By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright 2001 AFP
Five years after his brother Beat won here, Marcus Zberg (Rabobank) of Switzerland ended Telekom’s two-year home monopoly to win the Frankfurt Grand Prix on Tuesday ahead of Italy’s Davide Rebellin (Liquigas) and Kurt Van de Wouwer (Lotto-Adecco) of Belgium.
Zberg and Rebellin made the decisive move 70km from the finish as they broke away from a group of ten riders, which included last year’s winner Kai Hundertmarck (Telekom), while ascending Mammolshainer, a climb leading to the Taunus mountains.
On the final approach a fresh looking Zberg beat off Rebellin while Van de Wouwer put in a super finish, breaking from the pursuing pack to finish third a few seconds behind Zberg’s 5:05:34.
“I felt very well, very strong indeed and I really did want this victory,” said the 26-year-old Swiss who was runner-up in the 1999 world championships.
Telekom’s star riders Jan Ullrich and Erik Zabel, who won here in 1999, allowed themselves to fall too far behind to make a late bid and while Alexandre Vinokourov, Udo Bolts, Andreas Kloden and Hundertmarck made valiant late efforts the Telekom team could not make it a hat-trick of wins here.
1. Markus Zberg (Swi), 206.1km in 5:05:34; 2. Davide Rebellin (I), Liquigas-Pata, s.t.; 3. Kurt Van de Wouwer (B), Lotto-Adecco, at 0:05; 4. Sergio Barbero (I), Lampre-Daikin, at 0:24; 5. Jeroen Blijlevens (Nl), Lotto-Adecco; 6. Beat Zberg (Swi), Rabobank; 7. Udo Bölts (G), Telekom; 8. Patrice Halgand (F), Jean Delatour; 9. Felix Garcia Casas (Sp), Festina; 10. Sascha Henrix (G), Coast, all s.t. OTHER: 15. Cadel Evans (Aus), Saeco, s.t.