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Amstel Gold -- Second Post

  • Break has gone from 11 minutes up to 3:40. No attacking, Rabo on the front, but the action might not be too far off.
  • Christian Moreni (Cofidis) eats some pavement. Looks like he's OK and on track for an irrelevant result. Something I know a lot about...
  • Insight of the Day, #1: a few minutes back Brian was likening something to Scotland, and let slip that he's Scottish. I had no idea!
  • The kopgroep is inder two minutes now. With Schmidt out, T-Mobile gets in position. There's a 16% spot the climb after this one, perhaps the action is about to get underway?
  • And the attack starts! Gilbert, Erik Dekker, four T-Mobiles, Pozzato, Oscar Freire. Maybe a dozen so far, with two more bridging.
  • T-Mobile are really forcing the selection. Brian and Anthony are doing the traditional analysis of T-Mobile's inverse relationship of salary to results. Problem is they're dragging some top riders with them, including Freire for the sprint. Maybe the German TV coverage ends half an hour early. The break gets swarmed by the lead cars, just in time to hit a huge puddle.
  • and T-Mobile's effort goes the way of so many of their efforts... nowhere. The peloton is about back on.
  • Karsten Kroon attacks!
  • Kroon brings Pippo, Flecha and Matthias Kessler (not Kessier) - Albasini and the other breaker jump in for a moment. And it's not Kroon, it's Sorensen. If this works it will be with the help of two small packs coming after them.
  • Stranger still, Kroon is actually off the back after a puncture, with nobody to help him. So much for their military-style teambuilding exercises last winter.
  • Kroon is back, not much happening at the front as the peloton is all together... and as I type, Maarten Den Bakker from Milram jumps. And damn my eyes, is that Sylvain Chavanel joining him?
  • 43 KM to go. six guys away, including Discovery's Gusev. They're approaching the Wolfsburg, and Bettini comes across! Chris Horner, Eddy Mazzoleni, and Michael Schumacher are on board too.
  • Bettini has Serge Baguet, the Belgian champ, and Gusev has Benoit Joachim. Rabo have missed out entirely, though, so look for them to take up the chase as soon as they hear the word "Bettini." They've only got 11 seconds, and Rabo are on the rivets now.