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Euro-File for Monday: A look at the weeks ahead

The Spring Classics are winding down following the Italian sweep at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.Sunday’s Amstel Gold is the final stop of a month-long fest of epic one-dayraces across northern France, Belgium and Holland.The winners came from surprising corners, with veterans such as MarioCipollini (Ghent-Wevelgem), Johan Museeuw (Paris-Roubaix) andAndrea Tafi (Tour of Flanders) proving that experience counts. LanceArmstrong offered his hand to U.S. Postal Service teammates GeorgeHincapie and the young Tom Boonen, who surprised the cyclingworld with an impressive third-place at his Paris-Roubaix

By Andrew Hood

The Spring Classics are winding down following the Italian sweep at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.Sunday’s Amstel Gold is the final stop of a month-long fest of epic one-dayraces across northern France, Belgium and Holland.The winners came from surprising corners, with veterans such as MarioCipollini (Ghent-Wevelgem), Johan Museeuw (Paris-Roubaix) andAndrea Tafi (Tour of Flanders) proving that experience counts. LanceArmstrong offered his hand to U.S. Postal Service teammates GeorgeHincapie and the young Tom Boonen, who surprised the cyclingworld with an impressive third-place at his Paris-Roubaix debut. AmstelGold dominates European cycling this week and Armstrong goes in as theheavy favorite in the race where he’s finished second in 1999 and 2001.Many of the Giro d’Italia contenders will head to the Giro de Trentino(April 25-28) in Italy while the Spanish teams will converge on the Vueltaa La Rioja (April 27-30). Laurent Jalabert is expected to make hiscomeback since pulling out sick at Milan-San Remo in March at the Tourof Lower Saxony (April 24-38) in Germany.Women race this week in Spain at the Tour of Castilla and Leon (April23-27).
Pantani’s dope hearing delayedMarco Pantani‘s scheduled appearance before the anti-doping panel of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has been delayed until April 29, aCONI spokesman announced Monday.The 1998 Giro d’Italia and Tour de France winner was originally scheduledto appear before the CONI panel on Wednesday but no reason was given forthe delay.Pantani, who has been implicated in several doping-related judicialaffairs, will be called to give his account of events relating to the policesearches of riders’ hotel rooms in San Remo during last year’s Giro d’Italia. AMERICAN WATCH: Americans were everywhere this weekend,with a heavy presence at the Belgian Classics. Christian Vande Velde(USPS) was the top American at Fleche Wallone in 17th at 24 seconds behindwinner Mario Aerts (Lotto), while Levi Leipheimer (Rabobank)was 80th at 5:37 back; Bobby Julich (Telekom) at 5:58 back and DavidClinger (USPS) was 146th at 12:46.At Liege-Bastogne-Liege, George Hincapie got into the winningbreak and was the top American at “La Doyenne,” finishing 20th at 1:27back. Tyler Hamilton (CSC-Tiscali) punctured late and finished 46that 1:51 back. Others included Christian Vande Velde at 53rd at 2:33; LanceArmstrong at 65th at 8:12; Bobby Julich at 74th at 8:38; DavidClinger at 86th at 8:38 and Levi Leipheimer at 103rd at 8:38. At theVuelta  a Aragon, U.S. Postal’s Chann McRae finished a respectable26th at 3:59 back with Dylan Casey (USPS) at 72nd at 21:56 and KevinLivingston (Telekom) was 87th at 32:52 back.
 MEN’S WORLD CUP: Paris-Roubaix winner Johan Museeuw (Domo) retainshis overall lead in the World Cup standings through four events. MarioCipollini (Acqua & Sapone), a winner at Milan-San Remo, held to secondwhile Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner Paolo Bettini (Mapei) jumped tothird overall. George Hincapie (USPS) and Fred Rodriguez (Domo)sit comfortably in the top-10 going into Sunday’s Amstel Gold race in Holland.After this weekend, the 10-round World Cup steps aside for the Giro andthe Tour and returns in August with HEW Cyclassics in Germany on Aug. 4.MEN’s OVERALL WORLD CUP STANDINGS AFTER FOUR EVENTS:
1. Johan Museeuw (B), Domo, 170 points
2. Mario Cipollini (I), Acqua & Sapone, 120
3. Paolo Bettini (I), Mapei,  110
4. Andrea Tafi (I), Mapei, 109
5. Peter Van Petegem (B), Lotto, 89
6. George Hincapie (USA), USPS, 88
7. Fred Rodriguez (USA), Domo, 79
8. Stefano Garzelli (I), Mapei, 70
9. Steffen Wesemann (G), Telekom, 70
10. Jo Planckaet (B), Cofidis, 55
11. Tom Boonen (B), USPS, 52
12. Markus Zberg (Sui), Rabobank, 51
13. Ivan Basso (I), Fassa Bortolo, 50
14. Lars Michaelsen (D), Coast, 49
15. Enrico Cassani (I), Domo, 46
16. Mirko Celestina (I), Saeco,  40.
17. Tristan Hoffman (Ned), CSC-Tiscali, 40
18. Oscar Freire (Sp), Mapei, 40
19. Massimo Codol (I), Lampre, 36
20. Daniele Nardello (I), Mapei, 36WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: Germany’s Petra Rossner (Saturn) regainedthe overall lead after finishing second in Sunday’s GP Castilla y Leonin Spain. Rossner won the opening two races but lost the lead at FlecheWallone on March 17 to Dutch rider Mirjam Melchers (Farm Frites).On Sunday, however, Rossner finished second behind winner Regina Schleicher,but ahead of third-place Melchers to take back the overall leader’s jerseythrough five races. Up next in the women’s nine-round World Cup is theJune 1 race in Montreal, a climbers course that does not favor the strongsprinter Rossner.WOMEN’s OVERALL WORLD CUP STANDINGS AFTER FIVE EVENTS:
1. Petra Rossner (G), Saturn, 200 points.
2. Mirjam Melchers (Ned), Farm Frites, 193
3. Rochelle Gilmore (Aus), 100
4. Priska Doppmann (Swi), 97
5. Regina Schleicher (G), Michela Fanini, 93
6. Hanka Kupfernagel (G), Nurnberger, 92
7. Fabiana Luperini (I), 75
8. Lyne Bessette (Can), Saturn, 50
9. Diana Ziliute (Lit), Acca Duo, 50
10. Hayley Rutherford (Aus), 44
 Final standings for Vuelta a Aragon, which concluded Sunday in Spain:
1. PIEPOLI, Leonardo (I) BAN 19:59:29
2. SHEFER, Alexander (Kza) ALS at 0:29
3. OSA, Aitor (Sp) BAN at 0:32
4. FERNANDEZ, Bingen (Sp) COF at 0:44
5. DOMINGUEZ, Juan Carlos (Sp) PHO at 0:50
6. SEVILLA, Oscar (Sp) KEL at 0:53
7. ESCARTIN, Fernando (Sp) COA at 0:1:03
8. FRAGNIERE, Cédric (Swi) PHO at 0:1:08
9. MONCOUTIE, David (F) COF at 1:14
10. ZARRABEITIA, Mikel (Sp) ONE at 1:38
11. DEMARBAIX, Sebastien (B) AG2 at 1:41
12. POSPYEYEV, Kyrylo (Ukr) ACQ at 1:52
13. BOTCHAROV, Alexandre (Rus) AG2 at 2:00
14. HERAS, Roberto (Sp) USP at 2:00
15. VAZQUEZ, J.Manuel (Sp) REL at 2:05
16. CONTI, Roberto (I) ACQ at 2:11
17. RATTI, Eddy (I) MAP at 2:22
18. TRAMPUSCH, Gerhard (A) MAP at 2:23
19. PASCUAL RODRIGUEZ, Javier (Sp) BAN at 2:29
20. ATIENZA, Daniel (Sp) COF at 2:59
 Final standings for Semana Lombarda, which concluded Sunday in Italy:
1. Valjavec, Tadej (SLO!) -FAS 19-38-15
2. Scarponi, Michele (I) -ACQ at  0:20
3. Kirchen, Kim (Lux) -FAS at 0:31
4. Savoldelli, Paolo (I) – INA at 0:46
5. Perez, Julio Alberto (Mex) PAN a 0:59
6. Honchar, Serhiy (Ukr) FAS) at 1:00
7. Teteriouk, Andrei (Kaz) -CCC at 1:27
8. Romanik, Radoslaw (Pol) -CCC at 1:44
9. Lunghi, Denis (I)-CPK  s.t.
10. Garcia Casas, Felix (Sp) BIG s.t.