Sunday’s Hew Cyclassic in Germany proved to be a tale of two Eriks as Erik Zabel claimed victory and Erik Dekker took third, thus extending his lead in the overall standings. The early part of the race saw little action until CSC rider Raphael Jeune took it upon himself to liven things up with a 80km break that saw him build a lead of over eight minutes. However the peleton weren’t about to let the plucky Frenchman take all the glory and he was reeled in on the steeper sections of the race.

The race really came alight when Dekker attacked with race favorites David Rebellin and Paulo Bettini. In a similar move to that of Laurent Jalabert’s in the San Sebastian a week earlier, the three classic specialists looked certain to fight it out at the finish. But the 25-second lead they built up quickly fell apart as Telekom led the chase.

Once the race re-grouped with seven kilometers to go the chances of a sprint grew more likely. Fuelled on by his countrymen Zabel came home victorious to claim his second major classic of the season. The German also leaped up the overall standings and now lies second, just 69 points behind Dekker. The Dutch leader will have to be wary of the German in the final three rounds if he is to win Rabobank’s first World Cup.

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Hew Cyclassics

1st Erik Zabel (Germany, Telekom) 5'h59m'02sec
2nd Romans Vainsteins (Lat, Domo) s.t
3rd Erik Dekker (Hol, Rabobank) s.t
4th Fabrizio Guidi (Ita, Mercury) s.t
5th Andrej Hauptman (Slo, Tacconi) s.t
6th Paulo Bettini (Ita, Mapei) s.t
7th Igor Astarlo (Esp, Mercury) s.t
8th Fabio Baldato (Ita, Fasso Bortolo) s.t
9th Werner Riebenbauer (Aus, Nurnberger) s.t
10th Sven Teutenburg (Ger, Festina) s.t

World Cup Standings

1st Erik Dekker (Holland, Rabobank) 269pts
2nd Erik Zabel (Ger, Telekom) 200pts
3rd Romans Vainsteins(Lat, Domo) 186pts
4th David Rebellin, (Ita, Liquigas) 156pts
5th Gianluca Bortolami (Ita, Tacconi) 126pts