By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright 2001 AFP
Italian cyclist Davide Rebellin, of the Liquigas team, won Saturday’s fourth stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico cycling race, a 170km run from Isernia to Celano. Rebellin also took the lead in the overall standings after outsprinting Dutch rider Michael Boogerd and Russia’s Sergei Ivanov. The first three and Italian cyclist Gabriele Colombo, who won the Milan-San Remo Classic in 1996, made a vital break from the rest of the peloton with Rebellin holding off a spirited challenge from Boogerd of the Rabobank team to win. Earlier Ivan Basso and Danilo Di Luca had attempted a vain breakaway which ended when they were caught by the peloton 37km from the finish. At one point, 77km from the finish, they had a seven-minute advantage over their pursuers but were unable to hold it in the most arduous stage of the eight-stage ‘Race of Two Seas’ which began at Sorrento on the Tyrrhenian Coast and will end at San Benedetto del Tronto on the Adriatic. “I am very happy with this victory,” said Rebellin, who recorded his third victory of the season. “But now I must turn my mind to tomorrow’s time trial which will be a very decisive moment.” This was the most mountainous stages with riders having to negotiate the Valico del Calvario (Calvary Pass) and the Passo Del Diavolo (Devil’s Pass) which has a 10-percent gradient on the approach to the finish in Celano near the central town of L’Aquila. After Saturday’s grueling stage the riders on Sunday face the short, sharp shock of the time trial – a 14.2km run between Ciampli and Torricella Sicura.There was also a boost for Mapei cyclist Paolo Bettini when the race jury decided to cancel a 1min 44sec penalty they had imposed on him after Friday’s third stage.
1. Davide Rebellin (I), Liquigas, 170km in 4:22:56
2. Michael Boogerd (Nl), Rabobank, s.t.
3. Sergei Ivanov (Rus), Fassa Bortolo, at 0:01.
4. Gabriele Colombo (I), Cantina Tollo, s.t.
5. Biagio Conte (I), Saeco, at 0:05.
6. Paolo Savoldelli (I), Saeco
7. Dmitri Konyshev (Rus), Fassa Bortolo
8. Marcus Zberg (Swi), Rabobank
9. Bo Hamburger (Dk), CSC-World Online
10. Marco Serpellini (I), Lampre-Daikin, all s.t.
1. Davide Rebellin (I), Liquigas, 16:11:23.
2. Dmitri Konyshev (Rus), Fassa Bortoloat 0:03.
3. Biagio Conte (I), Saeco
4. Marcus Zberg (Swi), Rabobank
5. Michael Boogerd (Nl), Rabobank, all s.t.
6. Sergei Ivanov (Rus), Fassa Bortolo, at 0:06.
7. Gabriele Colombo (I), Cantina Tollo, at 0:07.
8. Romans Vainsteins (Lat), Domo-Farm Frites, at 0:09.
9. Gabriele Balducci (I), Tacconi-Vini Caldirola, s.t.
10. Fabio Malberti (I), Liquigas, at 0:10.