March 20/99 10:32 am - Tchmil Takes Milan-San Remo
Posted by Editor on 03/20/99
Tchmil Takes Milan-San Remo Sprint
After being away for 208 kilometres the breakaway trio of Francisco Cerezo Perales (Vitalicio Seguros), Robert Hunter (Lampre) and Marco Antonio Di Renzo (Cantina Tollo) were caught as the peleton prepared for the major climb of Cipressa. At that point the pack was all together. Approximately halfway up the climb Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno Bianchi) blew things apart with an attack. Pantani led over the top, with favourite Michele Bartoli (Mapei Quick Step) and Alexandre Gontchenkov (Ballan Alessio) only a few seconds back. By the base of the descent (14 kilometres to go) there was a lead group of 8 - Pantani, Bartoli, Gontchenkov, Paolo Savoldelli (Saeco Cannondale), Leon Van Bon (Rabobank), Paolo Bettini (Mapei Quick Step), Zbignew Spruch (Lampre Daikin) and Mario Aerts (Lotto Mobistar). By the base of the Poggio (last major climb, before descending into San Remo) a much reduced peleton had chased back into contention. Gabriele Colombo (Cantina Tollo), the 1997 winner of the race, launched an attack almost immediately and by the top of the climb was 7 seconds clear of Michael Boogerd (Rabobank), Davide Rebellin (Team Polti), Zbignew Spruch (Lampre Daikin), Rolf Sorensen (Rabobank) and Andrea Ferrigato (Ballan Alessio), with the peleton just behind. However, it was not be for Colombo - he was swallowed by the peleton just before the line, with Andre Tchmil (Lotto Mobistar) outsprinting Erik Zabel (Telekom) for the win. Zbignew Spruch (Lampre Daikin) took third. More results and times to follow.