Team CSC's captain Michele Bartoli did not make the decisive break
away on the Eyserbosweg climb with 20 kilometers to go in today's fourth
round of the World Cup.
”I was aware of the attack, but simply couldn't follow," said Bartoli, who
finished 15th. "For quite a while I was just 30 seconds behind the leaders, but
it was too late. I felt good during most of the race, but in the end I didn't
have the strength.”
”We worked together well, and Nicki Sørensen in particular did a very good
race. Unfortunately Bartoli wasn't able to follow, when the main contenders
escaped. So we just have to face the the fact he wasn't at his best today, but
hopefully we can make some good results in the upcoming Ardennes Classics. We
still have big ambitions, and we'll definitely be back next week with an even
stronger line-up in Fléche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège,” Team CSC sports
director Kim Andersen promised after the race. (Courtesy CSC)
Danilo Di Luca, fourth place today: “In the crucial moment of the
race… I’d been sleeping. I did not catch the right moment to go along with
Boogerd and Rebellin, while I was watching over Bettini’s wheel. When I saw the
two gaining meters, I’ve tried to reach them but none of the other riders of my
group joined me. I’ve found myself running alone after Rebellin and Boogerd,
so I decided to wait for the others: alone I had no chance.
"It’s a pity because my form is great. Last year I finished third, this year
fourth, but that's nothing to complain about. I’ll try to do something more next
Sunday in Liege and before then Wednesday in the Fleche Wallonne." (Courtesy
Despite the dampened mood cast on the Gerolsteiner team by the injury today
of Beat Zberg, who broke his right kneecap in a fall during the race, Davide
Rebellin is very happy indeed with his World Cup win. Zberg's brother
Marcus, as well as Fabian Wegmann and Peter Wrolich set Rebellin up perfectly
for the win. "I wanted to win one of the three Ardenne Classics. It's beautiful
that this is the one," said an overjoyed Davide.
Boogerd attacked in the final 300 meters, but the Italian waited and latched
onto the Dutchman's wheel. "The Cauberg is an appropriate finish for me,
naturally. In addition it was beautiful that after the many attacks finally
Michael Boogerd was my fellow combatant and not Paolo Bettini. Against him here
it would have been considerably more difficult."
Rebellin went on, "Boogerd was very strong, but I also felt very well. The
race was very rough because of the wind and nervousness. In the end I was quite
quiet toward the finish - I knew that I could beat Boogerd."
"I haven't won in the World Cup for seven years, but I have never given up
hope. It is just one of the imponderables of a racer's life." Rebellin dedicated
his victory to his dear friend Denis Zanette, who died in January 2003 - "Now I
think of Denis, who was one of my best friends, and of his widow Manuela."
For Beat Zberg, his day was over at 80 kilometers, when he fell. At
first only his eye wound was apparent, but at the hospital, a routine check
discovered a broken right kneecap. Zberg has already had surgery tonight in
Zurich, and unfortunately is expected to be out of play for two months. Teammate Gianni
Faresin also fell, and though his knee and elbow are paining him, his injuries
are minor. We wish them both the best. (Courtesy Gerolsteiner)
Current World Cup leader Steffen Wesemann of Team T-Mobile said, "At
the Eyserbosweg it was clear to me, that I was only here today to defend the
jersey. For the victory, it just wasn't possible for me - others was stronger
today. I actually wanted to go for the victory too, but as a consequence of last
week's World Cup, I had nothing more. But I am all the happier, that I still
have the jersey."
DS Mario Kummer said, "Davide has ridden damn strongly and has earned the
"I attacked at the same place as last year - this time I came in second,"
said Michael Boogerd of his second place in "Rabobank's race," the
Amstel Gold. "Last year the wind was with me, this year it was against me. "It
was a nice leading group (Bettini Di Luca, Van Petegem and Kessler)."
Boogerd continued: "I pushed myself and rode well. But yes, I did not won.
However, three of us in the team are in the top 10 [World Cup standings]. Oscar
Freire finished at 14th today. Because of Freire's placing today, he has reduced
Steffen Wesemann's lead to one point. This proves how well the team has performed in
the World Cup classics so far."
The Rabo top gun plans to skip La Fleche Wallone on Wednesday to prepare more
fully for Sunday's Liege-Bastogne-Liege.