Road

Milan – San Remo: It’s Zabel!

It looked like a magical finish in the making for the Italian throngs lined up along Via Roma in San Remo. Super Mario, the guy whose face was on half of the T-shirts being hawked in the crowd, had caught back onto the front group on the descent of the Poggio, and he had a four-man Saeco train pulling him to the front. [nid:20289]But Erik Zabel’s Deutsche Telekom train was also working well, and despite Cipollini closing the gap rapidly, he was still a half bike-length behind at the line after charging past world road champion Romans Vainsteins with 25 meters to go.

By Lennard Zinn

Photo: Graham Watson

It looked like a magical finish in the making for the Italian throngs lined up along Via Roma in San Remo. Super Mario, the guy whose face was on half of the T-shirts being hawked in the crowd, had caught back onto the front group on the descent of the Poggio, and he had a four-man Saeco train pulling him to the front.

This is how you win Milan - San Remo four times.

This is how you win Milan – San Remo four times.

Photo: Graham Watson

But Erik Zabel’s Deutsche Telekom train was also working well, and despite Cipollini closing the gap rapidly, he was still a half bike-length behind at the line after charging past world road champion Romans Vainsteins with 25 meters to go.

Almost as big a story Saturday was the enormous crash with just 250 meters to go. The group was in full flight when Mapei’s Stefano Zanini fell, causing almost a dozen other riders to come crashing to the pavement.

Everyone walked away, but it was hard to believe, given the violence of the crash and how many of those involved weren’t wearing helmets. For his part in the crash, Jo Planckaert (Cofidis) was relegated to last in the group (19th place), and fined 200 Swiss francs for his “irregular sprint.” American George Hincapie, whose U.S. Postal soigneurs had promised to shave their heads if he won, got around the left side of the crash to finish ninth.

Hostilities began in earnest in the 287km race right after Sergiy Matveyev (Panaria-Fiordo), the last remaining rider from a four-man break that took off at km 110 was caught on the lower slopes of the Cipressa, with 25km to go.

After a flurry of attacks on this final hurdle before the Poggio, world #1 Francesco Casagrande (Fassa Bortolo) took off up the left side of the road and was shadowed by Alex Vinokourov, as per the Telekom plan. Other riders came up, and Casagrande jumped alone again, holding a 15-second lead over Vinokourov, Mapei’s Paolo Bettini, and Cofidis’ Peter Farazijn at the summit.

Five riders came up to Casagrande on the descent of the Cipressa, but when Vinokourov and others stopped working, it was doomed before the Poggio.

Bartoli and Rebellin on the Poggio

Bartoli and Rebellin on the Poggio

Photo: Graham Watson

A brief foray by Nico Mattan (Cofidis) was neutralized on the lower slopes of this final climb overlooking the sea, and Zabel stayed in second place behind Vinokourov most of the rest of the way up the climb.

On the false flat a kilometer from the summit, 1996 winner Gabriele Colombo (Cantina Tollo-Aqua&Sapone) attacked and was joined by four others by the summit, but they were caught by the second switchback on the descent.

That set the stage for Cipollini to close the gap to the group alone on the descent and set the stage for the storybook ending that was not to be.

Photo Gallery

Results

92nd Milano Sanremo, March 24, 2001:
1. Erik Zabel (G), Deutsche Telekom, 287km in 7:23:13 (38.852kph); 2. Mario Cipollini (I), Saeco-Cannondale; 3. Romans Vainsteins (Lat), Domo-Farm Frites; 4. Biagio Conte (I), Saeco-Cannondale; 5. Paolo Bettini (I), Mapei-Quick Step; 6. Gabriele Colombo (I), Cantina Tollo-Aqua&Sapone; 7. Gabriele Balducci (I), Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola; 8. Marcus Zberg (Swi), Rabobank; 9. George Hincapie (USA), US Postal Service; 10. Rolf Sorensen (Den), CSC-World OnLine; 11. Michele Bartoli (I), Mapei-Quick Step; 12. Guido Trenti (USA), Cantina Tollo-Aqua&Sapone;13. Peter Van Petegem (B), Mercury-Viatel; 14. Gian Matteo Fagnini (I), Deutsche Telekom; 15. Andrej Hauptman (Slo), Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola; 16. Mirko Celestino (I), Saeco; 17. Dario Pieri (I), Saeco; 18. Mario Aerts (B), Lotto-Adecco; 19. Jo Planckaert (B), Cofidis, all s.t.; 20. Christian Vandevelde (USA), US Postal Service, at 0:39; 21. Erik Dekker (Nl), Rabobank, at 0:50; 22. Fabio Malberti (I), Liquigas-PATA; 23. Francesco Casagrande (I), Fassa Bortolo; 24. Marco Velo (I), Mercatone Uno; 25. Maximilian Sciandri (GB), Lampre-Daikin; 26. Bo Hamburger (Den), CSC-World Online; 27. Andrei Kivilev (Kaz), Cofidis; 28. Giuliano Figueras (I), Panaria-Fiordo; 29. Raimondas Rumsas (Lit), Fassa Bortolo, all s.t.; 30. Bobby Julich (USA), Credit Agricole, at 1:01; 31. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), Deutsche Telekom; 32. Cristian Gasperoni (I), Cantina Tollo-Aqua&Sapone; 33. Fabiano Fontanelli (I), Mercatone Uno; 34. Philippe Gaumont (F), Cofidis; 35. Nico Mattan (B), Cofidis; 36. Roberto Petito (I), Fassa Bortolo; 37. Marco Serpellini (I), Lampre-Daikin; 38. Mikel Pradera Rodriguez (Sp), ONCE-Deutsche Bank; 39. Peter Farazijn (B), Cofidis; 40. Oskar Camenzind (Swi), Lampre-Daikin, all s.t.; 41. Andrei Tchmil (B), Lotto-Adecco, at1:08; 42. Andreas Klier (G), Deutsche Telekom, at 1:15; 43. Fabrizio Guidi (I), Mercury-Viatel, s.t.; 44. Fabio Sacchi (I), Saeco, at 1:37; 45. Jan Svorada (Cz), Lampre-Daikin, at 1:43; 46. Marco Zanotti (I), Liquigas-PATA; 47. Matthew White (Aus), US Postal Service; 48. Thor Hushovd (N), Credit Agricole; 49. Paolo Bossoni (I), Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola; 50. Mauro Radaelli (I), Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola; 51. Denis Zanette (I), Liquigas-PATA; 52. J. Carlos Dominguez (Sp), Banesto; 53. Uros Murn (Slo), Mobilvetta-Formaggi Trentini; 54. Beat Zberg (Swi), Rabobank; 55. Stuart O’Grady (Aus), Credit Agricole; 56. Mariano Piccoli (I), Lampre-Daikin; 57. Cedric Vasseur (F), US Postal Service; 58. Gianluca Bortolami (I), Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola; 59. Christophe Brandt (B), Lotto-Adecco; 60. Mikel Artetxe Gezuraga (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi; 61. Michael Blaudzun (Den), CSC-World Online; 62. Benoit Joachim (Lux), US Postal Service; 63. Nathan O’Neill (Aus), Panaria-Fiordo; 64. Mauro Gianetti (Swi), Coast; 65. Yaugeni Syniuskine (Blr), Panaria-Fiordo; 66. Dmitri Fofonov (Kaz), Cofidis; 67. Filippo Simeoni (I), Cantina Tollo-Aqua&Sapone; 68. Jose Luis Arrieta (Sp), Banesto; 69. Frank Hoj (Dk), Coast; 70. Steffen Wesemann (G), Deutsche Telekom; 71. Igor Flores Galarza (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi; 72. Daniele Contrini (I), Liquigas-PATA; 73. Rolf Huser (Swi), Coast; 74. Massimiliano Lelli (I), Cofidis; 75. Jens Voigt (G), Credit Agricole; 76. Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Sp), Kelme-Costa Blanca; 77. Francisco Cabello (Sp), Kelme-Costa Blanca; 78. Christopher Jenner (F), Credit Agricole; 79. Massimo Giunti (I), Cantina Tollo-Aqua&Sapone; 80. Johan Museeuw (B), Domo-Farm Frites; 81. Jan Schaffrath (G), Deutsche Telekom; 82. Inigo Chaurreau Bernardez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi; 83. Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Sp), ONCE-Deutsche Bank; 84. Paolo Lanfranchi (I), Mapei-Quick Step; 85. Iban Mayo Diez (Sp), Euskatel-Euskadi; 86. Alberto Elli (I), Deutsche Telekom; 87. Abraham Olano (Sp), ONCE-Deutsche Bank; 88. Andrea Tafi (I), Mapei-Quick Step; 89. Marco Pantani (I), Mercatone Uno; 90. Antonio Varriale (I), Panaria-Fiordo; 91. Paolo Fornaciari (I), Mapei-Quick Step; 92. Chris Peers (B), Cofidis; 93. Marc Lotz (Nl), Rabobank; 94. Jose Azevedo (Por), ONCE-Deutsche Bank; 95. Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus), Lotto-Adecco; 96. Alex Zulle (Swi), Coast; 97. Niki Aebersold (Swi), Coast; 98. Viatceslav Ekimov (Rus), US Postal Service; 99. Txema Del Olmo Zendegi (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi; 100. Sergio Barbero (I), Lampre-Daikin; 101. Unai Etxebarria (Ven), Euskaltel-Euskadi; 102. Thierry Marichal (B), Lotto-Adecco; 103. Marzio Bruseghin (I), Banesto; 104. Paolo Savoldelli (I), Saeco; 105. Enrico Cassani (I), Domo-Farm Frites; 106. Mario Scirea (I), Saeco; 107. Pavel Padrnos (Cz), Saeco; 108. Luca Scinto (I), Mapei-Quick Step; 109. Matteo Tosatto (I), Fassa Bortolo; 110. Fred Rodriguez (USA), Domo-Farm Frites; 111. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr), Fassa Bortolo; 112. Fabio Baldato (I), Fassa Bortolo; 113. Serguei Yakovlev (Kaz), Cantina Tollo-Aqua&Sapone; 114. Tristan Hoffman (Nl), CSC-World Online; 115. Timothy Jones (Zim), Mobilvetta-Formaggi Trentini; 116. Bingen Fernandez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi; 117. Michele Coppolillo (I), Panaria-Fiordo; 118. Vladimir (Duma Ukr), Panaria-Fiordo; 119. Danilo Di Luca (I), Cantina Tollo-Aqua&Sapone, all s.t.; 120. Dmitri Konyshev (Rus), Fassa Bortolo, at 2:18; 121. Stefano Zanini (I), Mapei-Quick Step, at 3:38; 122. Ellis Rastelli (I), Liquigas-PATA, at 4:50; 123. Mikel Zarrabeitia (Sp), ONCE-Deutsche Bank, s.t.; 124. Nicolay Bo Larsen (Den), CSC-World Online, at 5:00; 125. Cristian Moreni (I), Mercatone Uno, at 5:17; 126. Alberto Ongarato (I), Mobilvetta-Formaggi Trentini; 127. Devis Miorin (I), Mobilvetta-Formaggi Trentini; 128. Igor Astarloa (Sp), Mercatone Uno; 129. Mario Ortenzi Gian (I), Mercatone Uno, all s.t.; 130. Sergiy Matveyev (Ukr), Panaria-Fiordo, at 5:40; 131. Tom Leaper (Aus), Panaria-Fiordo, s.t.; 132. Kai Hundertmark (G), Deutsche Telekom, at 6:34; 133. Maarten Den Bakker (Nl), Rabobank, at 7:12; 134. Jan Boven (Nl), Rabobank; 135. Nicola Loda (I), Fassa Bortolo; 136. Steven De Jongh (Nl), Rabobank; 137. Fabrice Gougot (F), Credit Agricole; 138. Wilfried Peeters (B), Domo-Farm Frites; 139. Marco Milesi (I), Domo-Farm Frites; 140. Davide Bramati (I), Mapei-Quick Step; 141. Paul Van Hyfte (B), Lotto-Adecco; 142. Piotr Wadecki (Pol), Domo-Farm Frites; 143. Koen Beeckman (B), CSC-World Online; 144. Roland Meier (Swi), Coast; 145. Jaime Javier Hernandez (Sp), Festina; 146. Juan Manuel Cuenca (Sp), Kelme-Costa Blanca; 147. David Etxebarria (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi; 148. Fabian De Waele (B), Lotto-Adecco; 149. Ermanno Brignoli (I), Mercatone Uno; 150. Jorg Jaksche (G), ONCE-Deutsche Bank; 151. Steffen Kjaergaard (N), US Postal Service; 152. Pavel Tonkov (Rus), Mercury-Viatel, all s.t.; 153. Domenico Gualdi (I), Mobilvetta-Formaggi Trentini, at 8:53; 154. Geert Van Bondt (B), Mercury-Viatel; 155. Mauro Gerosa (I), Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola, both s.t.; 156. Zoran Klemencic, Slo, Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola, at 9:42; 157. Javier Pascual Llorente (Sp), Kelme-Costa Blanca; 158. Hendrik Van Dyck (B), Lotto-Adecco; 159. Gianpaolo Mondini (I), Mercatone Uno; 160. Floyd Landis (USA), Mercury-Viatel; 161. Alberto Benito Guerrero (Sp), Banesto; 162. Federico Giabbecucci (I), Cantina Tollo-Aqua&Sapone; 163. Iban Sastre Estevez (Sp), Festina; 164. Rodolfo Massi (I), Mobilvetta-Formaggi Trentini; 165. Mirko Marini (I), Liquigas-PATA; 166. Arvis Piziks (Lat), CSC-World Online; 167. Cristian Salvato (I), Liquigas-PATA, all s.t.; 168. Ludo Dierckxsens (B), Lampre-Daikin, at 12:31; 169. Antonio Tauler (Sp), Kelme-Costa Blanca; 170. Servais Knaven (Nl), Domo-Farm Frites; 171. Lars Michaelsen (Dk), Coast; 172. Jon Odriozola Mugarza (Sp), Banesto; 173. Rafael Casero Moreno (Sp), Festina; 174. Henk Vogels (Aus), Mercury-Viatel; 175. David Clinger (USA), Festina, all s.t.; 176. Raphael Schweda (G), Coast, at 14:24; 177. Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat), Lampre-Daikin, at 15:39; 178. Martin Rittsel (S), CSC-World Online; 179. David Latasa Lasa (Sp), Banesto; 180. Francisco Leon Mane (Sp), Kelme-Costa Blanca; 181. Milan Kadlec (Cz), Mobilvetta-Formaggi Trentini, all s.t.

World Cup Rankings (after one race): 1. Zabel, 100 pts.; 2. Cipollini, 70; 3. Vainsteins, 50; 4. Conte, 40; 5. Betttini, 36; 6. Colombo, 32; 7. Balducci, 28; 8. Zberg, 24; 9. Hincapie, 20; 10. Sorensen, 16.