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Zberg pipped at the post

Markus Zberg (right) celebrates his third place Keystone

Swiss cyclist Markus Zberg has finished third in the Milan-San Remo race, the opening event of the 2002 World Cup.

This content was published on March 23, 2002 - 20:48

Zberg was edged out in a crowded sprint by Italy's Mario Cipollini and the American, Fred Rodriguez, who finished first and second respectively.

"In the final kilometre I tried to hang on to the back of Cipollini but several other riders had the same idea," said Zberg.

"Therefore I found myself several times cycling into the wind, so I don't have too many regrets about finishing third. I was hoping to finish in the top ten and now I'm on the podium."

Strong winds and a number of spills on the uphill and downhill sections along the Italian Riviera put paid to the chances of many of the pre-race favourites.

Defending World Cup champion Erik Dekker fell and did not finish the 287km event. Race doctors later said the Dutch cyclist had broken his left thighbone and would be out of action for at least three months.

Germany's Erik Zabel was delayed by a fall towards the end of the race and missed out on the chance of a fifth Milan-San Remo victory.

Lance Armstrong, the three-time Tour de France winner, finished in the leading group, in what was his first race of the season.

swissinfo with agencies

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