By VeloNews Interactive, Copyright AFP2004
FDJeux’s Aussie sprinter Baden Cooke moved into the overall lead after scoring a win in stage 2 of the Three Days of De Panne, a 237km race from Zottegem to Coxyde in Northern Belgium Wednesday.
Cooke, who finished second in Tuesday’s opening stage, beat Saeco’s Giosué Bonomi and Rabobank’s Steven De Jongh, who took third.
The day was marked by an early escape by Rabobank’s Matt Hayman, Bart Voskamp (Chocolade Jacques) and Stefan Van Dijk, who eventually built a lead of nearly eight minutes on the main field, before the Gerolsteiner team of race leader Daniel Hondo took up the chase.
Upon the first of three finishing circuits around Coxyde, the escapees’ lead had been significantly trimmed and the main field began jockeying for position with the finish in mind. Despite a series of attacks, the main field arrived at the finish relatively intact, as Hondo scampered off to try for a second win in as many days. This time, Cooke timed his charge perfectly, leaving the German behind with 100 meters remaining.Results – Stage 2 Zottegem to Coxyde
1. Baden Cooke (Aus), FDJeux.com, 237km in 5:20:02
2. Giosuè Bonomi (I), Saeco
3. Steven De Jongh (Nl), Rabobank
4. Alexandre Usov (Blr), Phonak
5. Danilo Hondo (G), Gerolsteiner
6. Jans Koerts (Nl), Chocolade Jacques
7. Tom Boonen (B), Quick Step-Davitamon
8. Aart Vierhouten (Nl), Lotto-Domo
9. Andreas Klier (G), T-Mobile Team
10. Marco Zanotti (I), Vini Caldirola
11. Mauro Gerosa (I), Vini Caldirola
12. James Vanlandschoot (B), Relax-Bodysol
13. Lars Michaelsen (Dk), Team CSC
14. Michel Van Haecke (B), Mr.Bookmaker
15. George Hincapie (USA), U.S. Postal
16. Christoph Roodhooft (B), Mr.Bookmaker
17. Alexandre Bazhenov (Rus), Domina Vacanze
18. Robert Hunter (RSA), Rabobank
19. Remco Van Der Ven (Nl), Bankgiroloterij
20. Sébastien Rosseler (B), Relax-Bodysol, all s.t.Overall after Stage 2
1. Baden Cooke (Aus), FDJeux.com, 10:36:06
2. Danilo Hondo (G), Gerolsteiner, at 0:06
3. George Hincapie (USA), U.S. Postal, at 0:12
4. Juan Flecha Giannoni (Sp), Fassa Bortolo, at 0:16
5. Gerben Löwik (Nl), Chocolade Jacques
6. Leon Van Bon (Nl), Lotto-Domo
7. Ryder Hesjedal (Can), U.S. Postal
8. Xavier Florencio Cabre (Sp), Relax-Bodysol
9. David Clinger (USA), Domina Vacanze
10. Bert Grabsch (G), Phonak
11. Marcus Ljungqvist (S), Alessio-Bianchi
12. Leif Hoste (B), Lotto-Domo
13. Romans Vainsteins (Lat), Lampre
14. Lorenzo Bernucci (I), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
15. Luca Paolini (I), Quick Step-Davitamon
16. Scott Sunderland (Aus), Alessio-Bianchi
17. Fabian Cancellara (Swi), Fassa Bortolo
18. Marc Wauters (B), Rabobank
19. Steffen Wesemann (G), T-Mobile Team
20. Stijn Devolder (B), U.S. Postal
>Manzano meets the Pope
Pope John Paul II praised “the values of brotherhood and commitment to sport and fairness” on Wednesday as he met with a group of Italian mountaineers and the Amore e Vita cycling team, including its newest member, the controversial former Kelme rider, Jesus Manzano.
“I pray that all of us continue to be increasingly conscious of the role that sport can play in fostering genuine fraternity and honor,” the pontiff told the athletes meeting him at the Vatican.
The riders – decked out in their team kits and arriving with their bicycles – joined the mountaineers for a special audience with the Pope, following a public invocation in front of 14,000 worshippers in St. Peter’s square.
Manzano, the team’s newest recruit, has been embroiled in an ongoing scandal as the 25-year-old Spaniard continues to make doping charges against his former Kelme squad, a topic that was not directly raised in conversations with the pontiff. The Italian Division II has been involved in a public campaign against doping in sport and the recruitment of Manzano, team director Ivano Fanini noted, “is confirmation of our commitment.”
The mountaineers are slated to climb K2, the world’s second tallest mountain, in an expedition honoring the 50th anniversary of the 1954 ascent by Ardito Desio.
Copyright AFP 2004