Cycling: Fondriest has fire in his eyes: Italian's triumphant ride

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The Independent Online
A LARGE helping of Kellogg's Tour has put the glint of success back in the eyes of Maurizio Fondriest. After four months out of action following an operation, the former world champion won the five-day race in Manchester, and declared himself almost ready to take on the world.

The Italian beat the Russian Vyacheslav Ekimov by 21 seconds over 725km of racing that began in Glasgow, and ended with a final leg through the Peak District from Nottingham. To seal Fondriest's first victory of the year, his Lampre team-mate, Jan Svorada, produced the finishing pace that has triumphed in the Tours of Italy and France, and yesterday put the Slovakian comfortably clear in the long sprint along Deansgate.

Fondriest arrived in the yellow jersey of leader waving his arms in triumph. 'I am really pleased with my victory because I have had an unlucky year. I am satisfied with my condition especially as I have only two weeks of competition in my legs. This makes me confident to contest the World Road Race Championship.'

He won that title in 1988, and flies to Sicily on Monday to prepare for the 28 August championship at Agrigento.

His Kellogg's success was not won easily. 'On Thursday, when I was three minutes behind the leaders in the race, then I just had a doubt that I might lose.'

After 26 victories last year, including the World Cup series, Fondriest is now fired up for success after starting the Tour by winning in Glasgow.

For a short spell yesterday Malcolm Elliott became the race leader on the road as he headed alone through the Peak District towards home territory. His lead climbed to four minutes and 50 seconds after cresting Rowsley Bar, Kirkdale, and the Cat and Fiddle, but the Sheffield rider was caught 28km from the finish.

KELLOGG'S TOUR OF BRITAIN Fifth stage (Nottingham to Manchester 92.4 miles): 1 J Svorada (Lampre, Slovakia) 3:51:19; 2 O Ludwig (Telekom, Ger); 3 G Coltman (Raleigh, GB); 4 F Andreu (Motorola, US); 5 C Lillywhite (Foremost- Karrimor, GB); 6 V Ekimov (Wordperfect, Rus) all same time. Stage team: 1 Telekom 11:33:57; 2 TVM; 3 Lotto, all same time. Overall: 1 M Fondriest (Lampre, Italy) 20:54:53; 2 V Ekimov 21secs; 3 O Ludwig 27secs; 4 J Svorada 46secs, 5 R Aldag (Telekom, Ger) 53secs; 6 S Yates (Motorola, GB) 55secs. Overall team: 1 Lampre 57:24:35; 2 TVM 57:24:52; 3 GB-MG Maglifico 57:24:52. Points classification: 1 Ludwig 47pts, 2 Svorada 47, 3 G Coltman 33. Sprints: 1 B Luckwell (FS Maestro, GB) 24pts, 2 M Walsham (Choice Accountancy, GB) 11, 3 Ekimov 10. Mountains: 1 S Sunderland (TVM, Aus) 68pts; 2 Fondriest 31; 3 M Elliott (Choice Accountancy, GB) 30.