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90th Lige-Bastogne-Lige Live Coverage
 
By Staff
Date: 4/25/2004
90th Lige-Bastogne-Lige Live Coverage
 

Hello and welcome to live coverage of the 90th edition of Lige-Bastogne-Lige.

Here is the course profile for today, and below that, the list of climbs the riders will tackle.

The Climbs
Km 82 / Cte Saint-Roch Climb of 1,5 km at 7,7%
Km 154 / Cte de Wanne Climb of 2,8 km at 4,9%
Km 170,5 / Cte de Stockeu Climb of 2,7 km at 10,3%
Km 175 / Cte de Wanneranval Climb of 1,4 km at 10,9%
Km 194 / Cte du Rosier Climb of 4 km at 6,1%
Km 206,5 / Cte de la Vecque Climb of 3,2 km at 6,3%
Km 223,5 / Cte de la Redoute Climb of 1,9 km at 7,4%
Km 229,5 / Cte de Sprimont Climb of 1,5 km at 5%
Km 244,5 / Cte du Sart-Tilman - Tilff Climb of 3,7 km at 5,9%
Km 253 / Cte de Saint-Nicolas Climb of 1,1 km at 11%

We join the race in progress. Please refresh this page (F5) to view the latest information. Commentary today by Jan Janssens.

Big surprise this morning: top favorite Danilo Di Luca didn't start; apparently he is suffering from high fever and a bladder infection.

Currently there's a break of 5 riders: Vandewalle, Strauss, Tankink, Inaki Isasi and Lefevre. Another Chocolade Jacques rider, Belovoshiks, joined his teammate Vandewalle earlier on in a solo effort, but he seemed to have put too much strength into that effort as he got dropped by the leaders some time later.

Cristophe Moreau has abandoned, and in the peloton Rabobank, Phonak and T-Mobile are raising the tempo, the leaders have some 8-9 minutes advance now. The tempo in the first 3 hours is a whopping 43km/h!

Some 88kms to go.The 5 leaders are now on the Stockeu, a nasty climb of some 2.7 kms with an average gradient of 10.3%. In the peloton we start to see the big names riding to the front, we see Boogerd, VdB and Landis, among others.

88kms to go and the leaders have now some 3.44 advance.

30 kms till the 200km mark, and we start to see the lesser riders drop at the back of the peloton, their race is over.

The peloton is on the Wannerval now, and CSC is prominently at the front. They have Jaksche leading now, his elbow in bandages after his crash just before Amstel.

Maybe we get to see the Bartoli of 97 and 98, who knows. We know that he wants to win at least one WC race or he'll quit after this season.

83kms to go, the leaders are now descending the Wannerval. The peloton has just passed the summit as well, and we get an attack by a CSC rider, it seems to be Arvesen. Yes, it's Arvesen.

Last year's winner Tyler Hamilton is ready for a leading part in today's race. He's in good shape, and said that he misjudged the race Wednesday: he thought that the finish was on the 2nd passage on the Mur de Hui (it's on the third), and consequently answered every attack there, wasting most of his power for nothing. But L-B-L is less explosive and this should suit him much better anyway. According to him, L-B-L is tougher than an Alps stage in the Tour too.

73 kms to go. 3.07 for the leaders left. We're heading for the Vecqe now.

One of today's favorites, Stefano Garzelli, reckons that he has an advantage over many other riders here, as a stage racer. He feels that the "regular" classics contenders will be eyeing him much less than their usual opponents.

Bettini names Garzelli as one of his personal favorites too, together with Kessler. So we'd better keep an eye out for him. Bettini also said that he doesn't expect VdB to be real opposition.

Arvesen has long been taken back, by the way. 4kms to go to the Rosier for the 5 leaders.

62 kms to go, Vandewalle, Strauss, Tankink, Lefevre and Isasi are commencing the Rosier. The longest climb of today (4kms), but with a relatively "easy" average gradient of 6%.

In the peloton, Jaksche and a teammate are attacking, strange! The teammate is Arvesen, again.

Perhaps Riis is trying to make the race tougher...

In the back of the peloton we see good riders like Bramati, Abersold and Serpellini losing touch with the peloton. Sastre is gone too!

The two CSC riders between the leaders and the peloton are being joined by Botcharov, and are riding 1.18. The peloton is at 1.28.

No matter who wins today, Davide Rebellin will still be the star of this week. Each year during Easter, every Italian cycling journalist receives a chocolate Easter egg, senders: Davide and Celina Rebellin. With a question to donate money to Davide's fund that supports handicapped children in the third world. That's Rebellin: he might be a small guy, but he's a BIG person.

57kms to go. Jaksche, Arvesen and Botcharov at 38 seconds, and the peloton at 1.08.

Just In: In the Tour of Niedersachsen, Danilo Hondo has won the last stage, and Roesems the GC.

Tankink and Strauss attack up front, while the CSCs and Botcharov are picking up Vandewalle and Co. They're on the Vecqe now, the dress rehearsal for La Redoute.

Vandewalle is gone, Isasi has managed to to hang on to the CSCs and Botcharov. Jaksche still leading, he's very impressive. He's probably leading out for Bartoli and/or Basso.

Personally I feel like Basso should put his focus more on classics like these, for which he was practically cut out, instead of trying his hand at the GTs.

The peloton has swallowed Vandewalle and Lefevre.

Vandewalle and Lefevre are already being dropped out of the peloton now, poor guys; a great break they put up nonetheless.

The chasers have caught up with Tankink and Strauss now, and have just reached the summit of the Vecque. The peloton is at 1.19.

15 kms to go until La Redoute now, where, traditionally, the first big sorting out will be made!

47kms to go, 1.15 for the leaders - Jaksche, Arvesen, Botcharov, Tankink and Strauss.

We haven't seen Van Petegem today yet, but he's looking for a top 10 placing, so who knows? He's the only rider who's been at the front in every classic so far, from Sanremo to Amstel, so he's riding one heck of a season so far, no matter what people might say.

In the peloton Phonak and Rabobank are leading; their leaders (Hamilton, Camenzind, Pereiro, Boogerd) must be feeling good.

The 5 leaders are now on La Redoute! This is where it all starts!

37km to go and 58 seconds for the leaders at the start of La Redoute.

Strauss has already been dropped up front. In the peloton, the Fassas are leading; we can expect VdB, on the exact same climb here where he humiliated Bartoli in '99.

Garzelli is coming to the front, we also see Bettini, Boogerd, VdB, Rebellin...all the big names.

Hamilton is there as well. It's showtime, folks.

The CSCs are accelerating up front and dropping Tankink.

The leaders are now on the 19% stroke near the summit, Botcharov leading. Bettini has taken the lead in the peloton, he's gong FAST!

Garzelli, Boogerd, VdB, PVP all near him. The peloton picks up Strauss now. Up front, Botcharov has left behind the CSCs. Bettini accelerates again. Boogerd follows, so do Garzelli and VdB.

They pick up Tankink as well, and now the steepest part is done. Van Petegem is leading in the peloton now, very impressive on terrain that isn't really his cup of tea.

There's a small gap between a group of 20 riders and the rest of the peloton now, and Bettini sends some troops to the front in order to make sure the rest of the peloton doesn't join them again.

Phew...so, no real explosions on La Redoute, but there seems to have formed an elite group of some 20-25 riders now. They're some 60 metres behind Jaksche, Arvesen and Botcharov now, it looks like they're gonna pick them up soon enough.

32 kms to go.

The second part of the peloton has joined again, some 50 riders up front now. The peloton is on the Sprimont now, Landis is in 2nd position. We also see Wesemann still riding up front, he's putting up a good fight for his WC leader jersey!

Botcharov attacks again on the Sprimont, probably just to grab the points for the mountain prize on the summit.

Pereiro attacks now! But Quickstep reacts, with Dufaux, and Vino's there too! But everything seems to be brought back together. 28kms to go.

Nice to see is that Zabel is still in the back of the peloton here! Don't see too many sprinters do that in L-B-L!

There's a whole spitfire of attacks now, but they all get taken back immediately. Interesting to see is that, the fast tempo of the race notwithstanding, we still have a big group of leaders.

We're heading to Sart-Tilman now...the climb where Bartoli rode to his two victories by absolutely wrecking everyone else...Armstrong tried it there last year too, but severely miscalculated and saw the likes of Mayo, Sanchez etc., ride past him one by one in the end.

21 kms to go. An Alessio rider is riding away from the peloton now, in the sprint to the Sart-Tilman.

The Alessio rider, Moreni, has been taken back, and we see Boogerd being brought back in the peloton by a teammate now! Must have been a technical problem, because he looked very strong on La Redoute.

CSC has 5(!) riders leading now, is Bartoli going to do it like we know he can? We're really sprinting to Sart-Timan now. Wow! What a tempo.

On Sart-Tilman now! Still CSC leading.

Arevsen, one of the 5 CSC's is gone, 4 left. Kasechkin attacks, but he's countered by a CSC rider who leaves him behind.

But Quickstep brings everything back again.

Quickstep is now leading with Dufaux and Sinkewitz. Aan attack by an Euskaltel rider now. But Quickstep is going after him as well.

The Euskaltel rider is Landaluze, and the Quickstep that went behind him is Sinkewitz. They got a small lead over the peloton.

The 2 leaders are now over Sart-Tilman, 14 kms to go for them. Looks like it's gonna happen on St. Nicolas, with a very, very big group now...

St. Nicolas is in the midst of the Italian quarter of the city of Lige, so we can expect to see many Italian flags and lots of road painting!

12 kms to go, 17 seconds for the 2 leaders. I don't see any CSC's left in the first 10 of the peloton.

The Lottos are leading the peloton now, that's a good sign for PVP...he wouldn't let the team work for him if he didn't feel he had a shot, methinks. 10 kms to go, 13 seconds for the leaders.

They're now riding past the stadium of local football (soccer) team Standard Lige. In the peloton everyone's trying to get in a good position for St. Nicolas.

8 kms to go, 18 seconds for the leaders. You can wonder what a sprint is worth after a tough race like this with such a speed...it's more power than speed by then. We're nearing the Italian quarter.

2 Fassas leading in the peloton, VdB in 3rd spot, PVP in 4th. The two leaders are on the climb! Now the peloton is getting there too.

An attack by a Credit Agricole rider, Kasheschkin, but he's parking. The two leaders are now in sight of the peloton. No attacks in the peloton yet.

PVP attacks!! Boogerd attacks now! He's very strong!!

He's got a 10 meter gap, PVP and Bettini don't seem to be counterattacking immediately. Vino and Rebellin are now chasing Boogerd though! Rebellin, wow, what a power. Rebellin brings Vino and himself to Boogerd.

There are a few riders that are trying to get back with the three leaders on the flat, 4 kms to go. 18 seconds for the three leaders!

If they don't organize the chase soon the three will be gone! 3 kms to go.

The chasers are Basso, Leukemans and Sanchez.

If Vino and Boogerd take Rebellin to the finish, they're most likely done for, it'll be interesting to see how it works out. 2 kms to go, on the final climb now!

Vino attacks!! And amazing power! He's got 15 metres. Rebellin lets Boogerd go after him though!

Can Rebellin hang on to Boogerd's wheel? Oh yes! Three again now.

Dekker has joined the chasers; where Basso has attacked.

Vino attacks again up front, and Boogerd goes behind him once more! The three up front are eyeing each other now...

Boogerd attacks!! Now Rebellin reacts.

And he rides to his wheel, leaving Vino behind. they're going towards the finish now. Poor Boogerd. 200 metres to go...Rebellin sprints past him with ease!! AMAZING! REBELLIN WINS!

Amstel, Flche Wallone AND L-B-L!! It's unique. Boogerd 2nd, Vino third. Wow... Rebellin is also the new leader in the WC.

Rebellin finally wins L-B-L after 2 podium places, Boogerd gets himself a third podium place. Poor, poor Boogerd.

Rebellin won the sprint with 10 metres advance. Bjorn Leukemans put it very nicely: "When he's (Rebellin) riding next to you, he doesn't seem to be breathing or making any effort at all."

This is even more impressive than PVP's Paris-Roubaix and Ronde van Vlaanderen double.

Brief Results

1. Rebellin
2. Boogerd
3. Vinokourov
4. Sanchez
5. Dekker
6. Kessler
7. Scarponi
8. Basso
9. Hamilton
10. Vicioso

In the post-race interview, Rebellin says that he wasn't really was able to attack himself, with Boogerd being the strongest of them all, so he let Boogerd do all the work, and well, in the sprint it was quite easy.

Seems like Rebellin is finally maximizing his potential...at the amateurs he was untouchable - Bartoli, Casagrande etc. never even came close, but he never seemed to break through...up until now.

He was 2nd in Paris-Nice, fell in MSR, won Amstel, Flche, L-B-L, and there are a WHOLE lot of races coming up that he can win - Zurich, San Sebastan, Lombardy, World Championship in Verona...

Now we move into Grand Tour season; only a short time until the Giro d'Italia commences, and a hiatus until the next World Cup race, in August. Thank you for joining us today.

Results

1 Rebellin Davide Ita Gst 6h20'09"
2 Boogerd Michael Ned Rab 00'02"
3 Vinokourov Alexandre Kaz Mob 00'04"
4 Sanchez Samuel Esp Eus 00'08"
5 Dekker Erik Ned Rab 00'12"
6 Kessler Matthias Ger Mob m.t.
7 Scarponi Michele Ita Dve m.t.
8 Basso Ivan Ita Csc m.t.
9 Hamilton Tyler Usa Pho m.t.
10 Vicioso Angel Esp Lst m.t.
11 Wesemann Steffen Ger Mob m.t.
12 Etxebarria David Esp Eus m.t.
13 Mazzoleni Eddy Ita Sae 00'16"
14 Freire Oscar Esp Rab m.t.
15 Menchov Denis Rus Ibb m.t.
16 Vandenbroucke Frank Bel Fas m.t.
17 Landaluze Inigo Esp Eus m.t.
18 Brochard Laurent Fra A2r m.t.
19 Landis Floyd Usa Usp m.t.
20 Garate Juan Manuel Esp Lam m.t.
21 Zberg Marcus Sui Gst m.t.
22 Bettini Paolo Ita Qsd 00'16"
23 Beltran Manuel Esp Usp 00'19"
24 Celestino Mirko Ita Sae m.t.
25 Van Petegem Peter Bel Lot m.t.
26 Mason Oscar Ita Vin 00'21"
27 Bartoli Michele Ita Csc 00'21"
28 Popovych Yaroslav Ukr Lan 00'25"
29 Pellizotti Franco Ita Alb 00'27"
30 Leukemans Bjrn Bel Mbp 00'28"
31 Serrano Marcos Esp Lst 00'28"
32 Caruso Giampaolo Ita Lst 00'46"
33 Sinkewitz Patrik Ger Qsd 00'53"
34 Faresin Gianni Ita Gst 01'03"
35 Wegmann Fabian Ger Gst 01'05"
36 Perdiguero Miguel Esp Sdv m.t.
37 Bertolini Alessandro Ita Alb m.t.
38 Rubiera Jos Luis Esp Usp m.t.
39 Kolobnev Alexandr Rus Dve m.t.
40 Gilbert Philippe Bel Fdj m.t.
41 Mori Manuele Ita Sdv m.t.
42 Kirchen Kim Lux Fas m.t.
43 Pereiro Sio Oscar Esp Pho m.t.
44 Casar Sandy Fra Fdj m.t.
45 Pineau Jrme Fra Blb m.t.
46 Dufaux Laurent Sui Qsd m.t.
47 Verheyen Geert Bel Cho m.t.
48 Botcharov Alexandre Rus C.a m.t.
49 Rous Didier Fra Blb m.t.
50 Stangelj Gorazd Slo Sae m.t.
51 Wadecki Piotr Pol Lot 01'09"
52 Vila Errandonea Patxi Xabie Esp Lam m.t.
53 Baguet Serge Bel Lot 01'32"
54 Camenzind Oscar Sui Pho m.t.
55 Merckx Axel Bel Lot 01'35"
56 Kashechkin Andrey Kaz C.a m.t.
57 Scotto D'abusco Michele Ita Lam 01'45"
58 Righi Daniele Ita Lam m.t.
59 Azevedo Jos Por Usp m.t.
60 Sorensen Nicki Den Csc m.t.
61 Hruska Jan Cze Lst m.t.
62 Garzelli Stefano Ita Vin 02'17"
63 Codol Massimo Ita Fas 02'40"
64 Brandt Christophe Bel Lot m.t.
65 Gutierrez Jos Ivan Esp Ibb m.t.
66 Fritsch Nicolas Fra Fdj m.t.
67 De Waele Bert Bel Lan 02'57"
68 Cioni Dario Ita Fas m.t.
69 Paolini Luca Ita Qsd m.t.
70 Rodriguez Joaquin Esp Sdv m.t.
71 Moreni Cristian Ita Alb 03'35"
72 Leipheimer Levi Usa Rab m.t.
73 Petrov Evgeni Rus Sae m.t.
74 Etxebarria Unai Ven Eus m.t.
75 Noe' Andrea Ita Alb 05'34"
76 Simeoni Filippo Ita Dve m.t.
77 Schleck Frank Lux Csc m.t.
78 Arvesen Kurt-Asle Nor Csc m.t.
79 Lastras Pablo Esp Ibb m.t.
80 Totschnig Georg Aut Gst m.t.
81 Zabel Erik Ger Mob 06'52"
82 Tankink Bram Ned Qsd m.t.
83 Van Goolen Jurgen Bel Qsd m.t.
84 Lotz Marc Ned Rab m.t.
85 Glomser Gerrit Aut Sae m.t.
86 Verbrugghe Rik Bel Lot m.t.
87 Kloden Andreas Ger Mob m.t.
88 Artetxe Mikel Esp Eus m.t.
89 Chavanel Sylvain Fra Blb m.t.
90 Thijs Erwin Bel Mbp 08'16"
91 Van De Wouwer Kurt Bel Mbp m.t.
92 Sacchi Fabio Ita Fas 11'38"
93 Gentili Massimiliano Ita Dve m.t.
94 Bazhenov Alexandre Rus Dve m.t.
95 Elmiger Martin Sui Pho m.t.
96 Petito Roberto Ita Fas m.t.
97 Giunti Massimo Ita Dve m.t.
98 Barry Michael Can Usp m.t.
99 Poilvet Benot Fra C.a m.t.
100 Zampieri Steve Sui Vin m.t.
101 Noval Gonzalez Benjamin Esp Usp m.t.
102 Camano Iker Esp Eus m.t.
103 Zaugg Oliver Sui Sdv m.t.
104 Albizu Joseba Esp Eus m.t.
105 Bertogliati Rubens Sui Sdv m.t.
106 Valoti Paolo Ita Dve m.t.
107 Grabsch Bert Ger Pho m.t.
108 Marichal Thierry Bel Lot m.t.
109 Beuchat Roger Sui Vin m.t.
110 Ramirez Javier Esp Lst m.t.
111 Pinotti Marco Ita Lam m.t.
112 Flecha Juan Antonio Esp Fas m.t.
113 Rastelli Ellis Ita Alb m.t.
114 Jaksche Jrg Ger Csc m.t.
115 Masciarelli Simone Ita Vin m.t.
116 Guerini Giuseppe Ita Mob m.t.
117 Lovkvist Thomas Swe Fdj m.t.
118 Spezialetti Alessandro Ita Sae m.t.
119 Vogondy Nicolas Fra Fdj m.t.
120 Robin Jean-Cyril Fra Fdj m.t.
121 Duma Vladimir Ukr Lan m.t.
122 Nardello Daniele Ita Mob m.t.
123 Isasi Inaki Esp Eus m.t.
124 Strauss Marcel Sui Gst m.t.
125 Gil Perez Koldo Esp Lst 11'50"
126 Kroon Karsten Ned Rab 13'28"
127 Renders Jens Bel Mbp m.t.
128 Piatek Zbigniew Pol Cho m.t.
129 Nuyens Nick Bel Qsd m.t.
130 Beneteau Walter Fra Blb m.t.
131 Bramati Davide Ita Qsd m.t.
132 Failli Francesco Ita Dve m.t.

World Cup Standings after Round 5 - Top 50

1 Rebellin Davide Ita Gerolsteiner 200
2 Boogerd Michael Ned Rabobank 146
3 Wesemann Steffen Ger T-Mobile Team 131
4 Freire Oscar Esp Rabobank 127
5 Dekker Erik Ned Rabobank 115
6 Backstedt Magnus Swe Alessio - Bianchi 100
7 Bettini Paolo Ita Quick Step - Davitamon 98
8 Van Petegem Peter Bel Lotto - Domo 95
9 Hoste Leif Bel Lotto - Domo 84
10 Zabel Erik Ger T-Mobile Team 80
11 Hoffman Tristan Ned Team Csc 70
12 Van Bon Leon Ned Lotto - Domo 68
13 Kessler Matthias Ger T-Mobile Team 64
14 Hincapie George Usa Us Postal - Berry Floor 53
15 Vinokourov Alexandre Kaz T-Mobile Team 50
16 Hammond Roger Gbr Mr. Bookmaker.Com - Palmans 50
17 Bruylandts Dave Bel Chocolade Jacques Wincor - Nixdorf 50
18 O'Grady Stuart Aus Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 50
19 Museeuw Johan Bel Quick Step - Davitamon 47
20 Sanchez Samuel Esp Euskaltel - Euskadi 46
21 Vainsteins Romans Lat Lampre 43
22 Di Luca Danilo Ita Saeco 40
23 Ivanov Serguei Rus T-Mobile Team 40
24 Cancellara Fabian Sui Fassa Bortolo 40
25 Hoj Frank Den Team Csc 40
26 Petacchi Alessandro Ita Fassa Bortolo 40
27 Klier Andreas Ger T-Mobile Team 37
28 Celestino Mirko Ita Saeco 36
29 Van Heeswijk Max Ned Us Postal - Berry Floor 36
30 Scarponi Michele Ita Domina Vacanze 32
31 Astarloa Igor Esp Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 32
32 Aldag Rolf Ger T-Mobile Team 28
33 Flecha Juan Antonio Esp Fassa Bortolo 27
34 Basso Ivan Ita Team Csc 24
35 Mazzoleni Eddy Ita Saeco 22
36 Brochard Laurent Fra Ag2r Prevoyance 22
37 Boonen Tom Bel Quick Step - Davitamon 21
38 Hamilton Tyler Usa Phonak Hearing Systems 20
39 Perdiguero Miguel Esp Saunier Duval - Prodir 20
40 Vandenbroucke Frank Bel Fassa Bortolo 18
41 Vicioso Angel Esp Liberty Seguros 16
42 Bartoli Michele Ita Team Csc 16
43 Caruso Giampaolo Ita Liberty Seguros 16
44 Camenzind Oscar Sui Phonak Hearing Systems 15
45 Marichal Thierry Bel Lotto - Domo 15
46 Etxebarria David Esp Euskaltel - Euskadi 14
47 Paolini Luca Ita Quick Step - Davitamon 14
48 Zberg Marcus Sui Gerolsteiner 13
49 Merckx Axel Bel Lotto - Domo 13
50 Landaluze Inigo Esp Euskaltel - Euskadi 12

 
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