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Paris Nice Stage 7: Report and Results
 
By Locutus
Date: 3/16/2003
Paris Nice Stage 7: Report and Results
 
Paris-Nice Stage 7: Nice-Nice, 160 km

On a beautiful day in the south of France, the Milaneza-MSS squad threw down the gauntlet and staked their claim to a wild-card selection for the Tour de France. In a daring breakaway, David Bernabeu led teammate Fabian Jeker across the line for the stage win, with breakaway companion Ivan Parra (Kelme-Costa Blanca) coming across the line in third place. A short time after, Alexandre Vinokourov (Telekom) rolled across the line with the rest of the leaders to secure his second consecutive GC victory.

The stage was a brute, taking in two ascents of the Cat 2 Col de Chateauneuf and three climbs of the Cat 1 Col d'Eze in a large circuit around Nice. Tyler "Superball" Hamilton looked good in the Polka-Dots today (the red dots do match his team colors), and he did the King of the Mountains Jersey proud as he stayed with the leaders until the final climb. Hamilton sat on with the leaders up the climbs, and near the top launched himself to take the maximum points. The strategy was good for 15 points, giving him a total of 43 for the race, 13 more than runner up Jerome Pineau (Brioches La Boulangere). Despite a bad day in Stage 2, this race was certainly a success for the tough man from Marblehead Mass. as he showed great climbing legs and took home a very big prize. This bodes well for his preparation leading up to the two Grand Tours on the horizon.

With 56km left in the stage, Christophe Oriol (AG2r) and Unai Etxebarria (Euskaltel-Euskadi) had a slim 20" advantage as the riders charged up the penultimate climb of the day, the Cat 2 Col de Chateauneuf. The peloton was led by the final remaining teammate of Vinokourov, the tough-climbing Mario Aerts. Just as the peloton was poised to sweep up the two escapees, Ivan Parra launched his vicious attack. The attack was countered weakly by an ONCE rider who was chased down easily by Aerts. The peloton had settled back into a rhythm as Parra built a small lead. That is when the Steel Pasta-Men of Milaneza launched their attack. Yesterday, Milaneza got caught with their breeches down as Sylvain Chavanel (Brioches La Boulangere) and Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) launched an attack down the final descent to leapfrog ahead of two Milaneza riders on GC. The Milaneza boys had come to the front to chase, but were unable to close the gap on the Chavanel group. Today, they decided that revenge is a dish best served cold, and went for the kill up the Col de Chateauneuf.

Bernabeu, who started the Stage in 9th on GC, launched the first attack and bridged up to Parra. Bernabeu was clearly eager to gain back the position that he lost yesterday to Sanchez. He was soon joined by his teammate Fabian Jeker, who had put in a blistering attack to bridge as well, and the three set off in full force to try to steal the day. Vinokourov, who had a large cushion to Bernabeu, got the benefit of just sitting on while the other threatened teams joined in the chase. Over the top, Hamilton and Rui Sousa (Milaneza-MSS) had a brief duel for top points from the peloton (won by Sousa), and the riders proceeded down the descent of the Chateauneuf.

On the descent and the subsequent flat section leading up to the final climb of the Col d'Eze, the trio built a lead of 1' 20". The chase was unorganized until Aerts and Cofidis rider Cedric Vasseur took control of the front on the flats. Cofidis was clearly maintaining the alliance of Stage 6 that they had made with Telekom. While they led the chase, it was still half-hearted as they had simply to keep Vinokourov within 1' 51" of Bernabeu. The trio continued to work flat out, hoping that the chase would remain disorganized up the Col d'Eze. When the final climb started, they got their wish.

Up the Col d'Eze, Chavanel showed why he is the great hope of French cycling: every time the pace slackened, the man in the Blue Jersey for the Best Young Rider would launch another powerful attack to try to bridge the gap to the trio of breakaways. Vinokourov, who had merely to cover any serious moves, marked the Frenchman and kept Rebellin and the ONCEs in his shadow. Strangely, neither Rebellin nor the ONCE riders launched any serious attacks today. As usual, the ONCEs had superior numbers but instead of attacking to try to get their men Zarrabeitia (2nd on GC at 43") or Jaksche (4th on GC at 55") up the road, they seemed content to ride for the lower positions in the race. With ONCE and Rebellin seeming to concede the race to Vinokourov, the true battle on the stage was between Sanchez and Chavanel, on the one side, and the Milaneza men on the other. In essence, this was an early battle in the Tour de France between the teams who are hungry and fighting for the final wildcard selections.

That being said, Vinokourov rode like a true champion today. He single-handedly chased down several attacks on the final climb (including a number by Chavanel and Sanchez), and never showed any sign of weakness in the entire race. The reason Rebellin and the ONCEs didn't launch any serious attacks might have been because they couldn't: Vinokourov was like a hawk up the final climb, swooping down and digging his talons into anyone who dared to launch themselves off the front of the group. The trio of breakaways worked like a well-oiled machine as they drove their three-man time trial all the way into the final straightaways. The chase behind continued to be disorganized, as men like Chavanel repeatedly tried to attack rather than establish a steady tempo to bring the breakaways back.

As the breakaways neared the final kilometer, Bernabeu launched a scorching attack that Parra couldn't follow. With Jeker sitting on his wheel, the Kelme rider knew that resistance was futile. By the time Bernabeu crossed the line his lead over the peloton was a mere 11", with most of the time being lost on the final few kilometers of the Col d'Eze. Bernabeu crossed himself and raised his arms in victory, his teammate Jeker punching the air repeatedly in celebration after he passed Parra to ensure his 2nd place on the stage. As the remnant of the peloton came across the line, Vinokourov kissed his hands and raised them skyward. He had done what he'd promised: he had won the race in honor of his fallen friend Andrei Kivilev.

Milaneza had won the day, taking 1st and 2nd on the stage and putting men in 6th and 7th on the final GC (Bernabeu and Claus Moller, respectively). Chavanel showed his grit, holding off the Milaneza men for his 5th place on GC by a mere 4". Sanchez finished the race a very respectable 9th on GC. With the future of Team Coast in serious jeopardy, these three teams—Milaneza MSS, Brioches La Boulangere, and Euskaltel Euskadi—took full advantage of the opportunity presented for them by this race to impress the Tour de France selection committee. AG2r also rode well, launching several serious attacks and getting Laurent Brochard the final win in the Green Points Jersey. However, the enduring image of this Paris-Nice will be the tragic loss of Andrei Kivilev, and the noble and inspired ride of his close friend and compatriot Alexandre Vinokourov. On the final winners' podium, Vinokourov held over his head a picture of Kivilev, a fitting tribute to a man who was a great champion in his own right.

Stage 7 Results:
1 193 BERNABEU David ESP MIL 4h 01' 21"
2 195 JEKER Fabian SUI MIL 00' 03"
3 033 PARRA Ivan COL KEL 00' 03"
4 151 BROCHARD Laurent FRA A2R 00' 10"
5 181 ARVESEN Kurt-Asle NOR FAK 00' 11"
6 071 CHAVANEL Sylvain FRA BLB 00' 11"
7 041 SIMONI Gilberto ITA SAE 00' 11"
8 177 SANCHEZ Samuel ESP EUS 00' 11"
9 091 REBELLIN Davide ITA GST 00' 11"
10 174 GONZALEZ Gorka ESP EUS 00' 11"
11 115 PEREIRO SIO Oscar ESP PHO 00' 11"
12 191 MOLLER Claus Michael DEN MIL 00' 11"
13 108 ZARRABEITIA Mikel ESP ONE 00' 11"
14 165 LEFEVRE Laurent FRA DEL 00' 11"
15 116 PEREZ Santiago ESP PHO 00' 11"
16 101 JAKSCHE Jorg GER ONE 00' 11"
17 107 SERRANO Marcos ESP ONE 00' 11"
18 063 GUSTOV Volodomir UKR FAS 00' 11"
19 196 LAVARHINAS Rui POR MIL 00' 11"
20 001 VINOKOUROV Alexandre KAZ TEL 00' 11"
21 176 MARTINEZ Jos Alberto ESP EUS 01' 42"
22 106 RODRIGUEZ Joaquim ESP ONE 01' 42"
23 032 LATASA David ESP KEL 01' 42"
24 141 HAMILTON Tyler USA CSC 01' 42"
25 153 BOTCHAROV Alexandre RUS A2R 01' 42"
26 027 VAN DE WOUWER Kurt BEL QSD 01' 42"
27 111 CAMENZIND Oscar SUI PHO 01' 42"
28 064 KIRCHEN Kim LUX FAS 01' 42"
29 123 FRAGNIERE Cédric SUI C.A 01' 42"
30 198 SOUSA BARBOSA Rui Miguel POR MIL 01' 42"
31 146 KRISTENSEN Lennie DEN CSC 04' 32"
32 072 BENETEAU Walter FRA BLB 04' 32"
33 162 GOUBERT Stephane FRA DEL 04' 32"
34 127 POILVET Benoit FRA C.A 04' 32"
35 128 VOIGT Jens GER C.A 04' 32"
36 092 B LTS Udo GER GST 04' 32"
37 147 SASTRE Carlos ESP CSC 04' 32"
38 172 DIAZ DE CERIO Ruben ESP EUS 04' 32"
39 058 VASSEUR Cédric FRA COF 04' 32"
40 152 ASTARLOZA Mikel ESP A2R 07' 33"
41 078 VOECKLER Thomas FRA BLB 07' 57"
42 075 PINEAU Jérôme FRA BLB 07' 57"
43 148 SCHLECK Frank LUX CSC 07' 57"
44 142 CALVENTE Manuel ESP CSC 07' 57"
45 112 GOUGOT Fabrice FRA PHO 07' 57"
46 077 ROUS Didier FRA BLB 07' 57"
47 103 CASTRESANA Angel ESP ONE 07' 57"
48 102 ARROYO David ESP ONE 07' 57"
49 037 ZABALLA Constantino ESP KEL 07' 57"
50 068 VELO Marco ITA FAS 07' 57"
51 021 VIRENQUE Richard FRA QSD 07' 57"
52 178 SILLONIZ Josu ESP EUS 07' 57"
53 145 JALABERT Nicolas FRA CSC 07' 57"
54 194 CARDOSO Pedro POR MIL 07' 57"
55 048 SABALIAUSKAS Marius LTU SAE 07' 57"
56 104 GIL PEREZ Koldo ESP ONE 07' 57"
57 042 ASTARLOA Igor ESP SAE 07' 57"
58 015 ROBIN Jean-Cyril FRA FDJ 07' 57"
59 163 JOLY Sébastien FRA DEL 07' 57"
60 182 BAK Lars DEN FAK 15' 03"
61 135 MOERENHOUT Koos NED LOT 15' 03"
62 025 CRETSKENS Wilfried BEL QSD 15' 03"
63 154 CHAURREAU Inigo ESP A2R 15' 03"
64 065 LODA Nicola ITA FAS 15' 03"
65 105 PRADERA Mikel ESP ONE 15' 03"
66 188 WINN Julian GBR FAK 15' 03"
67 136 VAN BON Leon NED LOT 15' 03"
68 144 HOFFMAN Tristan NED CSC 15' 03"
69 076 RENIER Franck FRA BLB 15' 03"
70 073 BOUYER Franck FRA BLB 15' 03"
71 062 CANCELLARA Fabian SUI FAS 15' 03"
72 067 TRENTI Guido USA FAS 15' 03"
73 011 CASAR Sandy FRA FDJ 15' 03"
74 175 LOPEZ DE MUNAIN Alberto ESP EUS 15' 03"
75 197 MARTINS Lizuarte POR MIL 15' 03"
76 084 KLUCK Damon USA USP 15' 03"
77 171 ETXEBARRIA Unai VEN EUS 15' 03"
78 005 JULICH Bobby USA TEL 15' 03"
79 156 ORIOL Christophe FRA A2R 15' 03"
80 003 HIEKMANN Torsten GER TEL 15' 03"
81 052 BESSY Frédéric FRA COF 15' 03"
82 114 MOOS Alexandre SUI PHO 17' 26"
83 053 CLAIN Médéric FRA COF 17' 26"
84 082 CRUZ Antonio USA USP 17' 26"
85 083 JOACHIM Benoit LUX USP 17' 26"
86 006 KESSLER Matthias GER TEL 17' 26"
87 056 MATTAN Nico BEL COF 18' 49"
88 017 WIGGINS Bradley GBR FDJ 18' 49"
89 157 PORTAL Nicolas FRA A2R 18' 49"
90 155 FLICKINGER Andy FRA A2R 18' 49"
91 002 AERTS Mario BEL TEL 18' 49"
xxx 192 BARROSO Paulo POR MIL Withdrawl
xxx 187 SKELDE Michael DEN FAK Withdrawl
xxx 186 RIEBENBAUER Werner AUT FAK Withdrawl
xxx 184 JOERGENSEN René DEN FAK Withdrawl
xxx 183 HOJ Frank DEN FAK Withdrawl
xxx 173 GERRIKAGOITIA Gorka ESP EUS Withdrawl
xxx 161 HALGAND Patrice FRA DEL Withdrawl
xxx 143 ERIKSEN Thomas DEN CSC Withdrawl
xxx 138 VIERHOUTEN Aart NED LOT Withdrawl
xxx 118 USOV Alexandre BLR PHO Withdrawl
xxx 098 WEIGOLD Steffen GER GST Withdrawl
xxx 097 SCHOLZ Ronny GER GST Withdrawl
xxx 094 LANG Sebastian GER GST Withdrawl
xxx 093 HASELBACHER Rene AUT GST Withdrawl
xxx 086 PADRNOS Pavel CZE USP Withdrawl
xxx 074 MAGNIEN Emmanuel FRA BLB Withdrawl
xxx 057 RUTKIEWICZ Marek POL COF Withdrawl
xxx 054 GAUMONT Philippe FRA COF Withdrawl
xxx 034 RIERA Jordi ESP KEL Withdrawl
xxx 031 GALVEZ Isaac ESP KEL Withdrawl
xxx 028 VANDENBROUCKE Franck BEL QSD Withdrawl
xxx 022 BOONEN Tom BEL QSD Withdrawl
xxx 013 MENGIN Christophe FRA FDJ Withdrawl
xxx 012 COOKE Baden AUS FDJ Withdrawl
xxx 004 HONDO Danilo GER TEL Withdrawl
xxx 117 SALMON Benoit FRA PHO Withdrawl
xxx 023 CANADA David ESP QSD Withdrawl

Final GC (top 25 and selected riders)
1 001 VINOKOUROV Alexandre KAZ TEL 23h 30' 04"
2 108 ZARRABEITIA Mikel ESP ONE 00' 43"
3 091 REBELLIN Davide ITA GST 00' 54"
4 101 JAKSCHE Jorg GER ONE 00' 55"
5 071 CHAVANEL Sylvain FRA BLB 01' 24"
6 193 BERNABEU David ESP MIL 01' 28"
7 191 MOLLER Claus Michael DEN MIL 01' 30"
8 063 GUSTOV Volodomir UKR FAS 01' 41"
9 177 SANCHEZ Samuel ESP EUS 01' 48"
10 115 PEREIRO SIO Oscar ESP PHO 02' 04"
11 041 SIMONI Gilberto ITA SAE 02' 19"
12 181 ARVESEN Kurt-Asle NOR FAK 02' 22"
13 107 SERRANO Marcos ESP ONE 02' 34"
14 033 PARRA Ivan COL KEL 02' 35"
15 165 LEFEVRE Laurent FRA DEL 03' 33"
16 064 KIRCHEN Kim LUX FAS 04' 16"
17 153 BOTCHAROV Alexandre RUS A2R 04' 16"
18 032 LATASA David ESP KEL 04' 20"
19 027 VAN DE WOUWER Kurt BEL QSD 04' 24"
20 123 FRAGNIERE Cédric SUI C.A 04' 25"
21 195 JEKER Fabian SUI MIL 04' 51"
22 106 RODRIGUEZ Joaquim ESP ONE 05' 10"
23 111 CAMENZIND Oscar SUI PHO 05' 13"
24 151 BROCHARD Laurent FRA A2R 05' 21"
25 198 SOUSA BARBOSA Rui Miguel POR MIL 07' 07"
27 077 ROUS Didier FRA BLB 10' 26"
30 075 PINEAU Jérôme FRA BLB 12' 42"
34 021 VIRENQUE Richard FRA QSD 13' 41"
36 147 SASTRE Carlos ESP CSC 17' 30"
40 141 HAMILTON Tyler USA CSC 25' 49"
42 128 VOIGT Jens GER C.A 26' 19"
52 058 VASSEUR Cédric FRA COF 30' 32"
53 083 JOACHIM Benoit LUX USP 31' 55"
54 011 CASAR Sandy FRA FDJ 36' 57"
68 105 PRADERA Mikel ESP ONE 50' 02"
72 171 ETXEBARRIA Unai VEN EUS 51' 24"
76 144 HOFFMAN Tristan NED CSC 59' 36"
77 082 CRUZ Antonio USA USP 59' 41"
81 156 ORIOL Christophe FRA A2R 1h 04' 39"
83 136 VAN BON Leon NED LOT 1h 04' 57"
84 005 JULICH Bobby USA TEL 1h 08' 21"
91 002 AERTS Mario BEL TEL 1h 32' 19"

Final Points Competition Standings (top 5)
1 151 BROCHARD Laurent FRA A2R 76 pts
2 001 VINOKOUROV Alexandre KAZ TEL 74 pts
3 177 SANCHEZ Samuel ESP EUS 69 pts
4 091 REBELLIN Davide ITA GST 66 pts
5 071 CHAVANEL Sylvain FRA BLB 58 pts

Final Mountains Competition Standings (top 5)
1 141 HAMILTON Tyler USA CSC 43 pts
2 075 PINEAU Jérôme FRA BLB 30 pts
3 198 SOUSA BARBOSA Rui Miguel POR MIL 25 pts
4 194 CARDOSO Pedro POR MIL 24 pts
5 156 ORIOL Christophe FRA A2R 24 pts

 
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Paris Nice 2003 Preview: Live Coverage This Week!
Paris Nice Stage Five Report and Results
Paris Nice Stage 6 Report

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