It looked like Servais Knaven, 37, of Team Columbia would win the Sparkassen Giro in Bochum, Germany. There were three Columbia riders in the leading group of 12 going into the final climb, and with two kilometres to go, the Dutch rider attacked. But the rain and wet pavement did him in.
"There was a final curve 250 metres before the finish line," he said on his website, servaisknaven.com. "The road was slick with rain. I looked back to see how far forward I was. That worked out, but the moment I looked, I went down. I slid a metre or 20 and got back on my bike, but the chasers were already there."
The day continued poorly for Knaven. "I then rode quietly to the line. But the second group had reached me by then, and midway in the group, a rider didn't see me. He ran full into me and as I was falling, I crossed the finish line." Instead of winning, Knaven finished 30th.
"Falling twice within 250 metres, I don't think that has ever happened," continued Knaven, the winner of the 2001 Paris-Roubaix. (SW)