The most important one-day race of the year was held today and the result was the same as last year, Paolo Bettini won. Although the race was far more exciting than last year, the Italian was too strong for everyone. As there happened too mucht, I'm only going to tell something about the last round.
In the last round the final break was made with 17 riders, among them Bettini, Schumacher, Boogerd and Bettini but no Freire, Valverde and Zabel. In that group Bettini did everything to get away and it worked out. He sprinted away together with Kolobnev, Fränk Schleck, Schumacher and Evans. In the other group the Belgians Gilbert and Leukemans tried everything to get back but the five were too strong. They rode to the finish, Kolobnev pulled out an amazing pace but the little Italian won on grinta !
Samuel Sanchez tried to get away in the 17 men group but it didn't work out and when Bettini attacked it looked like he didn't have the power anymore to follow. Although in the last metres he pulled out a great sprint to get past Gilbert and become 7th. Unai Etxebarria was in front of the peloton the whole time, we could see him easily because he was really colourful. He probably worked for the Spaniards and he finished in the bunch with a good 39th place.
1 Paolo Bettini (Italy) 6.44.43 (39.642 km/h)
2 Alexandr Kolobnev (Russian Federation)
3 Stefan Schumacher (Germany)
4 Frank Schleck (Luxembourg)
5 Cadel Evans (Australia)
6 Davide Rebellin (Italy) +0.06
7 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spain) +0.08
8 Philippe Gilbert (Belgium)
9 Fabian Wegmann (Germany)
10 Martin Elmiger (Switzerland)
39. Unai Etxebarria +0.49