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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 April, 2003, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Vinokourov wins Amstel Gold
Telekom's Alexandre Vinokourov claimed Holland's Amstel Gold Race, the fourth leg of the World Cup on Sunday.

The 29-year-old winner of the Paris-Nice race in March, seized the initiative on the Cauberg summit to edge ahead of Dutch rider Michael Boogerd to make the decisive break in the 250.7km race.

Danilo Di Luca was third ahead of fellow Italian Davide Rebellin and Germany's Mathias Kessler in the 38th edition of the classic.

Wales' Nicole Cooke won the women's version of the race by two seconds from Australian Olivia Gollan and Lithuania's Edita Pucinskaite.

Cooke managed to hold off the peloton by 40 metres after launching an attack with three others and she powered away on the final climb of the 114.8km race.

Men's winner Vinokourov broke away from a 10-strong group including reigning Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong to claim his first World Cup win.

Armstrong could only manage eighth place.

Belgian Peter Van Petegem retains the overall World Cup lead.

Determined break

An early breakaway group of Dutchmen Bram de Groot and Bart Voskamp, Switzerland's Gregory Rast, Kazakhstani Alexander Shefar, Italian Stefano Zanini and Spaniard Jose Luis Rubiera stayed clear of the peolotion for almost 160km before being hauled in.

Another attack was absorbed into the pack before Italian Francesco Cassagrande made a solo quest for glory, but he was caught by Vinokourov and nine others with nine kilometeres left.

Before the race had started, Colombian rider Maurizio Ardila was banned from taking part after failing a blood test.

The Belgian Marlux team member has been banned from competition for a minimum of 15 days in accordance with International Cycling Union regulations.

Twenty-four riders, from the Lotto, Fakta, and Marlux teams, were chosen for the random test prior to the race, the fourth leg of the 10-race World Cup.

Amstel Gold Race results:
1. Alexander Vinokourov, Kazhakstan, 6 hours, 1 minute, 3 seconds.
2. Michael Boogerd, Netherlands, 4 seconds behind
3. Danilo Di Luca, Italy, same time.
4. Davide Rebellin, Italy, same time.
5. Matthias Kessler, Germany, same time.
6. Francesco Casagrande, Italy, 6 seconds behind.
7. Michele Scarponi, Italy, same time.
8. Lance Armstrong, United States, 8 seconds behind.
9. Angel Vicioso, Spain, 12 seconds behind.
10. Igor Astarloa, Spain, 20 seconds behind.

World Cup Standings (After four events)
1. Peter van Petegem, Belgium, 200 points
2. Dario Pieri, Italy, 117
3. Paolo Bettini, Italy, 100
4. Alexander Vinokourov, Kazhakstan, 100
5. Mirko Celestino, Italy, 85
6. Frank Vandenbroucke, Belgium, 80
7. Viatcheslav Ekimov, Russia, 74
8. Michael Boogerd, Netherlands, 70
9. Sergei Ivanov, Russia, 64
10. Stuart O'Grady, Australia, 63




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