March 20, 2004
VeloNews on Milan-San Remo
Freire was gracious:
"Until you cross the line you can never say you've won," said Freire, "I've waited a long time for this. I've had good form in the past, but I've lost because I didn't have luck. Sometimes you have to have the luck to go with the legs to win the big races."
VeloNews also detailed a crash on the Cipressa that may have affected the outcome:
Disaster struck the animated Team CSC on the twisting descent. Michele Bartoli, riding with a bandana tucked under his helmet in honor of Marco Pantani, spun wide through a corner, clipped a guardrail and fell hard on his right hip. Crashing into him were Rebellin and Peter Van Petegem (Lotto-Domo). All three carried on, but it took Bartoli out of the hunt.
"The plan was for Bartoli to follow Bettini if he attacked on the Poggio," said Team CSC sport director Alain Gallopin. "It's too bad because he was very strong and very motivated for today's race. It's frustrating, but we are optimistic for the upcoming classics because Bartoli was clearly strong."
Postal's Van Heeswijk believed today might be the day after the peloton cleared the Poggio, the last climb of the day:
"I was right on Zabel's wheel and I never felt so strong, so good at Milan-San Remo," said the Dutch rider, who had to settle for fifth. "But I lost his wheel coming through the final two turns. I lost 10 to 12 places and I had to make my sprint from 15th position. I've never felt so good on the Cipressa and Poggio. This just gives me confidence for the classics."
VeloNews also offers a live coverage page, that details the action as it happened.
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