Piil Takes Tour of Denmark
– By Gordon Cameron –
Jakob Storm Piil from CSC-Tiscali ensured a happy outcome for home fans when he clinched a comfortable win at the 12th Post Danmark Rundt (Tour of Denmark) race in Fredriksberg, Copenhagen on Friday.
Piil never looked like losing a lead he took with a dynamic solo win on the very first stage. He posted a 45.5km/h average to come home a minute clear of the field at Sшnderborg. CSC-Tiscali kept things under control on stage 2 as the peloton swept up EDS-fakta’s unlucky Jшrgen Bo Petersen on the line. Stefan van Dijck(Lotto) profited from their hard work to take the sprint win ahead of Jaan Kirsipuu.
EDS did get their win in Vejle the next day when Kurt-Asle Arvesen outsprinted Piil, who’d launched a successful late surge to cement his grip on the race and the leader’s yellow jersey, taking another 60 seconds on the main field.
Thursday’s split-stages resulted in a great day for Mapei, as Elio Aggiano took stage 4a, over 98km, having been in the lead from the gun, while the bigger names kept their powder dry for the crucial evening time-trial.
While Piil only managed 11th, his lead was always safe, despite a storming ride on stage 4b from Laszlo Bodrogi (Mapei) who edged Tyler Hamilton by a single second. Anticipating the finish the next day, a satisfied Piil said, “I managed to defend the jersey, and tomorrow the team will probably do all the work for me and carry me the final kilometres into Copenhagen”.
The final stage was indeed a procession for Piil who finished safely in the pack as the sprinters did their stuff to bring the race to a close. Gerolsteiner’s Olaf Pollack nicked in ahead of his countryman Sven Teutenburg.
In the overall picture, Bodrogi continued his solid progress with a podium finish, and Sylvain Chavanel showed impressive motivation to finish 9th. Another Danish hero, Frank Hшj, continued his comeback from a mid-summer break, and looks to be in good shape for the Vuelta Espana. Two other riders in action here who may be prominent in that race were Telekom’s Hondo and Klier who both made the top 15.
Bjarne Riis must be a happy man after a great week for CSC-Tiscali. Aside from Piil’s win here, Michael Rasmussen confirmed the wisdom of his switch from mtb to the road with a brilliant stage win at the Vuelta a Burgos.
12th Post Danmark Rundt – Final General Classification
1 Jakob Storm Piil (Den) Team CSC Tiscali 19.36.18
2 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) EDS-fakta @ 1.12
3 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Mapei-Quick Step @ 1.45
4 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC Tiscali @ 1.46
5 Olaf Pollack (Ger) Gerolsteiner @ 1.49
6 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2R Prevoyance @ 1.53
7 Roberto Bartko (Ger) Team Telekom @ 2.00
8 Renй Haselbacher (Aut) Gerolsteiner @ 2.07
9 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Bonjour @ 2.28
10 Frank Hшj (Den) Team Coast @2.37