Events

Tour Down Under: McEwen hot, Sunderland hot under the collar

Australia’s new generation of road racing stars came under fire from veteran Scott Sunderland on Friday for allegedly causing a bone-chilling crash that could endanger his 2002 season. For Robbie McEwen (Lotto) Friday’s 141km fourth stage in the Jacob’s Creek Tour Down Under brought his third victory in the race and sixth in 15 days, but it was a different story for Sunderland (Lotto), Australia’s second-highest ranked rider on the world standings who has also been leading the climbers’ category here. McEwen won the stage from the Adelaide suburb of Unley to the former whaling station of

By Rupert Guinness of The Australian, for VeloNews

McEwen takes No. 3

McEwen takes No. 3

Photo: Graham Watson

Australia’s new generation of road racing stars came under fire from veteran Scott Sunderland on Friday for allegedly causing a bone-chilling crash that could endanger his 2002 season.

For Robbie McEwen (Lotto) Friday’s 141km fourth stage in the Jacob’s Creek Tour Down Under brought his third victory in the race and sixth in 15 days, but it was a different story for Sunderland (Lotto), Australia’s second-highest ranked rider on the world standings who has also been leading the climbers’ category here.

McEwen won the stage from the Adelaide suburb of Unley to the former whaling station of Victor Harbour ahead of Germany’s Danilo Hondo (Telekom) and Estonia’s Jaan Kirsipuu (AG2R).

Meanwhile, Italian Fabio Sacchi (Saeco) was also left smiling on the podium after he held onto his overall lead. The Italian, who finished seventh on the stage, still leads by one second over Michael Rogers (AIS) and by five seconds on Italian Andrea Tafi (Mapei).

Sunderland, however, was rushed to the hospital after being involved in a seven-man pile-up with three kilometers to go in the stage.

He suffered damage to the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and sustained an undisplaced fracture of his right tibia in the spill. The crash involved at least six other riders: Jens Heppner (Telekom), Jorgen van Goolen (Domo), Inigo Chaurrea-Bernadez (AG2R), Jakob Piil (CSC), Gene Bates (Uni SA) and Adrian Laidler (Uni SA).

Sunderland injured the same knee which was badly infected from a deep cut in a race fall in the Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne race in Belgium in 2000.

Sunderland is not expected to start Saturday’s 156km fifth stage from Gawler to Tanunda, even though he managed to get up, re-mount his bike and bravely ride to the finish on Friday.

But he didn’t hesitate in sending a parting shot to those who he suspects caused the accident in the middle of the pack.

“I am totally pissed off. It has been one of the reasons why I avoid some races in Australia,” said Sunderland who finished alone, 10:16 behind McEwen.

“There are guys on the road (who are) in over their heads. I don’t know why they are sprinting for 25th place or 50 bucks.

“They are busting their arses all day, trying to keep up. They are knackered and their reaction time slows down.

“They then don’t see the move or are not aware of it. And then they are in front off you and fall off. You end up being the one losing.”

Sunderland stopped short of solely blaming little Australian Under 23 rider Gene Bates (Uni South Australia) for the crash. But Sunderland admitted it was Bates, the winner of last year’s under-23 category, who he first targeted after getting back on the bike.

“Gene went over the top and dropped right in front of me. I got up and gave him a mouthful because he is the one I hit,” said Sunderland.

Several hours after the race, Sunderland was devastated on Friday night, his hopes of a successful European spring campaign wiped out. He said his hopes were now focused on gaining selection in the Australian team to contest this year’s Commonwealth Games road race in Manchester, England in June.

“I am gutted. I felt like crying,” said Sunderland. “I have to salvage something and getting Commonwealth Games selection would be a good goal.”

While Australia’s young riders may have copped a serve, they did not end the day with only dark clouds over them. They came to the event with lofty ambitions of mixing it with the top riders, and yesterday showed how much conviction they have.

Victorian David Pell (United Water) spent 90km alone and in front after attacking 34km into the stage. He was only caught with 16km to go. On Saturday, for stage five, he will start deservedly wearing the most aggressive rider’s jersey for his bravado.

Pell, a reputed time trialist, gained a maximum lead of 5:03 at the 85km mark. But once the one climb of the day approached, that advantage fell.

The Seaco-led peloton caught Pell at the 120km mark, soon after the day’s main obstacle, the windswept 2km-long climb to Waitpinga overlooking the Southern Ocean.

Pell, who was the Australian under-23 road champion and national road race series winner in 2000, finished second-to-last, and 7:03 down on McEwen.

However, despite his bravado – unfairly or not – it was a day that saw all attention fall on two of Australia’s most credentialed veterans of the sport.

One was McEwen, the stage winner and clearly the strongest in the race. Another was Sunderland, the loser – and for more reasons than anyone could have anticipated.

Results

>Stage Results
1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto Adecco 3.25.50 (41.1 km/h);
2 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Telekom;
3 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) AG2R-Prevoyance;
4 Baden Cooke (Aus) La Francaise Des Jeux;
5 Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei Quick Step;
6 Luca Paolini (Ita) Mapei Quick Step;
7 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport;
8 Thierry Loder (Fra) AG2r-Prevoyance;
9 Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA;
10 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole;
11 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) AG2R-Prevoyance;
12 Paul Van Hyfte (Bel) CSC – Tiscali;
13 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Mapei Quick Step;
14 Patrick Jonker (Aus) UniSA;
15 Anthony Morin (Fra) Credit Agricole;
16 Biagio Conte (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport;
17 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Domo Farm Frites;
18 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) CSC – Tiscali;
19 Michael Rogers (Aus) Australian Institute Of Sport;
20 Allan Davis (Aus) Australian Institute Of Sport;
21 Scott Davis (Aus) Australian Institute Of Sport;
22 Steffen Wesemann (Ger) Telekom;
23 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) AG2R-Prevoyance;
24 Brett Aitken (Aus) UniSA;
25 Regis Lhuillier (Fra) La Francaise Des Jeux;
26 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Mapei Quick Step;
27 Dave McPartland (Aus) United Water;
28 Julian Dean (NZl) CSC – Tiscali;
29 Lauri Aus (Est) AG2r-Prevoyance;
30 Carlos Da Cruz (Fra) La Francaise Des Jeux;
31 Simon Gerrans (Aus) United Water;
32 Fabian De Waele (Bel) Mapei Quick Step;
33 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Mapei Quick Step;
34 Niko Eeckhout (Bel) Lotto Adecco;
35 Robert Tighello (Aus) Australian Institute Of Sport;
36 Servais Knaven (Ned) Domo Farm Frites;
37 Peter Dawson (Aus) United Water;
38 Koos Moerenhout (Ned) Domo Farm Frites;
39 Ashley Humbert (Aus) United Water;
40 Gerrit Glomser (Aut) Saeco-Longoni Sport;
41 Chris Jenner (NZl) Credit Agricole;
42 Jans Koerts (Ned) Domo Farm Frites;
43 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Mapei Quick Step;
44 Bobby Julich (USA) Telekom;
45 David Kopp (Ger) Telekom;
46 Bjarke Nielsen (Den) CSC – Tiscali;
47 Cadel Evans (Aus) Mapei Quick Step;
48 Kai Hundertmarck (Ger) Telekom;
49 Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Lotto Adecco;
50 Steve Cunningham (Aus) UniSA;
51 Joerg Ludewig (Ger) Saeco-Longoni Sport;
52 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Lotto Adecco;
53 Brad Davidson (Aus) Saeco-Longoni Sport;
54 Christian Pepoli (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport;
55 Max Van Heeswijk (Ned) Domo Farm Frites;
56 Frederic Bessy (Fra) Credit Agricole;
57 Oscar Mason (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport;
58 Tomas Konecny (Cze) Domo Farm Frites;
59 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Credit Agricole;
60 Innar Mandoja (Est) AG2R-Prevoyance;
61 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) CSC – Tiscali;
62 Robert Bartko (Ger) Telekom;
63 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Australian Institute Of Sport;
64 Mark Renshaw (Aus) United Water;
65 Anthony Langella (Fra) Credit Agricole;
66 Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Lotto Adecco;
67 Daniel Mackey (Aus) United Water;
68 Glenn d’Hollander (Bel) Lotto Adecco;
69 Hans De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Adecco;
70 Andreas Kloden (Ger) Telekom, at 0.25;
71 Ief Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto Adecco, s.t.;
72 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport, at 0.31;
73 Matt Wilson (Aus) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 0.42;
74 Frederick Guesdon (Fra) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 0.44;
75 Raphael Jeune (Fra) CSC – Tiscali, at 0.50;
76 Bruce McIntosh (Aus) United Water, s.t.;
77 Bradley McGee (Aus) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 0.54;
78 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) La Francaise Des Jeux;
79 Thomas Bodo (Fra) La Francaise Des Jeux;
80 Inigo Chaurreau Bernadez (Spa) AG2R-Prevoyance, all s.t.;
81 Jakob Piil (Den) CSC – Tiscali, at 1.22;
82 Jonathan Vaughters (USA) Credit Agricole;
83 Sebastian Hinault (Fra) Credit Agricole;
84 Bram Tankink (Ned) Domo Farm Frites, all s.t.;
85 Arvis Piziks (Lat) CSC – Tiscali, at 1.26;
86 Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Domo Farm Frites, at 2.08;
87 Steve Williams (Aus) Australian Institute Of Sport, s.t.;
88 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA, at 2.38;
89 Corey Sweet (Aus) UniSA;
90 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA, both s.t.;
91 Adrian Laidler (Aus) UniSA, at 3.30;
92 Jens Heppner (Ger) Telekom, at 3.33;
93 David Pell (Aus) United Water, at 7.13;
94 Scott Sunderland (Aus) Australian Institute Of Sport, at 10.16;
General classification after stage 4;
1 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport, in 11.25.44;
2 Michael Rogers (Aus) Australian Institute Of Sport, at 0.01;
3 Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei Quick Step, at 0.05;
4 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) AG2r-Prevoyance, at 0.07;
5 Paul Van Hyfte (Bel) CSC – Tiscali;
6 Patrick Jonker (Aus) UniSA;
7 Anthony Morin (Fra) Credit Agricole;
8 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Mapei Quick Step, at 0.45;
9 Robert Tighello (Aus) Australian Institute Of Sport, at 0.46;
10 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole, at 0.53;
11 Biagio Conte (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 0.54;
12 Steffen Wesemann (Ger) Telekom, at 0.56;
13 Cadel Evans (Aus) Mapei Quick Step;
14 Inigo Chaurreau Bernadez (Spa) AG2r-Prevoyance, at 1.44;
15 Scott Davis (Aus) Australian Institute Of Sport, at 5.06;
16 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto Adecco, at 7.58;
17 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Mapei Quick Step, at 8.03;
18 Dave McPartland (Aus) United Water, at 8.06;
19 Luca Paolini (Ita) Mapei Quick Step 8.09;
20 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Telekom;
21 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) AG2r-Prevoyance, at 8.12;
22 Bobby Julich (USA) Telekom, at 8.13;
23 Fabian De Waele (Bel) Mapei Quick Step;
24 Thierry Loder (Fra) AG2r-Prevoyance;
25 Max Van Heeswijk (Ned) Domo Farm Frites;
26 Chris Jenner (NZl) Credit Agricole;
27 Ashley Humbert (Aus) United Water;
28 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Lotto Adecco;
29 Simon Gerrans (Aus) United Water;
30 Koos Moerenhout (Ned) Domo Farm Frites;
31 Robert Bartko (Ger) Telekom, at 8.24;
32 Peter Dawson (Aus) United Water, at 8.27;
33 Tomas Konecny (Cze) Domo Farm Frites;
34 Kai Hundertmarck (Ger) Telekom;
35 Bradley McGee (Aus) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 9.07;
36 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) La Francaise Des Jeux;
37 Joerg Ludewig (Ger) Saeco-Longoni Sport, at 9.30;
38 Frederic Bessy (Fra) Credit Agricole;
39 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Credit Agricole;
40 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA, at 10.44;
41 Jens Heppner (Ger) Telekom, at 12.00;
42 Servais Knaven (Ned) Domo Farm Frites, at 12.16;
43 Mark Renshaw (Aus) United Water;
44 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) CSC – Tiscali, at 12.18;
45 Glenn d’Hollander (Bel) Lotto Adecco;
46 Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA, at 12.20;
47 David Kopp (Ger) Telekom;
48 Steve Cunningham (Aus) UniSA;
49 Allan Davis (Aus) Australian Institute Of Sport, at 12.23;
50 Julian Dean (NZl) CSC – Tiscali;
51 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Mapei Quick Step;
52 Oscar Mason (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport;
53 Innar Mandoja (Est) AG2r-Prevoyance;
54 Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Lotto Adecco;
55 Regis Lhuillier (Fra) La Francaise Des Jeux;
56 Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Lotto Adecco;
57 Hans De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Adecco;
58 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) CSC – Tiscali;
59 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport, at 12.54;
60 Bruce McIntosh (Aus) United Water, at 13.06;
61 Frederick Guesdon (Fra) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 13.07;
62 Thomas Bodo (Fra) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 13.17;
63 Sebastian Hinault (Fra) Credit Agricole, at 13.45;
64 Bram Tankink (Ned) Domo Farm Frites;
65 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA, at 15.01;
66 Adrian Laidler (Aus) UniSA, at 15.53;
67 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) AG2r-Prevoyance, at 17.23;
68 Jans Koerts (Ned) Domo Farm Frites, at 17.24;
69 Baden Cooke (Aus) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 17.25;
70 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Mapei Quick Step;
71 Brett Aitken (Aus) UniSA;
72 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Domo Farm Frites;
73 Bjarke Nielsen (Den) CSC – Tiscali;
74 Carlos Da Cruz (Fra) La Francaise Des Jeux;
75 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Australian Institute Of Sport;
76 Niko Eeckhout (Bel) Lotto Adecco;
77 Brad Davidson (Aus) Saeco-Longoni Sport;
78 Lauri Aus (Est) AG2r-Prevoyance;
79 Anthony Langella (Fra) Credit Agricole;
80 Andreas Klˆden (Ger) Telekom, at 17.50;
81 Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Domo Farm Frites, at 17.53;
82 Raphael Jeune (Fra) CSC – Tiscali, at 18.15;
83 Scott Sunderland (Aus) Australian Institute Of Sport, at 18.25;
84 Jonathan Vaughters (USA) Credit Agricole, at 18.44;
85 Jakob Piil (Den) CSC – Tiscali;
86 Arvis Piziks (Lat) CSC – Tiscali, at 18.51;
87 David Pell (Aus) United Water, at 19.33;
88 Steve Williams (Aus) Australian Institute Of Sport;
89 Ief Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto Adecco, at 19.42;
90 Gerrit Glomser (Aut) Saeco-Longoni Sport, at 19.44;
91 Christian Pepoli (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport, at 19.45;
92 Corey Sweet (Aus) UniSA, at 20.03;
93 Matt Wilson (Aus) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 37.09;
94 Daniel Mackey (Aus) United Water, at 46.47;
SA Lotteries Sprints classification;
1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto Adecco 28 pts;
2 Jans Koerts (Ned) Domo Farm Frites 14;
3 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 12;
4 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) CSC – Tiscali 10;
5 Glenn d’Hollander (Bel) Lotto Adecco 10;
6 Michael Rogers (Aus) Australian Institute Of Sport 8;
7 Scott Sunderland (Aus) Australian Institute Of Sport 8;
8 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Mapei Quick Step 6;
9 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Mapei Quick Step 6;
10 David Pell (Aus) United Water 6;
11 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole 6;
12 Corey Sweet (Aus) UniSA 6;
13 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Telekom 6;
14 Luca Paolini (Ita) Mapei Quick Step 6;
15 Biagio Conte (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 4;
16 Robert Tighello (Aus) Australian Institute Of Sport 4;
17 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) AG2r-Prevoyance 4;
18 Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei Quick Step 4;
19 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) AG2r-Prevoyance 2;
Laubman & Pank King of the Mountain classification;
1 Glenn d’Hollander (Bel) Lotto Adecco 28 pts;
2 Scott Sunderland (Aus) Australian Institute Of Sport 28;
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) Mapei Quick Step 20;
4 David Pell (Aus) United Water 16;
5 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA 12;
6 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Mapei Quick Step 8;
7 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) La Francaise Des Jeux 8;
8 Joerg Ludewig (Ger) Saeco-Longoni Sport 6;
9 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 4;
10 Michael Rogers (Aus) Australian Institute Of Sport 4;
11 Brad Davidson (Aus) Saeco-Longoni Sport;
Share the Road U23 rider classification;
1 Dave McPartland (Aus) United Water 11.33.50;
2 Ashley Humbert (Aus) United Water 0.07;
3 Simon Gerrans (Aus) United Water;
4 Peter Dawson (Aus) United Water 0.21;
5 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA 2.38;
6 Mark Renshaw (Aus) United Water 4.10;
7 Allan Davis (Aus) Australian Institute Of Sport 4.17;
8 Regis Lhuillier (Fra) La Francaise Des Jeux;
9 Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Lotto Adecco;
10 Bruce McIntosh (Aus) United Water 5.00;
11 Thomas Bodo (Fra) La Francaise Des Jeux 5.11;
12 Adrian Laidler (Aus) UniSA 7.47;
13 Brad Davidson (Aus) Saeco-Longoni Sport 9.19;
14 Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Domo Farm Frites 9.47;
15 David Pell (Aus) United Water 11.27;
16 Daniel Mackey (Aus) United Water 38.41;
Century 21 Most aggressive rider;
1 David Pell (Aus) United Water;
Clipsal Teams classification;
1 Mapei – Quick Step 34.19.03;
2 Australian Institute Of Sport;
3 Ag2R Prevoyance 7.19;
4 Credit Agricole 7.22;
5 Saeco Machine Per Caffe – Longoni Sport 8.42;
6 Telekom 15.25;
7 UniSA 18.42;
8 United Water 22.27;
9 Domo Farm Frites 22.55;
10 CSC – Tiscali 22.59;
11 La Francaise Des Jeux 26.58;
12 Lotto Adecco