G) Milram

Sebastian Siedler (G) Milram

Dario Andriotto (I) Liquigas

Magnus Bäckstedt (Swe) Liquigas

Marco Milesi (I) Liquigas

Stefano Zanini (I) Liquigas

Stef Clement (Nl) Bouygues Telecom

Andy Flickinger (F) Bouygues Telecom

Christophe Kern (F) Bouygues Telecom

Ludovic Auger (F) Française des Jeux

Christophe Detilloux (B) Française des Jeux

Frédéric Finot (F) Française des Jeux

Ian Mcleod (RSA) Française des Jeux

Jérémy Roy (F) Française des Jeux

Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Française des Jeux

Igor Astarloa Ascasibar (Sp) Barloworld

Giosuè Bonomi (I) Barloworld

Enrico Degano (I) Barloworld

Jeremy Maartens (RSA) Barloworld

Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Nl) Skil-Shimano

Masahiro Shinagawa (Jpn) Skil-Shimano

Tomoya Kano (Jpn) Skil-Shimano

Felix Odebrecht (G) Wiesenhof Akud

Lars Wackernagel (G) Wiesenhof Akud

Gregor Willwohl (G) Wiesenhof Akud