Posted by Editor on 10/8/03
Hamilton Road Worlds
Junior Men and Elite Women Time Trials
A big disappointment for Canada in the women's time trial today, when the best Genevieve Jeanson could do was fifth, while Lyne Bessette finished well back in 15th place. Joane Somarriba Arrola of Spain, one of the favourites, took her first world title, ahead of Judith Arndt (Germany) and Zoulfia Zabirova (Russia).
The women did the long course (as did the Junior men earlier in the day), a 20.5 kilometre circuit which includes two climbs of the Niagara Escarpment. The conditions were almost summer-like, at 25 degrees Celcius and blue skies. The only negative, from the riders' perspective, was the wind - a steady, fatiguing force which sapped strength all along the upper portion of the course.
Edwige Pitel of France set the first fast time, but stronger riders were coming. Dede Demet-Barry (USA), celebrating her birthday today ("for sure I'll be having cake tonight"), set a new standard, which was quickly eclipsed by Jeanson, who took 13 seconds off Demet-Barry's time by the first time check at 8 kilometres.
Jeanson, who struggled in the wind along the top of the course ("it was so hard and windy for me there"), posted what would be the third fastest time for the first section, before turning into the wind and falling back. She also suffered a disdvantage on the two descents, with her 49 kilo weight forcing her to pedal down sections where other riders were tucking. Jeanson's second time check was only 7th fastest.
Karin Thurig (Switzerland), who finished fourth, also lost time after the first time check, where she posted what would be the second fastest time of the day. However, she did not fade as badly as Jeanson.
The three medal winners posted the fastest three times on the second part of the course, proving its importance. Somarriba was fastest in the first portion, and second fastest in the latter portion. Arndt, who was only fifth fastest in the first 8 kilometres, dropping 23 seconds to Somarriba, took back nearly 12 of those seconds in the final portion, with the fastest split of the day, while Zabirova was able to knock Thurig off the podium by improving from fourth fastest to third fastest as her ride progressed.
Somarriba has been training half the season for this race. "I knew it was a tough course, so I trained for both hills and flat. I was going 100%, using all of my ability, and I paid for it at the end when it hurt quite a bit, but I knew my time was good and it motivated me to finish strong. It was worth it - this is the best day of my life."
Jeanson, who was visibly shocked after the finish, when she was told that she had finished fifth, had no excuses. "The girls who beat me have all made their mark on the world, they all have championship medals. I wanted to win, or at least podium, so I can't say that I am happy at all with my race. Fifth is good, but..... Every athlete wants to be on the podium in their own country.
"There was nothing that I could have done better, so I can not make any excuses. I was fit, my bike was perfect, the team looked after me, it was all good.
"I will win. I will win someday."
Lyne Bessette was upbeat, despite her relatively low placing. "A month ago I didn't think that I would be doing the Worlds because of my collarbone. I had good legs, but there was a little bit missing today. My ride was technically perfect, with no problems. This results, that was what Lyne Bessette was worth today, but tomorrow will be another thing. I'm pleased Genevieve finished so well, I'm really happy for her."
A final note concerning the incomparable Jeannie Longo, who is still able to finish 6th, at the age of 45. "I was a little bit afraid of the last climb - maybe it was my fault for not pushing enough."
In the Junior men's race, there was a repeat winner, something that is relatively unusual in this category as riders move up to Espoir. Russian Mikhail Ignatiev managed to pull it off, despite fading slightly in the latter part of the race. He finished 21 seconds in front of Dmytro Grabovsky, and 22.5 seconds in front of Viktor Renang of Sweden, who put in the fastest second half split of the day, almost beating Grabovsky for the silver.
Canadian men didn't fare so well, with Kevin Lacombe finishing 50th, and Christian Meier 55th. Kevin Lacombe mentioned that it took him about a week and a half to recover after scraping his knees up badly at a crash in Italy.
Tomorrow is the marquee time trial event - the elite men's 41.3 kilometre race. Riders will be sent off in three waves, a total of 44 competitors. Canadians Jean-Francois Laroche and Eric Wohlberg go off in the first and second waves respectively. The waves are because the men do two laps of the long course. David Millar (Great Britain) and Michael Rich (Germany) are the two prohibitive favourites. The first rider is off at 12:30 pm EDT.
Photos are coming!
Start List for Elite Men Time Trial
|12:30:00||45||KRUSHEVSKIY Sergei (late DNS)||UZB|
|13:34:30||27||PEREZ ARANGO Marlon Alirio||COL|
|14:31:30||14||PENA GRISALES Victor Hugo||COL|
|14:37:30||10||GONZALEZ DE GALDEANO ARANZABAL Igor||ESP|
|14:48:00||3||NOZAL VEGA Isidro||ESP|
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