___Race Snippets

 
 

81st Ronde van Vlaanderen 1997 / Tour of Flanders (Belgium)

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

A Dane’s Daring Attack

A daring attack in the last kilometer by Denmark’s Rolf Sorensen grabbed the headlines of the 81st Tour of Flanders. 

The elites of the race began to attack early.  Peter Van Petegem moved away on the Oude Kwaremont (the 4th of 16 climbs).  The attentive favorites quickly caught the Belgian and a strong lead group formed.  Laurent Jalabert escaped the lead group with Rolf Sorensen on the climb of the Taaienberg

Several riders managed to bridge up to the breakaway as the leaders hit the Berendries climb.  Jalabert cracked and faded under the pressure of the long breakaway.  Belgian favorite Johan Museeuw had unfortunate crash when Swiss rider Bruno Boscardin rode into his back wheel, sending both riders to the pavement.  The Belgian favorite for the victory recovered and finished 13th. 

The final climb, the Bosberg, saw only eleven riders survived the hard tempo in the lead group.  Frederic Moncassin used a lull in the action to escape after the Bosberg climb with 8 kms to the finish.  Sorensen and Franco Ballerini quickly covered the move.  The three held a 22 second lead into the finish at Meerbeke/Ninove.  Fearing the superior sprint of Moncassin, Sorensen jumped away at the 1 km banner.  Moncassin and Ballerini were unable to catch the Dane.  Rolf Sorensen crossed the finish line to grab the 1997 Ronde victory.

Flanders April 6, 1997
256 Km, St. Niklaas to Meerbeke/Ninove

1. Rolf SORENSEN (Den) 5h57'01"

2. Frederic Moncassin (Fra) +7"

3. Franco Ballerini (Ita) +8"

Starters: 189
Finishers: 94

Average Speed: 43.023 km/h

 

 

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