Events

Liège-Bastogne-Liège – Di Luca times it perfectly

Coming into the 93rd Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the number of riders named as potential race favorites was almost overwhelming. Nearly a dozen men were believed to have a serious shot at winning the hilly classic on its demanding course that suits a variety of riders. In the end, the cadre of serious contenders proved to be a hindrance for all the favorites, except one — Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas). The Italian, who won the Amstel Gold Race and Flèche Wallone in 2005, completed a career triple of the Ardennes Classics by bridging across to a late attack by CSC’s Frank Schleck and then jumping away

By Neal Rogers

Photo: AFP

Coming into the 93rd Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the number of riders named as potential race favorites was almost overwhelming. Nearly a dozen men were believed to have a serious shot at winning the hilly classic on its demanding course that suits a variety of riders.

In the end, the cadre of serious contenders proved to be a hindrance for all the favorites, except one — Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas). The Italian, who won the Amstel Gold Race and Flèche Wallone in 2005, completed a career triple of the Ardennes Classics by bridging across to a late attack by CSC’s Frank Schleck and then jumping away on his own with 500 meters to go to hold off a hard-charging Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne).

Valverde passed Schleck in the final corner with 200 meters to go for second place, while a fading Schleck held on for third. World champion Paolo Bettini (Quick Step-Innergetic) finished fourth, while Wednesday’s Flèche Wallone winner Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) took fifth.

A healthy gap. Di Luca has time to relish his win

A healthy gap. Di Luca has time to relish his win

Photo: Graham Watson

The win came as redemption for Di Luca, who twice finished a frustrating third at this year’s Amstel and Flèche — behind Gerolsteiner’s Stefan Schumacher at Amstel, and Rebellin at Flèche.

“It’s a fantastic day for me. I’ve just won the greatest race in the world,” Di Luca said. “However it isn’t a surprise. I knew I could do it, especially after already winning the Amstel Gold Race and Flèche Wallonne two years ago. This week I also showed that I was in great shape. I had excellent legs all through the race and I felt extremely good in the last part. Franck Schleck looked very strong in the last climb when he took off, but I knew I could be faster.”

What was expected to be a race of attrition was anything but. Seventy-four riders finished within three minutes of Di Luca, with 30 riders within one minute. The teams of favorites like Di Luca, Valverde, Rebellin and Bettini allowed an early four-man breakaway of lesser riders, slowly brought it back and then neutralized any and all major attacks until Schleck attacked atop the final climb of the day, the Côte de Saint Nicolas, with 4 kilometers remaining.

Often called the greatest of the one-day classics, Liege is marked by a series of tough, narrow climbs like th ...

Often called the greatest of the one-day classics, Liege is marked by a series of tough, narrow climbs like th …

Photo: Graham Watson

Di Luca was the only rider to bridge out of the front group to join Schleck, and with 500 meters remaining the man from central Italy’s Abruzzo region launched his winning move. Asked if he won the race because he was the strongest or just the craftiest man in the race, Di Luca said it was probably a mix of the two.

“I was definitely one of the strongest riders today, and I think I won because of my tactics,” Di Luca said. “But Schleck was also very strong. The key to win a race is to find the right moment to attack and know when to go to the finish. What I did today, I almost did it in Flèche Wallone. I didn’t win there, but the tactic was the same. I think in the future we will see more and more race outcomes like this, as the level is more and more similar for many riders. What you have to be able to do is find the right moment to attack.”

Rolling out of Liège
The heat wave that has overtaken Western Europe this month eased off a bit on Sunday. Temperatures reached a high of 80 degrees, but partial cloud coverage and steady winds kept things cooler than the week’s previous Ardennes Classics. The peloton faced Liège’s legenadary 262km course, peppered with 12 short, steep climbs of varying lengths and gradients, including eight over the final 100km, offering little or no recovery between them.

Prior to the start, 40 riders from five teams (Lampre, Quick Step-Innergetic, Barloworld, CSC and Milram) were asked by the UCI to go through blood tests. All were given the green light to compete.

At the start line, at a crowded and sunny Place Saint Lambert in Liège city center, all eyes were on defending champion Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne), who finished second at Flèche Wallonne.

“I feel confident and had a good rest after the Flèche Wallonne,” Valverde said. “Finishing second on Wednesday certainly wasn’t a disappointment; it would have been if I had quit the race. The favorites of Liège-Bastogne-Liège remain basically the same as on the Amstel Gold Race and the Flèche. To win this one, you need to be very strong. It’s a long race with numerous climbs close to each other. It’ll be an elimination race.”

The winner from 2005, Astana’s Alex Vinokourov, said he was in Liège to ride in support of Matthias Kessler, who made the selection at Amstel, where he finished fourth, and at Flèche, where he was first to attack on the Mur de Huy but also ended up fourth. The rider from Kazakhstan told Belgian newspaper La Dernière Heure that he is still in his preparation phase for his main objective, the Tour de France.

“I’m here to help Kessler win, he’s in excellent shape,” Vinokourov said. “Personally, I haven’t really prepared to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but I’ll still give all I have. It’s a race that I enjoy and I also have to test myself and know how I’m doing. I’ve just returned from a mountain training camp where we worked a lot.”

Upon rolling out from Place Saint Lambert, the peloton’s 191 riders headed to the official start of the event after a 6.9km through the streets of Liège. After an earlier attempt to break away failed 8 kilometers in, Tinkoff’s Vasil Kiriyenka jumped out of the pack and was joined by Landbowkredit-Tonissteineebel rider Jan Kuyckx. The pair opened a 15-second lead over the pack before a pair of counterattacking riders — Remy Di Gregorio (Francaise Des Jeux) and Unai Etxebarria (Euskaltel-Euskadi) joined them.

The four riders opened a 30-second lead over the pack at 14 kilometers in, stretched it to 1:50 by 22 kilometers in and watched it balloon to almost 16 minutes at kilometer 44 as they approached the first climb of the day, the Côte de Ny. As the four riders reached the city of Bastogne, 107km into the day, the gap held at a whopping 18 minutes. Nonetheless, the quartet still faced 155km and another 10 climbs before they reached the finish.

As the foursome hit the slopes of the Côte de Stockeu, the steepest pitches of the race, Kuyckx dropped off the pace. According to race organizer ASO, the Côte de Stockeu (1.1 km, 10.5-percent average grade) is the second-most difficult hill in the country. In comparison, the Mur de Huy of the Flèche Wallonne ranks only 54th.

Gerolsteiner gives chase on the Haute Levee

Gerolsteiner gives chase on the Haute Levee

Photo: Graham Watson

With Gerolsteiner’s Fabian Wegmann and Markus Fothen manning the front of the peloton, the gap came down to 13:15 as the leaders reached the Côte de la Haute-Levée, the sixth of 12 climbs. As the peloton behind hit the Stockeu, with Rebellin, Bettini and Rabobank’s Michael Boogerd setting pace, riders seen dropping off the pace included Euskaltel’s Inigo Landaluze and Milram’s Igor Astarloa.

At the top of the Stockeau the peloton had trimmed the lead to 12:48, with Kuyckx stuck in no-man’s land, 1:30 behind the leaders. As the peloton hit the Côte de la Haute-Levée more riders fell off the back, including Discovery Channel’s Stijn Devolder. The wooded roads through green, rolling hills belied the hard truth ahead — 75 brutal kilometers remained.

The gap to the breakaways came down to 5:47 when the leaders hit the Côte de la Vecquée with 52km to go. Just 10 kilometers later, the peloton, led by Liquigas, Lampre and Gerolsteiner, had shaved another minute off the lead.

On La Redoute
As the leaders hit the long, grueling slopes of La Redoute (2.1 km, 8.4-percent average grade), their gap was down to 2:31. In front of dedicated campers and a large crowd of fans, American Christian Vande Velde took charge on the climb, setting a blistering pace that spread the field single file before he slipped off the front. Not to be outdone, Quick Step’s Spanish stallion Carlos Barredo jumped out of the field and went clear.

After Bettini opened up the legs a bit to see how his rivals were feeling, two more riders jumped out of the pack coming over the top of La Redoute — Gerolsteiner’s Schumacher and Di Luca’s Liquigas teammate Vincenzo Nibali. While Barredo began to reel in Di Gregorio and Etxebarria (the sole remnants of the day’s breakaway), Cedric Vasseur (Quick Step-Innergetic) and Karsten Kroon (CSC) willed their way up to Schumacher and Nibali.

With 25km to go, the Schumacher group finally brought in the day’s breakaways, making it seven riders at the front of the race with a 30-second lead. With no representation, Astana took up the chase. Two climbs remained: the Côte de Sart-Tilman and the decisive Côte de Saint Nicolas.

Vasseur increased the pace on the climb up the Côte de Sart-Tilman, and only Schumacher could respond. After a brief spell riding together, Vasseur dropped off, leaving “Schumi” alone at the front of the race. With Lampre also taking up the chase in hopes of setting up last year’s third-place finisher Damiano Cunego, the gap hovered at 17 seconds.

“I saw on La Redoute it was just Davide and me [from Gerolsteiner],” Schumacher said. “There was the beginning of the attacks. I jumped over, I didn’t attack really, I was just let go. There was a gap that opened behind me. They stopped and I went. And I thought, ‘Okay, let’s see what’s happening.’

“First I was alone, then I saw Nibali coming, Kroon coming and Vasseur coming, and then we came to Barredo, then I thought okay, maybe the group is not so bad. I was riding medium, not too hard, and I thought okay, maybe it works. I think maybe they were tired, maybe they didn’t want to ride with me so I went faster and faster because I knew we had to go a bloc. Then I was alone.”

Horner puts the pressure on

Horner puts the pressure on

Photo: Graham Watson

Next to attack from the peloton was American Chris Horner, who picked up the pace on the Côte de Sart-Tilman. Marked by riders from Lampre and Liquigas, Horner’s time out of the bunch was short lived.

“The pace was just too easy all day,” a frustrated Horner said. “I mean, we came to the line with almost 100 guys. I had to try something, but they brought me back, just like they brought everything back. The form was there, but everything was just so controlled all day, it was impossible to get away.”

On the Saint Nicolas
With 10km remaining, Schumacher held a 22-second lead, and it looked as though the Amstel winner might be having the week of his life.

“In the moment, when I had almost 30 seconds, I knew that it would be really, really difficult to stay away,” Schumacher said. “If I had some luck and if maybe there were some attacks from the favorites and they neutralized each other, then maybe I had a chance, but in this situation the race was so controlled and so many teams were working for their leaders.”

With Liquigas driving the chase, the gap to Schumacher was 19 seconds with 7.5 km remaining. It dropped to 14 seconds with 6.5 km to go as the peloton hit the short, final climb in the largely Italian neighborhood of Saint Nicolas (900 meters at an average gradient of 11 percent.) Schumacher was reeled in early on the climb, and both Boogerd and Bettini picked up the pace, but neither move stuck.

Liquigas and Quick Step remember last week and put on a big chase.

Liquigas and Quick Step remember last week and put on a big chase.

Photo: Graham Watson

Atop the Nicolas a strung-out peloton regrouped, with all the favorites at the front. Schumacher later echoed Horner’s sentiments about the way the race played out.

“This is my first time doing Liège and I knew the course, I rode it on Thursday, and when I saw the course and the climbs, they are so heavy, I thought it would be a different race,” Schumacher said. “It was so controlled the whole day, I don’t know why. I don’t understand. Most guys waited until St. Nicolas. Maybe next year I’ll wait until this point.”

Knowing he had little chance in a mass uphill sprint, Schleck made the day’s decisive move with 4km remaining on the slight descent that led into the gradual, uncategorized climb into the finishing town of Ans.

Di Luca was the only rider to respond, and the pair quickly opened a 10-second lead while the favorites looked at each other to react. Rabobank’s Thomas Dekker jumped from the pack with 2.5km remaining, but was brought back into the fold.

As the race came into its final kilometer, Valverde sprung from the field and quickly gained ground on the leading duo. Hearing the news that the defending champion was coming from behind, Di Luca made his move with 500 meters left. Schleck had no response, and Di Luca was able to celebrate three seconds in front of the surging Valverde, who simply ran out of real estate. Bettini took fourth, Rebellin fifth, Boogerd sixth, Cunego seventh and Kessler eighth, with one second separating each of them.

“Last year I attacked on St. Nicolas,” Di Luca said. “But this year I decided not to, and to instead stay on wheels and try to win a sprint in small group, unless the race decided otherwise. But then we saw that Valverde was coming so close I had to go to the finish.”

Schleck, who learned on Saturday that he’d broken a vertebra in a crash at Amstel last weekend, was philosophical about his podium finish.

“It was so fast, so hard,” Schleck said. “I think I attacked at the right time. Di Luca and I worked well together and he had the right to attack like that. He was just too strong for me on the climb to Ans, but I’m really happy with my third place. It’s one of the biggest races in the world. I don’t know if I’ll ever win it, but I will be dreaming about it from now on.”

His gamble paid off

His gamble paid off

Photo: Graham Watson

After finishing second at Flèche and Liège, both races he won in 2006, Valverde said he’d almost done everything right.

“Today, like Wednesday, I had very good sensations throughout the day, and in the Côte of Saint-Nicolas, I was really good,” Valverde said. “When Di Luca and Schleck attacked, the other teams let me all the responsibility to chase, but I could not do the entire job alone and bring everybody in front.

“When I realized that the pace was not sufficiently high and that it was not possible to catch them, I attacked in the last few hundred meters to try to catch them alone,” Valverde said. “I finished very fast but not sufficient to catch Di Luca. It is obvious that we came here with the intention of winning one of the three races, but I am happy with a pair of second places and sixth in Amstel. The team did a great job and I think that I must be satisfied, because I was there fighting for the victory in each of them and I proved that my victories of last year were not due to chance.”

As for Di Luca, he didn’t hesitate to call the win the most beautiful victory of his career, and said it was a boost of confidence heading into the Giro d’Italia in two weeks.

“Liège-Bastogne-Liège is the hardest race in the world. It destroys you,” Di Luca said. “This is a huge victory for me ahead of the Giro. To win here, you need to have the legs. And today I showed I’m in great form. I hope to carry that over to the Giro, where I want to be one of the protagonists, as I was in 2005.”

Results Liège-Bastogne-Liège
1. Danilo Di Luca (I), Liquigas
2. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, 00:03
3. Frank Schleck (Lux), CSC, 00:03
4. Paolo Bettini (I), Quick Step-Innergetic, 00:06
5. Davide Rebellin (I), Gerolsteiner, 00:06
6. Michael Boogerd (Nl), Rabobank, 00:07
7. Damiano Cunego (I), Lampre, 00:09
8. Matthias Kessler (G), Astana, 00:09
9. Cobo Acebo Juan Jose (Sp), Saunier Duval, 00:09
10. Kim Kirchen (Lux), T-Mobile, 00:09
11. Pineau Jérôme (F), Bouygues Telecom, 00:09
12. Franco Pellizotti (I), Liquigas, 00:09
13. Samuel Sanchez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 00:09
14. Benoit Salmon (F), Agritubel, 00:15
15. John Gadret (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, 00:15
16. Philippe Gilbert (B), Francaise des Jeux, 00:15
17. Riccardo Ricco (I), Saunier Duval, 00:20
18. Alexandre Botcharov (Rus), Credit Agricole, 00:20
19. Pierrick Fedrigo (F), Bouygues Telecom, 00:20
20. Rinaldo Nocentini (I), Ag2r Prevoyance, 00:20

FullResultsWinners of the 2007 Spring ClassicsMilan-San Remo (March 24): Oscar Freire (Sp) RabobankTour of Flandres (April 8): Alessandro Ballan (I), LampreGhent-Wevelgem (April 11): Marcus Burghardt (G), T-MobileParis-Roubaix (April 15): Stuart O’Grady (Aus), CSCAmstel Gold Race (April 22): Stefan Schumacher (G) GerolsteinerFleche Wallonne (April 25): Davide Rebellin (I) GerolsteinerLiege-Bastogne-Liege (April 29): Danilo Di Luca (I), Liquigas
Pro Tour standings
1. Davide Rebellin (I), Gerlosteiner, 157 pts
2. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, 107
3. Danilo Di Luca (I), Liquigas, 100
4. Oscar Freire (Sp), Rabobank, 82
5. Stuart O’Grady (Aus), CSC, 79
6. Stefan Schumacher (G), Gerlosteiner, 75
7. Frank Schleck (Lux), CSC 63
8. Juan Jose Cobo (Sp), Saunier Duval, 62
9. Alberto Contador (Sp), Discovery, 58
10. Tom Boonen (B), Quick Step, 57
11. Andreas Kloden (G), Astana, 53
12.Alessandro Ballan (I), Lampre, 50
13. Matthias Kessler (G), Astana, 50
14. Tadej Valjavec (Slo), Lampre, 46
15. Roger Hammond (GB), T-Mobile, 45
16. Samuel Sanchez (Sp), Euskaltel, 45
17. Damiano Cunego (I), Lampre, 45
18. Robbie McEwen (Aus), Predictor-Lotto, 44
19. Kim Kirchen (Lux), T-Mobile, 43
20. Michael Boogerd (Nl), Rabobank, 42

Photo Gallery

Results

Results Liège-Bastogne-Liège
1. Danilo Di Luca (I), Liquigas

2. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne, 00:03

3. Frank Schleck (Lux), CSC, 00:03

4. Paolo Bettini (I), Quick Step-Innergetic, 00:06

5. Davide Rebellin (I), Gerolsteiner, 00:06

6. Michael Boogerd (Nl), Rabobank, 00:07

7. Damiano Cunego (I), Lampre, 00:09

8. Matthias Kessler (G), Astana, 00:09

9. Cobo Acebo Juan Jose (Sp), Saunier Duval, 00:09

10. Kim Kirchen (Lux), T-Mobile, 00:09

11. Pineau Jérôme (F), Bouygues Telecom, 00:09

12. Franco Pellizotti (I), Liquigas, 00:09

13. Samuel Sanchez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 00:09

14. Benoit Salmon (F), Agritubel, 00:15

15. John Gadret (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, 00:15

16. Philippe Gilbert (B), Francaise des Jeux, 00:15

17. Riccardo Ricco (I), Saunier Duval, 00:20

18. Alexandre Botcharov (Rus), Credit Agricole, 00:20

19. Pierrick Fedrigo (F), Bouygues Telecom, 00:20

20. Rinaldo Nocentini (I), Ag2r Prevoyance, 00:20

21. Nicki Sorensen (Dk), CSC, 00:20

22. Manuele Mori (I), Saunier Duval, 00:25

23. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr), Discovery Channel, 00:28

24. Gilberto Simoni (I), Saunier Duval, 00:31

25. Serhiy Honchar (Ukr), T-Mobile, 00:35

26. Jelle Vanendert (B), Chocolade Jacques – T Interim, 00:40

27. Alberto Contador (Sp), Discovery Channel, 00:50

28. Patrik Sinkewitz (G), T-Mobile, 00:50

29. Fabian Wegmann (G), Gerolsteiner, 01:02

30. David Lopez Garcia (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne, 01:02

31. Francesco Bellotti (I), Credit Agricole, 01:12

32. Bram Tankink (Nl), Quick Step-Innergetic, 01:13

33. Pauriol Rémi (F), Credit Agricole, 01:21

34. Thomas Dekker (Nl), Rabobank, 01:21

35. Bernhard Kohl (A), Gerolsteiner, 01:21

36. Cadel Evans (Aus), Predictor-Lotto, 01:21

37. Patxi Vila Errandonea (Sp), Lampre, 01:21

38. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 01:21

39. Gorka Verdugo (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 01:21

40. Egoi Martinez (Sp), Discovery Channel, 01:21

41. Cristian Moreni (I), Cofidis, 01:24

42. Gianpaolo Cheula (I), BAR, 01:24

43. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), Astana, 01:33

44. Christophe Moreau (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, 01:33

45. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus), CSC, 01:36

46. Andy Schleck (Lux), CSC, 01:36

47. Hubert Dupont (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, 01:36

48. Cardenas Félix (Col), BAR, 01:36

49. Josep Jufre Pou (Sp), Predictor-Lotto, 01:36

50. Wim Van Huffel (B), Predictor-Lotto, 01:36

51. Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz), Astana, 01:36

52. Soler Hernandez Juan Mauricio (Col), BAR, 01:36

53. Karsten Kroon (Nl), CSC, 01:36

54. Axel Merckx (B), T-Mobile, 01:36

55. Lövkvist Thomas (Swe), Francaise des Jeux, 01:36

56. Johan Van Summeren (B), Predictor-Lotto, 01:36

57. Sylvain Chavanel (F), Cofidis, 01:36

58. Pedro Arreitunandia (Sp), BAR, 01:36

59. Vladimir Gusev (Rus), Discovery Channel, 01:46

60. Evgeni Petrov (Rus), TCS, 01:46

61. Alessandro Spezialetti (I), Liquigas, 01:55

62. Vaugrenard Benoít (F), Francaise des Jeux, 02:27

63. Maxime Monfort (B), Cofidis, 02:27

64. Mirko Celestino (I), Milram, 02:27

65. Carlos Barredo (Sp), Quick Step-Innergetic, 02:27

66. Vasseur Cédric (F), Quick Step-Innergetic, 02:27

67. Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz), Astana, 02:27

68. Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz), Credit Agricole, 02:27

69. Eduardo Gonzalo Ramirez (Sp), Agritubel, 02:27

70. Laurent Lefevre (F), Bouygues Telecom, 02:27

71. Vincenzo Nibali (I), Liquigas, 02:27

72. Noe’ Andrea (I), Liquigas, 02:27

73. Iker Camano (Sp), Saunier Duval, 02:27

74. Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus), TCS, 02:59

75. Joaquim Rodriguez (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne, 03:26

76. Stefan Schumacher (G), Gerolsteiner, 05:06

77. Christopher Horner (USA), Predictor-Lotto, 05:06

78. Oscar Freire (Sp), Rabobank, 05:25

79. Laurent Brochard (F), Bouygues Telecom, 07:19

80. Rik Verbrugghe (B), Cofidis, 07:19

81. Benitez José (Sp), Saunier Duval, 07:19

82. Di Gregorio Rémy (F), Francaise des Jeux, 07:19

83. Bert De Waele (B), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago, 07:19

84. Michael Rogers (Aus), T-Mobile, 07:19

85. Christian Vandevelde (USA), CSC, 08:31

86. Alexander Efimkin (Rus), BAR, 08:31

87. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol), Lampre, 08:31

88. Pieter Weening (Nl), Rabobank, 09:30

89. Unai Etxebarria (Vz), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 11:13

90. Salvatore Commesso (I), TCS, 15:09

91. Mirco Lorenzetto (I), Milram, 15:09

92. Oliver Zaugg (Swi), Gerolsteiner, 15:09

93. Carlström Kjell (FIN), Liquigas, 15:09

94. Carlo Scognamiglio (I), Milram, 15:09

95. Morris Possoni (I), Lampre, 15:09

96. Serge Pauwels (B), Chocolade Jacques – T Interim, 15:09

97. Manuel Calvente (Sp), Agritubel, 15:09

98. Jens Voigt (G), CSC, 15:09

99. Xavier Florencio (Sp), Bouygues Telecom, 15:09

100. Sylvain Calzati (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, 15:09

101. Koos Moerenhout (Nl), Rabobank, 15:09

102. Antonio Colom (Sp), Astana, 15:09

103. Leonardo Duque (Col), Cofidis, 15:09

104. Sergio Paulinho (P), Discovery Channel, 15:09

105. Theo Eltink (Nl), Rabobank, 15:09

106. Nicolas Vogondy (F), Agritubel, 15:09

107. Bingen Fernandez (Sp), Cofidis, 15:09

108. Yoann Le Boulanger (F), Bouygues Telecom, 15:09

109. Serguei Yakovlev (Kaz), Astana, 15:09

110. Vasil Kiryienka (Blr), TCS, 15:09

111. Moinard Amaël (F), Cofidis, 15:09

112. David De La Fuente (Sp), Saunier Duval, 15:09

113. Francisco Perez Sanchez (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne, 15:09

114. Paolo Longo Borghini (I), BAR, 15:09

115. Steven Kleynen (B), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago, 15:09

Did Not Finish

Paul Manning (GB), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago

Roy Jérémy (F), Francaise des Jeux

Fabien Patanchon (F), Francaise des Jeux

Thierry Marichal (B), Francaise des Jeux

Jurgen Van Goolen (B), Discovery Channel

Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Sp), Discovery Channel

Stijn Devolder (B), Discovery Channel

Ludovic Turpin (F), Ag2r Prevoyance

Julien Loubet (F), Ag2r Prevoyance

Simon Gerrans (Aus), Ag2r Prevoyance

Didier Rous (F), Bouygues Telecom

PÃœtsep Erki (Est), Bouygues Telecom

Buffaz Mickaël (F), Cofidis

Markus Zberg (Swi), Gerolsteiner

Tim Klinger (G), Gerolsteiner

Markus Fothen (G), Gerolsteiner

Benoit Poilvet (F), Credit Agricole

Christophe Le Mevel (F), Credit Agricole

Miguel Juan Miguel (Sp), Agritubel

Aivaras Baranauskas (Lit), Agritubel

Nico Sijmens (B), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago

Filip Meirhaeghe (B), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago

Jan Kuyckx (B), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago

Gabriel Frédéric (F), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago

Eddy Clancy (GB), Landbouwkrediet – Colnago

Frederik Veuchelen (B), Chocolade Jacques – T Interim

Tom Stubbe (B), Chocolade Jacques – T Interim

Sven Renders (B), Chocolade Jacques – T Interim

Pieter Ghyllebert (B), Chocolade Jacques – T Interim

Benny De Schrooder (B), Chocolade Jacques – T Interim

Johan Coenen (B), Chocolade Jacques – T Interim

Alexander Serov (Rus), TCS

Ruggero Marzoli (I), TCS

Daniele Contrini (I), TCS

Elio Aggiano (I), TCS

Romain Feillu (F), Agritubel

Freddy Bichot (F), Agritubel

Mads Kaggestad (Nor), Credit Agricole

Christophe Edaleine (F), Credit Agricole

Bobby Julich (USA), CSC

Antonio Juan Antonio (Sp), Rabobank

Jan Boven (Nl), Rabobank

Adam Hansen (Aus), T-Mobile

Scott Davis (Aus), T-Mobile

Barry Michaël (CAN), T-Mobile

Tadej Valjavec (SLO), Lampre

Daniele Righi (I), Lampre

David Loosli (Swi), Lampre

Matteo Bono (I), Lampre

Giovanni Visconti (I), Quick Step-Innergetic

Jurgen Van De Walle (B), Quick Step-Innergetic

Matteo Tosatto (I), Quick Step-Innergetic

Addy Engels (Nl), Quick Step-Innergetic

Sanchez Luis-Leon (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne

Joaquin Jose Joaquin (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne

Vicente Reynes (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne

Igor Abakoumov (B), Astana

Thomas Frei (Swi), Astana

Arkaitz Duran Aroca (Sp), Saunier Duval

Hugo Sabido (P), BAR

Ryan Cox (RSA), BAR

Niki Terpstra (Nl), Milram

Sebastian Schwager (G), Milram

Matej Jurco (SVK), Milram

Andriy Grivko (Ukr), Milram

Igor Astarloa (Sp), Milram

Ruben Perez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

Inigo Landaluze (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

Aitor Galdos Alonso (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

Yon Bru (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

Francesco Failli (I), Liquigas

Michael Albasini (Swi), Liquigas

Pieter Mertens (B), Predictor-Lotto

Dario Cioni (I), Predictor-Lotto

Christophe Brandt (B), Predictor-Lotto

Vicente Garcia Acosta (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne