Canadian Cyclist


August 17/04 6:50 am - Olympics: Quotes from the Time Trial Course

Posted by Editoress on 08/17/04

Time Trial Briefs

Today was the final day for training on the time trial course down in Vouliagmeni, along the coast, south-east of Athens. Many of the riders came out to do a lap or two, and we managed to chat briefly with a number of them as they finished their rides.

Lyne Bessette, Canada

"It's a nice course, with good pavement. It will be hard because of the wind, and the rollers (hills) will crush legs. I think it is harder on the way out, but the wind is coming at you in both directions. I still haven't finished thinking about the course yet, so I can't say for sure - I will be thinking about it a lot tonight, and planning my ride."

About the crash that took her out of the road race:

"Yesterday I was a little stiff, but I don't feel it when I pedal. I didn't get any road rash, just mainly a bruise on my hip. We weren't going so fast at that point, so I was already slowed down, and it probably looked worse than it was.
It is too bad - everything was going well, it was perfect with Sue up the road. I think that this is one of the first times that we (Canadian women) have raced as a team. Sue and Manon did a great job, and we all had faith in each other in the race."

Main contenders:

"Sara Carrigan (Australia, who won the road race) - this is a good course for her, because she is strong and powerful. Arndt (Germany), Zabirova (Russia); although she didn't do much in the road race."

Olympic Message Centre:

"I want to say thank you to everyone for sending me/us messages. I have been reading them, it is great. Being at the Olympics is more than medals and competing; it is what everyone should try for. I know that is impossible, but the point is not only to win a medal, but to participate, be here."

Eric Wohlberg, Canada

"I'm not feeling too bad (after the road race). Actually, I flatted at a bad time in the 7th lap. I had to ride up the cobbles on the flat, and then I had to make a big effort to get back on (the peloton). It was just my bad luck that they had two fast laps afterward, and I just couldn't recover. It was pretty disappointing to come out that way.

I rode the time trial, and it looks good, but heavy winds (on Monday). It was hardest from the start to the turnround, and there are a couple of rollers that are borderline big ring. The surface is good, but with the wind it is going to be slow. There was one downhill section, where I was doing 28 kilometres per hour down, and 50 back up! I think it is going to come down to whoever can keep the speed up in the headwind, because we will all be about the same coming back with the tailwind."

Sue Palmer-Komar, Canada

"I felt okay the day after the road race - a little tired, but better than expected. It's a nice course, I like it - but the wind! If it stays like that it is going to be tough. I was coming around the bends and would hit a wall of wind. It felt like I was just creeping along. The course was designed for someone with a lot of power.

I think a disc will be fine at the back, but trispokes and quads could be sketchy. On a regular wheel (which she rode in training), it (the wind) grabs you when you come around a corner into the wind. I think equipment choice will be critical."

Leontien van Moorsel, Netherlands

van Moorsel was the first person to go down in the crash that took Bessette out of the race.

"I am a little stiff, and I have a bit of pain in my back and legs, but it will not be a problem to race. Yes, the crash was disappointing, but that is part of the sport.

I like the course, I think it is very nice. I think it will be hardest on the climbs, and the wind, it comes from every direction. It it is a good course for Arndt, Zabirova, Somarriba and Carrigan and, hopefully, me (laughs)."

Does crashing out of the road race motivate her more for the time trial?

"Yeah, definitely. We are going to fight tomorrow!"

Christophe Moreau, France

"Tres difficile (very difficult). The wind, it is from all directions. It will be hot, 35C I think, and you must drink lots. I think it will be one of the hardest time trials. For first, I think it will be (either) Jan Ullrich or Michael Rich; after that I don't know."

Santiago Botero, Colombia

It is a good course for the riders who are holding good form right now. It is a course for powerful riders, and those with good position on their bike. Personally, I feel good, fit and not sick now.

Winning time?

"It is hard to say, with all the wind, but I think maybe 48, 49 minutes."

Victor Hugo Pena, Colombia

"Very nice course, very fast; this really is an Olympic quality course I think. I think it will be more the wind than the climbs that will make it hard. But, the wind has dr opped today more than yesterday, and they say, the locals, that it will come down even more. If it is the same as today then I will use a trispoke on the front, but if it is like yesterday (Monday), then a normal wheel at the front, I think. Yesterday, the wind pushed the front of the bike around too much.

A favourite is hard to pick. Ullrich, Rogers, Hamilton, Ekimov ... Everyone can have a chance here."

Michael Rich, Germany

"I saw the course for the first time on Sunday. Then, it was much more windy. It is not an easy course, but a good time trial course. For me, my form is good, I felt good in the road race, so everything is possible here. In the road race I had a job to do - to chase, bring bottles up, work for the team."

Himself and Ullrich both in medals?

"Of course, we both have a good chance for a medal, but it depends - if we have what I call a 'chocolade day', then it is possible. I need a chocolade day."

Joane Somarriba, Spain current World Champion

"It is a good race course, not too hard I think. The hardest will be the wind, the heat is fine for me, not too hot."


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