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Tour of Flanders Live Report!
By Podofdonny
Date: 4/6/2003
Tour of Flanders Live Report!

Good afternoon and welcome to live coverage of the Tour of Flanders. We join the race in progress. Please remember to refresh this screen by pressing F5.

61 kms to go: Rich and Liese have 1 min 22 seconds on a chasing group and 2 mins 09 on the peloton.

On the Taaianberg - the 2nd group contains Bettini, Lombardi, Balducci, Paolini, Sacchi, Durand, Serpellini.

60 km to go: The chasers are now 43 secs and the peloton 1m 18secs. Rabo with Boogerd and Lotto at the front of the peloton.

57 km to go - Liese's and Rich's lead is dropping rapidly now.

It's Lotto leading the peloton; now Boogerd comes through again trying to chase down the leading group.

56 km to go: The leader is only 20 seconds from the chasers who have only a 15 second advantage now on the peloton.

Pieri and Liese have a small advantage with 40 km to go. Mengin, Joachim and Paolini are the chasers.

Behind them a much reduced peloton with the Warrior himself leading the chase.

39 km to go: Liese is having a remarkable race, he has been at the front of the race all day and is still forcing the pace with Pieri.

Aldag is just behind them.

38 km now - Museeuw leads the peloton, looking calm and relaxed at the front while the peloton strings out.

37 km to go: Museeuw's work has had its effect, the peloton is splitting.

Museeuw, Mattan, Van Petegem and Pieri now form a small group at the front.

33km to go: 9 riders have now bridged to form the leading group; they have a gap of about 7 seconds on the peloton. Cipollini pulled out with about 50 km to go.

Now Sidermec try to bridge the gap - they will probably bring the race all back together.

The leaders are tackling the Berendries Hill, the 16th in the race. Mattan and Guesdon have got a small gap at the front of the race.

Italian champion Salvatore Commesso is attacking on the Berendries. He put some meters into the main bunch.

32 km to go: Mattan is piling on the pressure at the front of the race.

Other riders are trying to distance themselves from the chasing bunch, including Belgian Bruytlands of Marlux.

31 km to go: Mattan and Guesdon have a gap of 200 yards on the peloton - while Bruylandts leads the peloton.

30 km to go: The chasing group is down to about 10 men. The Berendries is over for the chasing bunch too. Mattan and Guesdon are about to be caught by the bunch.

Ekimov, Commesso, Baldato are amongst the chasers.

...and so are Freire, Bartoli and Museeuw, now the first places of the bunch, with 29 km. to go.

Mattan and Guesdon now tackling the Tenbosse Hill - they are holding on and working very well together.

28 km to go: Ekimov tries to bridge the gap to the leaders. Now Museeuw tries to follow - MUSEEUW ATTACKS!!!

27 km to go - Peter van Petegem gives chase, drops him. VDB and Bruytlands now chasing Van Petegem.

27 to go: Van Petegem joins Guesdon and Mattan. The situation now: Three riders (Mattan, Guesdon, Van Petegem) in the lead, two more (Bruytlands, VDB) 10 seconds behind.

25 km to go: Guesdon, Mattan and Van Petegem lead VDB, chasing like a man possesed with Briylandts.

24 km to go: VDB and Bruylandts will catch the leading three men. The two groups merged: now it's 5 men in the lead, 4 of whom from Belgium.

23 km to go: Van Petegem leads the front group while Boogerd leads what is left of the peloton. Gap is 15 seconds.

The chasers are around 10 men and include Ekimov, Boogerd, Ivanov, Baldato, O'Grady. The gap is 15" now, and in 5-6 km. rider will have the tackle the awful "Muur" of Grammont.

Museeuw seems to be in trouble now. The five leaders are working well together, but the gap has slightly gone down to 12".

22 km to go: VDB, Mattan, Van Petegem, Guesdon and Bruylandts are working well together. The first chasing bunch, including O'Grady, Celestino, S. Ivanov and Baldato is now 11" down.

20 km to go: The peloton is 31 seconds behind the chasing second group.

19 to go: The gap between the 5 leaders and the first chasing bunch is now reduced to 7".

Museeuw's bunch is now 50" down to the leaders. Their chances are over.

18km to go: Guesdon attacks!

The two groups merged. It's about 10 riders in the lead now.

17 to go: Guesdon attacked and gained a few metres, they are starting the "Muur" of Grammont now.

17 km to go: Guesdon has a small advantage as he bounces up the Muur, while Ivanov punctured at the worst possible moment. Huge crowds are cheering the FdJeux riders on.

Guesdon is about the be caught by the bunch led by Van Petegem and VDB. Van Petegem and VDB look very strong on the Muur.

Guesdon caught, now it's Van Petegem setting the pace.

Van Petegem and VDB are flying up the Muur, putting a few seconds on the others.

A third group, with Bartoli, Pieri, Commesso and others got to the top of the Muur more than 30" later.

15 km to go: VDB and Van Petegem are over the Muur and trying to maximise their advantage. They are now leading by 12".

14km to go: The two leaders have a 13 second advantage.

13km to go: VDB seems to be doing most of the work.

12km to go: The gap down to 11 seconds - they are about to tackle the last hill of the race.

Mattan attacks the chasing group. Ekimov is still in the second group, by the way.

After puncturing on the Grammont, Ivanov regained the chasing bunch. VBD ATTACKS! Van Petegem responds straight away. The gap extended to 21".

11 km to go: The gap is up to 22 seconds - Ekimov leads the chasing bunch of about ten men.

10 km to go: VDB and Van Petegem are working well. The gap is up to 24 seconds.

9 km to go now. The gap is still hovering around 23".

In the chasers are Ekimov, O'Grady, Mattan, Baldato, Boogerd, Bruylandts, Guesdon.

VDB working very hard. 8 to go. The gap is 22".

7 km to go: The gap 24 seconds.

All of Belgium seems to have come out this afternoon to watch the race - I cannot remember such large crowds.

6 km to go: The gap 26 seconds.

The gap is now up to 31"!

5km to go: The gap is widening, it is up to 32 seconds.

The chasers will have to work together now or it will be between VDB and Van Petegem.

4 km to go: 32 seconds the gap.

Marc Seargeant is talking to VDB - last minute tactics.

3 km to go: The gap is up to 37 seconds- the chasers have not responded.

The gap up to 41 seconds; it looks like a showdown between VDB and Van Petegem.

Just 2km to go!

Van Petegem now at the front - the chasers seem to have lost their commitment.

Under the Flamme Rouge!

Now Van Petegem and VDB are playing cat and mouse...VP at the front, VDB behind him - 700 m. to go...VP WINS !!!

Peter Van Petegem takes the Tour of Flanders, even more comfortably than expected.

O'Grady leads home the chasing bunch ahead of Baldato and Mattan. Van Petegem proved just too strong for VDB in the final 200 kilometres.



Peter Van Petegem, from Opbrakel, Belgium, gains his 34th pro victory in a career which started in 1992 with the small PD Magnetics team. He has ridden for Lotto, TVM, Farm Frites and Mercury but has been with Lotto since 2002 - the three podium men are having a lot of fun with the champagne...

It's also the first time that an Australian rider hits the Tour of Flanders podium!

Van Petegem now leads the World Cup standings and gets the leader's shirt.

He throws the flowers to the young lady in the crowd - it is all smiles. Please visit right here later for a full report and roundup, and thanks for reading this afternoon!

Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) - 254 km

Official Results

1 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) 6:18:48 (40.232 km/h)
2 Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel) at :02
3 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) at :19
4 Fabio Baldato (Ita)
5 Nico Mattan (Bel)
6 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) 
7 Serguei Ivanov (Rus)
8 Vjatceslav Ekimov (Rus) 
9 Michael Boogerd (Ned) 
10 Dave Bruylandts (Bel)
11 Mirko Celestino (Ita)
12 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) at 2:19
13 Salvatore Commesso (Ita) 
14 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) 
15 Dario Pieri (Ita) 
16 Michele Bartoli (Ita) 
17 Marco Serpellini (Ita)
18 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) at 2:31
19 Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat) at 3:03
20 Stefano Zanini (Ita) at 3:10
21 Guido Trenti (Usa) 
22 Fabien De Waele (Bel) 
23 Enrico Cassani (Ita) 
24 Gabriele Balducci (Ita) 
25 Tom Boonen (Bel) 
26 Mauro Gerosa (Ita)
27 Andreas Klier (Ger)
28 Chris Peers
29 Rolf Aldag (Ger)
30 Oscar Freire (Esp)
31 Benoit Joachim (Lux)
32 Geert Verheyen
33 Andrea Ferrigato (Ita)
34 Juan Antonio Flecha (Esp)
35 Maximilian Sciandri (Gbr)
36 Serge Baguet
37 Zbigniew Spruch (Pol)
38 Johan Museeuw
39 Luca Paolini (Ita)
40 Massimo Apollonio (Ita) at 6:38
41 Filip Meirhaeghe
42 Steven De Jongh (Ned)
43 Erik Zabel (Ger)
44 Malte Urban (Ger)
45 Matthe Pronk (Ned)
46 Christophe Mengin (Fra)
47 Andrea Tafi (Ita)
48 Roger Hammond (Gbr)
49 Philippe Gaumont (Fra)
50 Bradley Wiggins (Gbr):
51 Karsten Kroon (Ned)
52 Martin Almiger (Swi)
53 Stijn Devolder
54 Marco Milesi (Ita)
55 Matteo Tosatto (Ita)
56 Roberto Petito (Ita)
57 Jan Schaffrath (Ger)
58 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita)
59 Ludovic Capelle (Bel)
60 Paolo Fornaciari (Ita)
61 Thorsten Rund (Ger)
62 Baden Cooke (Aus)
63 Jo Planckaert
64 Nicolas Jalabert (Fra)
65 Bert Grabsch (Ger)
66 Marc Wauters
67 Mario Scirea (Ita)
68 Steffen Wesemann (Ger)
69 Bart Voskamp (Ned)
70 Giovanni Lombardi (Ita)
71 Tristan Hoffman (Ned)
72 Daniele Nardello (Ita)
73 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) at 10:26
74 Alberto Ongarato (Ita)
75 Jan Boven (Ned) at 11:34
76 Thomas Liese (Ger)
77 Robert Sassone (Fra)
78 Wim Vansevenant
79 Marco Zanotti (Ita) at 14:09
80 Bram Schmitz (Ned)
81 Stefan Kupfernagel (Ger)
82 Mathew Hayman (Aus)
83 Bert Roesems at 15:20
84 Wilfried Cretskens
85 Paul Van Hyfte
86 Servais Knaven (Ned)
87 Daniel Becke (Ger)
88 Alessandro Cortinovis (Ita)
89 Andy De Smet
90 Christopher Jenner (Ger)
91 James Vanlandschoot
92 Stefano Casagranda (Ita)
93 Gianluca Sironi (Ita)
94 Johan Dekkers

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