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2002 MTB Worlds - CDM
Kaprun, Austria, 24 August - 1 September, 2002
September 1 - Elite Men's Cross Country
Green does the double in Kaprun mudfest
By Tim Maloney, European editor in Kaprun
Roland Green showed that his 2001 Rainbow jersey win in Vail, Colorado was no fluke. In what may have been the most difficult Men's Elite Cross Country World's ever, the 28 year old Canadian battled with the rain and mud and two tough adversaries, silver medallist Filip Meirhaeghe of Belgium and Thomas Frischknecht of Switzerland. Despite the early challenge of the determined Swiss rider and having to fight for every inch with hard man Belgian Meirhaeghe, Green finally rode away from everyone on the final lap to take the solo win today in Kaprun.
"I'm just so happy to win two (World Championships) in a row and to do it in Europe on a course like this is really gratifying," Green said in a post race interview. "Last year I won in (Vail) at altitude and today's win was in the hardest conditions. This year the World Cups didn't work out exactly like I wanted them to; there were only 5 (races) so I haven't won a World Cup this year. But the World's were my goal. The form is there and it's just a matter of getting it together on the day."
A tired but satisfied Filip Meirhaeghe told Cyclingnews post-race that "We had a hard race today...we were really fighting for it today. Roland was a little stronger on the climbs and I was a little faster on the downhill but in the end, he had a little too much on me to get back. I knew I had to start (the last lap) in front on the downhill and I couldn't get there."
Meirhaeghe continued by saying "With this weather, everybody was dying today. It was harder than (1999 Worlds in Sweden) because there it was still rideable."
Newly crowned champion Green talked about his competition today with much respect. "Today, my legs were a little better than Filip (Meirhaeghe).", Green explained. "On the last lap I knew he was making up time, so I just kept it steady and didn't take any big risks. I just did what I knew worked. Thomas (Frischknecht) was really strong at the start today but you've just got to go from the gun. It's the World Championships. So Thomas rode with a lot of courage today; he still doesn't have his rainbow (jersey) yet...he rode really bravely."
The consummate pro of mountain biking, 34 year old Thomas Frischknecht from Uster, Switzerland explained his strategy today, or lack thereof. "I didn't really have a plan today. I just had a good start and when I got up this morning, I knew if I wanted to get that damned (rainbow) jersey, it would probably be my last chance today," Frischknecht told Cyclingnews. "I was riding to win the first half of the race, so I went out pretty hard. Midway through the race, I just realized that Rollie and Filip were just too strong. To be honest, I don't think I would have been in the medals today without these conditions."
"When I got up today, I knew it could be my day but it's not like you just go to the start line and know you can just go and get a medal. After 13 years in the business, (Frischknecht's first World's MTB medal was in Durango in 1990) still winning a medal is something I can be proud of, even though I didn't win the title I was dreaming of. "
Green was ever-present today, riding hard in front with Meirhaeghe and Frischy, then only Meirhaeghe with two laps to go and finally in splendid mud-splattered solitude.
Olympic champion Miguel Martinez was just behind in the first two laps, but the diminutive Frenchman, recently dropped by Mapei-Quick Step from their roster is looking to continue primarily as a road racer, although he's under contract to Full Dynamix through the 2004 Olympics. Little Mig crashed on lap 2 and damaged his derailleur and abandoned.
Noted mountainbike hardman 37 year Hubert Pallhuber of Italy told Cyclingnews that "Today was one of the toughest mountain bike races I've ever done. Every lap was just getting harder and harder."
But not for Rollie Green. "I had so much adrenalin the last lap, I couldn't even feel the pain in my legs."
Cyclingnews asked Green if he had any ambitions on the road after his 14th place in the World TT championship in Lisbon last year. "I'm committed to mountain biking through the next Olympics. So I'll focus on off-road and then look to ride the time trial at the World's."
That's bad news for the competition; look out for Rollie to roll again the next MTB World's in Lugano, Switzerland early next September.
Photos by AFP
Photos by Tim Maloney/Cyclingnews.com
Results - 33.6 km
1 Roland Green (Can) 2.19.02 (14.5 km/h) 2 Filip Meirhaeghe (Bel) 0.19 3 Thomas Frischknecht (Swi) 1.45 4 Lado Fumic (Ger) 6.10 5 Thomas Kalberer (Swi) 6.33 6 Roel Paulissen (Bel) 8.27 7 Hubert Pallhuber (Ita) 8.36 8 Seamus Mcgrath (Can) 8.43 9 Marek Galinski (Pol) 8.45 10 Christophe Dupouey (Fra) 9.54 11 Bas Van Dooren (Ned) 10.25 12 Jose Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) 10.56 13 Marco Bui (Ita) 11.43 14 Silvio Bundi (Swi) 12.04 15 Kashi Leuchs (NZl) 12.16 16 Carsten Bresser (Ger) 13.22 17 Geoff Kabush (Can) 13.51 18 Antonio Ortiz Barranco (Spa) 13.56 19 Martino Fruet (Ita) 14.24 20 Cedric Ravanel (Fra) 14.43 21 Jean Christophe Peraud (Fra) 15.07 22 Spesny Milan (Cze) 15.19 23 Nick Craig (GBr) 15.27 24 Johann Pallhuber (Ita) 16.45 25 Chris Sheppard (Can) 16.56 26 Marcin Karczynski (Pol) 17.26 27 Korinek Radim (Cze) 17.40 28 Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) 19.39 29 Siegfried Bauer (Aut) 19.53 30 Massimo De Bertolis (Ita) 20.03 31 Todd Wells (USA) 20.19 32 Josh Fleming (Aus) 20.37 33 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) 20.37 34 Lubos Kondis (Svk) 20.44 35 Marti Gispert Labarta (Spa) 20.45 36 Andreas Kugler (Swi) 21.25 37 Elsnic Pavel (Cze) 22.16 38 Peter Wedge (Can) 22.19 39 Bas Peters (Ned) 22.19 40 Jimmy Tielens (Bel) 22.31 41 Erwin Bakker (Ned) 23.01 42 Bart Brentjens (Ned) 23.04 43 Mathieu Toulouse (Can) 23.09 44 Ludovic Dubau (Fra) 23.10 45 Andreas Dilger (Ger) 23.27 46 Paul Rowney (Aus) 23.51 47 Travis Brown (USA) 24.08 48 Craig Gordon (Aus) 24.58 49 Takanori Yamaguchi (Jpn) 25.33 50 Salvador Barriga Vidales (Mex) 25.50 51 Gasper Rak (Slo) 26.12 52 Karl Platt (Ger) 26.23 53 Barrie Clarke (GBr) 26.39 54 Robin Seymour (Irl) 27.08 55 Szilard Buruczki (Hun) 28.54 56 Carl Decker (USA) 28.58 57 Magnus Palmberg (Swe) 29.41 58 Thorsten Marx (Ger) 30.07 59 Zak Toogood (GBr) 30.37 60 Joerg Scheiderbauer (Aut) 31.29 61 Thomas Bonne (Den) 31.56 62 Andreas Hestler (Can) 35.04 63 Bill Hurley (Can) -1 Lap 64 Mark Leis (Aus) 65 Vitaliy Tsurkan (Ukr) 66 Lenart Noc (Slo) 67 Oprea Ovidiu Tudor (Rou) 68 Kenji Takeya (Jpn) 69 Carl Swenson (USA) 70 Perren Delacour (Aus) 71 Zsolt Vinczeffy (Hun) 72 Tim Vincent (NZl) 73 Mannie Heymans (Nam) 74 Cristobal Silva Ibaceta (Chi) 75 Tim Heemskerk (Ned) 76 Victor Trohin (Rus) 77 Raita Suzuki (Jpn) -2 Laps 78 Borut Rudolf (Slo) 79 Hrvoje Popovic (Cro) 80 John Mason (Irl) 81 Emmanouil Kotoulas (Gre) 82 Marcos Schler (Bra) 83 Javier Ernesto Macias (Arg) 84 Jeroen Swart (RSA) 85 Doron Amitz (Isr) 86 Novak Eduard (Rou) DNF Christoph Sauser (Swi) DNF Thomas Hochstrasser (Swi) DNF Stephan Sahm (Ger) DNF Ziranda Madrigal Alvarez (Mex) DNF Christian Poulsen (Den) DNF Alejandro Diaz De La Pena (Spa) DNF Thomas Dietsch (Fra) DNF Miguel Martinez (Fra) DNF Robert Kircher (Aut) DNF Philip Tavell (Swe) DNF Roman Rametsteiner (Aut) DNF Mariusz Kowal (Pol) DNF Jose Antonio Marquez G. (Spa) DNF Gregor Miklic (Slo) DNF Peter Presslauer (Aut) DNF Rune Hoydahl (Nor) DNF Oli Beckingsale (GBr) DNF Haakon Austad (Nor) DNF Jader Zoli (Ita) DNF Luca Bramati (Ita) DNF Sigvard Kukk (Est) DNF Stuart Houltham (NZl) DNF Dolezal Tomas (Cze) DNF Milan Barenyi (Svk) DNF Armando Zacarias G. (Mex) DNF Kostas Sumelidis (Gre) DNF Normunds Zviedris (Lat) DNF Kresimir Kette (Cro) DNS Martin Kraler (Aut) DNS Esteban Toledo Renfter (Chi)