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Fleche Wallonne Live Coverage
By Locutus
Date: 4/21/2004
Fleche Wallonne Live Coverage
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the 68th Fleche Wallone. Please refresh this page (F5) to view the latest information.

We join the race in progress - Floyd Landis (US Postal-Berry Floor) is in a break off the front of the race as we begin our coverage!

60 km left. The riders are on the final circuit. The riders are all back together now. Landis and Hamilton (Phonak) are both up near the front of the pack, which is strung out a bit.

Jerome Pineau (Brioches la Boulangere) has a go off the front of the race now. The Yeasty Boys of Brioches are always aggressive in races like this.

53km left. Van Den Broeck (US Postal) and another rider have bridged up to Pineau. It's Bertolini with Van Den Broeck.

A Rabobank and Liberty Seguros rider are now off the front trying to reach the lead trio. Van Den Broeck is doing a great job to show himself this late in the race. What a great ride for the young Belgian!

Behind, the peloton is completely strung out as they race in pursuit.

Martin Elmiger (Phonak) and Kevin De Weert (Rabobank) were trying to bridge, but it looks like the peloton has them again. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) is right near the front of the race. Rubiera and Landis (US Postal) are still in the peloton.

49km left. The lead trio of Alessandro Bertolini (Alessio-Bianchi), Van Den Broeck, and Pineau are still off the front hammering.

So the riders are rapidly approaching the Cote de Coutisse. That will be the first of the five nasty climbs, ending with the brutal Mur de Huy at the finish.

Men keep flying off the front, trying to bridge up to the lead trio, which now only has 12" on the peloton.

45km left. The peloton is changing shape constantly as men try to get a good position near the front heading into this final cluster of climbs. Bertolini, Van Den Broeck, and Pineau are on the Cote de Coutisse now, with the peloton snapping at their heels. The climb is 7.3% over .9km.

So we've had it a bit wrong: there is a chase group of four men only 15" behind the three leaders, and the peloton is about 30" back.

Elmiger, Vicioso, De Weert, and one other are trying to reach the lead trio.

A US Postal rider crashed! He got a bag in his wheel! It was Floyd Landis! He is back up and riding, attached to the back of the peloton.

Rubiera drops back to the back of the peloton and checks on his teammate. Floyd looks a bit banged up, but he's a tough guy. That is a tough break, as Landis was looking strong and had great position near the front. He'll have to fight his way back up the peloton and see what he's still got in the tank.

Alexandr Kolobnev (Domina Vacanze) is the fourth rider with Vicioso, Elmiger, and De Weert in pursuit of the lead trio, but they seem to be losing ground. Bertolini, Van Den Broeck, and Pineau have a 16" lead. They are now on the Cote de Bellaire, which is 14% near the bottom.

38 km left. Near the top of the Cote de Bellaire, Elmiger, Kolobnev, and Vicioso have caught the lead trio. They have about 30" on the field.

Phillipe Gilbert ( is now off the front of the peloton trying to bridge to the leaders. The peloton is twisting through some beautifully scenic, but probably annoying, descents.

The lead group of six is looking strong. Van Den Broeck has been sitting on the back of that group ever since he reached the front. He's looks to be under orders not to work in that group.

The time gap is 40" now to the peloton.

The leaders are now on the climb of the 3.4km long Cote de Bohisseau. That lead group is splitting up. Van Den Broeck is suffering, and the referees are moving the cars out of the gap back to the peloton.

Now the peloton is breaking up under the force of attacks. A Postie, maybe Beltran, is marking the moves off the front of the peloton. Merckx (Lotto-Domo) is there on the front as well.

The six leaders are regrouped and still moving along together. Van Den Broeck is still just sitting at the back of that group.

Levi Leipheimer (Rabobank) is 2nd wheel in the chasing peloton. He's sitting behind a Saeco rider who is out of the saddle leading the chase. Pineau is driving on the lead group, in the meantime.

Now here comes an attack near the top of the climb by Jose Ivan Gutierrez! He is already up to the six leaders, who after this climb are only a few seconds ahead of the group!

26 km left. The leaders were caught by the peloton, and Erik Dekker (Rabobank) has counterattacked and is going solo. There is a crash in the peloton behind him.

Gianni Faresin (Gerolsteiner) is leading a counterattack of a few riders. The crash was Nico Sijmens (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago). He's sitting upright, but still in the ditch on the side of the road. He doesn't look too bad, but he hasn't stood up yet. Looks like his day is over.

So Dekker is flying along with an 11" second lead over the men chasing. The peloton is strung out now in pursuit of this dangerous man.

Dekker is low on the handlebars, time-trialing his way along, while Faresin leads the chase now in the peloton.

Gerolsteiner is clearly working to set up Rebellin, who had such an impressive victory in Amstel Gold on Sunday.

Dekker has a 25" lead. Landis, Leipheimer, and Hamilton are all still near the front of the peloton. Landis looks to have recovered from his nasty fall. Now Rubiera and the Posties come to the front to lead the chase of Dekker.

13km left. The riders are on the 2.5km climb of the Cote de Ahin. Dekker's lead is 27" now. Rubiera is now attacking the field on the climb, but isn't getting far.

At the back of the peloton, many of the men who were in the break or leading the chase are gone.

Dekker has been caught, and now Kloden (T-Mobile) has attacked. DiLuca (Saeco) has attacked! The big guns are firing now for sure.

Five men have a small gap, including Di Luca, Scarponi (Domina Vacanze), Kloden, and Vinokourov.

Those are some strong riders on great form who are attacking now. This is a long, nasty, deceptive climb. Vino has attacked, and DiLuca is countering.

The peloton has split into little groups all over this climb. The pain is sorting out the leaders from the rest, but there will likely be a bit of a regrouping before the Mur de Huy.

Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel Euskadi) is off the front with Vinokourov and Kim Kirchen and Axel Merckx. No, not Merckx.

The rest of the peloton has regrouped now, for the most part.

Kirchen (Fassa Bortolo) is looking strong, and is doing well to be there with Sanchez and Vinokourov. Vino is driving this group.

This lead trio, however, only has a few hundred meters. Men are still jumping off the front of the peloton trying to bridge. The riders are rapidly approaching the final climb of the Mur de Huy.

5km left. The peloton is strung out, about 40 men strong, with that dangerous break still dangling off the front. Celestino (Saeco) is trying to bridge, and he has made it! He's now with the leaders.

Moreni (Alessio) is also trying to bridge. Vino is driving this break, but the peloton is almost on them.

3km left. The peloton is closing, but the situation is still the same: four men are in the lead with Moreni trying to bridge. They are still on the flats before the final climb of the Mur de Huy.

The peloton has now caught the four men, and it's all back together heading through Huy on the way to the Mur.

Now an attack from a US Postal rider streches out things with 2km left, heading into the climb. This is a huge group heading together into the final climb.

Celestino is doing the leadout of this forty-man group. This will be a mighty battle on this climb!

Merckx attacks at the bottom of the climb! He is countered by Gerolsteiner, chasing him down.

Kloden is leading the peloton with Vino on his wheel. The T-Mobile men are trying to rip the race apart. They are blowing the field to pieces! Hamilton is struggling, but still in the back of the lead group. DiLuca and Rebellin attack!

DiLuca has Rebellin on his wheel as he flies up the climb. Rebellin is passing him! Rebellin wins it! DiLuca is 2nd, and I think it was Kessler (T-Mobile) who comes across in 3rd. Landis comes back a ways down, but he did well considering his crash today.

DiLuca took the leadout from the T-Mobile riders, and launched about 500 meters from the finish. Rebellin was the only man able to hold his wheel. Rebellin just held on, and then finally accelerated near the top to come around DiLuca on the right. Once he passed DiLuca, the Saeco man sat up... he had given his all, and it wasn't enough. Another great victory for Rebellin, who is red hot right now.

Poor DiLuca! He has got some major cajones, but he just came up short again. His day will come soon though, with that much talent, guts, and form.

Brief Results - Unofficial

1. Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) 4h 31' 32"
2. Danilo DiLuca (Saeco) @ ST
3. Matthias Kessler (T-Mobile) @ 9"
4. Michele Scarponi (Domina Vacanze) @ 9"
5. Alexandre Vinokourov (T-Mobile) @ 15"
6. Andreas Kloden (T-Mobile) @ 15"
7. Frank Vandenbroucke @ 15"
8. Marcos Serrano (Liberty Seguros) @ 15"
9. Marcus Zberg (Gerolsteiner) @ 15"
10. Manuel Beltran (US Postal-Berry Floor) @ 15"

We believe that these times may be incorrect, as Rebellin finished ahead of DiLuca.

So this was a dominating performance for Gerolsteiner with 1st and 8th place, and T-Mobile rode well to take 3rd, 5th, and 6th. Frank Vandenbroucke was quiet today, but was clearly going well to take out 7th.

Thank you for joining us today, check back later for full race results, and be sure to return this Sunday for live coverage of Liege-Bastogne-Liege!


1 Rebellin Davide Ita Gst 4h31'33"
2 Di Luca Danilo Ita Sae 00'03"
3 Kessler Matthias Ger Mob 00'09"
4 Scarponi Michele Ita Dve 00'12"
5 Vinokourov Alexandre Kaz Mob 00'16"
6 Kloden Andreas Ger Mob 00'18"
7 Vandenbroucke Frank Bel Fas m.t.
8 Serrano Marcos Esp Lst m.t.
9 Zberg Marcus Sui Gst 00'20"
10 Beltran Manuel Esp Usp m.t.
11 Pellizotti Franco Ita Alb 00'22"
12 Sanchez Samuel Esp Eus m.t.
13 Wegmann Fabian Ger Gst m.t.
14 Popovych Yaroslav Ukr Lan m.t.
15 Sorensen Nicki Den Csc m.t.
16 Leukemans Bjrn Bel Mbp 00'27"
17 Zaballa Constantino Esp Sdv m.t.
18 Verbrugghe Rik Bel Lot 00'29"
19 Noe' Andrea Ita Alb 00'33"
20 Gutierrez Jos Ivan Esp Ibb m.t.
21 Sinkewitz Patrik Ger Qsd m.t.
22 Righi Daniele Ita Lam 00'35"
23 Baguet Serge Bel Lot 00'40"
24 Landaluze Inigo Esp Eus 00'43"
25 Landis Floyd Usa Usp 00'43"
26 Dekker Erik Ned Rab 00'47"
27 Caruso Giampaolo Ita Lst 00'49"
28 Azevedo Jos Por Usp 00'49"
29 Merckx Axel Bel Lot 00'53"
30 Basso Ivan Ita Csc 00'54"
31 Hamilton Tyler Usa Pho 00'56"
32 Freire Gomez Oscar Esp Rab 01'00"
33 Etxebarria David Esp Eus 01'05"
34 Kirchen Kim Lux Fas 01'20"
35 Celestino Mirko Ita Sae m.t.
36 Moreni Cristian Ita Alb m.t.
37 Vicioso Angel Esp Lst 01'40"
38 Mazzoleni Eddy Ita Sae m.t.
39 Etxebarria Unai Ven Eus 01'42"
40 Casar Sandy Fra Fdj 01'43"
41 Barry Michael Can Usp 01'43"
42 Mori Manuele Ita Sdv m.t.
43 De Waele Bert Bel Lan m.t.
44 Brandt Christophe Bel Lot m.t.
45 Brochard Laurent Fra A2r m.t.
46 Totschnig Georg Aut Gst m.t.
47 Pereiro Sio Oscar Esp Pho 01'50"
48 Botcharov Alexandre Rus C.a 01'51"
49 Verheyen Geert Bel Cho 01'51"
50 Van Goolen Jurgen Bel Qsd 01'53"
51 Codol Massimo Ita Fas m.t.
52 Hruska Jan Cze Lst m.t.
53 Tankink Bram Ned Qsd m.t.
54 Nuyens Nick Bel Qsd m.t.
55 Coenen Johan Bel Mbp m.t.
56 Rubiera Jos Luis Esp Usp 01'58"
57 Noval Gonzalez Benjamin Esp Usp 01'59"
58 Lastras Pablo Esp Ibb m.t.
59 Kolobnev Alexandr Rus Dve m.t.
60 Rous Didier Fra Blb m.t.
61 Bertolini Alessandro Ita Alb 02'04"
62 Van De Wouwer Kurt Bel Mbp m.t.
63 Scotto D'abusco Michele Ita Lam m.t.
64 Wadecki Piotr Pol Lot 02'08"
65 Kashechkin Andrey Kaz C.a m.t.
66 Bertogliati Rubens Sui Sdv 02'10"
67 Gentili Massimiliano Ita Dve 02'13"
68 Mason Oscar Ita Vin 02'21"
69 Gilbert Philippe Bel Fdj 02'23"
70 Fritsch Nicolas Fra Fdj 02'23"
71 Rastelli Ellis Ita Alb 02'28"
72 Rodriguez Joaquim Esp Sdv 02'36"
73 Bartoli Michele Ita Csc 02'42"
74 Luttenberger Peter Aut Csc 02'42"
75 Arvesen Kurt-Asle Nor Csc 02'48"
76 Giunti Massimo Ita Dve 03'11"
77 Beuchat Roger Sui Vin 03'24"
78 Krivtsov Yuriy Ukr A2r 04'35"
79 Pineau Jrme Fra Blb 04'40"
80 Leipheimer Levi Usa Rab 05'15"
81 Faresin Gianni Ita Gst 06'03"
82 Jeker Fabian Sui Sdv 06'03"
83 Werner Christian Ger Mob 06'03"
84 Van Den Broeck Jurgen Bel Usp 06'04"
85 Van De Walle Jurgen Bel Cho 06'04"
86 Isasi Inaki Esp Eus 06'06"
87 Guerini Giuseppe Ita Mob 06'14"
88 Sanchez Luis Esp Lst 06'14"
89 Marichal Thierry Bel Lot 06'14"
90 Ramirez Abeja Javier Esp Lst 06'14"
91 Salmon Benot Fra C.a 06'14"
92 Camenzind Oscar Sui Pho 07'46"
93 Elmiger Martin Sui Pho 07'46"
94 Schleck Frank Lux Csc 09'26"
95 Mcgee Bradley Aus Fdj 09'28"
96 Albizu Joseba Esp Eus 09'43"
97 Miholjevic Vladimir Cro Alb 10'18"
98 Ivanov Serguei Rus Mob 10'18"
99 Thijs Erwin Bel Mbp 10'19"
100 Cioni Dario David Ita Fas 10'22"
101 Grabsch Bert Ger Pho 10'22"
102 Ardila Mauricio Col Cho 10'24"
103 Horrach Joan Esp Ibb 10'27"
104 Poilvet Benot Fra C.a 10'30"
105 Camano Iker Esp Eus 10'32"
106 Baranowski Dariusz Pol Lst 10'32"
107 Bouyer Franck Fra Blb 10'32"
108 Lefevre Laurent Fra Blb 10'34"
109 Gabriel Frdric Fra Mbp 10'34"
110 Vogondy Nicolas Fra Fdj 10'39"
111 Glomser Gerrit Aut Sae 10'46"
112 Petito Roberto Ita Fas 10'48"
113 Turpin Ludovic Fra A2r 10'48"
114 Masciarelli Simone Ita Vin 10'55"
115 Artetxe Mikel Esp Eus 11'09"
116 Monfort Maxime Bel Lan 11'19"
117 Sabaliauskas Marius Ltu Sae 11'21"
118 Strauss Marcel Sui Gst 11'22"
119 Zampieri Steve Sui Vin 11'29"

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