By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright 2002 AFP
U.S. Postal Service’s George Hincapie had another near miss on Sunday, finishing second to Jaan Kirsipuu (AG2R) at the one-day Classic Haribo, the second race of the French Cup series, 203km between Uzes and Marseille.
At the 127km mark of the 203km race, Kirsipuu, Hincapie, Johan Museeuw (Domo-Farm Frites), Ludo Dierckxsens (Lampre-Daikin) and Enrico Cassani (Domo-Farm Frites) escaped from the lead group. The quintet of riders would eventually build up a lead of over five minutes. With no attacks gaining any ground at the front of the race, the day was decided in a five-man finish, with Kirsipuu beating out Hincapie for the win.
It was another strong result for Hincapie, who earlier this month finished third overall in the Tour of Algarve in Portugal. Kirsipuu, meanwhile, won Haribo for the second time in three years.
Ivanov beats the sprinters in Spain
Russian Serguei Ivanov (Fassa Bortolo) surprised the sprinters as he won the 22nd Trophy Luis Puig in Benidorm, Spain, on Sunday. The one-day race covered 180.3km between Valencia and Benidorm, in the southeast part of the country.
Traditionally a sprinters’ race, the race held true to form, with an intact peloton arriving at the finish in Benidorm, despite an earlier break by Belgians Nico Mattan and Peter van Petegem and Spaniards Luis Perez and Javier Pascual Rodriguez. The foursome crested the final climb with a slight lead and only 10km to go, but couldn’t hold on until the finish.
The chasing peloton was led by the Acqua & Sapone team of Mario Cipollini and Erik Zabel’s Telekom squad, and after the leaders were caught, it looked like the battle was set between the Italian and the German.
However, with 400 meters to go, Ivanov burst clear and held the sprinters off at the finish. Zabel took second, followed by Rolf Aldag and Cipollini.
Bettini wins in Italy
Italian cyclist Paolo Bettini wrapped up the four-day Tour of the Ligurian Riviera in style on Saturday by capturing the final stage in Alassio, Italy, as well as overall honors.
Bettini outfoxed compatriots Fabio Sacchi and Massimiliano Gentili to steal honors on the day over 161.6km. In the overall, he finished 10 seconds ahead of closest rival Sacchi.
“Thanks to my teammates I did not have to take any risks, and 200 meters out I was in the lead and all I had to do was hold off Sacchi,” said the 27-year-old, himself from the Liguria region. He added Saturday’s stage to his stage 3 victory on Friday.
His latest triumph makes him one of the favorites for the Milan-San Remo classic next month.
Jalabert scores French Cup opener
Laurent Jalabert (CSC-Tiscali) won the 34th Tour du Haut Var on Saturday, outsprinting breakaway companion Alexandre Vinokourov at the end of the 180km Coupe de France opener in Draguignan, France.
Jalabert and Vinokourov broke clear in the final 20km, and the Frenchman took the win in the two-man finish, 23 seconds ahead of third place Robbie McEwen.
Nijs takes Superprestige ’cross title
Belgian Sven Nijs (Rabobank) took the overall title at the Superprestige cyclo-cross series on Saturday, after finishing second to Dutchman Richard Groenendaal at the series finale in Vorselaar, Belgium. Nijs benefitted from the crash and withdrawal of fellow Belgian Erwin Vervecken, who was leading the series heading into the final race.
Classic Haribo, France;
1. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est), AG2R, 203km in 4:33:46; 2. George Hincapie (USA), U.S. Postal Service; 3. Enrico Cassani (I), Domo-Farm Frites; 4. Ludo Dierckxsens (B), Lampre-Daikin; 5. Johan Museeuw (B), Domo-Farm Frites, all s.t.; 6. Tom Boonen (B), U.S. Postal Service, at 5:49; 7. Davide Bramati (I), Mapei-Quick Step, at 5:53; 8. Jimmy Casper (F), La Francaise des Jeux; 9. Nicolas Jalabert (F), CSC-Tiscali; 10. Laurent Brochard (F), Jean Delatour, all s.t.;;
Trophy Luis Puig, Spain;
1. Serguei Ivanov (Rus), Fassa Bortolo, 180k, in 4:24:24; 2. Erik Zabel (G), Telekom; 3. Rolf Aldag (G), Telekom; 4. Mario Cipollini (I), Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo; 5. Angel Vicioso (Sp), Kelme-Costa Blanca; 6. Piotr Wadecki (Pl), Domo-Farm Frites; 7. Angel Edo (Sp), Milaneza-MSS; 8. Massimiliano Mori (I), Mercatone Uno; 9. Markus Zberg (Swi), Rabobank; 10. Javier Pascual Rodriguez (Sp), iBanesto.com.;;
Tour of the Ligurian Riviera, Italy;
1. Paolo Bettini (I), Mapei-Quick Step, 15:29:01; 2. Fabio Sacchi (I), at 0:10; 3. Alberto Ongarato (I), at 0:14; 4. Laurent Dufaux (Swi), s.t.; 5. Massimiliano Gentili (I), at 0:16; 6. Paolo Savoldelli (I), s.t.; 7. Giuliano Figueras (I), at 0:20; 8. Ivan Gotti (I), at 0:24; 9. Sas Gajicic (Yug); 10. Rodolfo Massi (I), both s.t.;;
Tour du Haut Var;
1. Laurent Jalabert (F), CSC-Tiscali, 180km in 4:42:50; 2. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), s.t.; 3. Robbie McEwen (Aus), at 0:23; 4. Daniele Nardello (I); 5. Raffaele Ferrara (I); 6. Davide Rebellin (I); 7. Alexandre Botcharov (Rus); 8. David Moncoutie (F); 9. Andrea Noe (I), all s.t.; 10. Franck Bouyer (F), at 1:08.