Italian cyclist Davide Rebellin crowned an exceptional week’s performance yesterday when he added the Liège-Bastogne-Liège feather to his cap after capturing the Amstel Gold race and the Flèche Wallonne in the same week. Never before has one cyclist won all three Ardennes Spring classics.
In a finish resembling that of last Sunday’s Amstel Gold, Rebellin again sprinted against Michael Boogerd for the finish in the last 200 metres and was again victorious, this time by five seconds. Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne also came down to a sprint, that time Rebellin blasted past Danilo Di Luca (team Saeco) in the last 50 metres.
The result has put man-of-the-moment Rebellin at the top of the world standings at the half-way point. Rebellin himself said after the race: “Amstel came as a liberation, the Fleche Wallonne was a confirmation, today I’ve managed the maximum achievement.” There’ll be a few people putting money on him not having reached maximum yet.
In another sprint finish in Alpharetta, Georgia (USA), Canada’s Gordon Fraser (Health Net-Maxxis) won out over Juan José Haedo (Colavita Olive Oil) and former world champ Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) yesterday to take the final stage of the seven-stage Tour of Georgia. Overall victory in in the Tour though went to Lance Armstrong with a time of 25hrs 39mins 20secs for the six-day, 1,051km race.