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Wednesday’s EuroFile: Celestino tops at Milan-Turin; A look at ’04; Quebec start for ’08 Tour?

Italian rider Mirko Celestino (Saeco) was fastest in the bunch to claim the 88th Milan-Turin race in Italy on Wednesday. Celestino, the Milan-Turin winner of 2001, edged compatriot Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) and Spanish rider Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Domina Vacanze), who came across third. The 199-kilometer race was the first of three races that make up the “Trittico Rosa,” which continues Thursday with the Tour of Piedmont and concludes Saturday with the Giro di Lombardia.88th Milan-Turin (UCI 1.1), Oct. 15, Italy, 199km1. Mirko Celestino, Saeco 4 hours, 56 minutes, 52 seconds

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By Andrew Hood

Italian rider Mirko Celestino (Saeco) was fastest in the bunch to claim the 88th Milan-Turin race in Italy on Wednesday.

Celestino, the Milan-Turin winner of 2001, edged compatriot Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) and Spanish rider Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Domina Vacanze), who came across third.

The 199-kilometer race was the first of three races that make up the “Trittico Rosa,” which continues Thursday with the Tour of Piedmont and concludes Saturday with the Giro di Lombardia.88th Milan-Turin (UCI 1.1), Oct. 15, Italy, 199km
1. Mirko Celestino, Saeco 4 hours, 56 minutes, 52 seconds (40.01 kph)
2. Davide Rebellin, Gerolsteiner
3. Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero, Domina Vacanze
4. Pablo Lastras, iBanesto.com
5. Gerritt Glomser, Saeco – all same time

Major dates for 2004 season
The dates for the major European races have been set for the 2004 racing season. The 2004 Summer Games in Athens in mid-August has caused a few wrinkles, with the Vuelta being pushed a week ahead and Paris-Tours behind held a week after the road world championships.

The season officially opens Jan. 20 with the Tour Down Under in Australia and runs through the World Cup finale at the Giro di Lombardia, set for Oct.. 16.

2004 World Cup:
Milan-San Remo: March 20
Tour of Flanders: April 4
Paris-Roubaix: April 11
Amstel Gold Race: April 18
Liège-Bastogne-Liège: April 25
HEW Cyclassic: Aug. 1
Classica San Sebastian: Aug. 7
Championships of Zurich: Aug. 22
Paris-Tours: Oct. 10
Giro di Lombardia: Oct. 16

Grand tours:
Giro d’Italia: May 8-30
Tour de France: July 3- 25
Vuelta a España: Sept. 4-26

Olympic Games:
Men’s road race: Aug. 14
Individual time trial: Aug. 18World Championships:
Men’s ITT: Sept. 29
Men’s road race: Oct. 3

Tour mulls Quebec start
The director of the Tour de France will consider Quebec City’s request to host the first stage of the 2008 event during the city’s 400th birthday festivities, Reuters reported Wednesday.

“The idea of participating in Quebec’s celebration is very dear to us,” Tour director Jean-Marie Leblanc said Tuesday. “However there is an objective, technical, practical side of this to be studied and worked out.”

Leblanc noted the Tour de France involves 4,000 people and requires 1,600 vehicles that would have to move quickly from Quebec to France so the race could resume immediately.

While the race has started outside France before, it never has been held outside Europe. The Tour has previously shot down notions of starting the race in the French Caribbean.

“It will all take time to sort out and we will take all of 2004 and likely part of 2005 to examine it,’” Leblanc said.

Quebec Mayor Jean-Paul L’Allier first proposed the idea of hosting a Tour stage during the birthday celebrations. Valverde among stars at Montjuic
Alejandro Valverde, the 23-year-old Spanish rider who recently took silver in the road world championships, will be among the top names starting Montjuic climbing race Sunday in Barcelona. Twenty-nine riders will hit the winding course that typically marks the end of the Spanish racing season. Other top names include Igor González de Galdeano (ONCE), Oscar Sevilla (Kelme), Félix Cárdenas (Labarca 2) and defending champion Joaquín Rodríguez (ONCE).

Starting riders:
1. Alejandro Valverde, Kelme-Costa Blanca
2. Félix Cárdenas, Labarca 2-Cafés Baque
3. Isidro Nozal, ONCE
4. Oscar Sevilla, Kelme-Costa Blanca
5. Francisco Mancebo, iBanesto.com
6. Manuel Beltrán, US Postal
7. Luis Pérez, Confidis
8. Igor González Galdeano, ONCE
9. Roberto Laiseka, Euskaltel-Euskadi
10. Txema del Olmo, Milaneza-Mss
11. Josep Jufre, Relax-Fuenlabrada
12. Oscar Pereiro, Phonak
13. Aitor Osa, iBanesto.com
14. Egoi Martínez, Euskaltel-Euskadi
15. Joan Horrach, Minaleza-Mss
16. Pedro Díaz, Lobato Paternina-Costa Almería
17. Javier Cerezo, Labarca 2-Cafés Baque
18. Santiago Pérez, Phonak
19. Carles Torret, Paternina-Costa Almería
20. Santiago Blanco, Relax-Fuenlabrada
21. Joaquín Rodríguez, Once-Eroski
22. Jordi Riera, Kelme-Costa Blanca
23. Juan Antonio Flecha, iBanesto.com
24. David Etxeverria, Euskaltel-Euskadi
25. Angel Edo, Milaneza-Mss
26. Sergio Pérez, Labarca 2-Cafés Baque
27. Gonzalo Bayarri, Phonak
28. Xavier Tondo, Paternina-Costa Almería
29. José Luis Rebollo, Relax-Fuenlabrada. EFE.
Nuyens wins GP Putte-Kapellen
Belgian rider Nick Nuyens (Quick Step) won the GP Putte-Kapellen race on Tuesday, the final race of the year in Belgium. Nuyens finished ahead of Max Van Heeswijk (USPS) and Remco Van der Ven, who came through third. GP Putte-Kapellen (UCI 1.3), 177km
1. Nick Nuyens (Quick Step), 3h 48’00” (46,640 kph)
2. Max Van Heeswijk (USPS) +0:023. Remco Van Der Ven (BankGiroLotereij) +0:06
4. Roy Sentjens (Rabobank) +0:18
5. Christoph Roodhooft (Belgian) – same time