Results for those interested;

1 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 6.39.44 (38.8 km/h)
2 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
3 Ivan Basso (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 0.15
4 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 0.23
5 Massimo Codol (Ita) Lampre-Daikin 0.28
6 Matthias Kessler (Ger) Team Telekom 0.35
7 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 1.03
8 Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
9 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
10 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom
11 Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa)
12 Marcos A. Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) ONCE-Eroski
13 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank
14 Andrei Kivilev (Kaz) Cofidis
15 Dave Bruylandts (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites
16 Axel Merckx (Bel) Domo-Farm Frites 1.08
17 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team CSC Tiscali 1.14
18 Mario Aerts (Bel) Lotto-Adecco 1.27
19 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Jean Delatour
20 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service
I know that Freire and Bettini were Mapei's leaders for this particular race, but when Garzelli (their teammate) made a decisive break with some 5 km to go, Bettini didn't want to let him go on his own (my impression is that no matter how strong Paolo felt - he should have stayed in a group and protect his teammate's lead). He did what he did nad Mapei got both first and second place.
I like Bettini and I concieve of him as an experienced and intelligent rider (aware of the tactics), but cycling will never stop surprising me....
As for Garzelli, he had great legs on that day and surely deserved to get first spot. I can't wait to see him in the Giro.
I thought that the Garzelli/Bettini attack was orchestrated. Both were on their radios just before the climb started. Bettini offered Garzelli a handshake near the end - I translated it as a 'well done and thanks for the hard work' handshake.

I could be wrong though - that's what I loe about cycle racing!

Check out the results on it gives some insight....
There's an interview with both of them on in which Bettini admits that they, in fact, fought for the win in the final sprint. Paolo also says that Basso couldn't keep Garzelli's pace, so he decided to jump across to his teammate. He was lucky, in my mind, cause there was a risk that he might have brought Basso back behind him. They were very lucky, indeed. I am sure that they would have outplayed him anyway if that had happened. I just wanted to indicate that cycling is a team sport, still one may find a lot of jealousy in pro racing. Bettini had been in the shade of Bartoli for some 2 or 3 years and then when Bartoli was having trouble with injury Mapei hired Freire. It had to be a real blow for Paolo who, no doubt, has a lot of potential to become team leader.
Nevertheless, as I have already written I like him cause he a powerful classical rider, yet acts like that will not make him a great athlete in my eyes.
This has to be one of the best photos so far this year ;)

Bettini may have fought Garzelli for 1st place, but I'm sure there were no hard feelings because Paolo stated that he would be able to repay Garzelli during the Giro.
it looks like lance only tries to win the Tdf and not any of the other races hey? wished it was on TV here :mad: :mad:
No doubt about his cycling ability but Bettini sure ain't going to win any beauty contests pulling THAT face up the climbs....
Trying to revive this thread...<br /><br />I still remember the way Vandenbroucke won LBL in 1999 was truly amazing. He announced before where he was going to attack (it was the cote du saint-nicolas if I remember it correctly) and did exactly what he said he was going to do. Left Bartoli behind as if he was standing still. It was the kind of race Merckx used to ride, unforgetable....<br /><br />Unfortunately VDB got caught up in a few affairs and never got back on his feet. Now it seems as though he's finally got his life back under control. I guess next season we'll see a whole new VDB.<br /><br />I also can't wait to see how the new Quickstep-Davitamon team is going to do in the spring classics. They've got Musseeuw, VDB and Bettini in one team... we may very well see the complete domination of the old Mapei coming back<br /><br /><br />Any other thoughts?<br /><br />Niek

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