Work in Sports
'I gave it all I had'
Belgium's Tchmil wins Tour of Flanders
Posted: Sunday April 02, 2000 05:11 PM
MEERBEKE, Belgium (AP) -- Belgium's Andrei Tchmil outsprinted his rivals by some 50 meters (55 yards) to win the 269-kilometer (168-mile) Tour of Flanders cycling classic, giving notice that he intends to keep the World Cup title he won last year.
The Russian-born Tchmil broke from the pack after the final climb of the grueling race over the asphalt and cobblestones of northwest Belgium. He finished in 6 hours, 57 minutes, 3 seconds for his furth World Cup classic victory.
"It's one of the best days in my life as a cyclist," said Tchmil, 37. "I gave it all I had. It's fantastic."
Italy's Dario Pieri finished second, about two seconds behind. He was followed by Latvia's Romans Vainsteins and Germany's Erik Zabel, who leads the World Cup standings after two races.
Belgium's Johan Museeuw had been trying for a record fourth victory in the prestigious "Ronde" but his attempt to break on the notorious climb up the cobbled Geraardsbergen Wall 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the end, failed and he was unable to match Tchmil's final sprint.
Tchmil established a lead of almost 20 seconds over the pack on the descent from the final Bosberg hill, but with 9 kilometers (7 miles) to go over the flat, he was chased hard by a pack led by Pieri.