Events

Sunday’s EuroFile: Jaksche takes P-N opener; Valverde wins overall at Murcia

When Jorg Jaksche raced with Telekom and ONCE early in his career, he didn’t get much of a chance to ride for himself. Most of his efforts were supporting proven leaders Jan Ullrich or Joseba Beloki. Now that he’s been giving the leadership mantle since joining Team CSC over the off-season, the 27-year-old German is taking full advantage of the opportunity. Jaksche won the Tour Mediterranean in February and added an even more important victory Sunday in the 13.2km opening time trial of the 62rd Paris-Nice. “When I rode at the other teams I was always a worker for others, which was fine

By Andrew Hood

Jaksche in yellow

Jaksche in yellow

Photo: AFP

When Jorg Jaksche raced with Telekom and ONCE early in his career, he didn’t get much of a chance to ride for himself. Most of his efforts were supporting proven leaders Jan Ullrich or Joseba Beloki.

Now that he’s been giving the leadership mantle since joining Team CSC over the off-season, the 27-year-old German is taking full advantage of the opportunity.

Jaksche won the Tour Mediterranean in February and added an even more important victory Sunday in the 13.2km opening time trial of the 62rd Paris-Nice.

“When I rode at the other teams I was always a worker for others, which was fine because I learned a lot riding for Beloki, Ullrich and others,” Jaksche said. “The team gave me the opportunity to have chances in races like Paris-Nice and that motivates me even more.”

Jaksche flew over the very technical, up-and-down course on the hills just south of Paris on a cloudy, cool, sometimes rainy day. Team CSC dominated the race, putting Bobby Julich (seventh at +0:16) and Jens Voigt (ninth at +0:22) into the top 10 and is motivated to win the overall.

“This was a very tricky course and that’s why we came here two days early to pre-ride the course,” said Jaksche, who finished four seconds faster than Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) and Erik Dekker (Rabobank) tied for second.

“This wins give me confidence. I worked hard during the winter, making tests with specific training,” Jaksche said. “Why not me? I can win now, too.”

Despite the foul weather, crowds came out to watch world time trial champion David Millar (Cofidis), French favorites such as Laurent Brochard (Ag2r) and the season debut of Tyler Hamilton (Phonak).

Millar didn’t disappoint, with a solid fourth-place ride at 13 seconds slower wearing the rainbow jersey.

“It was a roller-coaster out there today,” Millar said. “I’m happy with the ride. I’m surprised because March is usually not good for me. It always takes me awhile to get over my relaxed winters. My goals come later anyway.”

Hamilton, stricken with fever on Thursday, flew into Paris on Saturday morning before deciding to race.

Hamilton is here for Zülle

Photo: AFP

“It was important for me to be here with the team. I did OK considering the circumstances,” said Hamilton, who finished 29th at 38 seconds slower. “I’m not here with major goals. It’s the first race of the season, but I want to get some racing kilometers in my legs and be with the team. If I feel a little better each day, I’ll be OK by the end of the week.”

Instead, Hamilton said he’ll support teammates Alex Zülle, who posted a strong ride with sixth at 14 seconds slower, and Spanish rider Oscar Pereiro, who came through 12th at 23 seconds slower.

Defending champion Alexandre Vinokourov (T-Mobile), who took an emotional victory last year riding in the name of Andrei Kivilev, finished 16th at 26 seconds back.

U.S. Postal Service put three riders into the top 40, with Floyd Landis leading the way with 19th at 29 seconds slower. George Hincapie brushed off a sore stomach earlier in the week to ride strong at 25th at 35 seconds slower while David Zabriskie, still on the comeback trail following his broken leg in an accident last spring, came through 37th at 43 seconds slower.

Levi Leipheimer (Rabobank) put down a solid ride at 35th at 40 seconds slower, but admitted he didn’t want to risk crashing on the challenging, rain-drenched course.

“I didn’t take any risks. I lost more time than I wanted to today so it will be difficult now for the GC,” Leipheimer said.

Rabobank will likely throw its weight behind Erik Dekker, third at just four seconds back. The 33-year-old veteran is back in top form following two injury-riddled seasons and is extremely motivated to do well here.

“I had a good feeling today but I was a little bit unsure because I lost some time in the first climb,” Dekker said. “I must have made up the time in the last section. We’ll see how things go in the next few days, but I feel good.”

Paris-Nice continues Monday with the 166.5-kilometer second stage from Chaville to Montargis. The peloton hits five relatively easy Category 3 climbs in the opening 70 kilometers before hitting the expansive flats south of Paris. There’s a small rise to the finish to give the sprinters an extra challenge.

1. Jorg Jaksche (G), CSC, at 17:19
2. Davide Rebellin (I), Gerolsteiner, at 00:04
3. Erik Dekker (Nl), Rabobank, at 00:04
4. David Millar (GB), Cofidis, at 00:13
5. Alberto Contador (Sp), LST, at 00:13
6. Alex Zülle (Swi), Phonak, at 00:14
7. Bobby Julich (USA), CSC, at 00:16
8. Grischa Niermann (G), Rabobank, at 00:22
9. Jens Voigt (G), CSC, at 00:22
10. Laurent Brochard (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, at 00:22

Fullresults

Valverde wins Murcia
Kelme’s Alejandro Valverde won the Tour of Murcia on Sunday following the 133km fifth and final stage.

Lampre’s Luciano Pagliarini of the Lampre team claimed the stage win ahead of German sprint ace Erik Zabel and Spain’s Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero.

Valverde, who will be 24 next month, had on Saturday taken the leader’s jersey from compatriot Jose Ivan Gutierrez who had to be content with second spot and Australia’s Cadel Evans was third.

Valverde said that he had achieved a childhood dream.

“I have fulfilled my childhood dream,” said Valverde. “I am the first Murcian to win this race.”

The two heavyweights in the race, five-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong and five-time runner-up Jan Ullrich, experienced differing fortunes with the former looking far fitter than the German.

However, while Armstrong finished a comfortable 23rd overall and Ullrich 71st, it was the German’s first race of the season and hardly a realistic precursor of their real battle this year, July’s Tour de France where Ullrich will not only attempt to add to his 1997 title but also stop the American from becoming the first man in history to win the world’s greatest bicycle race six times.

Photo Gallery

Results

1. Jorg Jaksche (G), CSC, 17:19

2. Davide Rebellin (I), Gerolsteiner, at 00:04

3. Erik Dekker (Nl), Rabobank, at 00:04

4. David Millar (GB), Cofidis, at 00:13

5. Alberto Contador (Sp), LST, at 00:13

6. Alex Zülle (Swi), Phonak, at 00:14

7. Bobby Julich (USA), CSC, at 00:16

8. Grischa Niermann (G), Rabobank, at 00:22

9. Jens Voigt (G), CSC, at 00:22

10. Laurent Brochard (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, at 00:22

11. Frank Vandenbroucke (B), Fassa Bortolo, at 00:23

12. Oscar Pereiro Sio (Sp), Phonak, at 00:23

13. Gorka Gonzalez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 00:24

14. Vladimir Karpets (Rus), IBB, at 00:25

15. Unai Etxebarria (Vz), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 00:25

16. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), MOB, at 00:26

17. Bram De Groot (Nl), Rabobank, at 00:28

18. Kim Kirchen (Lux), Fassa Bortolo, at 00:29

19. Floyd Landis (USA), U.S. Postal Service, at 00:29

20. Michael Rogers (Aus), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 00:30

21. Gustav Larsson (SWE), Fassa Bortolo, at 00:31

22. Sandy Casar (F), FDJeux.com, at 00:32

23. Fabian Cancellara (Swi), Fassa Bortolo, at 00:32

24. Xabier Zandio (Sp), IBB, at 00:34

25. George Hincapie (USA), U.S. Postal Service, at 00:35

26. Beat Zberg (Swi), Gerolsteiner, at 00:36

27. Cyril Dessel (F), Phonak, at 00:37

28. Patrik Sinkewitz (G), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 00:38

29. Tyler Hamilton (USA), Phonak, at 00:38

30. LÖvkvist Thomas (SWE), FDJeux.com, at 00:39

31. Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz), Cofidis, at 00:39

32. Torsten Hiekmann (G), MOB, at 00:39

33. Pedro Horrillo (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 00:39

34. Dario Frigo (I), Fassa Bortolo, at 00:39

35. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Rabobank, at 00:40

36. Aitor Osa (Sp), IBB, at 00:41

37. David Zabriskie (USA), U.S. Postal Service, at 00:43

38. Inigo Cuesta (Sp), Cofidis, at 00:43

39. Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, at 00:43

40. Franco Pellizotti (I), ALB, at 00:44

41. Samuel Sanchez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 00:44

42. Klaus Mutschler (G), RAG, at 00:44

43. Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr), Ag2R Prevoyance, at 00:44

44. Gorka Arrizabalaga (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 00:44

45. Stephane Goubert (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, at 00:45

46. Thor Hushovd (Nor), Credit Agricole, at 00:45

47. Franck Bouyer (F), Brioches La Boulangere, at 00:45

48. Benoit Poilvet (F), Credit Agricole, at 00:45

49. Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz), Credit Agricole, at 00:46

50. Marcos Serrano (Sp), LST, at 00:47

51. Bram Tankink (Nl), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 00:48

52. Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat), Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdo, at 00:48

53. Ronny Scholz (Swi), Gerolsteiner, at 00:48

54. Inigo Landaluze (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 00:48

55. Ivan Basso (I), CSC, at 00:49

56. Yoann Le Boulanger (F), RAG, at 00:49

57. Matthew White (Aus), Cofidis, at 00:49

58. Nazon Jean-patrick (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, at 00:50

59. Pablo Lastras (Sp), IBB, at 00:50

60. Pineau Jérôme (F), Brioches La Boulangere, at 00:50

61. Dave Bruylandts (B), Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdo, at 00:51

62. Chris Peers (B), Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdo, at 00:51

63. Denis Menchov (Rus), IBB, at 00:51

64. Mario Aerts (B), MOB, at 00:51

65. Michele Bartoli (I), CSC, at 00:52

66. Azevedo José (P), U.S. Postal Service, at 00:52

67. Didier Rous (F), Brioches La Boulangere, at 00:53

68. Jurgen Van De Walle (B), Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdo, at 00:53

69. Carlos Da Cruz (F), FDJeux.com, at 00:54

70. Thomas Ziegler (G), Gerolsteiner, at 00:56

71. Markel Irizar (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 00:56

72. Santiago Botero (Col), MOB, at 00:56

73. Alvaro Gonzalez Galdeano (Sp), LST, at 00:56

74. Tadej Valjavec (SLO), Phonak, at 00:57

75. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol), LST, at 00:58

76. Marc Lotz (Nl), Rabobank, at 00:58

77. Dario Cioni (I), Fassa Bortolo, at 00:58

78. LÖwik Gerben (Nl), Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdo, at 00:58

79. Javier Ramirez (Sp), LST, at 00:58

80. Vjatceslav Ekimov (Rus), U.S. Postal Service, at 00:59

81. David Moncoutie (F), Cofidis, at 01:00

82. Frank Schleck (Lux), CSC, at 01:00

83. Samuel Dumoulin (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, at 01:01

84. Nicolas Portal (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, at 01:01

85. Philippe Gilbert (B), FDJeux.com, at 01:01

86. Pietro Caucchioli (I), ALB, at 01:02

87. Nicolas Jalabert (F), Phonak, at 01:02

88. Kevin Hulsmans (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 01:02

89. Sylvain Chavanel (F), Brioches La Boulangere, at 01:03

90. Daniel Schnider (Swi), Phonak, at 01:03

91. Marcus Ljungquist (SWE), ALB, at 01:03

92. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr), Fassa Bortolo, at 01:04

93. Marco Serpellini (I), Gerolsteiner, at 01:04

94. Alberto Ongarato (I), Fassa Bortolo, at 01:04

95. Mark Scanlon (IRL), Ag2R Prevoyance, at 01:05

96. Benoit Joachim (Lux), U.S. Postal Service, at 01:07

97. Walter Beneteau (F), Brioches La Boulangere, at 01:07

98. Geoffroy Lequatre (F), Credit Agricole, at 01:07

99. Franck Renier (F), Brioches La Boulangere, at 01:08

100. Pena Victor Hugo (Col), U.S. Postal Service, at 01:08

101. Vicente Reynes (Sp), IBB, at 01:09

102. Vladimir Miholjevic (CRO), ALB, at 01:10

103. Bessy Frédéric (F), Cofidis, at 01:10

104. Matthew Wilson (Aus), FDJeux.com, at 01:10

105. Eddy Seigneur (F), RAG, at 01:10

106. Tom Boonen (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 01:11

107. Blaudzun Michaël (Dk), CSC, at 01:11

108. Kevin De Weert (B), Rabobank, at 01:11

109. Robert Hunter (RSA), Rabobank, at 01:12

110. Patrice Halgand (F), Credit Agricole, at 01:13

111. Christophe Edaleine (F), Cofidis, at 01:14

112. Scott Sunderland (Aus), ALB, at 01:14

113. Christian Werner (G), MOB, at 01:16

114. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Credit Agricole, at 01:16

115. Bernhard Eisel (A), FDJeux.com, at 01:17

116. Wilfried Cretskens (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 01:17

117. Moller Claus Michael (Dk), ALB, at 01:17

118. Christophe Rinero (F), RAG, at 01:17

119. Fabian Wegmann (G), Gerolsteiner, at 01:17

120. Georg Totschnig (A), Gerolsteiner, at 01:17

121. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), Ag2R Prevoyance, at 01:18

122. Guesdon Frédéric (F), FDJeux.com, at 01:19

123. Baden Cooke (Aus), FDJeux.com, at 01:19

124. Stephan Schreck (G), MOB, at 01:20

125. Anthony Geslin (F), Brioches La Boulangere, at 01:20

126. Jakob Piil (Dk), CSC, at 01:20

127. Eric Berthou (F), RAG, at 01:20

128. Leon Van Bon (Nl), Lotto-Domo, at 01:20

129. Serguei Yakovlev (Kaz), MOB, at 01:21

130. Christophe Le Mevel (F), Credit Agricole, at 01:21

131. Allan Davis (Aus), LST, at 01:22

132. Koos Moerenhout (Nl), Lotto-Domo, at 01:22

133. Aart Vierhouten (Nl), Lotto-Domo, at 01:22

134. Matthias Kessler (G), MOB, at 01:23

135. Luis Sanchez (Sp), LST, at 01:24

136. Bruno Thibout (F), RAG, at 01:27

137. Thomas Voeckler (F), Brioches La Boulangere, at 01:27

138. Ellis Rastelli (I), ALB, at 01:28

139. Richard Virenque (F), Quick Step-Davitamon, at 01:28

140. Olaf Pollack (G), Gerolsteiner, at 01:29

141. Guillaume Auger (F), RAG, at 01:33

141. Hans De Clercq (B), Lotto-Domo, at 01:33

143. Zbigniew Piatek (Pol), Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdo, at 01:34

144. Steffen Radochla (G), IBB, at 01:36

145. Buffaz Mickaël (F), RAG, at 01:37

146. Christophe Detilloux (B), Lotto-Domo, at 01:39

147. Isidro Nozal (Sp), LST, at 01:40

148. Alexandre Moos (Swi), Phonak, at 01:43

149. Vasseur Cédric (F), Cofidis, at 01:44

150. Joergensen René (Dk), ALB, at 01:45

151. Dionisio Galparsoro (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 01:45

152. Geert Verheyen (B), Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdo, at 01:47

153. Daniel Becke (G), IBB, at 01:48

154. Mathew Hayman (Aus), Rabobank, at 01:50

155. Robbie Mc Ewen (Aus), Lotto-Domo, at 01:55

156. Rik Verbrugghe (B), Lotto-Domo, at 01:57

157. Axel Merckx (B), Lotto-Domo, at 01:57

158. Mikel Artetxe (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 01:58

159. Benoit Salmon (F), Credit Agricole, at 02:13

160. Florent Brard (F), Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdo, at 02:15