Weekend Euro Race Round-Up
1. EUSKAL BIZIKLETA
ONCE Dominate Parts 2 & 3.
ONCE-Eroski’s domination was complete to-day, as not only did Mikel Zarrabeitia hold on to his lead overall, but Joseba Beloki won the hardest stage of this years Euskal Bizikleta-Bicicleta Vasca. Beloki won on his own by 1 minute and 13 seconds ahead of Santi Blanco (ibanesto.com), third was the Lithuanian Raimondas Rumsas (Lampre) at 1:25. Zarrabeitia saved his lead by finishing 16 seconds behind second overall Rumsas.
Zarrabeitia’s won overall by 11 seconds from Rumsas and 49 from ONCE team mate Azevedo and 1:03 from, yes also ONCE, Serrano. Thus bringing an end to ibanesto.com’s run of stage race victories, their best rider was Piepoli in 11th. place, not a good sign for the Tour, it looks like ONCE-Eroski have timed it right.
2. DUAPHINE LIBERE – Aussies On Form
In the prolog of the Dauphinй Libйrй to-day two young Australians showed them how to do it. the 3,6 kilometre coarse round Lyon was covered fastest by Bradly Mcgee in a time of 4:14 at an average speed of 50.945 kilometres per hour, second was Baden Cooke, a good day for Australia and their team La Francaise des Jeux. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) was 5th. and Scot David Millar (Cofidis) 11th.
3. TOUR OF GERMANY
Spanish rider Igor Gozаlez de Galdeano of ONCE-Eroski has won the Tour of Germany overall, after to-days seventh stage, which was won by Erik Zabel (Telikom) in a tight sprint from O’Grady (Credit Agricole), third was Glomser (Saeco) and Britain’s Jeremy Hunt (Big Mat) was fourth at the end of the stage into Stuttgart of 172,2 kilometres.
Igor’s winning margin at the end was 17 seconds from Garmendia (COAST), Steinhauser (Gerolsteiner) at 37 seconds, Voigt (Credit Agricole) at 41 seconds and Alex Zьlla (COAST) at 42. Igor said afterwards that ”it was a great injection morally” and ”it was clear he was in great form for France”.
The seventh and last stage was Erik Zabel fourth of this tour and his eleventh this season, but the victory may leave a bitter sweet taste as the team were working for Vinokourov to win the overall.