April 12/00 10:04 am - Casagrande Takes Fleche
Posted by Editor on 04/12/00
Casagrande Wins Fleche Wallonne
Chris Boardman (Credit Agricole) and Raimondas Rumsas (Fassa Bortolo) tried an early breakaway at the 12 kilometre mark in this 198 kilometre race. It looked like they might succeed, when their lead reached as much as 12 minutes (and was still over 3 minutes with 25 kilometres to go), but the final Mur de Huy climb was their downfall as favourites from a disintegrating peloton caught and dropped them.
Axel Merckx a(Mapei) and Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto) were the first to bridge up at 11 kilometres to go, and were joined by Francesco Casagrande (Vini Caldirola), who went straight to the front, dropping Rumsas for good. Sergei Ivanov (Farm Frites) attacked off the front of the peloton, trying to bridge up to the lead trio, but was swallowed up on the climb.
Casagrande first dropped Merckx, and then Verbrugghe to take the solo victory. Verbrugghe managed to hange on for second, while Merckx was caught by the leaders of the peloton, with Larent Jalabert (Once) nipping David Rebellin (Liquigas) at the line for third.
1. Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Vini Caldirola
2. Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
3. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) Once
4. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Liquigas-Pata
5. Mario Aerts (Bel) Lotto
6. Peter Farazijn (Bel) Cofidis
7. Davide Etxebaria (Spa) Once
8. Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
9. Mauro Gianetti (Sui) Vini Caldirola
10. Axel Merckx (Bel) Mapei Quick Step