By Andrew Hood
French veteran Cyril Dessel (Ag2r) collected the overall victory in the 33rd Tour Méditerranéen after finishing safely in the main bunch in Sunday’s 111km finale, which started and finished in San Remo, Italy. Italian Elia Rigotti (Milram) snagged the final win in a stage that hit much of the route of the Milan-San Remo classic, crossing ahead of Daniele Bennati (Lampre-Caffita) and teammate Erik Zabel. A breakaway was reeled in on the Poggio, one of the classic climbs of Milan-San Remo, bringing together a big group for the final sprint. Dessel was the first Frenchman to win the Tour Med since Laurent Jalabert six years ago. “The victory wasn’t easy,” Dessel told reporters. “I never had a very big margin. I could only savor the victory in the final meters of the Italian stage.”
McEwen wins in Portugal
Aussie sprinter Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto) took a rare stage-race win when he snagged the overall of the GP Costa Azul in southern Portugal on Sunday.
McEwen, a winner of one stage, finished 12 seconds ahead of Bernard Eisel (FDJeux) in the overall while Enrico Degano (Barloworld) grabbed his second stage win in four days of racing in a bunch sprint.
Bortolami calls it quits
Veteran Italian rider Gianluca Bortolami, former winner of the Tour of Flanders and the overall World Cup, has decided to end his career, his Lampre-Caffita team announced. Team officials said Bortolami, 37, has suffered problems with an abnormal heartbeat. A pro since 1990, Bortolami won the 2001 Tour of Flanders among his 30 career wins. His best season was 1994, when he won a stage in the Tour de France, the Leeds Classic and the Championship of Zurich, then capped it by winning the overall World Cup while on the Mapei team. Bortolami was suspended for six months in 2003 after testing positive for banned corticoids in an anti-doping control taken during the Three Days of De Panne in Belgium.