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Tidbits of news from the Netherlands and Belgium after stage
By Celine Tytgadt
Date: 5/14/2002
Tidbits of news from the Netherlands and Belgium after stage

It might be that Streel ends the Giro with a motorcycle. This vehicle will await the rider that raced the longest solo. Marc Streel raced 160 km in the lead today and had an advantage up to 18 minutes. But then the sprinters' team set the pace and the peloton caught him near the end. Since there are only a few more long stages, there is a big chance that he did take care of the longest solo escape. This way, he will definitely get paid for his efforts.

Of course, Marc Streel was really exhausted after his long escape. “I did what I needed to do,” he explained. “The team asked me to take some initiative and gather some publicity. I just hoped to get two or three riders with me, then the escape might have lasted.”


Boogerd ended with the big peloton, although the last 15 km might be raced with a bit of fear, because there was a final in very narrow streets. In the mean time though, Michael Boogerd said he was still feeling some pain from his crash in the first stage. He gives himself another three to four days to handle the pain according to the Rabobank website.

On the Rabobank website an interview with Theo de Rooijm director sportif of Rabobank, was posted after the succesfull weekend in Groningen. “It was a warming start”, he declared. In Groningen, the inhabitants cheerd all riders on but more specifically the Rabo’s. It was very obvious for miles around if a Rabobank rider was going to pass. “I thought it was really special, also the riders. It was a warming start of the race. That you are cheerd on like that makes it really special.”

“Boogerd really surprised me. He had the right feeling. He definitely has the temperament for it. For a prologue like that, you need aggression, but you need to control it that way so you don’t take too much risks. Finding that balance is really difficult. Boogerd did that very well.”

“That Boogerd did such a great time is definitely because of the enthousiastic reactions of the audience. If there is one rider sensible to that, it’s Boogerd. All riders appreciate the atmosphere, but one more than the other.”

GIRO IN BELGIUM The interest from the Belgian public for the Giro d’Italia was quite disappointing in Ans yesterday. The amount of people along the roads was a lot less than that in Groningen or Minster. Organiser Carmine Castellano didn’t have an explanation “Maybe the choice of Ans wasn’t very good. To be honest, I don’t know either.”

Even though the audience in Groningen was more than in Ans, the Dutch definitely expected more people in Gironingen. The organisers expected about 175,000 visitors, but it turned out to be only 60,000 instead. A lot less, but still a success. The advantage: lots of atmosphere but good places along the road to admire the efforts of the riders.

MARIO CIPOLLINI: BEST TEAM EVER According to Mario himself, Aqua & Sapone is the best team he has ever had. “With such a tight group, it’s really not difficult to win. My power does the rest.”

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