By Andrew Hood
Flying Frenchman Christophe Moreau (Crédit Agricole) wrapped up a big win in the Four Days of Dunkirk after taking the morning time trial stage.
Moreau had an impressive victory in the 19km to time trial to follow up on his stage-win in Saturday’s difficult stage over the rolling hills of northern France.
Moreau rolled through the afternoon road stage without drama while sprinter Jean-Patrick Nazon (Jean Delatour) scored another win for the French team on the eve of the final Tour de France wild card selection May 19.
U.S. Postal’s David Zabriskie rode well throughout the race, getting himself into the action in Saturday’s decisive stage and defending well in Sunday’s time trial. He finished fifth overall at 2:29 back.
Stage 5, ITT, 19km
1. Christophe Moreau (F), Credit Agricole, 23:05
2. Robert Bartko (G), Rabobank, at 25 seconds
3. Didier Rous (F), Brioches at 0:26
4. Bart Voskamp (Ned), BBT at 0:33
5. Laurent Brochard (F), Ag2r, at 0:38
8. David Zabriskie (USA), USPS at 0:48
14. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Rabobank at 1:02Stage 6, 96km
1. Jean Patrick Nazon (F), Jean Delatour, 2 hours, 2 minutes, 32 seconds
2. Yuri Mitlushenko (Ukr), Landbouwkrediet
3. Jaan Kirsipue (Est), Ag2r
4. Saulius Ruskys (Lit), Marlux
5. James Vanlandschoot (B), Vlaanderen – all same timeFinal overall standings
1. Christophe Moreau (F), Credit Agricole, 20 hours, 26 minutes, 5 seconds
2. Didier Rous (F), Brioches, at 29 seconds
3. Laurent Brochard (F), Ag2r, at 1:19
4. Patrick Halgand (F), Jean Delatour at 1:42
5. David Zabriskie (USA), USPS at 2:29
Beloki wins Alcobendas
ONCE’s Joseba Beloki put down an impressive time trial to claim his first victory of the 2003 season in the Clasica de Alcobendas. Last year’s Tour de France runner-up finished 20 seconds behind winner Jose Antonio Garrido (Paternina) in the morning climbing sector to Puerto de Navacerrada in the mountains north of Madrid then won the afternoon 9.7km time trial.
Colombian Santiago Botero finished second at three seconds slower than Beloki in a strong demonstration in his first weekend of racing for his new Telekom team.
In the morning mountain stage, Jose Antonio Garrido (Paternina) just edged Leonardo Piepoli (iBanesto.com) after the pair pulled away from the main bunch. Coming across third was Russian Denis Menchov (iBanesto.com)
Stage 2a, Puerto de Navacerrada, 67km
1. Jose Antonio Garrido (Sp), Paternina, 1 hours, 35 minutes, 46 seconds
2. Leonardo Piepoli (I), ibanesto.com, same time
3. Denis Menchov (Rus), iBanesto.com, at 7 seconds
4. A. Kintana (Sp), Labarca, at 20 seconds
5. Juan Carlos Dominguez (Sp), Phonak, s.t. Stage 2b, Alcobendas-Alcobendas, 9.7km
1. Joseba Beloki (Sp), ONCE, 11 minutes, 23 seconds
2. Santiago Botero (Col), Telekom, at 3 seconds
3. Juan Carlos Dominguez (Sp), Phonak, at 6 seconds
4. Jan Hruska (Cze), ONCE, at 13 seconds
5. Pedro Diaz Lobato (Sp), Paternina, at 22 secondsFinal overall standings
1. Joseba Beloki (Sp), ONCE 5 hours, 1 minute, 33 seconds
2. Juan Carlos Dominguez (Sp), Phonak, at 6 seconds
3. Santiago Botero (Col), Telekom, at 9 seconds
4. Jose Garrido (Sp), Paternina, at 12 seconds
5. Pedro Diaz Lobato (Sp), Paternina, at 22 seconds
Wesemann grabs Peace Race stage, Hondo still in charge
The Telekom party continues at the Peace Race, with Steffen Wesemann winning Sunday’s 189km stage ahead of compatriot Peter Wrolich (Gerolsteiner). Telekom’s Danilo Hondo finished third to retain the overall lead.Stage 3, Krnow to Polanica Zdroj, 191km:
1. Steffen Wesemann, Telekom, 5 hours, 6 minutes, 7 seconds
2. Peter Wrolich, Gerolsteiner
3. Danilo Hondo, Telekom – same time
4. Grzegorz Rosolinski +0:06
5. Vladimir Gusev – same timeOverall after three stages:
1. Danilo Hondo, Telekom 11 hours, 42 minutes, 44 seconds
2. Steffen Wesemann, Telekom +0:18
3. Peter Wrolich, Gerolsteiner +0:22
4. Kazimierz Stafiej +0:23
5. Enrico Poitschke +0:28
Giro news: Pantani against helmet rule
Former Tour de France and Giro d’Italia winner Marco Pantani has spoken out against the compulsory use of helmets saying he does not think it will save riders’ lives.
“If wearing a helmet was the best way to avoid accidents I’d make an effort but unfortunately I think riders will still die with or without a helmet,” Pantani told Reuters before the start of the Giro’s second stage from Copertino to Matera on Sunday.
“We’d need a different kind of helmet if we really wanted to save lives but then cycling would become like motorbike racing,” he said.
The obligatory use of hard shell helmets in professional races was introduced on May 5 after the death of Kazakhstan rider Andrea Kivilev from head injuries during the Paris-Nice stage race in March.
“I’ve nothing against helmets but I think we should have the freedom to choose whether to wear one or not,” Pantani said. “I honestly don’t feel as safe when I wear a helmet because I haven’t got complete visibility, I can’t move my head very freely and it makes you sweat much more. With the 30 degree heat here at the Giro it’s like wearing a mask.”
Pantani, who rides for Mercatone Uno, said he would continue to wear a helmet during the Giro but would be working to change the rule.
“I don’t want to make any kind of protest but I’ll try and create a majority of riders who want to change the rule. I don’t think it will be difficult because most of the riders agree with me,” he said. — Reuters