Cyril Dessel gives France its first Tour of the Med win for six seasons, while bad weather causes pr
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Cyril Dessel was confirmed as the overall winner of the Tour of the Mediterranean this afternoon when the final stage based on San Remo finished in a bunch sprint won by Milram’s Elia Rigotto, who outpaced Lampre’s Daniele Bennati and his own Milram team-mate Erik Zabel. By finishing safely in the pack behind Rigotto, Dessel became the first French winner of the Tour of the Med since Laurent Jalabert in 2000 as well as assuring himself of the best win of his career.
The final stage started and finished in San Remo, which is reported to be the starting point for the 2007 edition of the Med. The final kilometres of the race followed the course of Milan-San Remo exactly, including the climbs of the Cipressa and Poggio and the finish on the Via Roma.
Five riders went clear after 40km, only to be hauled in by a bunch driven by Dessel’s Ag2r team on the Cipressa, 20km from the finish. The pack stayed together over the Poggio, which left four-time San Remo winner Zabel as the obvious favourite for the stage win. However, although the German achieved his ninth podium finish already this season, he did not have the speed to match his two younger rivals. That would point towards Milram clearly backing defending San Remo Alessandro Petacchi next month rather than Zabel, whose form is good but whose finishing speed does not appear to be what it once was.
Stage 6, San Remo-San Remo
1 Elia Rigotto (Ita) Team Milram 105km in 2.17.17 (45.89kph)
2 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Lampre
3 Erik Zabel (Ger) Milram
4 Antonio d’Aniello (Ita) Miche
5 Dmitri Fofonov (Kaz) Crdit Agricole
6 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Quick Step
7 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Acqua e Sapone
8 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Franaise des Jeux
9 Ivan Gutierrez (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
10 Tomas Vaitkus (Lit) Ag2r
1 Cyril Dessel (Fra) Ag2r Prvoyance 13.06.05
2 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Crdit Agricole 0.03
3 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Crdit Agricole 0.09
4 Ivan Gutierrez (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 0.21
5 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Acqua e Sapone 0.27
6 Thomas Lvkvist (Swe) Franaise des Jeux 0.47
7 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Cofidis 1.12
8 David Loosli (Swi) Lampre 1.32
9 Brad McGee (Aus) Franaise des Jeux 1.43
10 Remmert Wielinga (Hol) Quick Step 1.59
– The Garcia Quesada brothers battled it out with each other at the conclusion of the opening stage of the Ruta del Sol in their native Andalucia, with younger sibling Adolfo (Andalucia-Paul Versan) outpacing Carlos (Unibet.com) in Otura. The stage from Antequera was run on roads where the pair spend much of their time training, and they made that experience count in very un-Sol-like conditions of high wind, fog and snow flurries.
The pair went clear in a break with former Comunitat Valenciana team-mate Jos-Adrian Bonilla, plus Kaiku’s Rodrigo Garcia, Euskaltel’s I¤aki Isasi, Unibet’s Luis Pasamontes and Saunier Duval’s Oliver Zaugg, the only non-Spaniard and the instigator of the move after just 15km. And that was the last the peloton saw of them, with the frozen pack eventually trailing in more than half an hour down.
As the fog came down, making route-finding rather difficult, the brothers with the local knowledge made that tell, breaking clear of their five companions, who were led in by Isasi 11 seconds after Adolfo had put one over on his elder brother.
Stage 1, Antequera-Otura
1 Adolfo Garcia Quesada (Spa) Andalucia-Paul Versan 161.4km in 4.24.16 (36.65kph)
2 Carlos Garcia Quesada (Spa) Unibet.com
3 I¤aki Isasi (Spa) Euskaltel 0.11
4 Jos-Adrian Bonilla (CRC) Comunitat Valenciana
5 Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Saunier Duval
6 Luis Pasamontes (Spa) Unibet.com
7 Rodrigo Garcia (Spa) Kaiku
8 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank 31.19
9 Jon Bru (Spa) Kaiku
10 Jos-Maria Almagro (Spa) Relax-Gam
– Bad weather also affected the final stage of the Tour de Langkawi, with rain forcing the mid-stage cancellation of the closing criterium in Kuala Lumpur. The stage was awarded to lone breakaway Angel Vallejo (Relax-Gam) as water on the course made the likelihood of crashes almost certain. Even a completed final stage, though, would not have threatened the overall advantage held by South Africa’s David George, who succeeded team-mate and compatriot Ryan Cox as the race winner.
Stage 11, Kuala Lumpur criterium: Stage awarded to Angel Vallejo (Spa) Relax-Gam when bad weather forced cancellation.
1 David George (SA) South Africa 26.43.55
2 Francesco Bellotti (Ita) Crdit Agricole 1.52
3 Gabriele Missaglia (Ita) Selle Italia 1.56
4 Cesar Grajales (Col) Navigators 2.31
5 Walter Pedraza (Col) Selle Italia 3.11
6 Jos Serpa (Col) Selle Italia 4.20
7 Jose Miguel Elias (Spa) Relax-Gam 4.41
8 Laurent Lefvre (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 4.46
9 Robin Sharman (GB) Recyling.co.uk 4.57
10 Benoit Poilvet (Fra) Crdit Agricole 5.15